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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Kuzuhara, Lilov Advance to Third Round at French Open Junior Championships, Mixed Doubles Final for Krawczyk and Salisbury; Wichita $25K and Orlando Challenger Underway; Date Change for USTA Girls 16s and 18s Nationals

No. 2 seed Bruno Kuzuhara and unseeded Victor Lilov won their first junior slam matches Monday at the French Open and continued their success today, with the two 17-year-olds joining Robin Montgomery and Madison Sieg, who advanced yesterday, in the round of 16.

Kuzuhara, coming off a quarterfinal showing at a $15,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournament in Finland last week, defeated Mili Poljicak of Croatia 6-4, 6-3, coming from 3-1 down in both sets to earn the win. Lilov won a battle of former Les Petits As champions, with the American, who claimed the title in 2018, advancing when Italy's Luca Nardi, the 2017 Les Petits As champion, retired down 6-2, 2-2. Nardi also withdrew from doubles today, indicating an injury rather than illness. Lilov is also through to the doubles quarterfinals. He and partner Peter Privara defeated Ethan Quinn and Hong Kong's Coleman Wong 3-6, 6-4, 10-6 in second round action today. 

The only seeded girl to lose today was No. 8 Natalia Szabanin of Hungary, who went out to Ane Mintegi Del Olmo of Spain 6-1, 6-4. (Correction: No. 10 seed Maria Bondarenko also went out, losing to 2020 quarterfinalist Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic). All boys seeded in singles who played today won their matches. The French boys have been impressive, with six of them through to the round of 16; five Russian girls have advanced to the girls third round.

Tuesday's second round junior singles results of Americans:
Kristina Dmitruk[7](BLR) d. Ashlyn Krueger 6-1, 6-4
Diana Shnaider[4](RUS) d. Clervie Ngounoue 7-5, 7-6(5)
Bruno Kuzuhara[2] d. Mili Poljicak(CRO) 6-4, 6-3
Victor Lilov d. Luca Nardi 6-2, 2-2, ret.

Wednesday's third round junior singles matches featuring Americans:
Victor Lilov v Daniel Rincon[8](ESP)
Bruno Kuzuhara[2] v Arthur Fils[14](FRA)
Madison Sieg[13] v Polina Kudermetova[3](RUS)
Robin Montgomery[5] v Michaela Laki(GRE)

After reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open mixed doubles this year, Desirae Krawczyk and Great Britain's Joe Salisbury have done one better at the French Open, advancing to the final when Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia and Giuliana Olmos(USC) of Mexico gave the former college stars a walkover. Krawczyk, who played at Arizona State, and Salisbury, who played at Memphis, will face Russians Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina for the title. Neither team is seeded. For more on Salisbury, who is trying to break a lengthy streak of British futility in Paris, see this article from the BBC. 

The USTA Pro Circuit features two men's event this week, the ATP Challenger 80 in Orlando and a $25,000 tournament in Wichita Kansas. NCAA champion Sam Riffice, who received a wild card, won his first round match Monday, defeating No. 4 seed and former ATP Top 40 player Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-2, 6-4. With JC Aragone(Virginia) beating top seed Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan yesterday, and No. 2 seed Jason Jung(Michigan) of Taiwan going out to Nicolas Jarry of Chile, No. 3 seed Jenson Brooksby(Baylor) is the only top 4 seed remaining after the first round. Little Rock Challenger champion Jack Sock lost to No. 8 seed Mitchell Krueger 6-2, 7-5 today. 

Qualifying concluded today in Wichita, with just two Americans, Preston Brown and Matt Kuhar, advancing to the main draw. Fifteen additional Americans received direct entry, including wild cards Trent Bryde(Georgia), Joshua Ortlip(Cal Poly), Samuel Beren(Harvard) and Axel Nefve(Notre Dame). Rio Noguchi of Japan is the top seed, with Genaro Olivieri of Argentina seeded second.

The plans for the USTA Nationals in August are still in flux but the USTA Playtennis site for the Girls 18s and 16s Nationals is now showing an earlier set of dates for the 16s: Wednesday August 4th through Wednesday August 11th. The 18s is scheduled for Sunday August 8th through Sunday August 15th. Draw sizes will remain, as they have been recently, at 256, with first round byes for the top 32 seeds. The Boys 18s and 16s Nationals dates adhere to the traditional schedule, beginning on Friday August 6th and ending on Sunday August 15th. Registration opens Thursday for all divisions.