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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Kingsley, Nava Advance to Australian Open Boys Quarterfinals; Baker Named USTA National Coach; Americans Dominate Grade 1 in Colombia; ITF's Grand Slam Development Grants Announced

Cannon Kingsley and Emilio Nava have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, in singles after victories on Wednesday.  Kingsley, the No. 9 seed, saw his 5-1 second set lead slip away against No. 7 seed Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic, but the Ohio State recruit broke in the final game to avoid a tiebreaker in his 6-2, 7-5 victory.

Nava, the No. 13 seed, defeated No. 2 seed Bu Yunchaokete of China, the 2016 Junior Orange Bowl 14s champion, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.  In Thursday's quarterfinals, Kingsley will face No. 4 seed Filip Jianu of Romania, who beat Toby Kodat 7-5, 6-3.  Nava will play Traralgon champion Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic, who beat Zane Khan 7-6(1), 6-4 in a rematch of the Traralgon final. Emma Navarro was up 6-3, 3-0 on Daria Snigur, but the 16-year-old Ukrainian came back to post a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win.

Navarro and Chloe Beck, seeded No. 8, have advanced to the doubles semifinals, as have No. 4 seeds Kingsley and Nava, who beat No. 8 seeds Khan and Liam Draxl of Canada 7-5, 6-1.

Serena Williams couldn't convert four match points Wednesday, losing her quarterfinal match to No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.

Danielle Collins plays No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in Thursday's semifinals.

Americans still remaining in doubles are unseeded Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison, who advanced to the men's semifinals with a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win over No. 7 seeds Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, and, in mixed, Nicole Melichar (playing with Bruno Soares of Brazil) and Rajeev Ram(Illinois) (playing with Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic).

Australian wild cards JP Smith(Tennessee) and Astra Sharma(Vanderbilt) are surprise mixed semifinalists; they defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray in the quarterfinals.  LSU alumni Neal Skupski of Great Britain also is through to the semifinals after he and partner Maria Jose Martinez Sanches beat top seeds Gabriela Dabrowksi of Canada and Mate Pavic of Croatia.

The USTA announced today that Brian Baker would join the Player Development staff as a National Coach in Men's Tennis. The release:

ORLANDO, Fla., January 23, 2019 -- The USTA today announced that it has hired former Top-60 pro Brian Baker as a National Coach for Men's Tennis, based out of the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando and reporting to Head of Men's Tennis Kent Kinnear.

Best known for his perseverance through a multitude of injuries, Baker ranked as high as No. 52 in the world and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2012. He also won two ATP doubles titles and represented the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

A Nashville native, Baker was an assistant men's coach at Belmont University from 2008-11 and then again in 2015 and 2018. He graduated from Belmont with a Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business degree in 2015.

"Brian’s experiences as a player and as a coach will be a tremendous addition to our TEAM USA Pro Department, as he works closely with players and their coaches progressing to break their way into the ATP Top 100," Kinnear said. "His tennis mind, his analytical abilities and his drive and determination for improvement will all be incredible assets for our staff and for our country’s up and coming pro players."

The ITF Grade 1 this week in Colombia has been dominated by Americans, with nine boys and 11 girls through to the round of 16.

The US boys are: Keshav Chopra, Jacob Bullard, Will Grant[9], Andrew Dale, Ronan Jachuck[7], Martin Damm, Hunter Heck, Alex Lee[11] and Aidan Mayo.

Mayo, a qualifier, beat No. 2 seed Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan, the champion at last week's Grade 1 in Costa Rica, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.  Heck and Lee will play in the round of 16, as will Grant and Dale.

The US girls in the round of 16: Alexa Noel[1], Charlotte Chavatipon, Jennifer Gadalov, Elaine Chervinsky, Kailey Evans[12], Ellie Coleman, Savannah Broadus[4], Emma Jackson, Tara Malik, Katrina Scott and Gabby Price[2]. All-US matchups in the third round are Noel and Chavatipon, Jackson and Malik and Scott and Price.

The ITF has announced its Grand Slam Development Fund grant recipients for 2019. For background of the grants and conversation with some of the players receiving them, see this article from the ITF website.

Men

$25,000 - Alexander Bublik (KAZ), Chung Yunseong (KOR), Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB), Duckhee Lee (KOR), Kamil Majchrzak (POL), Sebastian Ofner (AUT), Zsombor Piros (HUN), Jurij Rodionov (AUT), Camilo Ugo Carabelli (ARG), Mate Valkusz (HUN), Wu Yibing (CHN), Mikael Ymer (SWE)

$12,500 - Roberto Cid Subervi (DOM), Moez Echargui (TUN)

Women

$25,000 - Magdalena Frech (POL), Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE), Ivana Jorovic (SRB), Kaja Juvan (SLO), Fangzhou Liu (CHN), Andreea Amalia Rosca (ROU), Elena Rybakina (KAZ), Viktoriya Tomova (BUL), Xu Shilin (CHN), Karman Kaur Thandi (IND) Katarina Zavatska (UKR)

$12,500 - Victoria Bosi (ARG), Sandra Samir (EGY), Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG), Renata Zarazua (MEX)

3 comments:

Toss Up said...

What was Worse...Serena's choking performance in the quarters at the Aussie open vs Pliskova...or that Pea Green Lime Leprechaun Outfit she wore in the match?

Janet Morris said...

Serena rolled her ankle or it was going to be 6-1. You know what they do it 'tough' sports like football and basketball when that happens? Go to the bench and sit out. Serena not only played but did not do the lame call the trainer thing that most players do to stall and change momentum. Serena is a real warrior, not a keyboard tough person.

OOPS said...

You forgot to mention her foot fault(choke) at 5-1, 40-30 in the third set....then she rolled her ankle and if it was that bad she would have gotten it taped. Serena is the Drama Queen. We are fortunate she didn't blow a gasket after the foot fault or we woud have had to watch the sequel of last years US Open. Besides the match itself, her outfit was a nightmare.