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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:

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)

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.