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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Damm Reaches French Open Junior Championships Third Round, Parry, Noel, Black Ousted; USTA Pro Circuit Resumes with Three Tournaments This Week

Martin Damm at Grade A in Milan, photo courtesy Richard van Loon
Fifteen-year-old Martin Damm was the sole American singles winner today at the French Open, with the No. 10 seed claiming a 6-3, 6-2 win over Alibek Kachmazov of Russia, who had reached the final at the Grade 1 in Belgium last weekend. Damm was the only American boy in action Tuesday, and the two US girls playing their second round matches both lost. No. 4 seed and Milan Grade A champion Alexa Noel was beaten by Ane Mintegi Del Olmo of Spain 6-4, 6-1 and No. 6 seed Hurricane Tyra Black was eliminated by Taisya Pachkaleva of Russia 6-2, 6-3.  That leaves three American boys in the round of 16, Damm, Toby Kodat and Brandon Nakashima, and just one US girl, Emma Navarro.

Another of the pre-tournament favorites was upset today, with No. 2 seed Diane Parry of France losing to Annerly Poulos of Australia 6-3, 6-4. Parry had received a wild card into the women's main draw and won her first round match, and also won two rounds in the women's doubles tournament.  Top seed Leylah Fernandez of Canada defeated Marta Custic of Spain 6-0, 6-3 to advance to Wednesday's third round.

The only seeded boy to lose today was No. 8 seed Bu Yunchaokete of China, who lost to Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan 6-2, 6-1 in a meeting of former Junior Orange Bowl 14s champions. Yunchaokete won that title in 2016, Shintaro in 2017.

Damm will face No. 5 seed Thiago Tirante of Argentina in the third round Wednesday, with Tirante holding a 2-0 edge in their head-to-head encounters. Tirante defeated Damm in two Grade As this year, in the final of the February tournament in Porto Alegre Brazil and the semifinals of the Milan tournament two weeks ago, both times in three sets.

Kodat plays No. 4 seed Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria for the first time Wednesday and No. 3 seed Nakashima will play No. 15 seed Filip Jianu of Romania in their first meeting.

Navarro's opponent in Wednesday's third round is No. 9 seed Kamilla Bartone of Latvia. The two met in the second round of the Orange Bowl last December, with Navarro coming from a set down to win.

All four singles matches involving US players are first on Wednesday, 5 a.m. Eastern time in the United States. For more on Damm's match, see this article from the ITF Junior Circuit website.

The first round of doubles was completed Tuesday, as well as four matches in the second round.

Navarro and Chloe Beck beat French wild cards Elsa Jacquemot and Manon Leonard 6-2, 7-5 in the first round, while Black and Lea Ma, the No. 5 seeds, reached the quarterfinals with a 7-6(8), 6-2 second round win over Antonia Samudio of Colombia and Carlota Martinez Cirez of Spain. Charlotte Owensby and Charlotte Chavatipon lost their first round match to Sada Nahimana of Burundi and Hong Yi Cody Wong of Hong Kong 6-1, 3-6, 15-13.

Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes will play their second round match on Wednesday.

In boys doubles, Kodat and Damm beat No. 7 seeds Govind Nanda and Canadian Liam Draxl 6-4, 1-6, 10-8 in the first round. No. 2 seeds Emilio Nava and Cannon Kingsley won their first round match 6-3, 6-3 over French wild cards Martin Breysach and Timo Legout. Will Grant, playing with Mateus Alves of Brazil, advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jonas Forejtek and Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic.

No. 4 seeds Zane Khan and Yunchaokete reached the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 2-6, 10-7 win over Mochizuki and Holger Rune of Denmark, but Eliot Spizzirri and Tyler Zink fell in the second round to Arthur Cazaux and Harold Mayot of France 6-4, 6-7(4), 12-10 after having a match point at 10-9 in the deciding tiebreaker.  Dali Blanch, playing with Christian Lerby of the Netherlands, plays his second round doubles match Wednesday.

2018 Roland Garros women's finalist Sloane Stephens lost to Johanna Konta of Great Britain in today's quarterfinals, with the No. 7 seed failing to mount a challenge in Konta's 6-1, 6-4 win. Madison Keys[14] and Amanda Anisimova both play their quarterfinal matches against Ashleigh Barty[8] and Simona Halep[3] respectively at 8 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

After a three-week hiatus for the men and a two-week break for the women, USTA Pro Circuit tournaments have returned this week with an ATP 90 Challenger in Little Rock, a $25,000 women's tournament in Bethany Beach Delaware and a $15,000 men's tournament in Champaign Illinois. 

In Little Rock, Michael Mmoh is the top seed, with wild cards given to Jason Kros(Virginia Tech), Oliver Crawford(Florida), Tim Smyczek, Alek Kovacevic(Illinois) and Brandon Holt(USC). Crawford and Smyczek won their first round matches. It's good to see former USC star Raymond Sarmiento back on the tour after a long layoff. Sarmiento reached the final of the Men's Open at Ojai back in April, and using a protected ATP ranking (he was 287 in 2017) he entered this week's event and has earned two wins, including today's 7-6(5), 6-3 decision over recent UCLA graduate Maxime Cressy, the No. 17 seed. Live streaming is available at the ATP Challenger website, with Mike Cation providing commentary.

Qualifying was completed today at the women's event in Delaware with Jada Robinson, Peyton Stearns, Tori Kinard and Connie Ma the Americans advancing to the main draw.  The top seed in the tournament is Usue Arconada and second seed is Duke rising sophomore Maria Mateas, with wild cards given to Alexa Graham(North Carolina), Natasha Subhash, Andie Daniell(Alabama) and Jessica Livianu(St. John's). Virginia rising freshman Subhash won her first round match today against USC rising freshman Carson Branstine 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-3, while Graham and Livianu lost their first round matches. Daniell opens play on Wednesday.

The qualifying for the Champaign tournament ended today, with Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State), Alex Kobelt(Ohio State), Gui Gomes(Illinois) and Lucas Horve(Illinois) the Americans reaching the main draw.  The top seed is former Stanford star Tom Fawcette, with Illinois rising sophomore Keenan Mayo the No. 2 seed. Three of the wild cards went to Illinois players: Vuk Budic, Zeke Clark and Siphosothando Montsi. The fourth was given to 15-year-old Alex Bernard.


Kim Roberts said...

No offense to young players like Kenin or Anisimova but their success with a lack of weapons and average athletic ability shows how far women's tennis has fallen. Something has to change with girl's and women's tennis. Even the quarterfinals match with Stephens and Konta had maybe 100 fans watching. The level of women's tennis has gone down very fast. All the junior girls just stand 5 feet behind the baseline and loop balls back and forth. There is no variety anymore. The players do not go to the net, most do not have good drop shots. The serves are mostly just to start the points. Every match looks pretty much the same. Where are the contrasting styles like Monfils or Nadal or Fed or Thiem or Isner, etc on the women's side? What happened to the Seles, Henin, Clister's players with variety and extreme athletic ability? Barty is a good athlete but never attacks, only defensive. If more girls do not stop the early competition and take more time to develop serves, drop shots, net attacks, overall athletic ability, etc. the women's game will become not much more than a politically correct add on to men's events. Now that Serena and Sharapova are fading, not a heck of a lot more in the pipe line to interest the casual fans. The winners of these junior girl's Herr, Orange Bowl, Easter Bowl, junior slams all play the same boring, take no risk styles so no relief is coming. In all likelihood Osaka falls back into the pack so even that brief burst of a back to back grand slam winner will fade.

Brent said...

Kim, couldn't disagree with this more. Way too negative! Yes, it would be great to see more net play but that is true on the guys' side as well. The notion that the average athletic ability on the women's tour is declining is ridiculous. The notion that the women's tour is primarily defensive and lacking attacking play is equally ridiculous. Serena and Venus are unicorns - the interest level on the women's tour is naturally going to go through a lull as they transition out. But, another group will rise up to take their spot - even if you can't see it yet.

Alex Ho said...

You obviously have not seen Anismova play, she is overly aggressive hitting winners on returns regularly. Monica seles and Cllisters were not big servers and Clisters was primarily s defensive players (as is Monfils). Pliskova is a really fun player to watch who is aggressive and serves very well. I truly believe Anismova will be top 10 in a year or two and stay there

Kim Roberts said...

Just not true, the women's game is almost all defense and no risk. Even Navratilova and Evert say it over and over how the women do not have variety and never attack the net or use angles or slice and most can not hold serve. The women's matches have very few fans except for the finals. 99% of the comments on tennis warehouse forums are about men's matches, they used to discuss Serena, Sharapova. Anisimova has a very boring game and is just as likely to lose in the 1st or 2nd round most tournaments once the scouting report is out that she can not handle slices and much movement. All the pressure is on the older players and Halep was obviously injured. We have seen this a bunch like with Oudin and Bellis, one or 2 tournament wonders. Anisimova has no weapons, I doubt she could hold a top 10 position for long. Clisters was amazing to watch, doing full splits on the run. Henin's backhand was considered even better that Federer's. They may have played defense but it came with variety. Serena was dominant. Sharapova was very glamorous and marketable. The junior girls have zero variety so the future is very bleak. Thank goodness for Osaka as it interested the Japanese market a bit. But even she might turn out to be a player who is not dominant.

Alex Ho said...

So in one sentence you say that Anismova can not handle slices or move, but above that you say that women are not able to slice or play angles. If women are cannot slice or play angles how will they be able to attack her so called weakness? We all have our favorite players, I found the Martina and Evert era much worse than today's when it was obvious who would make the finals, and in my opinion Evert was the worst player to watch (great backhand, stiff forehand,she had no slice either other than drop shot, and zero athleticism). Martina had obviously great serve and volley, but could not come over backhand, forehand was ugly, and she was very tight under pressure (don't like term choker). Everyone loves to romanticize that era, but it really was very over rated.

It is not very fair to compare young players to Sharpova (career grand slam), and Serena (top 2 best player for sure), Henin was great to watch (you can compare her backhand in aesthetics to Fed, but not effectiveness), Clisthers had great flexibility but that did not make her great to watch for me.

Defense wins in tennis at early age for sure, but watching if you watch multiple rounds of tennis on TV, lots of players play very aggressively now. With the older rackets and strings in 80's and 90's the play was much slower and many players played behind the baseline.

Kim Roberts said...

The point about Anisimova not handling slices is because she was playing Barty....one of the few WTA players who uses her slice as a set up weapon. And sure enough, even a nervous Barty started manipulating Amanda with various slices and making her move up and back.

The stone cold fact is that if you go to junior matches, and we go to a lot of junior matches, the boys are all slicing and charging the net and trying jumping backhands and forehands, opening the court with angles, and the girls are almost always behind the baseline hitting ball after ball. Same at tennis academy practices. The fact is most of the young players today are very boring and they stop developing their games. The head of USTA girls development has said "girls are what they are by age 14 for the most part". It so true. You see these girls at age 13-14 and they look the same at age 19. Very little development. And very little strength and conditioning. Look at Anisimova's legs, not a hint of muscle....she has not put in the time that Sharapova did, or Henin did, years of tough training to develop the leg muscles. And that has to be done at age 14-18, its much harder after that. Its very hard to see Anisimova's legs handling season after season of pro tennis. Its much more likely she breaks down, and she already has missed 6 months due to a leg injury.