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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Montgomery Advances to French Open Girls Quarterfinals, Four Americans Reach Doubles Quarterfinals; Riffice Wins Again at Orlando Challenger; Nanda Downs Top Seed in Wichita $25K

French boys and Russian girls make up half of the singles quarterfinalists at the French Open Junior Championships, with just one American, Robin Montgomery, earning a third round victory today.

Robin Montgomery at French Junior Championships
(with doubles partner Clervie Ngounoue)

Montgomery, the No. 5 seed, was at the top of her game today, overpowering unseeded Michaela Laki of Greece 6-2, 6-0 to reach her second junior slam quarterfinal. The 16-year-old from Washington DC will face fellow left-hander Diana Shnaider of Russia, the No. 4 seed, who is in the quarterfinals of a junior slam for the first time. 

Top seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, the third left-hander still alive in the top half of the draw, will face unseeded Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic Thursday. Neither has lost a set to this point.

Unseeded Erika Andreeva and No. 3 seed Polina Kudermetova will play an all-Russia quarterfinal, after Andreeva defeated No. 6 seed Oceane Babel of France 6-2, 6-3 and Kudermetova, a semifinalist in Paris last fall, came back to beat No. 13 seed Madison Sieg 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. The fourth Russian girl, No. 9 seed Oksana Selekhmeteva, yet another left-hander, emerged from the tightest girls third round match, beating No. 7 seed Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. She will face unseeded Mara Guth of Germany in the bottom quarterfinal.

The match of the day on the boys side saw top seed Juncheng "Jerry" Shang win his fourth three-setter of the tournament, with the 16-year-old from China beating Bjorn Borg's son Leo Borg 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4). When he won the Easter Bowl in April, Shang was willing to come to the net to finish points on the hard courts, but he has been content to grind down his opposition this week.  How much gas he'll have in the tank for his quarterfinal against No. 9 seed Sean Cuenin, who also reached the quarterfinals in last fall's edition of the French Junior Championships, is an interesting question.

The four French players remaining are all in separate quarters, with the opportunity for all four to reach the semifinals. No. 13 Luca Van Assche defeated No. 3 seed Pedro Boascardin Dias of Brazil and will face the only unseeded boy remaining in the draw, Daniel Merida Aguilar of Spain. 

No. 5 seed Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard of France will take on No. 16 seed Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine, and in the bottom quarter No. 8 seed Daniel Rincon of Spain will face No. 14 seed Arthur Fils of France.

Rincon defeated unseeded Victor Lilov 6-3, 6-3 and Fils, the reigning Orange Bowl champion, beat No. 2 seed Bruno Kuzuhara 6-4, 7-6(2). A large crowd, a rarity since the restart, was vocal in its support of Fils, and he encouraged them to get even louder on several occasions.

The doubles quarterfinals are also set for Thursday, with four Americans still alive. No. 7 seeds Ozan Colak and Samir Banerjee defeated Matthew Donald of the Czech Republic and Mili Poljicak of Croatia 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the boys quarterfinals. Lilov and his partner Peter Privara of Slovakia had reached the quarterfinals with a win on Tuesday.  Top seeds Mark Lajal of Estonia and Jack Pinnington Jones of Great Britain lost today to Bielinskyi and Petr Nesterov of Bulgaria 6-4, 2-6, 10-7.  The only other seeded boys team remaining is No. 4 Fils and Mpetshi Perricard, who play Colak and Banerjee.

Victoria Xu and her partner Mei Hasegawa of Japan defeated Ashlyn Krueger and Sieg 6-1, 6-7(5), 10-4 to reach the quarterfinals. Unlike the boys draw, the top 3 seeds in the girls doubles draw have all reached the quarterfinals.

In the women's quarterfinals, Coco Gauff lost to Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 7-6(6), 6-3. 

Wednesday's third round junior singles results of Americans:
Daniel Rincon[8](ESP) d. Victor Lilov 6-3, 6-3
Arthur Fils[14](FRA) d. Bruno Kuzuhara[2] 6-4, 7-6(2)
Polina Kudermetova[3](RUS) d. Madison Sieg[13] 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
Robin Montgomery[5] d. Michaela Laki(GRE) 6-2, 6-0

Thursday's quarterfinal junior matches featuring Americans:
Robin Montgomery[5] v Diana Shnaider[4](RUS)
Mei Hasegawa(JPN)/Valencia Xu v Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva(AND)/Linda Noskova(CZE)[3]
Samir Banerjee/Ozan Colak[7] v Arthur Fils(FRA)/Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard(FRA)[4]
Peter Privara(SVK)/Victor Lilov v Mans Dahlberg(SWE)/Adam Jurajda(CZE)

NCAA singles champion Sam Riffice won again today at the ATP 80 Challenger at the USTA National Campus. Riffice, who is playing his first pro event of the year, defeated former South Florida star Roberto Cid of the Dominican Republic 6-2, 6-2 to advance to his second career Challenger quarterfinal. The previous Challenger where he quarterfinaled, in 2019, was also played on the National Campus. Riffice and his former Florida teammate Oliver Crawford also reached the doubles quarterfinals today, with the wild cards beating No. 2 seeds Dennis Novikov and Goncalo Oliveira of Portugal 6-2, 4-6, 10-4. Riffice has the day off in singles Thursday, before he faces Ulises Blanch on Friday, but will play in doubles.

Matches are scheduled deep into the evening at the USTA men's Pro Circuit $25,000 tournament in Wichita Kansas, but there has already been a major surprise, with UCLA junior Govind Nanda defeating top seed Rio Noguchi of Japan 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Wild card Joshua Ortlip(Cal Poly), Alex Sarkissian[3](Pepperdine), Gage Brymer[7](UCLA) and Patrick Kypson(Texas A&M) are other Americans who have advanced to the second round with wins today.