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Monday, August 18, 2014

Nine Seeds Fall in First Round at ITF Grade 1 Hard Courts; 29 Americans in US Open Qualifying; Jorovic Loses Opening Round at Youth Olympic Games

©Colette Lewis 2014--
College Park, MD--

I arrived at the Junior Tennis Champions Tennis Center in College Park this afternoon in time to catch quite a few first round singles matches, but I missed most of the upsets, either because they were early matches or were at the second site at the University of Maryland.

No. 4 seed Evgeniya Levashova of Russia was beaten by Ellyse Hamlin 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 and No. 8 seed Vera Lapko of Belarus lost to Ingrid Neel 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. (If I don't reference a player's country, they are from the US).  Jessica Ho, the No. 6 seed, retired after losing the first set to qualifier Jessica Livianu.  Two upsets I did see were Andie Daniell's 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win over No. 10 seed Olivia Hauger and Jessica Golovin's 7-6(5), 7-5 victory over No. 15 seed Emilie Francati of Denmark.

No. 5 seed Nicolae Frunza of Romania lost to qualifier Kyle Seelig 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-1 and No. 6 seed Pedro Iamachkine of Peru was beaten by Reilly Opelka 6-4, 7-6(3).  No. 12 seed Jake Delaney of Australia went out to Jack Barber 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Tommy Paul defeated No. 15 seed Teeradon Tortrakul of Thailand 6-3, 6-4.

Top boys seed Michael Mmoh won his first round match over Emil Reinberg 7-6(1), 6-4 and top girls seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia got though a tough first round, beating Kelly Chen 6-1, 6-4.

The viewing is excellent for all eight courts at the JTCC, and there are name cards on court identifying every player and their country. But matches are not chaired at this stage, and after four months of watching only chaired matches at the NCAAs, Wimbledon, the Clay Courts and Kalamazoo, I'd forgotten just how contentious player line calling can be, and how much time is spent arguing about calls and seeking out a roving umpire.

No. 2 seed Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands was agitated about line calls throughout his 6-3, 7-6(3) win over wild card Brian Cernoch, but Cernoch, a 14-year-old who trains at the JTCC, didn't let the delays and questioning bother him. The pace both boys displayed led to some very entertaining points, drawing frequent applause on the stadium court 17, but it was the 17-year-old who was a bit less error-prone on the big points.

Another surprise was the sheer number of college coaches at the tournament. I had expected most would wrap up their recruiting at the National championships two weeks ago, or at least take a break before the US Open junior qualifying, but that certainly didn't seem to be the case, with many major schools represented on site today.

Two sites will still be used on Tuesday, with the start of doubles play again requiring additional courts.    For complete results and the order of play for Tuesday, see the tournament website.

 The draws for the US Open qualifying, which begins on Tuesday, are out.

There are 14 US men and 15 US women hoping to win three matches and one of 16 places in the main draw.   The 14 US men are:

Chase Buchanan
Ernesto Escobedo(WC)
Taylor Fritz(WC)
Rhyne Williams
Rajeev Ram(28)
Mackenzie McDonald(WC)
Collin Altamirano(WC)
Tennys Sandgren
Alex Kuznetsov
Francis Tiafoe(WC)
Austin Krajicek
Michael Russell(14)
Mitchell Frank
Stefan Kozlov(WC)

Five of the above are in action on Tuesday, with Escobedo playing No. 24 seed Somdev Devvarman(UVA), Buchanan facing top seed Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, and Sandgren, who is back after hip surgery, meeting No. 10 seed Peter Polansky of Canada. Russell plays Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain and Kuznetsov faces Taro Daniel of Japan. 

The 15 US women are:
Jennifer Brady(WC)
Katerina Stewart(WC)
Tornado Alicia Black(WC)
Caitlin Whoriskey(WC, won US Open National Playoffs, along with Sanam Singh(UVA), who won the men's qualifying wild card)
Melanie Oudin(26)
Asia Muhammad(WC)
Ana Tatishvili(7)
Julia Boserup
Samantha Crawford(WC)
Bernarda Pera(WC)
Irina Falconi
Louisa Chirico
Allie Kiick(28)
Sachia Vickery(31)
Maria Sanchez(WC)

Nine women are on Tuesday's schedule, with Falconi playing Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic, Stewart facing Yuliya Beygelzimer of Ukraine, Boserup meeting Tatjana Maria of Germany, Chirico against Maria Irigoyen of Argentina and Black against Naomi Broady of Great Britain.  Pera faces No. 13 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, Kiick plays Paula Kania of Poland, Vickery meets Arina Rodionova of Australia and Sanchez plays Erika Sema of Japan.

Tuesday's order of play is here.  Draws are here.

The first round of the girls singles at the ITF Grade A Youth Olympic Games in China produced a major surprise, with top seed and world No. 1 Ivana Jorovic of Serbia going out to Simona Heinova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 7-6(3).  Sofia Kenin, the sole US representative in the girls draw, lost her first round match to Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus, the No. 8 seed, 6-2, 7-6(4). Alex Rybakov and his partner Luis Valero of Colombia lost in the first round of doubles to No. 4 seeds Francisco Bahamonde and Matias Zukas 7-6(8), 6-3.


Go Hoos said...

Jarmere Jenkins missed direct entry into the Qualies by 5 spots. I'm biased but it's a shame that he was bypassed for several 16 year olds and a couple of guys still in college. Does this mean that the best American college player a year ago (2013) and a full-time professional ranked in the #200s has already been cast aside by the USTA in favor of youth with "potential"

ben said...

same goes for loeb

Tennis4Life said...

I agree with you Go Hoos, I am actually pretty confused with Jarmere not getting a WC, I also thought that Bjorn Fratangelo and Kreuger would get a Qualie WC as well. No one on that list has won more futures than any of 3 above mentioned. I also thought Novikov had a good chance at it considering he has won 2 15ks in the past 5 weeks. I don't think mitchell frank should have passed any of the 4 above mentioned, but thats just my opinion. We all know the USTA has a weird way of doing things always. Congrats to Donaldson on getting a MD WC, well deserved and I believe he has a big game.

Brent said...

Wow, HUGE win for Escobedo! He has a full grown man's game already - just a matter of whether he can keep it in the court. Apparently he did today!

Tough luck for Riffice. He had McNally on the ropes in the Zoo quarters and probably should have won, then almost took down Mmoh today. I know he is going to be disappointed that neither show up as a W on the ledger, but he is proving that he belongs in the very elite group. Impressive stuff.

Pro Circuit said...

Go Hoos

Jarmere's merit and ranking deserve him earning a qualifying wildcard however he had several events this summer where he tanked some tournament matches which go in his favor when discussing wildcards for the US Open.

Go Hoos said...

Pro Circuit, You're right. Some blame does fall on Jarmere. All he needed to do was win one or at most two matches in the July Challengers to have his ranking high enough for Direct Entry. Though, isn't this the one time (his first full year on tour) to receive the benefit of the doubt?

However, I would take issue with the tanking comment. What match or tournament are you referring to? He steamrolled Escobedo in June. He lost a close one to Donaldson 7-5 in the 3rd. in the finals of a futures The USTA thinks Donaldson is worthy of a Main Draw WC (and I agree). Jarmere did seem to hit a wall the very next week vs. Sarmiento after losing the 2nd set TB. From then on out, his "official" summer went downhill. Though Jarmere did win an unsanctioned event near Richmond in July, picking up a $7000 check, essentially the same prize money for winning a Challenger (and almost the same $ as a 2nd rd loser in the US Open Qualies). He defeated Sanam Singh in the finals. Sanam won the USTA playoff and, so far, his first round in the Qualies. Every dollar means something to Jenkins in his costly effort to make it on tour, which is one reason he plays the "extra" events in addition to the regular ATP/Challengers/Futures tournaments. https://m.tennislink.usta.com/TournamentHome/tournament.aspx?t=147921