Friday, October 9, 2020

Krawczyk and Guarachi Advance to French Open Women's Doubles Final; All-Swiss Boys Final, France Versus Russia for Girls Championship; Oracle ITA Masters Underway

Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi will play for the French Open women's doubles title Sunday after the former collegians won a rollercoaster of a semifinal Friday against unseeded Nicole Melichar and Poland's Iga Swiatek. Krawczyk, who attended Arizona State, and Guarachi, who attended Alabama and now represents Chile, were down 5-2 and two breaks in the 72-minute first set and saved four set points before claiming it in a tiebreaker, 7-6(5). 

After dropping the second set 6-1, Krawczyk, 26, and Guarachi, 29, went down a break three times in the third set, but each time broke right back, with six consecutive breaks until Krawczyk held serve at 4-all. Swiatek, who will play for the women's singles title Saturday against Sofia Kenin, served to stay in the match, but she and Melichar lost the first three points to give Krawczyk and Guarachi three match points. They couldn't convert the first two, but the snagged the third for a 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-4 win, setting up a meeting Sunday with defending champions and No. 2 seeds Kristina Mladenovic of France and Timea Babos of Hungary.  Mladenovic and Babos defeated No. 4 seeds Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.

For more on the semifinals, including comments from Krawczyk on the role college played in her professional success, see this article from the French Open website.

The men's doubles final on Saturday will also feature the defending champions, as well as a former collegian. Andreas Mies, who starred at Auburn, will defend the title he won last year with Kevin Krawietz, with the No. 8 seeds from Germany facing US Open champions and No. 7 seeds Bruno Soares of Brazil and Mate Pavic of Croatia.

In men's singles semifinal action Friday, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal defeated No. 12 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(0) and No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic defeated No. 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1 to advance to Sunday's final. 

The first boys junior slam final between two Swiss players is scheduled for Saturday, with No. 7 seed Dominic Stricker taking on No. 8 seed Leandro Riedi. Stricker, an 18-year-old left-hander, showed an aggressive, net-centric style in his 6-0, 5-7, 6-0 semifinal win over 2019 Orange Bowl finalist Juan Bautista Torres of Argentina, while Riedi, also 18, employed a more conventional clay court style in his 6-3, 6-1 win over unseeded Pepperdine recruit Guy Den Ouden of the Netherlands. Riedi has won all three times the pair have played, including in the second round of an ITF World Tennis Tour 15K in Germany in February of this year. The winner will be the first Swiss boy to claim a slam singles title, since Stan Wawrinka won at Roland Garros in 2003.

The French had high hopes for a junior champion at Roland Garros this year, with the top two seeds in the boys draw and four boys in the round of 16, but it's now up to No. 3 girls seed Elsa Jacquemot to deliver a title for the country. The 17-year-old Jacquemot, who has not lost a set this week, defeated No. 2 seed Alexandra Eala of the Philippines 6-3, 6-2 in just over an hour in today's semifinal. She will face unseeded Alina Charaeva of Russia, who defeated No. 4 seed Polina Kudermetova of Russia 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5. 

Jacquemot and Charaeva have met once before, on clay, last year in the semifinals of a Grade 1 in France, with eventual champion Jacquemot winning 6-3, 6-3. 

For more on today's junior singles semifinals, see this article from the French Open website.

The boys doubles final will be Stricker's second chance at a title on Saturday, when he and Flavio Cobolli of Italy take on No. 8 seeds Bruno Oliveira and Natan Rodrigues of Brazil after the singles final.  The No. 3 seeds, who lost in the final last year, defeated the unseeded French team of Lilian Marmousez and Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard 6-3, 5-7, 10-6. Oliveira and Rodrigues beat unseeded Martin Krumich and Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4.

Unseeded Eleonora Alvisi and Lisa Pigato of Italy pulled off the big upset in junior doubles today, defeating US Open champions and No. 2 seeds Kamilla Bartone of Latvia and Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 10-7. Alvisi and Pigato, neither of whom played in the singles draw, will face No. 5 seeds Maria Bondarenko and Diana Shnaider of Russia, who beat unseeded Jessica Bouzas Maneiro of Spain and Guillermina Grant of Uruguay 5-7, 6-2, 10-4.

All French Open draws can be found at this link.

With two rounds of play today in San Diego at the Oracle ITA Masters, all results from the round of 16 are not in, but several men's seeds fell in the first round: No. 6 William Griffith, No. 7 Andrew Fenty and No. 8 Alex Brown.

A live stream of Stadium court is available here. Live scores are available here. The ITA preview, with more on the players who received wild cards, is here.

The finals will be televised on ESPNU on Sunday, beginning with the women's final at 2 p.m. Pacific, followed by the men's final.