Monday, February 8, 2021

Blanch Top Seed at ITF Grade 1 in Ecuador; Fruhvirtova Earns First Two ITF Women's Titles; George Washington Cancels Men's Tennis Season; 17 Americans on Tuesday's Australian Open Schedule

The first 2021 Grade 1 in the Americas is underway in Salinas Ecuador, with plenty of US juniors making the trip for the South American swing this month and early next month. 

Dali Blanch is the top seed in the boys draw, with Alexander Bernard and Bruno Kuzuhara seeded No. 3 and No. 4 respectively. Other US boys in the 32-player draw: Ozan Colak, Samir Banerjee, Jack Anthrop[6], Victor Lilov and qualifier Aidan Kim.

The US girls in the draw are No. 3 seed Madison Sieg, Valencia Xu, Rebecca Lynn, Qavia Lopez, Clervie Ngounoue and qualifiers Leyden Games and Madeleine Jessup. Oceane Babel of France is the top seed in the girls draw. 

The ITF website has published this overview of the South American junior circuit.

Fifteen-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic won the singles and doubles titles, her first on the ITF Women's World Tennis Tour circuit, at the $15,000 tournament in Tunisia last week. The third-seeded Fruhvirtova, who had reached the final at a $25K in Hamburg last month and at a $15K in Tunisia in December, defeated No. 6 seed Manon Arcangioli 7-6(5), 7-5 in the singles final, and partnered with 17-year-old Maria Timofeeva of Russia for the doubles title. The No. 4 seeds defeated unseeded Nina Radovanovic of France and Sopiko Tsitskishvili of Georgia 6-1, 6-2 in the final. 

George Washington, which announced this summer it was dropping its men's tennis team after this season, has pulled the plug already, when many players transferred out. This article provides quotes from Jakub Behun, the only tennis player still at the school, and Gabriel Hurtado, who transferred to UNC-Wilmington.

Day two of the Australian Open is underway, with 17 Americans on Tuesday's (tonight's) schedule. I'll update the results from Australian Tuesday below, and will also post them Tuesday.

AO results for Americans in Tuesday's first round: (10-6)

Sofia Kenin[4] d. Maddison Inglis[WC](AUS) 7-5, 6-4

Jessica Pegula d. Victoria Azarenka[12](BLR) 7-5, 6-4

Belinda Bencic[11](SUI) d. Lauren Davis 6-3, 4-6, 6-1

Coco Gauff d. Jil Teichmann(SUI) 6-3, 6-2

Shelby Rogers d.  Francesca Jones[Q](GBR) 6-4, 6-1

Madison Brengle d. Arina Rodionova[WC](AUS) 6-1, 6-2

Yulia Putinseva[26](KAZ) d. Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 

Ann Li d. Shuai Zhang[31](CHN) 6-2, 6-0

Danielle Collins d. Ana Bogdan(ROU) 6-3, 6-1

Nadia Podoroska(ARG) d. Christina McHale 6-4, 6-4 

Lin Zhu(CHN) d. Whitney Osuigwe[Q] 6-1, 6-1

Jennifer Brady[22] d. Aliona Bolsova(ESP) 6-1, 6-3

Alex De Minaur[21](AUS) d. Tennys Sandgren 7-5, 6-1, 6-1

Mackenzie McDonald d. Marco Cecchinato(ITA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Tommy Paul d. Nikoloz Basilashvili(GEO) 6-4, 7-6(0), 6-4

Michael Mmoh[Q] d. Viktor Troicki[Q](SRB) 7-6(3), 6-7(3), 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-5

Lorenzo Sonego[31](ITA) d. Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 

AO results for Americans in Monday’s first round (7-2):

Venus Williams d. Kirsten Flipkens(BEL) 7-5, 6-2

Serena Williams[10] d. Laura Siegemund(GER) 6-1, 6-1

Bernarda Pera d. Angelique Kerber[23](GER) 6-0, 6-4

Anastasia Potapova(RUS) d. Alison Riske[24] 6-2, 6-1

Alexander Zverev[6](GER) d. Marcos Giron  6-7(8), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2

Frances Tiafoe d. Stefano Travaglia(ITA) 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-2

Reilly Opelka d. Yen-Hsun Lu(TPE) 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3

Taylor Fritz[27] d. Albert Ramos-Vinolas(ESP) 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(6)

Maxime Cressy[Q] d. Taro Daniel[LL](JPN) 7-6(1), 7-6(3), 6-4