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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Korda, Hewitt Advance to Australian Open Junior Quarterfinals; Lilov, Wen, Montgomery and Wiersholm Reach Third Round at Les Petits As; No Change in ITA D-I Top 10

The United States has no more men or women in singles at the Australian Open, with Madison Keys and Tennys Sandgren falling in the quarterfinals Wednesday, but two Americans have reached quarterfinals in the junior championships: Sebastian Korda[7] and Dalayna Hewitt. (The Bryan twins are also through to the men's doubles semifinals).

Korda came back to defeat South African qualifier Philip Henning 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 and will face another unseeded player, Ray Ho of Taiwan, Thursday.  Drew Baird, the other US boys to reach the round of 16, lost to Australian wild card Rinky Hijikata 6-4, 6-3.  Like Baird, Hewitt played on a large show court due to the opponent being Australian, but she didn't let that affect her.  The 17-year-old from Ohio used her serve to bail herself out of any tight spots in her 7-5, 6-2 win over wild card Amber Marshall.  She will play Eddie Herr finalist Clara Burel of France, who came back to beat No. 12 seed Elysia Bolton 6-7(1), 7-6(5), 6-4.  Bolton served for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but was broken at 15-40; in the tiebreaker, she double faulted at 5-5 and Burel took advantage. It is the first junior slam quarterfinal for both Korda and Hewitt.

Two other girls quarterfinals have an Asian emphasis.  Top seed Xinyu Wang of China survived her second consecutive three-setter, beating Mananchaya Sawangkaew of Thailand 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. She will face No. 5 seed Naho Sato of Japan, who beat Lulu Sun of Switzerland 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-1.   Wang beat Sato in their only ITF Junior Circuit meeting back in 2015.  No. 9 seed Xiyu Wang of China eliminated No. 7 seed Alexa Noel 6-3, 7-5, with her power keeping Noel on defensive throughout much of the match.  Wang will face No. 2 seed En Shuo Liang of Taiwan, who beat No. 16 seed Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.  Liang and Wang have played four times, with Liang winning them all, including in the three-set final of the Grade 1 in Traralgon last week.  The other girls quarterfinal features unseeded Elisabetta Cocciaretto of Italy and No. 13 seed Daniela Vismane of Latvia, who split their two previous meetings last year.

Taiwan is the country with the most players left in the junior singles, with Liang and two boys: Ho and No. 6 seed Chun Hsin Tseng.  Tseng will play top seed Timofey Skatov of Russia, who overcame a first-set shutout to defeat unseeded Yanki Erel of Turkey 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.  Skatkov and Tseng haven't met in ITF Junior Circuit competition, but Tseng did defeat Skatov in the 2015 final of Les Petits As.  Unseeded Aidan McHugh of Great Britain faces Hijikata and No. 2 seed Marko Miladinovic of Serbia will play No. 5 seed Hugo Gaston of France, who is now on a 15-match winning streak.  None of the boys quarterfinalists have met in ITF Junior competition before.

Hewitt, with Peyton Stearns and Korda, with Colombia's Nicolas Mejia, lost their quarterfinal doubles matches Wednesday, so all Americans are out of those two draws.

Americans juniors in third round action Wednesday (Tuesday night in US):

Sebastian Korda[7] def. Philip Henning(RSA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Dalayna Hewitt def. Amber Marshall(AUS) 7-5, 6-2
Rinky Hijikata(AUS) def. Drew Baird 6-4, 6-3
Xiyu Wang[9](CHN)def. Alexa Noel[7] 6-3, 7-5
Clara Burel(FRA) def. Elysia Bolton[12] 6-7(1), 7-6(5), 6-4

American juniors in quarterfinal action Thursday (Wednesday night in US):

Sebastian Korda[7] v Ray Ho(TPE)
Dalayna Hewitt v Clara Burel(FRA)

At Les Petits As, two US boys and two US girls remain after two rounds of singles action.  No. 5 seed Victor Lilov won his second straight match from a set down today, beating Kalin Ivanovski of Macedonia 6-7(7), 6-0, 6-1. No. 8 seed Evan Wen defeated Hamza El Amine of Morocco 6-3, 6-4.  Jonah Braswell lost to No. 6 seed Mili Poljicak of Croatia 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

No. 5 seed Katja Wiersholm defeated Hanne Vandewinkel of Belgium 7-5, 6-4 and will play unseeded Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic next. Fruhvirtova reached the Eddie Herr 14s final and won the Junior Orange Bowl 12s last month.  Robin Montgomery beat No. 14 seed Sarah Mueller of Germany 6-3, 6-2 and will face top seed Diana Shnaider of Russia next.  Katrina Scott, the No. 8 seed, lost to Kyoka Kubo of Japan 6-1, 5-7, 6-0.  No. 2 seed Erika Andreeva of Russia was beaten by Sofia Costoulas of Belgium 6-4, 7-5 to set up a rematch of the Junior Orange Bowl 12s semifinal last month with Alexandra Eala of the Philippines, which Eala won 7-5, 7-6(3).

Montgomery and Wiersholm, who won the title last week in Bolton, are through to the semifinals in doubles.  Wen and Lilov will play their doubles quarterfinal match on Thursday.

The ITA released their Division I team rankings today, and for the second week in a row, there were no changes in the Top 10 from week 1's rankings. That will certainly change after the ITF Kickoff weekend which starts Friday.

Division I Top 10:
Women's Division I Top 10 rankings: (final 2017 ranking in parentheses)

January 24, 2018

1. Stanford (2)
2. Vanderbilt (4)
3. Florida (1)
4. Georgia (6)
5. North Carolina (5)
6. Pepperdine (8)
7. Georgia Tech (9)
8. Texas Tech (7)
9. Duke (12)
10. Michigan (11)

Men's Division I Top 10 rankings: (final 2017 in parentheses)

January 24, 2018

1. Wake Forest (2)
2. Ohio State (4) 3. North Carolina (3) 4. Georgia (7) 5. Southern California (6) 6. UCLA (5) 7. Texas A&M (12) 8. Texas (11) 9. Florida (14) 10. TCU (8)