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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Juvan, Kostyuk Vie for ITF Junior Masters Girls Title; Ruusuvuori and Wu Meet for Boys Championship; Duval into $80K Macon Final; Kecmanovic Reaches First Challenger Final

The finals are set for the ITF Junior Masters in Chengdu China, with both championship contests rematches from earlier round robin play.  Australian Open girls champion Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine, the No. 2 seed, will face Kaja Juvan of Slovenia for the title, with Kostyuk having won their meeting in the final round robin match Friday 6-2, 7-6(1).
In Saturday's semifinal, Kostyuk defeated Maria Carle of Argentina 6-3, 7-5 and Juvan took out top seed Whitney Osuigwe 7-5, 6-1. 

Juvan, who had beaten Osuigwe in the semifinals en route to last year's Orange Bowl title, won the European Championships this year, beating Kostyuk in the final. Juvan will turn 17 next month; Kostyuk is the youngest player in the field; she will not turn 16 until next June.

For more on the girls semifinals, including comments from Osuigwe on her loss, see the article on the ITF junior website.

Although  three players from Argentina reached the semifinals, none will be playing for a title Sunday, with both boys falling today.  No. 2 seed Axel Geller lost to Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-2, 6-4 and Sebastian Baez fell to top seed Wu Yibing of China 6-3, 6-2.  Ruusuvuori and Wu met in round robin play on Thursday, with Wu posting a 7-6(7), 6-4 win.  Ruusuvuori came much closer to beating Wu last month at the US Open Junior Championships, with Wu saving two match points to defeat Ruusuvuori 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).  Wu went on to beat Geller in the final in New York. 

Ruusuvuori is the only one of the four finalists that has not won a Grade A. The 18-year-old did not play his first ITF Grade A tournament until this year's Australian Open, where he made the quarterfinals. He lost in the first round at the French and Wimbledon Junior Championships.

Live scoring and live streaming links can be found on the ITF Junior Circuit home page.

Vicky Duval has reached her second USTA Pro Circuit final of this fall and the biggest final of her career at the $80,000 tournament in Macon Georgia.  Duval, who turns 22 next month, defeated defending champion Kayla Day, the No. 8 seed, 6-1, 6-3, coming from 3-1 down in the second set to close out the victory.  Duval, who will take the lead in the USTA Australian Open Wild Card Challenge with two more tournaments to go, plays Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia in the final. Schmiedlova, who was in the WTA Top 30 at the beginning of last year, beat Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-3, 6-4.  Live streaming is available at usta.com, with Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com providing the commentary.

It's great to see one of the best collegiate doubles teams of all time reunited, with Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria into the doubles final in Macon.  USC's 2013 NCAA champions, seeded No. 4, will face the unseeded team of Sanaz Marand and Brazil's Paul Goncalves in Sunday's final.

2016 ITF World Junior Champion Miomir Kecmanovic has not played a junior event since the French Open, concentrating instead on improving his ATP ranking.  Now into the Top 300, the 18-year-old from Serbia has reached his first ATP Challenger final at this week's $75,000 tournament in Suzhou China.  Unseeded, Kecmanovic has yet to drop a set while eliminating three seeds.  He will face another, No. 3 seed Radu Albot of Moldova, in the final and would be certain to make the Australian Open qualifying draw with a victory.