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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Collins Reaches Australian Open Semifinals; Five US Juniors Advance to AO Round of 16; Seven Americans Move into Round Two at Les Petits As; Volynets Posts Win at Newport Beach WTA 125

Collins working with Pat Harrison in off-season
Danielle Collins advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open Tuesday, denying unseeded veteran Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia her first major semifinal by coming back to claim 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory. The 25-year-old from Florida, who won the NCAA women's singles titles in 2014 and 2016, rolled in the third set, hitting 13 winners and making just one unforced error.

Women's college tennis has not had a major semifinalist in singles since Stanford's Meredith McGrath reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 1996, although the WTA has not been particularly diligent in its research on the collegiate background of those in the late stages of slams.  At any rate, Collins has arrived, and while she received some recognition after reaching the semifinals at the Miami Open last year, this unexpected breakout at a slam is nearly unprecedented. See this blog post from Jeff Sackmann on Heavy Topspin, for more details on Collins' rare run.

Stephanie Myles at TennisLife has thoughts on Collins' win and the contrasting pathways of the Virginia graduate and Pavlyuchenkova, who won the Australian Open girls title twice.  Joel Drucker wrote about Collins' mental strength in this article for tennis.com.  Collins will play No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the semifinals, with Kvitova having beaten Collins in the first round of the WTA event in Brisbane earlier this month 6-7(6), 7-6(6), 6-3.

Frances Tiafoe could not join Collins in the final four, with No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal of Spain just playing too well, facing only two break points, neither converted, in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory. 

Jennifer Brady(UCLA) and Allison Riske have moved into the women's doubles semifinals, defeating No. 7 seeds Hao-Ching and Latisha Chan of Taiwan 6-3, 7-6(3) in Tuesday's quarterfinals. They face No. 2 seeds and defending champions Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France in Wednesday's semifinals. 

Serena Williams[16] faces No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, the 2010 Australian Open girls champion, in Wednesday's quarterfinals.

Five US juniors have reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open Junior Championships, with Tuesday's winners Emma Navarro, Zane Khan and No. 13 seed Emilio Nava. Khan defeated No. 5 seed Rinky Hijikata of Australia 6-4, 6-4.  No. 6 seed Lea Ma lost to Priska Nugroho of Indonesia 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.  No. 9 seed Cannon Kingsley and Toby Kodat has moved into the third round on Monday.  Kingsley and Nava, seeded No. 4, have advanced to the quarterfinals in boys doubles, to play No. 8 seeds Khan and Canadian Liam Draxl. Navarro and Chloe Beck, the No. 8 seeds, also have reached the doubles quarterfinals.

All round of 16 singles matches and doubles quarterfinals are on Wednesday (Tuesday night in the US).

Seven of the eight Americans competing at Les Petits As have advanced to the second round in singles, including all three seeds: Learner Tien[15], Kaitlyn Carnicella[11] and Katherine Hui[12]. Qavia Lopez, Kyle Kang, Cooper Williams and Joseph Phillips are the other four moving on to the second round.  Phillips defeated No. 6 seed Patrick Schoen of Switzerland 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4 and Williams beat No. 8 seed Marc Majdandzic of Germany 6-2, 6-4. All seven are in second round action on Wednesday.  Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker. Live streaming on three courts can be found here.

Although there are two ITF World Tennis Tour 25 events this week in Florida, with the men in Palm Coast and the women in Plantation, the big event is the Oracle Challenger in Newport Beach California. The women's tournament is a WTA 125 event and the men's tournament is an ATP 125 Challenger. These have different entry rules than lower level events, with no qualifying spots for ITF World rankings and two wild cards in the four-player qualifying draws.  Evan Song and UCLA senior Maxime Cressy advanced to the main draw and Cressy defeated Alex Sarkissian(Pepperdine) 6-3, 6-0 in the first round today.

Taylor Fritz, Bradley Klahn and Mackenzie McDonald are the top three men's seeds.

In the women's qualifying, 17-year-old Katie Volynets defeated Alexa Guarachi(Alabama) of Chile to make the main draw, and today she needed only 46 minutes to defeat Mari Osaka of Japan 6-0, 6-0 in the first round. Francesca Di Lorenzo(Ohio State), who has been out with an injury since the US Open last September, picked up a win in her first match back Monday. Rebecca Peterson of Sweden and Tatjana Maria of Germany are the top two seeds.

Two American men and two American women will receive wild cards into the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells based on their performances in the four Oracle Challenger events. Two were played last fall, in Chicago and Houston, this is the third, with one more in Indian Wells this spring. Danielle Collins won that wild card last year and went on to make the fourth round. Bradley Klahn and Lauren Davis are the current leaders.  For more on this race, see the tournament website.



Serena Williams blows a 5-1 , match point, and lets Pliskova come back to win 7-5 in the third.

Versace said...

If a green outfit warn on the tennis court ever screamed.." Versace we miss you..." it's the one Serena wore last night down under:)

Fashion Sense said...

It was nothing short of hideous and did the opposite of complimenting her figure.