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Friday, December 21, 2018

Junior Orange Bowl Recap; Oregon's Laurent Defeats Holt, Faces Querrey in California Open Final; Australian Open Switches to Tiebreaker in Final Set

Americans had a good showing at the Junior Orange Bowl in Coral Gables Florida, with three of the four semifinalists in boys 12s and 14s, and two of the four semifinalists in girls 12s and 14s, with Clervie Ngounoue and Rudy Quan closing out phenomenal years with the 12s titles. The international players who come to Miami every December are a major part of the tournament's appeal and this year, the 14s champions were the first from their countries to earn Junior Orange Bowl titles. I wrapped up the tournament for the Tennis Recruiting Network in this article.

Saturday's semifinals at the UTR's California Open saw Sam Querrey and Thomas Laurent advance to Saturday's championship match, with Querrey beating Bradley Klan 7-5, 6-3 and Oregon senior Laurent avenging his dual match loss to USC's Brandon Holt back in March with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.  Laurent, who turned 21 on Sunday, has a UTR of 14.34, while Querrey's UTR is 15.46.

The match, scheduled for 1 p.m. Pacific time Saturday, will be streamed on Facebook.

The Australian Open announced today that it would join the US Open and Wimbledon in ending final sets with tiebreakers.  The US Open has long had a 12-point tiebreaker in final sets, while Wimbledon announced this fall that it will resort to one if a match reaches 12-12 in the final set. Australia has added a slight twist, with its tiebreaker the 18-point version, which is currently used in WTA, ATP and ITF doubles competition when the first two sets are split. The French Open will now be the only slam to continue with a two-game advantage needed in the final set.

According to this BBC article, this change, which will be in effect in next month's tournament, will also be applied to the junior championships. In 2017, the juniors played advantage sets in the third in singles, but this year they played the 12-point tiebreaker at 6-6 in the third set. If the Australian Open junior doubles is played in this new format, it will constitute a big change, because in previous AO junior events, the no-ad, match- tiebreaker-in-lieu-of-a-third-set that is played in all ITF junior events was the format used.