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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Sixteen Americans Reach Second Round of Australian Open Qualifying; Fritz Beats Isner in Auckland; Mardy Fish Named Davis Cup Captain; Qualifying Underway at ITF Grade 1 in Traralgon

The first round of qualifying at the Australian Open has concluded with two more US women and four more US men advancing to Thursday's second round in Melbourne. US women went 10-2 in the first round, with US men going 6-5. American results from Wednesday are below.

Jamie Loeb d. Abbie Myers[WC](AUS) 6-2, 6-4

Allie Kiick d. Giulia Gatto-Monticone(ITA) 6-2, 6-2

Tommy Paul d. Roberto Cid(DOM) 6-4, 6-3

Bjorn Fratangelo[24] d. Tallon Griekspoor(NED) 6-4, 7-5

Enrique Lopez Perez(ESP) d. Donald Young 5-7, 6-1, 6-2

Go Soeda(JPN) d. Sebastian Korda[WC] 6-1, 6-2

Mitchell Krueger d. Federico Gaio(ITA) 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-5

Adrian Menendez Maceiras[20](ESP) d. Christian Harrison 6-4, 2-6, 6-4

Noah Rubin[28] d. Akira Santillan[WC](AUS) 6-4, 6-3

Thursday's second round features only one match between Americans, with Caroline Dolehide[19] facing Danielle Lao.  Matches are being streamed from all courts on the AO website.

Taylor Fritz (photo courtesy Chengdu Open)
A day after Sonya Kenin took out top seed Caroline Garcia at the WTA tournament in Hobart(Kenin advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6(6), 6-3 win over Ons Jabeur of Tunisia Wednesday), Taylor Fritz took out top seed John Isner at the ATP tournament in Auckland, 7-6(3), 7-6(5). It's the second ATP Top 10 win for the 21-year-old Fritz. For more on the match, see the ATP website.

The USTA announced today that Mardy Fish has been named Davis Cup Captain, succeeding Jim Courier.  The conference call included General Manager of Player Development Martin Blackman, and I had heard Fish might assume additional duties, but from what was said, those appear to be related to more travel to pro events, although a role as Net Generation ambassador was mentioned at the end. Although Sport Illustrated's Jon Wertheim is framing Fish as having a Kathy Rinaldi-like role at the USTA, I don't think that's accurate. Rinaldi is the head of women's tennis for the USTA as well as Fed Cup captain. Kent Kinnear was recently named head of men's tennis for the USTA, so Fish will obviously not be filling that role. The complete transcript of today's conference call is here.

Qualifying began Wednesday at the ITF Grade 1 in Traralgon Australia, with a surprise entrant from the United States, Tyler Zink. Zink, who was in the main draw initially there but has been listed as withdrawn, received a wild card into qualifying and, as the No. 1 seed, won his first round match.  The other US players who made the trip to Australia are Adam Neff, who lost his first round qualifying match, Blaise Bicknell[10], who won his first round qualifying match. Sasha Wood[10] is the only US girl in qualifying in Traralgon; she won her first round match.


And Then There Were 4 said...

Four USA Men advance to the Final round of Qualifying in this years Aussie Open... Eubanks, Fratangelo, Krueger, and Smyczek.
Taylor Fritz will face TCU Cam Norrie in the First round of the main draw. Let the Action begin.