Thursday, October 1, 2020

Collins and Kenin Advance to French Open Third Round; Burel Among Many Outside Top 100 to Reach Round of 32; Fan Voting for Hall of Fame Begins with Former Gator Great Raymond on Ballot

Floridians Danielle Collins and Sofia Kenin reached the third round of the French Open today, with Collins defeating 17-year-old qualifier Clara Tauson of Denmark 6-2, 6-3 and No. 4 seed Kenin coming from behind to beat Ana Bogdan of Romania 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Collins was in top form against the 2019 Australian Open girls champion, striking 25 winners and making only 10 unforced errors despite her aggressive play. Tauson wasn't as sharp as she was against Jennifer Brady in the first round, but some of that was due to the pressure that Collins applied. Collins did trail 2-0 in the second set, but once she got that break back, she really raised her level, breaking Tauson two more times and saving the only break point she face in the eighth game. Collins is known for her big hitting, but she was so comfortable late in the match that she tried two drop shot returns, both of which were successful, including on match points. Collins, who is into the third round in Paris for the first time, plays No. 11 seed and 2016 Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain next.

Kenin has struggled a bit in this abbreviated clay season, losing in the first round of the Italian Open to Victoria Azarenka, and needing three sets to get past WTA No. 125 Liudmila Samsonova of Russia in the first round. She started slowly again today against Bogdan, and at 6-3, 3-all the result was still in doubt, but the 2020 Australian Open champion reeled off six straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the third set. Kenin's drop shot was lethal in the second half of the match--I believe Tennis Channel said she had 12 outright winners with it--and Bogdan never appeared to see it coming. The last two games were classic, with Bogdan saving three match points in a four-deuce game to force Kenin to serve it out. Kenin then saved three break points in that game to finally get to her fourth match point, which she converted. Kenin's third round opponent is unseeded Irina Bara of Romania, who beat No. 26 seed Donna Vekic of Croatia in the first round.

One of the stories of this year's French Open is the number of players, outside the Top 100, both men and women, who have made it to the Round of 32.

The nine men in that category are: Roberto Carballes Baena(ESP) [101]; Pedro Martinez(ESP)[105]; Norbert Gombos(SVK)[106]; Marco Cecchinato(ITA)[110]; Kevin Anderson(RSA)[118]; Daniel Elahi Galan(COL)[153]; Daniel Altmaier(GER)[186]; Sebastian Korda[213] and Hugo Gaston[239].

The eight women in that category are: Barbora Krejcikova(CZE)[114]; Nadia Podoroska(ARG)[131]; Irina Bara(ROU)[142]; Tsvetana Pironkova(BUL)[157]; Martina Trevisan(ITA)[159]; Anna Karolina Schmiedlova(SVK)[161]; Eugenie Bouchard(CAN)[168] and Clara Burel(FRA)[357].  Eighteen-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez, who also reached the third round, a year after winning the girls title in Paris, is now 100 in the rankings.

Burel, the 2018 ITF World Junior Champion, used the vocal support of the small French crowd to propel her past junior rival Kaja Juvan of Slovenia 7-6(6), 6-2. Wild card Burel, who lost to Juvan in the Youth Olympic Games gold medal match in 2018, faces Shuai Zhang of China in the third round. 

Several men's second round doubles matches were played today, with Tommy Paul and Nick Monroe(UNC) advancing to the round of 16 with 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win over No. 4 seeds Lukasz Kubot(POL) and Marcelo Melo(BRA). 

The first round of women's doubles was completed today, with no fewer than four alternate teams receiving entry. No alternates were needed to fill the men's doubles draw. The top 10 women's doubles seeds all made it through the first round. 

Thursday’s French Open second round results of Americans:

Sofia Kenin[4] d. Ana Bogdan(ROU) 36, 63, 62

Danielle Collins d. Clara Tauson(DEN)[Q] 62, 63

Patricia Tig(ROU) d. Christina McHale 64, 63 

Paula Badosa(ESP) d. Sloane Stephens[29] 64, 46, 62 

Thiago Monteiro(BRA) d. Marcos Giron 76(5), 64, 61 

Daniel Elahi Galan(COL)[LL] Tennys Sandgren 62, 62, 63

Friday’s French Open third round matches featuring Americans:

Amanda Anisimova[25] v Simona Halep(ROU)[1]

Taylor Fritz[27] v Lorenzo Sonego(ITA)

Sebastian Korda[Q] v Pedro Martinez(ESP)[Q]

Friday's order of play is here.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame has developed a system for fans to vote for nominees, and that voting begins today. Australia's Lleyton Hewitt is probably the only sure thing among those nominated, but Lisa Raymond, who was a star at the University of Florida, is included. Raymond, who won the 1992 and 1993 NCAA singles titles, and led the Gators to a team title in 1992, reached No. 15 in the WTA rankings, but is probably best known for her doubles results, which include six women's grand slam doubles titles and five grand slam mixed titles. She reached No. 1 in the women's doubles rankings in 2000.