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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Redelijk and Nanda Qualify, Bringing Number of US Players in US Open Junior Championships to 40; Brady, Vandeweghe into Round of 16; Kostyuk, Miladinovic Win Canadian Grade 1 Titles

©Colette Lewis 2017--
Flushing Meadow NY--

Wild cards Nikki Redelijk and Govind Nanda won three-set matches today at the US Open Junior Championships final round of qualifying to swell the number of Americans in the main draw to 40. Twenty boys and twenty girls will be playing in the 64-player singles draw, with first round action beginning on Sunday and finishing Monday. Axel Geller of Argentina is the top seed in the boys draw, with French Open champion Whitney Osuigwe the No. 1 seed in the girls draw.

Redelijk, who reached the 16s final in San Diego last month, said her performance there was a factor in her 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 win over Sina Zuger of Switzerland.

"San Diego, that whole tournament, I was just believing in myself, so I thought I could qualify here, I just had to keep believing in myself and build on that," said the 15-year-old, who trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.

Redelijk let a lead slip away in the second set of the three-hour and seven-minute contest, but she continued to gather information on her opponent during the long points and games.

"She's really consistent, she didn't miss a whole lot," Redelijk said. "And her backhand was better than her forehand. But all around she was pretty solid, so I had to keep on playing aggressive."

Redelijk got the break she needed at 4-4 in the third, and was able to serve out the match, but didn't get the start to the game she would have liked.

"The first point of that game I double faulted, I was a little tight," Redelijk said. "But I just focused on the ball, believed in myself again. Not playing too aggressive, but still keeping aggressive and it worked in the end."

Redelijk had never been to New York for any reason prior to coming to play in the junior qualifying, so this result is something of a bonus for her.

"Even coming here for qualies was also a really great experience, said Redelijk, who will play Mihika Yadav of India on Monday. "But playing in main draw is, well, it's also really good. I'm pretty excited."

Nanda will also be making his junior slam debut, after defeating No. 11 seed Lorenzo Musetti of Italy 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1.  Nanda had two match points serving at 6-5 in the second set, and was up 5-4 in the tiebreaker with two serves, but won none of those four points.

"It was mostly mental," said the 16-year-old Californian. "I was just thinking too far ahead of myself and wasn't playing the match I was in."

Down 15-40 in the first game of the third set, the 16-year-old from Southern California made a decision.

"I was thinking to myself, like, I can't play like this," Nanda said. "I can't be grinding back there and win. So I decided to play more aggressive, come to net more. I was getting a little physically tired too, so it helped both ways. It saved my energy, points are shorter."

Nanda said he most looking forward to testing his game against the world's top juniors.

"I want to compete with those guys," said Nanda, who will face Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland on Monday. "I want to show them I can compete with them. I'm really excited for it."

Americans Nicole Mossmer and Elli Mandlik fell in the final round of qualifying, as did Will Grant and Tristan Boyer.  Boyer and Nick Hardt of the Dominican Republic played for three hours and 27 minutes, but the match would have been even longer had Boyer not received a game penalty for an audible obscenity with Hardt serving at 5-3 in the third.  Boyer had been warned earlier by the chair umpire and was given a point penalty the game before, and the match ended with the tournament referee called to the court by the chair umpire, who after a brief consultation, announced the game penalty and awarded the match to Hardt.

Twenty-one Americans will be in action on Sunday, with 10 boys and 11 girls taking the courts (Americans in italics):

Sunday's round one matches featuring Americans:
Alexandre Rotsaert v Mohamed Ali Bellalouna(TUN)
Hugo Gaston(FRA) v Lukas Greif
Jurij Rodionov(AUT)[3] v Brian Cernoch
Simon Carr(IRL) v Sangeet Sridhar
Siddhant Banthia(IND) v DJ Thomas
Brian Shi v Yu Hsiou Hsu(TPE)[8]
Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine(FRA) v Alafia Ayeni
Sam Riffice v Yuta Shimizu(JPN)[4]
Yshai Oliel(ISR) v Ryan Goetz
Gianni Ross v Uisung Park(KOR)

Natasha Subhash v Thaisa Pedretti(ITA)
Katie Volynets v Emily Appleton(GBR)[13]
Elena Rybakina(RUS)[3] v Ellie Douglas
Salma Ewing v Xiyu Wang(CHN)
Marie Carle(ARG) Taylor Johnson[7]
Hailey Baptiste v Lea Boskovic(CRO)
Lulu Sun(SUI) v Ann Li[11]
Abigail Forbes v Kamila Rakhimova(RUS)
Maria Portillo Ramirez(MEX) v Amanda Anisimova[4]
Sofya Lansere(RUS) v Hurricane Tyra Black
Angelica Blake v Mihaela Marculescu(ROU)

Sunday's schedule for all US Open matches is here.

The Grade 1 in Quebec Canada finished today, with top seed Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine, the No. 2 seed in the US Open draw, beating Layne Sleeth of Canada 6-2, 6-2.  No. 3 seed Marko Miladinovic of Serbia, whose is the No. 5 seed in New York, defeated unseeded Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida of Brazil 7-6(2), 6-3 to claim the boys championship.

No. 6 seeds Shinji Hazawa of Japan and Alexey Zakharov of Russia won the doubles title, beating unseeded Chih Chi Huang and Nicaise Muamba of Canada 6-0, 5-7, 12-10. No. 4 seeds Pei Hsuan Chen of Taiwan and Naho Sato of Japan beat unseeded Isabelle Boulais and Alexandra Vagramov of Canada 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 for the girls doubles title.

Two more US women joined Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens in the US Open round of 16, with former UCLA star Jennifer Brady defeating Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3) and No. 20 seed CoCo Vandeweghe taking out No. 10 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.  Madison Keys[15] is playing the last night match on Ashe later tonight.

Saturday’s 3rd round results for Americans:

COCO VANDEWEGHE[20] def. Agnieszka Radwanska(POL)[10] 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
Elena Vesnina(RUS)[17] v MADISON KEYS[15]
Elina Svitolina(UKR)[4] def. SHELBY ROGERS 6-4, 7-5
JENNIFER BRADY def. Monica Niculescu(ROU) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3)

Sunday’s 4th round matches featuring Americans:

Carla Suarez Navarro(ESP) v VENUS WILLIAMS[9]
SAM QUERREY[17] v Mischa Zverev(GER)[23]