Saturday, January 9, 2021

Australian Open Qualifying Begins Sunday with 23 US Entries; Kodat Reaches Turkey $15K Final; Harrison Ousts Top Seed Garin at Delray Beach, Korda Beats Paul

Australian Open qualifying begins Sunday in Doha(men) and Dubai(women), with nine American men and 14 American women hoping to advance to the main draw in Melbourne four weeks from now.

Only three of the 23 are seeded: Denis Kudla, Caty McNally and Francesca DiLorenzo. 

The Sunday order of play is here. Draws are available at the Australian Open website, but for printable draws, your best bet is Fog Mountain tennis.

Toby Kodat, who turns 18 on Wednesday, reached his first ITF World Tennis Tour final just a few weeks ago at a $15K in Egypt, and has now made his second this week at a $15K in Turkey. Kodat, unseeded, has defeated two seeded players so far and will need to beat a third in Sunday's final if he is to win his first pro singles title. Kodat will face No. 2 seed Maxime Hamou of France in the final. 

Coco Gauff lost to No. 9 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 6-2 in the second round at the WTA 500 in Abu Dhabi. Top seed Sofia Kenin, who plays No. 13 seed Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in the third round Sunday, is the only American player left in singles. 

Christian Harrison is having a great start to 2021, reaching his first ATP quarterfinal with a 7-6(3), 6-2 win over top seed Cristian Garin of Chile at the ATP 250 in Delray Beach. Harrison, who got into the qualifying of the tournament by using a protected ranking after being out for most of 2019 and 2020 with injuries, is currently ranked 789, with a career-high of 198 in July of 2018. Garin is No. 22 in the ATP rankings, and it is the first ATP Top 100 win for the 26-year-old Harrison since way back in 2013. Harrison will face Gianluca Mager of Italy, who upset No. 6 seed and former champion Sam Querrey 7-6(8), 6-1.

Sebastian Korda, who had such a big breakthrough back in October at the French Open, continues his march to the ATP Top 100, beating No. 5 seed Tommy Paul 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 tonight in Delray Beach. It's the first ATP quarterfinal for the 20-year-old Korda as well, with his opponent either No. 2 seed John Isner, whom he defeated in Paris, or Thiago Monteiro of Brazil, with that match yet tonight.