Monday, September 21, 2020

Five US Men Advance to Second Round Qualifying at French Open, 11 Americans in Women's Qualifying Draw; ITF Junior Grade 4 Moving to Orlando; Sieg Sweeps Grade 5 Titles in Hungary; Women's $80K on in Texas

American men went 5-6 on the first day of qualifying at the French Open, with Ulises Blanch, Michael Mmoh, Christopher Eubanks, Jack Sock and Sebastian Korda earning victories today.

Blanch defeated French wild card Rayane Roumane 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; Mmoh beat Alex Bolt of Australia 6-4, 6-3; Eubanks defeated French wild card Geoffrey Blancaneaux 6-2, 7-5; Sock downed Mikhail Torpegaard of Denmark 6-2, 6-4 and Korda defeated Mitchell Krueger 6-1, 6-4. 

The two remaining American men in qualifying, Bradley Klahn and Thai Kwiatkowski, are on Tuesday's schedule

The men's qualifying draw, with all results, is here

The women's qualifying begins on Tuesday, with 11 Americans looking for a one of the 12 qualifying spots in the main draw. Ann Li, who plays Indy De Vroome of the Netherlands in the first round, is the top seed in qualifying, with Caty McNally, who plays Pemra Ozgen of Turkey, the No. 3 seed. Five other US women are seeded: Former Ohio State star Francesca Di Lorenzo[10] plays Marina Melnikova of Russia; Caroline Dolehide faces Mayo Hibi of Japan; Usue Arconada[18] plays Martina Di Giuseppi of Italy; Sachia Vickery[21] faces Martina Trevisan of Italy and Whitney Osuigwe[23] faces wild card Carole Monnet of France. 

Robin Anderson(UCLA) will play No. 20 seed Xinyu Wang of China; Asia Muhammad faces French wild card Audrey Albie, Varvara Lephchenko plays Xiaodi You of China and Allie Kiick faces Julia Grabher of Austria.

McNally, Lepchenko, Muhammad and Kiick are not on Tuesday's schedule.

Roland Garros announced today that one woman who was set to play qualifying tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and was withdrawn from the field. The name of the player has not been released. 

The women's qualifying draw, which is for 96 players, not a 128 draw like the men's, is here

I understand that the ITF Junior Grade 4 that was scheduled to take place in Lexington South Carolina the week of October 26th will move to Orlando Florida, due to Covid-19 concerns at the Lexington facility. The ITF Junior Circuit calendar still is showing the name as Lexington, but the ITF tournament fact sheet now has the USTA's Alex Cercone as the tournament director. 

Normally players in the Top 60 like Madison Sieg and Ellie Coleman don't bother with Grade 5 tournaments, but they played one in Hungary last week (possible that it was downgraded due to the pandemic) and met again in the final, just as they had done earlier this month at a Grade 2 in Serbia. Coleman, seeded No. 2, won that encounter over top seed Sieg, but yesterday No. 1 seed Sieg defeated No. 2 seed Coleman 6-4, 6-4. The 17-year-olds also won the doubles title, as the top seeds, beating the unseeded Hungarian team of Vanesa Danko and Kitti Molnar 6-4, 7-5 in the final and getting valuable clay matches in advance of the French Junior Championships in two weeks.

The USTA has not publicly released a calendar for its Pro Circuit this fall, but today an $80,000 women's tournament, the Bellartorum Resources Pro Classic, announced that it is indeed happening, October 26 through November 1 in Tyler Texas. In addition, the article says the tournament is again part of the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge, which I had thought might not happen in 2021, as no Australian was extended a wild card for the 2020 US Open. In addition, the article mentions Macon and Charleston as the other tournaments that are part of the wild card competition, but does not give dates.