Thursday, January 18, 2018

All-American Finals in Bolton; Midurawe, Lyeons Qualify for Australian Open Jrs; Mandlik, Ma and Mayo Into Coffee Bowl Semis; Sandgren and Pera with Big Wins in Australia

The singles finals are set for the Tennis Europe event in Bolton, with Americans filling all four spots.  No. 4 seed Evan Wen rolled past Samuel Reeve of Great Britain 6-1, 6-2 and he was later joined by his doubles partner Victor Lilov, who beat No. 3 seed Cesar Bouchelaghem of France 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5).  No. 7 seed Lilov trailed 5-3 in the tiebreaker, but won the final four points of the match.  Wen and Lilov played in the quarterfinals of the Junior Orange Bowl 12s in 2016, with Lilov winning, but Wen claimed victories in their two meetings in USTA events last year, both on indoor hard courts. Lilov and Wen fell in the doubles final, with the No. 2 seeds going out to top seeds Mili Poljicak and Dino Prizmic of Croatia 3-6, 6-4, 10-5.

In the girls semifinals, No. 5 seed Katja Wiersholm beat top seed Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain 7-5, 6-2, while No. 2 seed Katrina Scott downed Robin Montgomery 6-4, 6-1 in the all-American semifinal.  As with the boys, the finalists have history in the Junior Orange Bowl 12s, with Scott defeating Wiersholm in the 2016 quarterfinals. Scott also beat Wiersholm this past fall, in the final of the Les Petits As playoffs in Florida.  Wiersholm and Montgomery, seeded fourth, won the doubles title, beating No. 3 seeds Oceane Babel and Laia Petretic of France 6-4, 6-2.

Two Americans qualified for the Australian Open Junior Championships, with Niluka Madurawe and Jaycer Lyeons earning their first spots in a junior slam with wins Thursday.  Madurawe, the No. 6 seed, beat No. 15 seed Funa Kozaki of Japan 6-3, 6-2 and Lyeons, seeded No. 15, defeated Hikaru Shiraishi of Japan 5-7, 7-5, 3-0 ret.  Complete draws can be found at the Tennis Australia website.  Play in the Australian Open Junior Championships main draw begins Saturday (Friday night in the United States).

The ITF Grade 1 in Traralgon Australia ended on Thursday, with top seed En Shuo Liang of Taiwan and No. 5 seed Hugo Gaston of France winning the titles.  Liang defeated No. 8 seed Xiyu Wang of Chinga 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 and Gaston cruised past unseeded Aidan McHugh of Great Britain 6-1, 6-1.  Wojciech Marek of Poland and Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan won the boys doubles title with a 7-6(1), 6-4 win over Rinky Hijikata of Australia and Taisei Ichikawa of Japan in an all-unseeded final. No. 6 seeds Joanna Garland of Taiwan and Himari Sato of Japan won the girls doubles title with a 6-4, 4-6, 10-6 win over No. 2 seeds Alina Charaeva and Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia.

The quarterfinals at the ITF Grade 1 Coffee Bowl will extend well into the night in Costa Rica, but three Americans have advanced to the semifinals.  No. 7 seed Lea Ma defeated Nikki Redelijk 6-1, 6-4 and will face No. 9 seed Alexandra Vagramov of Canada, who beat No. 14 seed Skyler Grishuk 7-5, 6-0.  No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik defeated Charlotte Owensby 7-6, 6-3 and will play the winner of tonight's match between top seed Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia and No. 5 seed Chloe Beck.

No. 7 seed Keenan Mayo beat Toby Kodat 6-3, 6-1 and will face the winner of the night match between No. 1 seed Trey Hilderbrand and No. 8 seed Brandon Nakashima.  Unseeded Harold Mayot of France will play the winner of the evening match between No. 6 seed Tyler Zink and No. 3 seed Mateus Alves of Brazil.  All three evening singles matches will be streamed at the tournament website.

Two relatively unknown Americans came up big last night at the Australian Open, with Tennys Sandgren and lucky loser Bernarda Pera both beating the No. 9 seeds.  Sandgren, who won his first slam match on Monday, got the biggest win of his career, beating 2014 Australian champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Wawrinka is coming off a long injury layoff, but regardless of the circumstances, that is an impressive victory for the former Tennessee Volunteer.  Pera won a tight match over Great Britain's Johanna Konta 6-4, 7-5, and for someone who has never been in that position, it takes a lot of determination to finish off a quality opponent like Konta.  Lauren Davis and Madison Keys also advanced to the third round with wins Thursday.
The ATP article on Sandgren's win is here; the USTA has more on Pera's victory here.

Thursday (Wednesday night in US)

Dominic Thiem[5](AUT) def. Denis Kudla 6-7(6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
Madison Keys[17] def. Ekaterina Alexandrova(RUS) 6-0, 6-1
Tennys Sandgren def. Stan Wawrinka[9](SUI) 6-2, 6-1, 6-4
Bernarda Pera def. Johanna Konta[9](GBR) 6-4, 7-5
Marton Fucsovics(HUN) def. Sam Querrey[13] 6-4, 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-2
Albert Ramos-Vinolas[21](ESP) def. Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(2)
Lauren Davis def. Andrea Petkovic(GER) 4-6, 6-0, 6-0

Friday (Thursday night in US)

Ryan Harrison v Marin Cilic[6](CRO)