Thursday, September 3, 2015

US Open Junior Qualifying Draws; Ross Reaches Semis in Grade 1 Canadian Open; Four More Americans Reach US Open Third Round

The draws are out for the US Open junior qualifying, which begins tomorrow outside the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.  I will be traveling to New York tomorrow, and will cover the final round of junior qualifying on Saturday. 

Victoria Emma has received the previously unannounced girls qualifying wild card. Gabby Pollner, ranked 134 at the time of acceptances, was the last into qualifying. In all 10 US girls are in the qualifying, including five wild cards. Last year Caroline Dolehide came through qualifying to reach the semifinals.

There are also 10 US boys in the qualifying, including five wild cards. With Ross not needing his one became available and Jake Van Emburgh and Trent Bryde received wild cards, with previously announced wild card Alexandre Rotsaert, the Kalamazoo 16s finalist, not in the qualifying draw.. He could have received a TBD wild card into the main draw instead. Naota Kai of Japan, ranked 108 at the time of acceptances, appears to have been the last boy to get into qualifying.

Unlike the other juniors slams, the US Open will provide live scoring for the qualifying at usopen.org.

Gianni Ross was given a wild card into the US Open qualifying, but after making the semifinals today at the Grade 1 Canadian Open, he should receive a special exemption into the main draw. The 16-year-old Ross, a qualifier in Repentigny, beat top seed Marcelo Barrios Vera in the second round, Nicole Kuhn in the third round, and today topped Bjorn Thomson 7-6(0), 6-4 to reach his second Grade 1 semifinal.  He will play the winner of the night match between Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and International Hard Courts champion Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada.

In the girls draw, Canadian Bianca Andreescu defeated top seed Katie Swan 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals, where the No. 11 seed will meet Tessah Andrianjafitrimo of France.

Results and draws can be found at the tournament website.

Two more American women reached the third round of the US Open today, with qualifier Shelby Rogers (d. Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-4, 6-4) and Varvara Lepchenko (d. Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 7-6(9), 6-2) joining Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Madison Brengle, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Madison Keys in the third round.

Nicole Gibbs lost to No. 5 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4.

On the men's side, John Isner got through in three non-tiebreak sets over Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, but the other US men's seed, Jack Sock, cramped in the hot and humid conditions and was forced to retire in his match with Ruben Bemelmans up two sets to one.  Donald Young continued his fine play, beating Aljaz Bedene of Great Britain 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Isner and Young are the only two American men remaining in the draw, after losses today by Sock, Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek.

In doubles play, Kalamazoo champion Reilly Opelka and Taylor Fritz were beaten by Marcus Daniell of New Zealand and Jonathan Marray of Great Britain 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.  Opelka was broken to start the match and the young pair didn't get a look at a break point but the second set was much more competitive, with Opelka, who missed 10 of 15 first serves in the game, managing to serve out the second set, saving four break points in the five deuce game.  Both Fritz and Opelka were broken in the final set to go down 5-1 and although they got one of the breaks back, couldn't manage to get the second.

Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria, the 2013 NCAA champions from Southern Cal, made their long delayed women's doubles debut today against top seeds Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza.  They lost 6-1, 6-2, but for their thoughts (and some of mine) on their long and winding road to the US Open, see this article on the WTA website.

Current NCAA champions Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe of Alabama also played and lost today, falling to No. 6 seeds Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones 6-2, 6-1.

Wild cards Frances Tiafoe and Sachia Vickery picked up a win in mixed doubles, beating the veteran team of Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 5-7, 6-3, 10-8.  Lindstedt double faulted at 8-all in the match tiebreaker and Tiafoe blasted an ace to end the match.