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Friday, June 4, 2021

June Aces; All Remaining US Men Exit French Open; Chavatipon Reaches Dominican Republic $25K Semifinals; Krueger Ousts Top Seed at Little Rock Challenger

The NCAA championships are always the focus of tennis in May, at least for me, so my monthly Aces column for the Tennis Recruiting Network features the singles champions for Division I and Division III (Division II does not have an individual), as well as an overview of all the team champions crowned last month. It was also a banner month for juniors winning multiple titles on the ITF Junior Circuit, and two of the most prominent teenagers in the sport, Coco Gauff and Carlos Alcaraz, are included for their accomplishments last month. Both are still alive in Paris as the second week approaches.

Today's French Open third round action featured four American men, and although none were favored, it's disappointing that all lost today, leaving the US without a men's representative in the fourth round. Neither Reilly Opelka or Steve Johnson could muster a set against their seeded opponents, and Marcos Giron and John Isner were able to win only one set against the opposition.

The only American to win today was Serena Williams, who beat Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-4 to advance to a fourth round meeting with No. 21 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan. 

Five American women are in action Saturday in Paris, but only three, at most, can advance, with Sofia Kenin playing Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff taking on Jennifer Brady.

Friday's third round matches results of Americans:

Victoria Azarenka[15](BLR) d. Madison Keys[23] 6-2, 6-2
Serena Williams[7] d. Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-4
Stefanos Tsitsipas[5](GRE) d. John Isner[31] 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-1
Daniil Medvedev[2](RUS) d. Reilly Opelka[32] 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
Pablo Carreno Busta[12](ESP) d. Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
Cristian Garin[22](CHI) d. Marcos Giron 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2

Saturday's third round matches featuring Americans:

Sofia Kenin[4] v Jessica Pegula[28]
Coco Gauff[24] v Jennifer Brady[13]
Sloane Stephens v Karolina Muchova[18](CZE)

University of Texas freshman Charlotte Chavatipon continued her run at the $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournament in the Dominican Republic, reaching the semifinals with a rain-interrupted 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over former Vanderbilt All-American Fernanda Contreras of Mexico today in Santo Domingo. Chavatipon, who won three matches in qualifying, has reached the final of a $15K previously, but this is new territory for the 19-year-old from California at the $25K level. Chavatipon, just two weeks removed from winning the NCAA team title in Lake Nona, will face top seed Conny Perrin of Switzerland, who defeated Pepperdine's Jessica Failla today 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Former Georgia star Maria Carle of Argentina will play Andrea Gamiz of Venezuela in the other semifinal; Perrin is the only seed remaining.

In the men's $25,000 ITF WTT in Santo Domingo also features one American in the semifinals, former Baylor star Roy Smith. Smith defeated No. 5 seed Calvin Hemery of France 6-4, 6-2 in today's quarterfinals and will face No. 8 seed Aidan McHugh of Great Britain, who defeated qualifier Kyle Seelig(Ohio State) by the same score.  No. 6 seed Nick Hardt of the Dominican Republic will play Nicolas Kicker of Argentina in the other men's semifinal.

At the ATP Challenger 80 in Little Rock, Mitchell Krueger defeated top seed Jason Jung(Michigan) of Taiwan 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals, where the No. 5 seed will face the winner of tonight's match between Jack Sock and No. 6 seed Thai Kwiatkowski(Virginia). No. 3 seed Emilio Gomez(USC) of Ecuador (one of last month's Aces) is through to the semifinals, where he'll face unseeded Goncalo Oliveira of Portugal, who advanced when Oliver Crawford(Florida) retired at 1-6, 7-5, 2-0 ret. Crawford had a match point with Oliveira serving at 4-5 in the second set.