Explore the Junior Tennis Champions Center's high performance program by clicking on the banner above

Thursday, February 11, 2021

ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships Moved to San Diego; Kuzuhara, Sieg and Xu Advance to Ecuador Grade 1 Semifinals; Two US Men, Five US Women into Australian Open Third Round

More big news on the United States junior tennis front today, with the confirmation that the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships will take place as scheduled the week of March 22. There are some changes however, starting with the location, which has been in Carson California since the tournament's inception in 2005. Although the ITF calendar still shows the city as Carson, the 2021 tournament will take place at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, home of the USTA Girls 16s and 18s National Championships. As was the case at last year's Orange Bowl, the fields have been reduced from 64 to 48 for both the singles main draw and qualifying and from a 32 to a 24 team doubles draw. Unlike the Orange Bowl, there will be no 16s tournament at the ISC, which had been part of the tournament since the beginning. The deadline for entry is March 2. For more information about the tournament, see the official website.

The Grade B1 Easter Bowl the following week is showing on the ITF junior circuit calendar with a site to be determined, but there is a good chance that will also be at Barnes, although that is not official. When I have more information on that tournament, and the status of younger divisions of the Easter Bowl, I'll certainly pass it along.

The singles semifinals of the ITF Grade 1 in Ecuador features three Americans, with No. 4 seed Bruno Kuzuhara advancing in the boys draw and No. 3 seed Madison Sieg and Valencia Xu meeting for a place in the final.  Kuzuhara defeated Ozan Colak 6-3, 6-2, while Xu followed up her second round win over top seed Oceane Babel of France with a 6-3, 6-4 decision over unseeded Lola Radivojevic of Serbia. Sieg defeated unseeded Laia Petretic of France 6-4. 6-2. 

The boys doubles title will go to an American team, with top seeds Dali Blanch and Alexander Bernard taking on No. 3 seeds Kuzuhara and Victor Lilov in the final. In the girls doubles final, unseeded Clervie Ngounoue and her partner Chelsea Fontenel of Switzerland will face No. 3 seeds Anaelle Leclercq of France and Radka Zelnickova of Slovakia.

Seven of the 26 Americans who started the Australian Open are still alive, but not 2020 champion Sofia Kenin, who lost to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-3, 6-2. Mackenzie McDonald, the 2016 NCAA singles champion at UCLA, took out No. 22 seed Borna Coric of Croatia 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the third round of a slam for the second time. If you need a refresher on the injuries that forced McDonald to use a protected ranking for entry in this event, see this article from tennis.com.

AO results for Americans in Friday's third round:

Aryna Sabalenka[7](BLR) d. Ann Li 6-3, 6-1 

Serena Williams[10] d. Anastasia Potapova(RUS) 7-6(5), 6-2

Novak Djokovic[1](SRB) d. Taylor Fritz[27] 7-6(1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2

AO results for Americans in Thursday's second round:

Karolina Pliskova[6](CZE) d. Danielle Collins 7-5, 6-2

Kaia Kanepi(EST) d. Sofia Kenin[4] 6-3, 6-2 

Elina Svitolina[5](UKR) d. Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-3 

Jessica Pegula d. Samantha Stosur[WC](AUS) 6-0, 6-1

Jennifer Brady[22] d. Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-2

Shelby Rogers d. Olga Danilovic[Q](SRB) 6-2, 6-3

Rafael Nadal[2](ESP) d. Michael Mmoh[Q] 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 

Mackenzie McDonald d. Borna Coric[22](CRO) 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Casper Ruud[24](NOR) d. Tommy Paul 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 


Brian de villiers said...

I actually think the USTA is trying tO kill American tennis