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Monday, June 3, 2019

Anisimova Reaches Women's Quarterfinals at French Open; Kodat, Nakashima and Navarro Through to FO Juniors Third Round; South Carolina's Recruiting Class No. 1 in TRN's New Rankings

Seventeen-year-old Amanda Anisimova advanced to the quarterfinals of the women's French Open today, beating qualifier and former collegian Aliona Bolsova of Spain 6-3, 6-0.  Anisimova is the first player, man or woman, born in the 2000s to reach a slam quarterfinal, and her run at this tournament will assure her of a new career-high in the WTA rankings. She is currently 35 in the live rankings. Her next opponent will be her toughest yet however--No. 3 seed and defending champion Simona Halep of Romania. Halep made short work of another former junior slam champion, reigning Wimbledon girls champion Iga Swiatek of Poland, who lost to Halep 6-1, 6-0 in 45 minutes today.

Anisimova is one of three American women in the quarterfinals, with No. 7 Sloane Stephens earning her spot yesterday, and No. 14 seed Madison Keys beating Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4 today. Keys will play No. 8 seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia, who defeated Sonya Kenin 6-3, 3-6, 6-0. Stephens is the only one of the three in action on Tuesday, when she takes on No. 26 seed Johanna Konta of Great Britain, who beat her last month in the second round in Rome.

Three Americans advanced to the round of 16 at the French Open Junior Championships today, while three other won their first round matches.

No. 4 seed Alexa Noel got past last week's Belgium Grade 1 finalist Carole Monnet of France 7-5, 6-4 to reach the second round, and No. 6 seed Hurricane Tyra Black fought off two match points in her 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-0 win over wild card Alice Tubello of France. Robin Montgomery fell to No. 9 seed Kamilla Bartone of Latvia 6-7(7) 6-4, 6-4 and qualifier Chloe Beck was beaten by Loudmilla Bencheikh of France 6-4, 6-4.

The explanation for Noel's semifinal walkover in her match with Elli Mandlik in the ITF WTT $15K in Italy last month is revealed in this ITF Junior Circuit website article about today's matches.

In boys first round matches, No. 10 seed Martin Damm earned his first junior slam victory, beating Dane Sweeny of Australia 7-5, 7-6(1).  Zane Khan lost to Juan Bautista Torres of Argentina 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 and Govind Nanda was beaten by Harold Mayot of France 6-3, 6-3.

In girls second round matches, No. 8 seed Emma Navarro picked up another win, beating French wild card Aubane Droguet 6-1, 6-3. Qualifier Charlotte Chavatipon fell in the second round to Elsa Jacquemot of France 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-3.

In boys second round matches, unseeded Toby Kodat advanced, beating wild card Kyran Jacquet of France 6-2 6-4.  No. 3 seed Brandon Nakashima defeated Eric Vonshelboim of Ukraine 6-1, 6-4 to join Kodat in the third round.  No. 6 seed Emilio Nava lost to Keisuke Saitoh of Japan 6-1, 6-4 and qualifier Dali Blanch was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by No. 4 seed Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria, who is Kodat's next opponent.

In addition to Nava, two other boys seeds were eliminated Monday, with No. 9 seed Otto Virtanen of Finland losing in the first round and No. 12 seed Giulio Zeppieri of Italy retiring due to cramping the second round with a 4-2 third set lead over Canadian Taha Baadi.

The only girls seed to lose today was Helene Pellicano of Malta, who lost to Daria Snigur of Ukraine 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round. Top seed Leylah Fernandez of Canada won her first round match 7-5 6-3 over Maria Tkacheva of Russia.

Tuesday's schedule features the second round matches for Damm, Black and Noel, as well as the other 14 second round singles matches and 16 second round doubles matches.

In today's first round doubles action, top boys seeds Musetti and Zeppieri of Italy withdrew, presumably due to Zeppieri's cramping earlier in the day. Eliot Spizzirri and Tyler Zink reached the second round, as did Blanch, playing with Christian Lerby of the Netherlands and Khan, playing with Bu Yunchaokete of China.

In girls first round doubles, No. 5 seeds Lea Ma and Black opened with a win, but No. 3 seeds Elli Mandlik and Noel were beaten by Qinwen Zheng of China and her partner Taisya Pachkaleva of Russia 6-4, 6-3. Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes also advanced to the second round.

The Tennis Recruiting Network revealed its spring recruiting class rankings for Division I women's programs today, with South Carolina at the top of the list.  There wasn't much consensus among the voters (I'm one of them) about who should be No. 1, but the Gamecocks received 8 of the 15 first place votes, enough to put them at the top. After South Carolina comes UCLA, Princeton, Texas Tech, Yale and Florida State, all of whom earned first place votes.  The complete list is available here.  The men's Division I class rankings were announced last week, with Texas at the top.