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Sunday, August 29, 2010

US Open Qualifier Falconi Still Studying; Doubles Draws Posted; ITF Junior News

I caught up with Irina Falconi today by phone to talk about her experience in U.S. Open qualifying and to find out how she was preparing for Monday's match with No. 19 seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy. Although Falconi is no longer in school at Georgia Tech, having turned professional after her sophomore year, she still thinks like a student, telling me that she will be doing homework tonight to learn what she can about her opponent. After talking to Falconi today, I wrote this New York Times Straight Sets blog post about her path from the public courts of a New York city park to the main draw of the U.S. Open.

The doubles draws were released today, and the two junior national championship teams who received wild cards will face unseeded opponents. Lauren Herring and Grace Min will play Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and her partner Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in the opening round. Sekou Bangoura Jr. and Nathan Pasha have drawn Michael Kohlmann of Germany and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.

The NCAA champions, who were also given doubles wild cards, both drew seeded teams. Stanford's Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette will play No. 14 seeds Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonereva of Russia, the 2010 Wimbledon finalists. University of Virginia's Drew Courtney and Michael Shabaz have drawn No. 10 seeds Wesley Moodie of South Africa and Dick Norman of Belgium, who have reached the semifinals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year.

There are many other young U.S. players who are playing doubles, so check out the complete draws at usopen.org.

The ITF International Hard Court tournament in New Jersey was played last week, with unseeded 14-year-old Christina Makarova of California winning the girls singles title over Ronit Yurovsky, and Alexander Petrone of New York taking both the singles and doubles titles. Petrone, seeded third, beat unseeded Andrew Adams in the championship match. For complete results, see the ITF Junior website.

After winning in New Jersey, Makarova made a quick trip to Canada, where she qualified yesterday for the Grade 1 ITF event there, and won her opening round match today. The fields are traditionally quite strong for this event, and this year is no exception, with the Pliskova sisters the top two seeds in the girls event, and three of the current ITF Top 10 in the boys draw.

In addition to Makarova, U.S. girls playing include Blair Shankle, Julia Elbaba, Noel Scott, Tristen Dewar, Monica Turewicz, Valeria Deronjic, Sachia Vickery, Gabrielle Desimone and Nelo Phiri. Turewicz, at No. 16, is the only one seeded.

U.S. boys playing in Canada are Mitchell Krueger, Evan Song, Shane Vinsant, Dane Webb, Michael Zhu and Daniel McCall. None are seeded.

The tournament has a website that gives more current information than the ITF junior site. It can be found here.


Brooke said...

Hi Colette. Here's a little bit of trivia from the 2010 US Open. Sally Peers the Australian girl who was playing juniors just last year has qualified for the 2010 US Open. That makes her part of the very first mother-daughter combination to play at the US Open (her mother played in 80 and 81).

A. Meek said...

What about Valerie Ziegenfuss and her daughter? I'm surprised there aren't others.

rtg0041 said...

FYI, webcast of 2010 Canadian Open Juniors is available daily throughout the tournament at http://www.tvgo.ca/sports/. However, play-by-play/commentary for the webcast is in French only... Monday webcast (8/30) starts at 7PM EDT; Tuesday through Thursday webcast starts at 6:30PM EDT; and Friday and Saturday webcasts start at 1PM EDT.

Brooke said...


You're absolutely correct. I got the story from a few news sources but they forgot Alison Bradshaw, Val Ziegenfuss' daughter.

That said, Bradshaw was an American wildcard. So I guess you could still say that Peer is the first daughter of a former US Open women's player to gain entry to the main draw based on either ranking or qualification and the first international player to do it.