Zootennis

Friday, January 31, 2020

Ngounoue, Razeghi Reach Singles Semis and Doubles Finals at Les Petits As; Junior Finals Set at Australian Open; Nava Advances to Weston $25K Semifinal

No. 5 seeds Clervie Ngounoue and Alexander Razeghi posted big wins at today's Les Petits As quarterfinals, taking out the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. Ngounoue defeated top seed Nikola Bartunkova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2, while Razeghi came from behind to beat No. 2 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Ngounoue, who has not lost more than four games in any set this week in Tarbes, takes on No. 3 seed Weronika Ewald of Poland for a place in the final. Ewald defeated German qualifier Josy Daems 7-5, 6-3. There are no seeds left in the bottom half, after the Czech Republic's Brenda Fruhvirtova, who should have been seeded, defeated No. 13 seed Sarah Iliev of France 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3. Fruhvirtova will face unseeded Hannah Read of Great Britain, who beat Tamara Kostic of Austria 6-2, 7-6(4).

Razeghi's opponent in the semifinals is unseeded Janis Simmen of Switzerland, who beat No. 4 seed Petr Brunclik of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-2. In the top half semifinal, No. 3 seed Oleksandr Ponomar of Ukraine will face No. 1 seed Atakan Karahan after both breezed through their quarterfinal matches.

Ngounoue and Razeghi also advanced to Saturday's doubles finals after posting doubles wins after their singles victories. Ngounoue and Brooklyn Olson, the No. 4 seeds, defeated unseeded Sophya Devas and Mingge Xu of Great Britain 6-3, 6-1 and will play the unseeded team of Ena Koike and Sara Saito in the final. Olson won the Bolton doubles title last week with Mia Slama.

Razeghi and Mitchell Lee, also the No. 4 seeds, advanced to the doubles final with a 1-6, 7-5, 10-5 win over the unseeded team of Landaluce and Rafael Segado Esteve of Spain. Last week's champions in Bolton will face the unseeded team of Luis Garcia Paez of Spain and Gabriel Ghetu of Romania for the title Saturday.

The Australian Open junior finals are tonight, with a boys champion from France guaranteed. Top seed Harold Mayot defeated unseeded Timo Legout, also of France, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and will take on No. 5 seed Arthur Cazaux, who also came back from a set down to beat No. 12 seed Karlis Ozlins 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Cazaux, who won last week's Grade 1 in Traralgon, is on an 11-match winning streak.

The girls final will feature unseeded Weronica Baszak of Poland, one of the rare junior girls with a one-handed backhand, against No. 9 seed Viktoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra. Baszak defeated Alexandra Vecic of Germany 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 and Jimenez got past No. 13 seed Zhuoxuan Bai 6-3, 6-2.

The doubles titles were decided Friday, with the fourth-seeded team of Alexandra Eala of the Philippines and Priska Nugroho of Indonesia beating the unseeded team of Ziva Falkner of Slovenia and Matilda Mutadzic of Great Britain 6-1, 6-2 in the girls final. No. 5 seeds Nicolas David Ionel of Romania and Leandro Riedi of Switzerland won the boys doubles title, beating No. 6 seeds Ozlins and Mikolaj Lorens of Poland 6-7(8), 7-5, 10-4.

For more on the semifinals and finals, see this article from the ITF website.

Sofia Kenin plays in the women's final against Garbine Muguruza of Spain after the junior singles matches, and another American is also on Saturday's schedule: Kenin's doubles partner this tournament, Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray of Great Britain defeated former US college stars Astra Sharma(Vanderbilt) and JP Smith(Tennessee) of Australia 6-3, 7-6(4). The unseeded Mattek-Sands and Murray face No. 5 seeds Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and Nikola Mektic of Croatia in the final.

At the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Weston Florida, last year's Australian Open boys finalist Emilio Nava is through to the semifinals. The 18-year-old Nava, a wild card, defeated top seed Javier Barranco Cosano of Spain 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in today quarterfinals, reaching his second semifinal of a $25K this year. Nava will play No. 3 seed Christian Lindell of Sweden Saturday.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Montgomery, Damm Fall in Australian Open Junior Quarterfinals, Ram and Salisbury into Men's Doubles Final; Razeghi and Ngounoue Make Les Petits As Quarterfinals; Kuzuhara Advances to Semis at G1 in Paraguay

All the Americans are out of the Australian Open Junior Championships, after No. 2 seeds Robin Montgomery and Martin Damm lost quarterfinals matches in three sets Thursday in Melbourne, with Savannah Broadus and Ellie Coleman also dropping a close semifinal match in girls doubles.

Damm had two match points in his 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) loss to No. 5 seed Arthur Cazaux of France, with Cazaux serving at 5-6 in the third set. Both times Cazaux got a first serve in, and both times Damm failed to get the return back in play, with Cazaux holding for the deciding tiebreaker, which is the first to 10 points in the final sets at the Australian Open. Cazaux played a very clean tiebreaker, taking a 6-1 and 8-2 lead, while Damm couldn't rely on his serve, double faulting twice, two of the four points he lost on serve in the tiebreaker.

Montgomery led No. 14 seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva 6-1, 5-3, with the first set taking just 19 minutes, but the 14-year-old from Andorra broke Montgomery, with the help of a Hawkeye Challenge, and held for 5-all. At that stage, the match was suspended due to heat, with the temperatures in the triple digits, a delay that might not have been unwelcome for Montgomery, given that she had lost her last two service games. But when the match resumed after more than two hours, Jimenez won the next two games to take the set, and went on to take a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory.

Cazaux is one of three French boys in the semifinals, with No. 12 seed Karlis Ozolins of Latvia the exception. Top seed Harold Mayot will play unseeded Timon Legout for the French spot in the final, after Mayot defeated Dominic Stricker of Switzerland 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 and Legout took out the fifth boy from France in the quarterfinals, unseeded Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.  Ozlins defeated unseeded Egor Agafonov of Russia 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-3.

For more on the French domination of the boys draw, see this article from the ITF website.

Jimenez Kasintseva will face No. 13 seed Zhuoxuan Bai of China, who took out No. 8 seed and Traralgon Grade 1 champion Polina Kudermetova of Russia 6-4, 6-4. The other match features two surprise semifinalists: unseeded Alexandra Vecic of Germany and Weronica Baszak of Poland. Vecic, who beat top seed Elsa Jacquemot of France in the second round, advanced to the semifinals when No. 12 seed Ane Mintegi de Olmo of Spain retired trailing 6-4, 1-1.  Baszak defeated No. 16 seed Hong Yi Cody Wong of Hong Kong 6-4, 6-2.

Broadus and Coleman lost to the unseeded team of Ziva Falkner of Slovenia and Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain 6-4, 4-6, 10-8. Falkner and Mutavdzic will face No. 4 seeds Alexandra Eala of the Philippines and Priska Nugroho of Indonesia for the title Friday. The boys doubles final features No. 6 seeds Ozlins and Mikolaj Lorens of Poland against No. 5 seeds Nicolas David Ionel of Romania and Leandro Riedi of Switzerland.  Both Eala and Lorens won Orange Bowl doubles titles last month with other partners.

The singles semifinals and doubles finals are Friday (much later tonight here in the United States).

Rajeev Ram(Illinois) and Great Britain's Joe Salisbury(Memphis) have advanced to the men's doubles final, with the No. 11 seeds coming from 3-1 down in the third set to beat Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Ram, 35, won the mixed title last year in Melbourne, but this is his first trip to a slam final in men's doubles, after reaching the semifinals at both Wimbledon and the US Open. Salisbury, 27, reached the Wimbledon men's doubles semifinals two years ago, but is making his first appearance in a major final. They will play unseeded Australian wild cards Max Purcell and Luke Saville, who beat No. 4 seeds Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Filip Polasek of Slovkia 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-4. The final men's doubles match is not scheduled until Sunday, prior to the men's singles final, in Melbourne.

The quarterfinals are set at Les Petits As in Tarbes France, with both American No. 5 seeds advancing. Clervie Ngounoue defeated No. 12 seed Aleksandra Gabrovska of Bulgaria 6-2, 6-1 to set up a blockbuster match Friday with top seed Nikola Bartunkova of the Czech Republic. Ngounoue and Bartunkova are the two girls in the draw with the highest ITF junior rankings, with Bartunkova 225 and Ngounoue 373. The only seeded player in the bottom half is No. 13 Sarah Iliev of France, who beat Brooklyn Olson 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 today in the third round. On Thursday, Iliev will face 12-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic, who somehow was not seeded. Unseeded Hannah Read of Great Britain defeated no. 2 seed Sara Bejlek of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-4.

Alexander Razeghi defeated No. 9 seed Manas Dhamne of India 6-3, 6-0 in the third round today, and will play No. 2 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain in the quarterfinals. Unseeded Mitchell Lee lost to top seed Atakan Karahan of Turkey 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

All four Americans who played singles today advanced to the doubles semifinals. No. 4 seeds Razeghi and Lee will play unseeded Landaluce and Rafael Segado Esteve in Friday's semifinals. No. 4 seeds Olson and Ngounoue will play the unseeded wild card team of Sophya Devas and Mingge Xu of Great Britain.

Friday's schedule is here.

At the ITF Grade 1 in Paraguay, Bruno Kuzuhara, the No. 9 seed, has advanced to the semifinals. Kuzuhara defeated No. 14 seed Angel Guerrero Melgar of Spain 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(6) to reach his first Grade 1 semifinal. He will face No. 8 seed Petr Nesterov of Bulgaria for a place in the final. No. 2 seed Madison Sieg lost to No. 11 seed Oceane Babel of France 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 in today's quarterfinals.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Montgomery and Damm Reach Australian Open Junior Quarterfinals, Coleman and Broadus Advance to Doubles Semifinals; Four Americans Claim Places in Les Petits As Round of 16

Robin Montgomery and Martin Damm have advanced to Thursday's singles quarterfinals at the Australian Open Junior Championships in Melbourne, with the two No. 2 seeds winning their third round matches in straight sets.

Damm, after struggling in the second round against Hamad Medjedovic, made short work of unseeded Lilian Marmousez of France, needing only 47 minutes to claim a 6-3, 6-2 victory. Damm, who had lost to Marmousez in straight sets in the second round of last month's Orange Bowl, didn't face a break point until the final game, when he saved two in serving out the match. Next up for this evening for Damm is No. 5 seed Arthur Cazaux of France, who won the Grade 1 in Traralgon last week. For more on Cazaux, see this article from the ITF website.

Montgomery trailed 2-0 in both sets against qualifier Olivia Gadecki of Australia, but she rebounded for a 6-2, 6-3 win. Montgomery, who has now reached the quarterfinals of a junior slam for the first time, plays No. 9 seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, who saved three match points in her three-hour win over Melania Delai of Italy. For more on Jimenez Kasintseva, see this article from the ITF website.

The third American in the third round of singles, qualifier Alex Bernard, lost to top seed Harold Mayot of France 6-3, 6-2. In addition to Mayot and Cazaux, two other French boys have made the quarterfinals, with Timo Legout and Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard playing each other for a place in the semis.

In doubles, the unseeded team of Savannah Broadus and Ellie Coleman advanced to Thursday's semifinals, defeating unseeded Sofia Costoulas of Belgium and Antonia Ruzic of Croatia 7-5, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Broadus and Coleman face another unseeded team, Ziva Falkner of Slovenia and Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain.

Junior matches are available via ESPN Plus, which costs $4.99 a month.

Sofia Kenin is taking on top seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the women's semifinals tonight, and Rajeev Ram(Illinois), with partner Joe Salisbury(Memphis) of Great Britain, is scheduled for the men's doubles semifinals, against Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

Four Americans remain in singles at Les Petits As in France, after two boys and two girls won their second round matches today in Tarbes.  Unseeded Mitchell Lee, who dropped only three games in his first round defeat of No. 15 seed Chris Spyrou of Greece, beat Reda Bennani of Morocco 6-1, 6-2 today to advance to a contest against top seed Atakan Karahan of Turkey.

No. 5 seed and Bolton champion Alexander Razeghi earned his second consecutive 6-0, 6-1 win, this time over Antonio Voljavec of Croatia. He faces No. 9 seed and Eddie Herr 12s champion Manas Dhamne of India. Kaylan Bigun lost in the second round today to Rafael Segado Esteve of Spain 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.  No. 13 seed Nikita Filin lost his first round match on Tuesday.

Girls No. 5 seed Clervie Ngounoue defeated Gloriana Nahum of Benin 6-4, 6-2 and will play No. 12 seed Aleksandra Gabrovska of Bulgaria for a place in the quarterfinals. Unseeded Brooklyn Olson beat Canadian wild card Scarlett Nicholson 6-1, 6-1 and will play No. 13 seed Sarah Iliev of France in the third round.  Maya Joint lost in the second round to qualifier Josy Daems of Germany 6-2, 6-0. Lexington Reed lost in the first round Tuesday.

In doubles, Lee and Razeghi, the No. 4 seeds, are into the quarterfinals, as are Olson and Ngounoue, also the No. 4 seeds.

Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker.  Thursday's match schedule is here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Bernard, Damm and Montgomery Advance to Australian Open Juniors Round of 16, Kenin Reaches Semifinals; Oracle ATP Challenger and WTA 125 Underway in Newport Beach; Gauff Named to Fed Cup

Three American juniors have advanced to the round of 16 at the Australian Open, with No. 2 seeds Martin Damm and qualifier Alex Bernard, the past two Kalamazoo 16s champions, coming back from a set down, while No. 2 seed Robin Montgomery won in straight sets.  Damm defeated Hamad Medjedovic of Serbia 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, getting the only break of the second and third sets and holding on for the win. Bernard wasn't able to close out fellow qualifier Corban Crowther of New Zealand serving at 5-4, but he broke and made good on his second chance for a 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-5 win. Montgomery also couldn't finish at her first opportunity against Pia Lovric of Slovenia, but she broke and held to avoid a tiebreaker. For more on Montgomery, see this article from the ITF website.

Wednesday(tonight), Damm plays unseeded Lilian Marmousez of France, who beat Damm in the second round at last month's Orange Bowl. Bernard faces top seed Harold Mayot of France, while Montgomery is playing qualifier Olivia Gadecki of Australia.

Savannah Broadus and Ellie Coleman, who are unseeded, have reached the doubles quarterfinals and will play the unseeded team of Sofia Costoulas of Belgium and Antonia Ruzic of Croatia Wednesday.

Tuesday’s second round junior singles matches featuring Americans:
Harold Mayot[1](FRA) d. Aidan Mayo 6-2, 6-3
Martin Damm[2] d. Hamad Medjedovic(SRB) 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4
Alex Bernard[Q] d. Corban Crowther[Q](NZL) 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-5
Robin Montgomery[2] d. Pia Lovric(SLO) 6-3, 7-5
Weronika Baszak(POL) d. Ellie Coleman 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3

Wednesday’s second round junior singles matches featuring Americans:
Robin Montgomery[2] v Olivia Gadecki[Q](AUS)
Alex Bernard[Q] v Harold Mayot[1](FRA)
Martin Damm[2] v Lilian Marmousez(FRA)

No. 14 seed Sofia Kenin reached the semifinals in women's singles, defeating unseeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-4, 6-4. Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee) lost a heartbreaker against No. 3 Roger Federer, failing to convert seven match points in a 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-3 loss.

The big tournaments this week in the United States are in Newport Beach California, where the Oracle Challenger series features a WTA 125 event and an ATP Challenger 125. Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both took wild cards and are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. Other men receiving wild cards are Michael Redlicki(Arkansas), UCLA sophomore Govind Nanda and Ulises Blanch. In the women's event, Jessica Pegula and Taylor Townsend are the top two seeds, with wild cards going to Allie Kiick, Kayla Day, Katie Volynets and Sophie Whittle(Gonzaga). Draws are here.

The other tournament this week in the United States is a men's $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Weston Florida. Javier Barranco Cosano of Spain is the top seed, with wild cards going to Toby Kodat, Logan Zapp, Emilio Nava and Rowland Phillips of Jamaica. Alex Rybakov(TCU) and Zane Khan were the two Americans to get through qualifying.

The USTA announced its Fed Cup team for next month's tie with Latvia, and Coco Gauff is among those chosen by Captain Kathy Rinaldi. Gauff is not likely to see action in singles, with Serena Williams, Kenin and Alison Riske also on the team, but this is a great opportunity for her to get high-level practice sessions, as this does not count against her maximum number of WTA tournaments before she resets the counter on her 16th birthday in March. For more about the US and Latvian teams and the event in Everett Washington, see USTA this article. Former Arkansas All-American Adrians Zguns(2002-2006) is the Latvian Fed Cup captain.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Top Girls Seed Jacquemot Beaten at Australian Open; Les Petits As Underway; Paraguay Grade 1 Draws Few Americans; Banerjee Claims Grade 4 Title

The five American juniors remaining at the Australian Open are back on the court Tuesday (tonight in the US) for their second round matches, which tournament organizers split between Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, top seed Elsa Jacquemot of France went out, to Alexandra Vecic of Germany, by a score of 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Jacquemot was one of three girls seeds to lose in the second round, with No. 6 seed Maria Bondarenko of Russia and No. 10 seed Melodie Collard of Canada also eliminated.

Boys No. 3 seed Shunsuke Mitsui of Japan, who has nearly twice as many points from doubles as singles (only 25% of doubles points are used for rankings however), lost to Martin Krumich of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2. Mitsui was one of four seeds ousted in the second round, with No. 8 Khololwam Montsi of South Africa, No. 14 Hanwen Li of China and No. 16 seed Terence Atmane of France joining him on the sidelines.

In doubles, Savannah Broadus and Ellie Coleman have advanced to the second round, as has Dali Blanch, who is playing with Alexander Hoogmartens of Belgium. No. 2 seeds Robin Montgomery and Polina Kudermetova of Russia lost their first round match.

Tuesday’s second round junior singles matches featuring Americans:
Aidan Mayo v Harold Mayot[1](FRA)
Martin Damm[2] v Hamad Medjedovic(SRB)
Alex Bernard[Q] v Corban Crowther[Q](NZL)
Robin Montgomery[2] v Pia Lovric(SLO)
Ellie Coleman v Weronika Baszak(POL)

Junior matches have been streaming, although occasionally without any audio, via ESPN Plus.

Coco Gauff and Caty McNally have advanced to the quarterfinals in women's doubles, as have Jennifer Brady(UCLA) and Caroline Dolehide.

In Tuesday's singles quarterfinals featuring Americans, No. 14 seed Sofia Kenin plays unseeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia and Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee) faces No. 3 seed Roger Federer of Switzerland.

Les Petits As, the prestigious 14-and-under tournament in Tarbes France began today, with eight Americans competing for titles. Atakan Karahan of Turkey is the No. 1 boys seed and Nikola Bartunkova of the Czech Republic is the No. 1 girls seed.

Clervie Ngounoue, who did not play the Bolton tournament last week, is the No. 5 seed this week in Tarbes, and she won her first round match today, as did Brooklyn Olson. Lexington Reed and Maya Joint are on Tuesday's schedule. Bolton champion Alexander Razeghi, the No. 5 seed, won his first round match today, as did Kaylan Bigun. Mitchell Lee and Bolton finalist Nikita Filin, the No. 13 seed, play their opening round matches Tuesday.  Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker.

Last week's titles at the ITF Grade 1 in Ecuador went to No. 3 seed Julia Garcia of Mexico and No. 14 seed Luciano Darderi of Italy. Garcia defeated Colombia Grade 1 champion Dana Guzman of Peru, the No. 5 seed, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5) in the final, while Darderi took out No. 5 seed Alex Barrena of Argentina 6-4, 6-3. It's the first Grade 1 title for both the 16-year-old Garcia and the 17-year-old Darderi.

This week's South American ITF Grade 1 is in Paraguay, with just one American boy, No. 9 seed Bruno Kuzuhara, and four American girls, No. 2 seed Madison Sieg, No. 5 seed Isabelle Kouzmanov, No. 13 seed Rebecca Lynn and qualifier Krystal Blanch, in the draw. The seeds all had first round byes, but Blanch did advance to the second round with a win today. Guzman is the top girls seed; Martin Breysach of France, who like Guzman is the Colombian Grade 1 champion, is the No. 1 seed in the boys draw.

Sixteen-year-old Samir Banerjee captured his second ITF junior singles title last week at the ITF Grade 4 in Kenya. The No. 5 seed, Banerjee came back to defeat No. 6 seed Maximilian Homberg of Germany 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Noel Wins $15K Title; Sandgren and Kenin Reach Australian Open Quarterfinals; Five US Juniors Advance at AO; ITA Kick-off Weekend Final Results

Alexa Noel, playing in her first event since the beginning of November, won her first ITF World Tennis Tour title today at the $15,000 tournament in Cancun Mexico. The 17-year-old 2019 Wimbledon girls finalist was unseeded this week, but took out top seed and 2018 NCAA champion Arienne Hartono(Ole Miss) of the Netherlands in the quarterfinals and beat No. 5 seed Nika Kukharchuk(Ole Miss) of Russia 6-3, 6-2 in today's final. Noel didn't lose a set all week.

For the second straight week, no Americans made the quarterfinals at a $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Florida. This week's tournament in Vero Beach was disrupted by rain, with two matches a day for several players on both Friday and Saturday. No. 6 seed Daniela Seguel of Chile won the title today, defeating No. 7 seed Tereza Mrdeza of Croatia 7-5, 6-4.  Two unseeded teams met in the doubles final, with Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan and Panna Uvardy of Hungary taking the title with a 7-5, 4-6, 10-7 win over the Spanish team of Irene Burillo and Andrea Lazaro(Florida International).

Former University of Tennessee star Tennys Sandgren has reached a second Australian Open quarterfinal, with his first coming two years ago. Sandgren, currently 100 in the ATP rankings, defeated No. 12 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4 to set up his first meeting with Roger Federer of Tuesday. For more on Sandgren's fourth round victory, see this article from the ATP.  Sofia Kenin is the other American still competing for a singles title in Melbourne, after the No. 14 seed came back to defeat Coco Gauff 6-7(5) 6-3, 6-0. Kenin's quarterfinal opponent Tuesday will be unseeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.
Sunday’s fourth round singles matches featuring Americans:

Ashleigh Barty[1](AUS) d. Alison Riske[18] 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
Sofia Kenin[14] d. Coco Gauff 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0
Tennys Sandgren d. Fabio Fognini[12](ITA) 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4

After going winless on Saturday's first day of junior competition in Australia, US competitors went 5-1 on Sunday. Kalamazoo 16s champion Alex Bernard, who went through qualifying, had a particularly impressive victory, beating No. 13 seed Nicholas David Ionel of Romania 6-1, 5-7, 6-3. Ionel won four straight ITF $15,000 tournaments last fall. In addition to Ionel, three other seeds boys went out in the first round: No. 15 Bu Yunchaokete of China, No. 11 Eliakim Coulibaly of Ivory Coast and No. 4 Jeffrey Von Der Schulenberg of Switzerland.  Four seeded girls also lost in the first round: No. 14 Selena Janicijevic of France, No. 7 Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia, No. 5 Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic and and No. 3 Kamilla Bartone of Latvia.

The ITF website spoke with No. 2 seed Martin Damm after his win on Sunday for this article. None of the five American juniors remaining are on Monday's schedule for singles.

Sunday’s first round junior singles matches featuring Americans: 5-1

Alex Bernard[Q] d. Nicholas David Ionel[13](ROU) 6-1, 5-7, 6-3
Aidan Mayo d. Viacheslav Bielinskyi[Q](UKR) 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-1
Robin Montgomery[2] d. Sofia Costoulas(BEL) 6-1, 6-0
Martin Damm[2] d. Lorenzo Claverie(VEN) 6-4, 6-1
Ellie Coleman d. Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz[WC](AUS) 6-4, 7-5
Ya Yi Yang(TPE) d. India Houghton[Q] 1-6, 6-3, 6-3

The ITA Division I Kick-off Weekend is winding down, with some blowouts, some close matches and a few surprises. Below are the results as of 6 p.m.; I will update the late Stanford - Cal and UCLA - Central Florida men's matches and the Princeton - USC women's match later tonight. The winners move on to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, which for the women is February 7-10 in Chicago, and for the men is February 14-17 in Madison.

All results are below. I've used bold type for the No. 1 seeds, who were hosting, who lost this weekend.

Women:(Friday/Saturday)

North Carolina[1] d. Auburn[4] 4-0
Old Dominion[2] d. Columbia[3] 4-1
FINAL: North Carolina[1] d. Old Dominion[2] 4-1

UCLA[1] d. Minnesota 4-0
Loyola Marymount[3] d. Gonzaga[2] 4-0
FINAL: UCLA[1] d. Loyola Marymount[3] 4-0

Vanderbilt[1] d. Penn[4] 4-0
Arizona State[3] d. Northwestern[2] 4-2
FINAL: Arizona State[3] d. Vanderbilt[1] 4-3

Texas[1] d. Iowa[4] 4-0
LSU[2] d. Texas Tech[3] 4-1
FINAL: Texas[1] d. LSU[2] 4-0

Tennessee[4] d. Kansas[1] 4-2
Virginia[3] d. Cal[2] 4-1
FINAL: Virginia[3] d. Tennessee[4] 4-3

Saturday/Sunday:
South Carolina[1] d. Purdue[4] 4-0
Georgia Tech[2] d. Wisconsin[3] 4-0
FINAL: Georgia Tech[2] d. South Carolina[1] 4-1

Duke[1] d. Kansas State[4] 4-0
Tulsa[3] d. Mississippi State[2] 4-3
FINAL: Duke[1] d. Tulsa[2] 4-0

Stanford[1] d. South Florida[4] 4-0
Washington State[2] d. Denver[3] 4-0
FINAL: Stanford[1] d. Washington State[2] 4-0

Oklahoma State[1] d. San Diego[4] 4-0
Ohio State[3] d. Wake Forest[2] 4-2
FINAL: Ohio State[3] d. Oklahoma State[1] 4-3

Florida State[1] d. UC-Santa Barbara[4] 4-1
Texas A&M[2] d. Miami[3] 4-2
FINAL: Florida State[1] d. Texas A&M[2] 4-0

Georgia[1] d. Michigan State[4] 7-0
Notre Dame[2] d. Furman[3] 4-2
FINAL: Georgia[1] d. Notre Dame[2] 5-2

Michigan[1] d. Ole Miss[4] 4-2
Central Florida[2] d. Utah[3] 4-3
FINAL: Michigan[1] d. Central Florida[2] 4-2

NC State[1] d. Rice[4] 4-2
Florida[2] d. Oklahoma[3] 4-3
FINAL: NC State[1] d. Florida[2] 4-0

Pepperdine[1] d. UNLV[4] 4-0
Arkansas[2] d. Arizona[3] 4-2
FINAL: Pepperdine[1] d. Arkansas[2] 4-1

USC[2] d. Kentucky[3] 4-3
Princeton[4] d. Washington[1] 4-3
FINAL: Princeton[4] d. USC[2] 4-3

Men:(Friday/Saturday)

Ole Miss[4] d. Illinois[1] 4-3
Michigan[2] d. Texas Tech[3] 4-3
FINAL: Michigan[2] d. Ole Miss[4] 4-3

Wake Forest[1] d. E Tenn State[4] 4-2
Kentucky[3] d. Penn State[2] 4-1
FINAL: Wake Forest[1] d. Kentucky[3] 4-2

Saturday/Sunday:
South Carolina[3] d. Oklahoma[2] 4-0
Georgia[4] d. Mississippi St[1] 4-1
FINAL: South Carolina[3] d. Georgia[4] 4-3

Tennessee[1] d. Arizona State[4] 4-0
Columbia[2] d. Oklahoma State[3] 4-0
FINAL: Columbia[2] d. Tennessee[1] 4-2

USC[1] d. UNC-Wilmington[4] 4-0
Santa Clara[3] d. UC-Santa Barbara[2] 4-3
FINAL: USC[1] d. Santa Clara[3] 4-0

Texas[1] d. Indiana[4] 4-0
Florida State[2] d. Vanderbilt[3] 4-2
FINAL: Texas[1]d. Florida State[2] 4-0

Baylor[1] d. Gonzaga[4] 4-0
Louisville[2] d. New Mexico[3] 4-1
FINAL: Baylor[1] d. Louisville[2] 4-1

TCU[1] d. Florida Atlantic[4] 4-0
Arizona[3] d. Notre Dame[2] 4-2
FINAL: TCU[1] d. Arizona[3] 4-0

Ohio State[1] d. Purdue[4] 4-0
Tulsa[3] d. Utah[2] 4-2
FINAL: Ohio State[1] d. Tulsa[3] 4-0

Virginia[1] d. Memphis[4] 4-0
NC State[2] d. Utah State[3]4-0
FINAL: NC State[2] d. Virginia[1] 4-1

North Carolina[1] d. Elon[4] 4-0
Georgia State[2] d. Old Dominion 4-2
FINAL: North Carolina[1] d. Georgia State[2] 4-0

Florida[1] d. Temple[4] 4-0
South Florida[2] d. Fresno State[3] 4-2
FINAL: Florida[1] d. South Florida[2] 4-0

Texas A&M[1] d. South Alabama[4] 4-0
Georgia Tech[2] d. Oregon[3] 4-3
FINAL: Texas A&M[1] d. Georgia Tech[2] 4-0

UCLA[1] d. San Diego State[4] 4-1
Central Florida[3] d. San Diego[2] 4-3
FINAL: UCLA[1] d. Central Florida[3] 4-3

Stanford[1] d. Tulane[4] 4-1
Cal[2] d. Miami[3] 4-0
FINAL: Stanford[1] d. Cal[2] 4-0

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Junior Orange Bowl Videos, Photo Gallery; US Juniors Looking for First Win on Day Two of Australian Open Junior Championships

I've completed the processing of the videos of the finals of the Junior Orange Bowl last month in Coral Gables and they are below. There is just one video for the B14s final, because it was possible to be above and behind that particular court. There are also very brief videos from the third place match at the B12s at Salvadore Park, which can be found by going to my YouTube channel via these links for Manas Dhamne and Calvin Baierl.

The photo gallery of all 16 Junior Orange Bowl semifinalists is up at the Tennis Recruiting Network via this link.

B14s JOB final


Stephanie Yakoff

Kayla Cross

Mirra Andreeva

Yelyzaveta Kotliar

Benjamin Gusic Wan

Alejandro Arcila

Saturday was not a good day for Americans at the Australian Open, with all six Americans in singles action losing their matches. At least one American woman will advance to the quarterfinals however, with Sofia Kenin and Coco Gauff playing each other Sunday.

Women: 0-1
Elise Mertens[16](BEL) d. Cici Bellis 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-0

Men: 0-2
Dominic Thiem[5](AUT) d. Taylor Fritz[29] 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4
Stan Wawrinka[15](SUI) d. John Isner[19] 6-4, 4-1, ret.

Saturday’s first round junior singles matches featuring Americans:

Hanwen Li[14](CHN) d. Dali Blanch 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
Khololwam Montsi[8](RSA) d. Cash Hanzlik[Q] 6-4, 6-1
Aubane Drouget(FRA) d. Savannah Broadus 7-6(8), 6-4

Sunday’s fourth round singles matches featuring Americans:

Alison Riske[18] v Ashleigh Barty[1](AUS)
Coco Gauff v Sofia Kenin[14]
Tennys Sandgren v Fabio Fognini[12](ITS)

Sunday’s first round junior singles matches featuring Americans:
Alex Bernard[Q] v Nicholas David Ionel[13](ROU)
Aidan Mayo v Viacheslav Bielinskyi[Q](UKR)
Robin Montgomery[2] v Sofia Costoulas(BEL)
Martin Damm[2] v Lorenzo Claverie(VEN)
Ellie Coleman v Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz[WC](AUS)
India Houghton[Q] v Ya Yi Yang(TPE)

The junior doubles draws were released Saturday with Arthur Cazaux and Harold Mayot of France the top boys seeds and Kamilla Bartone of Latvia and Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic the No. 1 seeds in the girls draw.

As for the Americans, Savannah Broadus and Ellie Coleman play India Houghton and her partner Celia Mohr of France in the first round. Robin Montgomery is playing with Polina Kudermetova of Russia, and they are the No. 2 seeds. Qualifiers Alex Bernard and Cash Hanzlik are partners this week, with Aidan Mayo playing with regular partner Lorenzo Claverie of Venezuela. Dali Blanch is partnering with Alexander Hoogmartens of Belgium. All four US boys in the doubles draw (Martin Damm is not entered) are in the top half and play Sunday (tonight in the US). The US girls, all in the bottom half, are not on Sunday's schedule.

Friday, January 24, 2020

My Conversation with Brandon Nakashima; Razeghi Wins Bolton; Three Americans Qualify for Australian Open Juniors; Gauff Ousts Osaka; ITA Kick-off Weekend Underway

At the Ann Arbor Challenger earlier this month, I had an opportunity to talk with Brandon Nakashima about his decision to strike out on the pro tour after one season at Virginia. We spoke about his success last fall on the Challenger circuit and how that informed his decision, and what he gained from his experiences during those five months in Charlottesville. For more on Nakashima's decision, see this article for the Tennis Recruiting Network.

Alexander Razeghi earned his second title of the week at the Tennis Europe Teen Tennis International tournament in Bolton England today, beating fellow American Nikita Filin 6-3, 6-0 in the singles final. Razeghi, the No. 9 seed, won the doubles title Thursday with Mitchell Lee. The US has now won three of the past four boys singles titles in Bolton, with Toby Kodat claiming the title in 2017 and Victor Lilov earning it in 2018.

The girls title went to unseeded Mingge Xu of Great Britain, who defeated No. 8 seed Hephzibah Oluwadare, also of Great Britain, 6-2, 6-2 in the final.

I still can't find any scores from the final round of Australian Open Junior Championships qualifying on the ITF website, but the main draws are now posted on the Australian Open website, so I know that Alex Bernard, Cash Hanzlik and India Houghton won their matches and will move on to the main site in Melbourne. Those three join Robin Montgomery[2], Ellie Coleman, Savannah Broadus, Martin Damm[2], Aidan Mayo and Dali Blanch as Americans in the main draw.

Friday's matches produced some surprising results in the women's draw, with Serena Williams going out to Qiang Wang of China in three sets and Coco Gauff eliminating defending champion and No. 3 seed Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-3, 6-4.  Osaka didn't play well, but Gauff took advantage of her position as underdog and used her serve effectively to avenge her loss to Osaka in the US Open last year. Gauff, who won the Bolton Teen Tennis title in 2017, is the first player to reach the second week at two slams before turning 16 since Martina Hingis did it in 1995-96. For more on Gauff's win, see this article from the WTA website.  Gauff plays Sofia Kenin on Sunday.

Friday’s third round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women: 3-2
Qiang Wang[27](CHN) d. Serena Williams[8] 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-5
Coco Gauff d. Naomi Osaka[3](JPN) 6-3, 6-4
Maria Sakkari[22](GRE) d. Madison Keys[10] 6-4, 6-4
Sofia Kenin[14] d. Shuai ZhangCHN) 7-5, 7-6(7)
Alison Riske[18] d. Julia Goerges(GER) 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2

Men: 1-2
Marton Fucsovics(HUN) d. Tommy Paul 6-1, 6-1, 6-4
Tennys Sandgren d. Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Saturday’s third round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women:
Cici Bellis v Elise Mertens[16](BEL)

Men:
Taylor Fritz[29] v Dominic Thiem[5](AUT)
John Isner[19] v Stan Wawrinka[15](SUI)

Saturday’s first round junior singles matches featuring Americans:

Dali Blanch v Hanwen Li[14](CHN)
Cash Hanzlik[Q] v Khololwam Montsi[8](RSA)
Savannah Broadus v Aubane Drouget(FRA)

The annual ITA Kick-off Weekend, which serves as a play-in event for next month's National Team Indoor Championships, began today at seven sites, with 23 more four-team competitions getting underway Saturday. The Men's Division I National Team Indoor is at the University of Wisconsin February 14-17 and the Women's Division I National Team Indoor is being hosted by the University of Illinois in Chicago February 7-10.

College Tennis Ranks has supplied both a men's and a women's Kick-off Weekend page, while Bobby Knight also has a page for the event at College Tennis Today, with links to video and live scoring.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Americans Filin and Razeghi Reach Bolton Final; Mayot and Jacquemot of France Top Seeds at Australian Open Junior Championships; Bellis's Comeback Continues

After claiming both the girls and boys doubles titles today at the Tennis Europe Teen Tennis International in Bolton England, the United States will earn a third title on Friday, when No. 9 seed Alexander Razeghi and unseeded Nikita Filin face off for the boys singles championship.

Razeghi defeated No. 7 seed Viktor Frydrych of Great Britain 6-1, 6-4, while Filin took out unseeded Jamie Diack, also of Great Britain 7-6(2), 7-5.

Razeghi has already earned one title at Filin's expense, in the doubles final, when he and Mitchell Lee, the No. 8 seeds, beat Filin and Kaylan Bigun, the No. 4 seeds, 6-4, 6-4.

In the girls doubles final, also between two American teams, No. 7 seeds Brooklyn Olson and Mia Slama defeated unseeded Lexington Reed and Maya Joint 6-3, 2-6, 10-7.

While the boys singles final is all-USA, the girls singles final is all-Great Britain, with Mingge Xu and Hephzibah Oluwadare meeting for the title. The unseeded Xu defeated No. 4 seed Sarah Iliev of France 6-4, 6-3 and Oluwadare beat No. 3 seed Anastasiia Firman of Ukraine 6-2, 6-4. Both Xu and Oluwadare played the Junior Orange Bowl 12s last month, so they are younger than many of those in the draw in this 14-and-under event.

The draws for the Australian Open Junior Championships, which begin Saturday (Friday night in the US), have been released, although without the qualifiers. I'm not sure if the qualifying is over and the results haven't been posted on the ITF website, or there was a delay in finishing, but as of now, there are just six Americans in the draws: Martin Damm[2], Dali Blanch, Aidan Mayo, Robin Montgomery[2], Savannah Broadus and Ellie Coleman.

As I pointed out back in December, Alexandra Eala of the Philippines did not enter, but it must have been a mistake on her part, because she was granted a wild card. The seeds:

Australian Open Junior Seeds:

1. Harold Mayot(FRA)
2. Martin Damm(USA)
3. Shunsuke Mitsui(JPN)
4. Jeffrey Von Der Schulenburg(SUI)
5. Arthur Cazaux(FRA)
6. Leandro Riedi(SUI)
7. Dominic Stricker(SUI)
8. Khololwam Montsi(RSA)
9. Flavio Cobolli(ITA)
10. Dalibor Svrcina(CZE)
11. Eliakim Coulibaly(CIV)
12. Karlis Ozolins(LAT)
13. Nicholas David Ionel(ROU)
14. Hanwen Li (CHN)
15. Bu Yunchaokete(CHN)
16. Terence Atmane(FRA)

1. Elsa Jacquemot(FRA)
2. Robin Montgomery(USA)
3. Kamilla Bartone(LAT)
4. Alexandra Eala[WC](PHI)
5. Linda Fruhvirtova(CZE)
6. Maria Bondarenko(RUS)
7. Oksana Selekhmeteva(RUS)
8. Polina Kudermetova(RUS)
9. Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva(AND)
10. Melodie Collard(CAN)
11. Mai Nirundorn(THA)
12. Ane Mintegi Del Olmo(ESP)
13. Zhuoxuan Bai(CHN)
14. Selena Janicijevic(FRA)
15. Priska Nugroho(INA)
16. Hong Yi Cody Wong(HKG)

Americans picked up three second round wins Friday at the Australian Open, with Taylor Fritz coming from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson and John Isner getting a straight-sets victory. That gives the US five men in the third round of the Australian Open for the first time since 2008. Only four can make it to the round of 16, with Sam Querrey and Tennys Sandgren playing each other tonight.

The third American win Friday was by Cici Bellis, who defeated No. 20 seed Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. The 20-year-old Bellis, who won her first slam match at age 15, will be playing in a slam third round for the third time, but first since 2017, after two years of injuries and surgery. For more on her long battle to return, see this Associated Press article.

Thursday’s second round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women: 1-3
Elina Svitolina[5](UKR) d. Lauren Davis  6-2, 7-6(6)
Cici Bellis d. Karolina Muchova[20](CZE) 6-4, 6-4
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova[30](RUS) d. Taylor Townsend 7-5, 7-6(1)
Yulia Putintseva(KAZ) d. Danielle Collins[26] 6-4, 2-6, 7-5

Men: 2-0
Taylor Fritz[29] d. Kevin Anderson(RSA) 4-6, 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2
John Isner[19] d. Alejandro Tabilo[Q](CHI) 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

Friday’s third round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women:
Serena Williams[8] v Qiang Wang[27](CHN)
Coco Gauff v Naomi Osaka[3](JPN)
Madison Keys[10] v. Maria Sakkari[22](GRE)
Sofia Kenin[14] v. Shuai ZhangCHN)
Alison Riske[18] v Julia Goerges(GER)

Men:
Tommy Paul v Marton Fucsovics(HUN)
Tennys Sandgren v Sam Querrey

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

All-US Doubles Finals in Bolton, Filin and Razeghi Reach Singles Semifinals; Cazaux, Kudermetova Take Titles in Traralgon; Five Americans Advance in AO Junior Qualifying; Gauff and Paul Reach Australian Open Third Round

The doubles champions at the Tennis Europe Teen Tennis International tournament in Bolton England will be from the United States, no matter who wins the championship matches. No. 7 seeds Brooklyn Olson and Mia Slama defeated top seeds Sarah Iliev of France and Valerija Kargina of Latvia 6-3, 6-3 today in the semifinals and will face unseeded Lexington Reed and Maya Joint for the title. Reed and Joint defeated No. 2 seeds Anastasiia Firman of Ukraine and Vlada Kozak of Great Britian 7-6(4), 6-1 in the other semifinal.

In the boys final, No. 4 seeds Kaylan Bigun and Nikita Filin will face No. 8 seeds Alexander Razeghi and Mitchell Lee. Bigun and Filin defeated the unseeded team of Meecah Bigun and Ireland's Sean O Nuallain 6-4, 7-5, while Razeghi and Lee took out No. 5 seeds Goncalo Marques and Joao Portugal of Portugal 6-3, 6-2.

In singles, Filin and Razeghi advanced to the semifinals and both will face boys from Great Britain for a place in the final. The unseeded Filin defeated Henry Searle of Great Britain 7-6(7), 6-7(3), 6-1 and will play unseeded Jaime Diack, who beat Kaylan Bigun 6-4, 6-0. Razeghi, the No. 9 seed, defeated Meecah Bigun 6-2, 6-0 and will play No. 7 seed Viktor Frydrych, who defeated unseeded Mitchell Lee 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Maya Joint, the only US girl in the quarterfinals, lost to unseeded Mingge Xu of Great Britain 6-0, 6-0. Xu's next opponent is No. 4 seed Iliev, while Firman, seeded third, takes on Great Britain's Hephzibah Oluwadare, the No. 8 seed.

The ITF Grade 1 in Traralgon was completed Wednesday, with Polina Kudermetova of Russia and Arthur Cazaux of France winning the singles titles. No. 7 seed Kudermetova defeated unseeded Melania Delai of Italy 6-1, 6-1 and No. 4 seed Cazaux beat No. 8 seed Flavio Cobolli of Italy 6-2, 6-4. The unseeded Italian team of Cobolli and Matteo Gigante won the doubles title, beating No. 7 seeds Jerome Kym and Dominic Stricker of Switzerland 6-2, 6-3 in the final. No. 4 seeds Aubane Drouget and Selena Janicijevic of France won the girls doubles title, beating Delai and Lisa Pigato 6-3, 6-2 in the final.

The Australian Open Junior Championships qualifying began in Traralgon Wednesday, I believe, but I could not find the draws on the ITF website until today. Without access now to the Fact Sheets, it's very difficult for me to know when the draws are supposed to be out. Alexander Bernard, the No. 1 seed in qualifying, advanced to the final round with a three-set win, while Cash Hanzlik, the No. 8 seed, won his first round qualifying match in straight sets. Adit Sinha was the only other American boy in qualifying and he lost in the first round.

Three US girls have reached the final round of qualifying: No. 2 seed India Houghton, No. 8 seed Kailey Evans and No. 12 seed Hibah Shaikh. Shaikh plays Eddie Herr champion Eva Lys of Germany for a place in the main draw. Tara Malik, the No. 15 seed, lost in the opening round. Ellie Coleman, who was three out the last time I looked at the main draw acceptances, is not in qualifying, so I assume she moved up to the main draw.

Wednesday was a good day for Americans in the men's and women's Australian Open draws, with eight of them advancing to the third round, including Tommy Paul and Coco Gauff.  After having a two-set lead, Paul hung on to beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-7(3), 7-6(10-3).  Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee) also survived a seed's comeback, defeating No. 8 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy 7-6(7), 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5 .Gauff came from 3-0 down in the third set to beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. The 15-year-old has now made the third round of all three slams she has played.

Wednesday’s singles matches featuring Americans:

Women:
First round:
Taylor Townsend d. Jessica Pegula 6-4, 7-6(5)

Second round: (5-2)
Serena Williams[8] d. Tamara Zidansek(SLO) 6-2, 6-3
Madison Keys[10] d. Arantxa Rus(NED) 7-6(3), 6-2
Coco Gauff d. Sorana Cirstea(ROU) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Sofia Kenin[14] d. Ann Li[Q] 6-1, 6-3
Alison Riske[18] d. Lin Zhu(CHN) 6-3, 6-1
Shuai Zhang(CHN) d. Caty McNally[Q] 6-2, 6-4

Men:(3-1)
Tommy Paul d. Grigor Dimitrov[18](BUL) 6-4, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-7(3), 7-6(10-3)
Tennys Sandgren d. Matteo Berrettini[8](ITA) 7-6(7), 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5
Roberto Bautista Agut[9](ESP) d. Michael Mmoh[WC] 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-1
Sam Querrey d. Ricardas Berankis(LTU) 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Thursday’s second round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women:
Lauren Davis v Elina Svitolina[5](UKR)
Cici Bellis v Karolina Muchova[20](CZE)
Taylor Townsend v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova[30](RUS)
Danielle Collins[26] v Yulia Putintseva(KAZ)

Men:
Taylor Fritz[29] v Kevin Anderson(RSA)
John Isner[19] v Alejandro Tabilo[Q](CHI)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Joint Defeats Top Seed at 14U Event in Bolton, All Five US Boys Advance to Quarterfinals; Mmoh and Paul Earn First Slam Wins at Australian Open

The US teams warming up for next week's Les Petits As tournament in France are having mixed success at Tennis Europe's Teen Tennis International tournament this week in Bolton England. Only one of the four US girls competing this week advanced to the quarterfinals, No. 16 seed Maya Joint. Joint, a 13-year-old from Michigan, defeated top seed Valerija Kargina of Latvia 6-3, 6-4 in today's third round match. She will play Mingge Xu of Great Britain in Wednesday's quarterfinals.

All five US boys, including qualifier Meecah Bigun, have advanced to the quarterfinals, so obviously two will play each other. Meecah Bigun will take on No. 9 seed Alexander Razeghi in the bottom quarter. Meecah's twin brother Kaylan, the No. 4 seed, faces unseeded Jamie Diack of Great Britain in the second quarter. Unseeded Mitchell Lee beat No. 3 seed Sebastien Cauhape of Belgium 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to set up a third quarterfinal match against No. 7 seed Viktor Frydrych of Great Britain. Unseeded Nikita Filin will play the third British boy in the quarterfinals, No. 14 seed Henry Searle. Searle ousted top seed Theo Papamalamis of France today by a score of 6-2, 6-1.

All five boys are also still in the doubles draw, with Meecah taking on his brother Kaylan and Filin, the No. 4 seeds, in the semifinals. Meecah is playing with Ireland's Sean O Nuallain. Lee and Razeghi, seeded No. 8, defeated No. 2 seeds Frydrych and Cauhape in today's quarterfinals 6-2, 7-5.

All four girls are in the doubles semifinals: No. 7 seeds Brooklyn Olson and Mia Slama, and unseeded Lexington Reed and Joint.

Monday's rain has delayed the completion of the first round of singles at the Australian Open, with eight women's matches that were to be played Tuesday getting pushed to Wednesday, including the all-US match between Taylor Townsend and Jessica Pegula.

The men did complete their first round, with Americans going 6-6. Twenty-two-year-olds Tommy Paul and Michael Mmoh won their first slam matches. Mmoh, who received the USTA reciprocal wild card, had been 0-5 before in the first round of slams before defeating Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Paul had been 0-3 prior to beating Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Both are in action against seeds Wednesday.

Cici Bellis has been out with injuries for the better part of two years, so her 6-0, 6-2 win over Tatjana Maria of Germany had to be especially rewarding for her. Bellis had not won a round in a slam since Roland Garros in 2017.

Tuesday’s first round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women: (5 wins, 6 losses)
Madison Keys[10] d. Daria Kasatkina(RUS) 6-3, 6-1
Caroline Garcia(FRA) d. Madison Brengle 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-2
Elena Rybakina[29](KAZ) d. Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-2
Alison Riske[18] d. Yafan Wang(CHN) 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3
Simona Halep[4](ROU) d. Jennifer Brady 7-6(5), 6-1
Garbine Muguruza(ESP) d. Shelby Rogers[Q] 0-6, 6-1, 6-0
Lauren Davis d. Leylah Fernandez[Q](CAN) 6-4, 6-2
Taylor Townsend v Jessica Pegula (rescheduled)
Cici Bellis d. Tatjana Maria(GER) 6-0, 6-2
Zarina Diyas(KAZ) d. Amanda Anisimova[21] 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Laura Siegemund(GER) d. Coco Vandeweghe[WC] 6-1, 6-4
Danielle Collins[26] d. Vitalia Diatchenko(RUS) 6-1, 3-6, 6-4

Men: (5-3)
Tommy Paul d. Leonardo Mayer(ARG) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Michael Mmoh[WC] d. Pablo Andujar(ESP) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Tennys Sandgren d. Marco Trungelliti[Q](ITA) 6-1, 6-4, 7-5
Fabio Fognini[12](ITA) d. Reilly Opelka 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(10-5)
Daniil Medvedev[4](RUS) d. Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Peter Gojowczyk[Q] d. Christopher Eubanks[Q] 7-6(1), 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
John Isner[19] d. Thiago Monteiro(BRA) 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 7-6(7), 7-6(5)
Taylor Fritz[29] d. Tallon Griekspoor[Q](NED) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Wednesday’s matches featuring Americans:

Women:
First round:
Taylor Townsend v Jessica Pegula

Second round:
Serena Williams[8] v Tamara Zidansek(SLO)
Madison Keys[10] v Arantxa Rus(NED)
Coco Gauff v Sorana Cirstea(ROU)
Ann Li[Q] v Sofia Kenin[14]
Alison Riske[18] v Lin Zhu(CHN)
Caty McNally[Q] v Shuai Zhang(CHN)

Men:
Second round:
Tommy Paul v Grigor Dimitrov[18](BUL)
Tennys Sandgren v Matteo Berrettini[8](ITA)
Michael Mmoh[WC] v Roberto Bautista Agut[9](ESP)
Sam Querrey v Ricardas Berankis(LTU)

Monday, January 20, 2020

Teens Gauff, McNally and Li Advance at Australian Open; Seven American Juniors Begin Competition at Ecuador Grade 1

The first day of the Australian Open was a wet one, which was accepted with more equanimity than usual at a slam given the bushfire crisis currently overwhelming the country. The three roofed stadiums kept at least some of the matches on schedule, although three US women and two US men had their matches postponed until Tuesday. Alison Riske, Reilly Opelka and Tennys Sandgren were on court when the rain arrived and their matches were carried over until Tuesday as well.

Qualifier Ann Li was at 10-10 in a second set tiebreaker with Australian wild card Lizette Cabrera when a shower arrived, having already seen five match points come and go. But the delay was brief, around five minutes, and the 19-year-old from Pennsylvania won the next two points to earn her first slam (and first tour-level) victory 7-6(4), 7-6(10). She will play No. 14 seed Sofia Kenin in an all-US second round match.

Eighteen-year-old qualifier Caty McNally took out Australian veteran Samantha Stosur 6-1, 6-4, and her doubles partner, 15-year-old Coco Gauff, repeated her Wimbledon first round win over Venus Williams 7-6(5), 6-3.  For more on that match, see this article from the Australian Open website.

Monday’s first round singles results of Americans:

Women: (5-4)
Serena Williams[8] d. Anastasia Potapova(RUS) 6-0, 6-3
Coco Gauff d. Venus Williams 7-6(5), 6-3
Shuai Zhang(CHN) d. Sloane Stephens[24] 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
Caroline Wozniacki(DEN) d. Kristie Ahn 6-1, 6-3
Caty McNally[Q] d. Samantha Stosur(AUS) 6-1, 6-4
Madison Keys[10] v Daria Kasatkina(RUS) (postponed)
Sofia Kenin[14] d. Martina Trevisan[Q](ITA) 6-2, 6-4
Ann Li[Q] d. Lizette Cabrera[WC](AUS) 7-6(4), 7-6(10)
Petra Martic[13](CRO)d. Christina McHale 6-3, 6-0
Alison Riske[18] v Yafan Wang(CHN) (suspended)
Madison Brengle v Caroline Garcia(FRA) (postponed)
Bernarda Pera v Elena Rybakina[29](KAZ) (postponed)

Men: (1-3)
Roger Federer[3](SUI) d. Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Sam Querrey d. Borna Coric[25](CRO) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Reilly Opelka v Fabio Fognini[12](ITA) (suspended)
Philipp Kohlschreiber(GER) d. Marcos Giron 7-5, 6-1, 6-2
Tommy Paul v Leonardo Mayer(ARG) (postponed)
Michael Mmoh[WC] v Pablo Andujar(ESP)(postponed)
Dan Evans[30](GBR) d. Mackenzie McDonald 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
Tennys Sandgren v Marco Trungelliti[Q](ITA) (suspended)

Tuesday’s first round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women:
Madison Keys[10] v Daria Kasatkina(RUS) (postponed from Monday)
Madison Brengle v Caroline Garcia(FRA) (postponed from Monday)
Bernarda Pera v Elena Rybakina[29](KAZ) (postponed from Monday)
Alison Riske[18] leads Yafan Wang(CHN) 7-6(5)
Jennifer Brady v Simona Halep[4](ROU)
Shelby Rogers[Q] v Garbine Muguruza(ESP)
Lauren Davis v Leylah Fernandez[Q](CAN)
Taylor Townsend v Jessica Pegula
Cici Bellis v Tatjana Maria(GER)
Amanda Anisimova[21] v Zarina Diyas(KAZ)
Coco Vandeweghe[WC] v Laura Siegemund(GER)
Danielle Collins[26] v Vitalia Diatchenko(RUS)

Men:
Tommy Paul v Leonardo Mayer(ARG) (postponed from Monday)
Michael Mmoh[WC] v Pablo Andujar(ESP)(postponed from Monday)
Tennys Sandgren leads Marco Trungelliti[Q](ITA) 1-0
Reilly Opelka leads Fabio Fognini[12](ITA) 6-3, 7-6(3), 1-0
Frances Tiafoe v Daniil Medvedev[4](RUS)
Christopher Eubanks[Q] v Peter Gojowczyk[Q]
John Isner[19] v Thiago Monteiro(BRA)
Taylor Fritz[29] v Tallon Griekspoor(NED)

Nothing new to report at the Grade 1 in Traralgon, which is falling way behind schedule, with no matches completed Monday, I assume due to rain. Just two days remain to finish the round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals in both singles and doubles.

After two Grade 1s already this year, in Costa Rica and Colombia, most of the American juniors have returned home until the Grade 1 and Grade A tournaments next month in Brazil, but this week's Grade 1 in Cuenca Ecuador does feature seven Americans.

Benjamin Kittay[7], Max McKennon[13] Billy Suarez and qualifiers Adam Duan and Ryan Colby are the five US boys in the draw and Alexis Harmon[9] and Rebecca Lynn[14] are the two US girls in the main draw. The top seed in the boys draw is Natan Rodrigues of Brazil, who won the Costa Rica Grade 1. In the girls draw, the top seed is Mell Reasco Gonzalez of Ecuador, who is making her 2020 debut.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Nakashima Wins Rancho Santa Fe $25K; Damm, Montgomery Fall at ITF Traralgon Grade 1; Bolton International 14U Tournament Underway

Brandon Nakashima won the title today at the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe, with the 18-year-old from nearby San Diego defeating Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Nakashima, the No. 8 seed this week, wasn't certain he was going to play this tournament when I talked to him during the Ann Arbor Challenger, but I'm sure he's happy he did now. Nakashima lost just one set in Rancho Santa Fe, in a third round contest with 18-year-old wild card Emilio Nava.

Claire Liu, the No. 6 seed, lost in the final of the women's $25,000 tournament in Malibu, dropping a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 decision to No. 2 seed Nadia Podoroska of Argentina.

Sofia Sewing(Miami), the No. 5 seed, defeated 16-year-old Anastasia Sysoeva of Russia, the No. 7 seed, 7-5, 6-0 in the final of the $15,000 World Tennis Tour tournament in Cancun, claiming her second career singles title. The 20-year-old Floridian won her first title last year, also at a $15K in Cancun.

At the $25,000 women's tournament in Daytona Beach, unseeded Marie Benoit of Belgium won the title, beating qualifier Andrea Lazaro(Florida International) of Spain 6-4, 6-0.  No. 2 seeds Dalma Galfi of Hungary and Kimberley Zimmermann of Belgium won the doubles title, beating unseeded Paula Ormaechea of Argentina and Prarthana Thombare of India 7-6(4), 6-2 in the championship match.

Hina Inoue, the No. 13 seed, reached the final of the ITF Grade 1 in Barranquilla Colombia, a first in her junior career, but she finished as runner-up, with No. 4 seed Dana Guzman of Peru taking the title with a 7-6(6), 6-3 victory over the 16-year-old from California, who trains in Florida. The boys title went to No. 2 seed Martin Breysach of France, who defeated No. 11 seed Pedro Boscardin Dias of Brazil, also a runner-up last week in Costa Rica, 6-2, 6-4.

Top seed Martin Damm and No. 2 seed Robin Montgomery both lost their third round matches at the ITF Grade 1 in Traralgon, the warm-up to the Australian Open Junior Championships. Damm lost to No. 16 seed Timo Legout of France 7-6(6), 6-4 and Montgomery lost to unseeded Celia Mohr of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Montgomery had beaten Mohr 6-4, 6-2  in the semifinals of last month's Orange Bowl. Not all the third round matches were completed Sunday, with Alex Bernard, the last American still in the singles draw, one of those that did not finish.

The Tennis Europe 14-and-under tournament in Bolton England, known for many years as Teen Tennis, which is the warm-up to the Les Petits As tournament in France, began today, with unseeded players taking the courts for their first round matches. Clervie Ngounoue is not competing this week, but there are four other American girls on the trip: Lexington Reed, Maya Joint[16], Mia Slama and Brooklyn Olson[9]. Reed lost her match today, while Slama won hers.

The US boys competing in Bolton are Kaylan Bigun[4], Nikita Filin, Mitchell Lee, Alexander Razeghi and Meecah Bigun. Meecah Bigun was not among those named to the team by the USTA, but he travelled to Bolton with his twin brother and made his way through qualifying. He won his first round main draw match today, as did Lee and Filin.

Live scoring is available via Tennis Ticker.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

McNally, Eubanks Qualify, Bring Number of Americans in Australian Open to 34; Nakashima, Liu Reach Finals of $25Ks in California

Caty McNally and Christopher Eubanks won their final round qualifying matches Saturday in Melbourne, bringing the number of Americans in the Australian Open main draw to 34. The win by former Georgia Tech star Eubanks, who defeated Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium 6-4, 7-6(3), gives the US 12 men in the main draw. Eubanks, who also qualified for the Australian Open in 2019, will be looking for his first main draw win at a slam when he plays fellow qualifier Peter Gojowczyk of Germany Tuesday.

McNally, 18, dispatched Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania 6-1, 6-1 to reach the main draw of a third straight slam. She qualified at Wimbledon and received a wild card at the US Open, winning her first slam match there against Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland. Unlike Eubanks, McNally will be in action Monday, taking on Australia's Samantha Stosur. With Ann Li and Shelby Rogers also qualifying, the number of American women in the draw is now 22.

Fifteen former collegiate players are in the singles draws--11 men and 4 women. In addition to Eubanks, these are the men and their schools:
Kevin Anderson(Illinois), Dominik Koepfer(Tulane), John Isner(Georgia), Cameron Norrie(TCU), Andrew Harris(Oklahoma), Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee), JP Smith(Tennessee), Steve Johnson(USC), Marcos Giron(UCLA), Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA).  The four women are: Kristie Ahn(Stanford), Astra Sharma(Vanderbilt), Danielle Collins(Virginia) and Jennifer Brady(UCLA).

An article on Marcos Giron's long journey to his first appearance in the main draw of the Australian Open appeared today in the Los Angeles Times. Steve Johnson warmed up for his first round match against Roger Federer by claiming the title at the ATP Challenger 80 in Bendigo.

With play beginning Sunday night in the US, here are the Americans in action on the first day of competition. The order of play is here.

Monday’s first round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women:
Serena Williams[8] v Anastasia Potapova(RUS)
Venus Williams v Coco Gauff
Sloane Stephens[24] v Shuai Zhang(CHN)
Kristie Ahn v Caroline Wozniacki(DEN)
Caty McNally[Q] v Samantha Stosur(AUS)
Madison Keys[10] v Daria Kasatkina(RUS)
Sofia Kenin[14] v Martina Trevisan[Q](ITA)
Ann Li[Q] v Lizette Cabrera[WC](AUS)
Christina McHale v Petra Martic[13](CRO)
Alison Riske[18] v Yafan Wang(CHN)
Madison Brengle v Caroline Garcia(FRA)
Bernarda Pera v Elena Rybakina[29](KAZ)

Men:
Steve Johnson v Roger Federer[3](SUI)
Sam Querrey v Borna Coric[25](CRO)
Reilly Opelka v Fabio Fognini[12](ITA)
Marcos Giron v Philipp Kohlschreiber(GER)
Tommy Paul v Leonardo Mayer(ARG)
Michael Mmoh[WC] v Pablo Andujar(ESP)
Mackenzie McDonald v Dan Evans[30](GBR)
Tennys Sandgren v Marco Trungelliti[Q](ITA)

Two young Americans have reached the finals at the two $25,000 Oracle Pro Series tournaments in Southern California this week. Eighteen-year-old Brandon Nakashima, seeded No. 8, defeated last week's Ann Arbor Challenger champion Ulises Blanch 6-0, 6-1 to advance to the Rancho Santa Fe final, where he will meet No. 4 seed Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France. Blancaneaux, who won the 2016 French Open boys title, defeated No. 5 seed Sandro Ehrat of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal today.  

The doubles title in Rancho Santa Fe went to top seeds Lloyd Glasspool(Texas) of Great Britain and Alex Lawson(Notre Dame). They defeated No. 2 seed Sekou Bangoura(Florida) and Boris Arias(LSU) of Bolivia 6-1, 7-6(1) in today's final. 

At the women's tournament in Malibu, 19-year-old Claire Liu has reached the final, with the No. 6 seed downing No. 5 seed Ana Sofia Sanchez Palau of Mexico 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in today's semifinals. Liu will face No. 2 seed Nadia Podoroska of Argentina, who beat No. 8 seed Jessica Pieri of Italy 6-1, 6-1. 

The doubles title was won by No. 2 seeds Rosalie Van der Hoek of the Netherlands and Laura Pigossi of Brazil, who defeated the Pepperdine wild card team of Astrid Brune Olsen of Norway and Anastasia Iamachkine of Peru 6-4, 7-6(4) in today's final. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

My Annual Eight Intriguing Questions; Anthrop, Inoue Reach Barranquilla ITF G1 Semis; Division II and Division III Preseason Rankings; Li, Rogers Qualify for Australian Open

Every year I step back a bit to look at the bigger issues in the world of college and junior tennis, with this year's edition available today at the Tennis Recruiting Network. The fate of the Orange Bowl is the one that strikes me as the most important, although the possibility that the NCAAs, all three divisions, will move to Lake Nona also stands out as a decision that will have a major impact long after 2020.  To go back to my article looking ahead to 2019, click here.

Two Americans have advanced to today's semifinals at the ITF Grade 1 in Barranquilla Colombia, both of them No. 13 seeds. Jack Anthrop defeated No. 10 seed Jerry Shang of China 7-6, 6-7(5), 6-4 and will play No. 11 seed Pedro Boscardin Dias of Brazil in tonight's semifinals. Hina Inoue defeated unseeded Maria Olivia Castedo of Boliva 6-2, 6-2 and will face No. 2 seed Lauren Anzalotta of Puerto Rico in the semifinals.  No US players advanced to the doubles finals, which will be played this evening.

The ITA announced the preseason rankings for Division II and Division III this week. Click on the headings to see the complete lists (scroll down) at the ITA pages for each division.

Division III preseason team rankings:

Men:
1. Emory
2. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
3. Middlebury
4. Chicago
5. Amherst
6. Wesleyan
7. Bowdoin
8. Brandeis
9. Washington St Louis
10. Williams

Women:
1. Wesleyan
2. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
3. Emory
4. Middlebury
5. Pomona-Pitzer
6. Amherst
7. Carnegie Mellon
8. Chicago
9. MIT
10. Brandeis

Division II preseason team rankings:

Men:
1. Barry
2. Columbus State
3. West Florida
4. Wingate
5. Saint Leo
6. Lander
T7. Flagler
T7. Azusa Pacific
9. Hawaii Pacific
10. Hawaii Hilo

Women:
1. Barry
2. Lynn
3. Columbus State
4. Indianapolis
5. Nova Southeastern
6. Saint Leo
7. West Florida
8. Hawaii Pacific
9. Central Oklahoma
10. North Georgia

At the Australian Open, 19-year-old Ann Li will make her slam debut next week after winning her final round qualifying match Friday in Melbourne. Li, the No. 31 seed, defeated top qualifying seed Ana Bogdan of Romania 5-7, 7-6(9), 6-2. Li saved two match points in that second set tiebreaker. Shelby Rogers defeated Caroline Dolehide 6-4, 6-4 in an all-US final round qualifying match to give the US 21 women in the main draw.  Three more can still advance, with Caty McNally, Danielle Lao(USC) and Sachia Vickery playing their final round qualifying matches Saturday (tonight in the US). Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech) is the only American man to advance to the final round of qualifying and he did so when Viktor Troicki of Serbia retired leading 6-4, 1-2. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Texas Men Start NCAA Title Defense with Win over No. 1 Florida; Clemson's Harris Announces Retirement; Damm Top Seed at Traralgon Grade 1; Australian Open Draws Announced

Senior Yuya Ito clinched the win for the Longhorns
It's hard to imagine a better opening match for the Division I dual match season than the one that took place last night in Gainesville, with the 2019 NCAA champion Texas men, No. 2 in preseason poll, facing Florida, who topped last week's poll.  Florida took the doubles point, but Texas roared back to post a 5-2 win, with Yuya Ito clinching it for the Longhorns with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Oliver Crawford at line 1. Texas had three freshmen in the singles lineup--Siem Woldeab, Eliot Spizzirri and redshirt Cleeve Harper--with Woldeab at line 3 and Spizzirri at line 4 posting wins. Texas will certainly move to No. 1 in next week's team rankings, and when the computer rankings begin next month, getting a road win over such a good team will be especially valuable.

The recap from the Texas website is excellent, featuring plenty of match details and quotes from head coach Bruce Berque. An article this thorough is unfortunately rare in college tennis, so I want to make sure I recognize SIDs who are providing this quality of reporting. There are also video highlights here.

In other Division I tennis news, Nancy Harris, who has led the Clemson women for 23 years, will retire at the end of this season. Harris posted more than 500 wins in her career, made the NCAA tournament 19 times and guided the Tigers to the Final Four in 2004 and 2005. For more on her accomplishments, see this article from the Clemson website.

The ITF Grade 1 in Traralgon Australia is set to begin Friday (tonight in the United States) with four US girls and five US boys in the main draw. Martin Damm is the top seed and Dali Blanch is the No. 15 seed. Cash Hanzlik, who qualified, and Kalamazoo 16s finalists Alex Bernard and Aidan Mayo round out the American contingent in the boys draw.

None of the three US girls in qualifying won their final round matches. Robin Montgomery is the No. 2 seed and Savannah Broadus in the No. 16 seed. India Houghton and Ellie Coleman are the other two American girls in the Australian Open warmup event.

The men's and women's singles draws for the Australian Open were revealed Thursday, with 11 US men and 19 US women receiving direct entry.

Just two of the men are seeded: No. 19 John Isner(Georgia) and No. 29 Taylor Fritz. The remaining American men are Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee), Sam Querrey, Reilly Opelka, Tommy Paul, Steve Johnson(USC), Marcos Giron(UCLA), Michael Mmoh[WC] and Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA).

Paul has reached the semifinals of an ATP event for the first time in his career in Adelaide as a qualifier. Paul is now working with former USTA coach Brad Stine and the ATP published an article recently about their partnership.

In contrast to the men, the women have seven seeded players: Alison Riske[18], Madison Keys[10], Sloane Stephens[24], Sofia Kenin[14], Serena Williams[8], Danielle Collins[26](Virginia) and Amanda Anisimova[21]. The other American women in the draw are Bernarda Pera, Christina McHale, Venus Williams, Coco Gauff, Madison Brengle, Kristie Ahn, Cici Bellis, Jennifer Brady, Lauren Davis, Taylor Townsend, Jessica Pegula and Coco Vandeweghe[WC].  Venus and Gauff will have a rematch of their Wimbledon contest, with Townsend and Pegula also meeting in an all-US first rounder.

Collins, who reached the quarterfinals of the WTA event last week in Brisbane, is into the semifinals this week in Adelaide. The two-time NCAA champion, who beat No. 4 seed Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-1 Thursday, has two wins over Top 10 players now in the past two weeks, dropping six games total in them. She takes on No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia in Friday's semifinals.

The qualifying continues at the Australian Open, with Chris Eubanks, JJ Wolf and Ernesto Escobedo the US men who still have a chance to reach the main draw. Eight US women are still in the running: Ann Li, Sachia Vickery, Varvara Lepchenko, Allie Kiick, Danielle Lao, Shelby Rogers, Caroline Dolehide and Caty McNally. Six is the maximum number that can make the main draw, as four could meet in the final round of qualifying.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Anthrop Defeats Top Seed at Barranquilla Grade 1; Four Americans Begin Qualifying at Traralgon Australia G1; Wolf Wins First Grand Slam Qualifying Match

Eddie Herr 16s champion Jack Anthrop advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITF Grade 1 in Barranquilla Colombia today when top seed and last week's G1 Coffee Bowl winner Natan Rodrigues of Brazil retired trailing 7-5, 3-0. It's the first Grade 1 quarterfinal for Anthrop, the No. 13 seed, who broke into the ITF junior Top 100 this week after reaching the third round in Costa Rica and winning the doubles title.  The third round results other three US boys still alive--Stefan Leustian[5], Max McKennon and Benjamin Kittay[9]--have not yet been posted.

Three US girls have advanced to the quarterfinals in Colombia this week: Isabelle Kouzmanov[6], Hina Inoue[13] and Sofia Camila Rojas[12]. Kouzmanov plays top seed Ana Geller of Argentina and Rojas faces No. 2 seed Lauren Anzalotta of Puerto Rico.

Qualifying for the Grade 1 warmup to the Australian Open Junior Championships has begun in Traralgon, with four Americans on Thursday's schedule. Cash Hanzlik[4] is the only US boy in qualifying, while three US girls are competing for a place in the main draw: Kailey Evans[3], Hibah Shaikh[6] and Tara Malik[7]. A surprise entry in the qualifying is Nicolas David Ionel of Romania, who took a wild card into qualifying after losing in the first round of the ATP Challenger in Bendigo. At 31 in the ITF junior rankings, he is the top seed; the boys qualifying did not fill in Traralgon, while the girls did. Both rounds of qualifying are scheduled to be played today. I believe they did not play the first round on Wednesday due to air quality problems from the fires.

The Australian Open qualifying is now into its third day, but due to delays from poor air quality and rain, the first round has yet to be finished, although some second round matches are on Thursday's schedule. A total of 48 first round matches had either not begun or were suspended Wednesday when rain suspended play for the day.

American men who have advanced to the second round are Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech), Denis Kudla, Ernesto Escobedo and in a delayed match, JJ Wolf(Ohio State). Wolf, who won the last two ATP Challengers he played--in Champaign last November and in Noumea last week--defeated Zdenek Kolar of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2 to earn his first slam qualifying match. His other two attempts came last year at the US Open and in 2017, also at the US Open, earning that opportunity as a finalist at the Kalamazoo 18s Nationals.

American women who have reached the second round of qualifying in Melbourne are Hailey Baptiste, Ann Li[31], Shelby Rogers, Caroline Dolehide[30], Allie Kiick[28], Danielle Lao(USC), Francesa Di Lorenzo[16](Ohio State) and Nicole Gibbs[15](Stanford).

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Orange Bowl 16s and 18s Videos; Two $25,000 Events on Each Coast Kick Off 2020 USTA Women's Pro Circuit; Redlicki Ousts Top Seed in Rancho Santa Fe $25K

The videos of the finalists of the Orange Bowl 16s and 18s are below, with the champion first, followed by the finalist. This leaves me with just the Junior Orange Bowl 12s and 14s to process from last month's junior swing in Florida. If you missed the Eddie Herr videos, the 16s and 18s are here, and the 12s and 14s are here.

Thiago Tirante


Juan Bautista Torres

Robin Montgomery

Jana Kolodynska

Daniel Rincon

Gabrielius Guzauskas

Ashlyn Krueger

Clervie Ngounoue

While the men had two USTA Pro Circuit events last week, the women didn't have any, but they have two this week, both $25,000 events. Qualifying is now complete in Daytona Beach Florida, with Dasha Ivanova and 15-year-old Rachel Gailis the two Americans advancing to the main draw. Wild cards went to 17-year-old Charlotte Chavatipon, Quinn Gleason(Notre Dame), Kylie McKenzie and 17-year-old Jaleesa Leslie. Gleason didn't play today, but the other three wild cards lost their first round matches. The top two seeds are Paula Ormaechea of Argentina and Tessa Andrianjafitrimo of France.

The other women's tournament is an Oracle Pro Series event in Malibu California. Qualifying is still going on there, but wild cards went to four Americans: 18-year-old Peyton Stearns, 17-year-old Naomi Cheong, 16-year-old Orange Bowl quarterfinalist Maya Pitts and Pepperdine's  Jessica Failla. Amandine Hesse of France is the top seed, with Nadia Podoroska of Argentina the No. 2 seed.

The men have a $25,000 Oracle Pro Circuit tournament in Rancho Santa Fe California this week, with top seed Nino Seradusic of Croatia already ousted today by Michael Redlicki(Arkansas) 6-4, 6-2. American qualifiers are Alex Rybakov(TCU), Evan Zhu(UCLA), Brandon Holt(USC) and Riley Smith(USC). Wild cards went to Emilio Nava, Alafia Ayeni(Cornell), Vasil Kirkov and Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda. Svajda lost to No. 5 Sandro Ehrat of Switzerland 6-4, 6-2 in opening round action today.  Many of those competing at the Ann Arbor Challenger last week have entered this tournament, including champion Ulises Blanch, who is not seeded.