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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.


Unknown said...

Disappointed about Manas Dhamne (and Shruti Ahlawat). Hoping they are the next big prospects from India!