Monday, September 20, 2021

Girls Top Seed Out at ITF J5 in Texas; Oviedo Earns First ITF Junior Circuit Title in Nicaragua; Recent UTR Pro Tennis Tour Results

The ITF Junior Circuit's fall hard court swing in the United States began today at a J5 in McKinney Texas. The two lower-level events on this swing have stayed in Texas (they have been in various cities in that state over the years) even as the ITF JB1 which concludes it moved from Tulsa Oklahoma in 2018 and is now an indoor tournament in Nicholasville Kentucky. It is disappointing to see this tournament as a 32 draw, but next week's tournament, a J4 in Corpus Christi, is a 64-player draw, which is what these events have been in the past. 

Three of the boys who competed at Les Petits As in France earlier this month played qualifying in McKinney over the weekend; all three lost, but Maxwell Exsted and Darwin Blanch made the main draw as lucky losers and both won their first round matches today. 

Kalamazoo 16s finalist Lucas Brown is the boys top seed and will play Blanch in the second round.

The top seed in the girls draw, Sophie Williams, lost to qualifier Ava Bruno 6-2, 7-5 in today's first round. Bruno is one of three qualifiers to advance, as did lucky loser Cenan Liu of Canada.

Last week at the J5 in Nicaragua, Aida Oviedo won her first ITF junior circuit title, taking the singles championship. The 15-year-old from Las Vegas, seeded No. 3, defeated No. 7 seed Maria Araoz-Gosn 6-3, 6-0 in an all-USA final. Leah Kuruville won the girls doubles title, partnering with Anika Maldonado of Guatemala. The top seeds defeated Oviedo and her partner, Linda Segura of the US, the No. 2 seeds, 6-4, 6-0 in the final.

At the J5 in Azerbaijan, 17-year-old Baylen Brown won her first ITF Junior Circuit title in girls doubles, with partner Maria Pukhina of Russia. The No. 3 seeds took the trophy when their opponents retired leading 2-1 in the first set.

Two US girls reached the finals of J3s in Europe. Sonya Macavei, seeded No. 3, lost to top seed Irina Balus of Slovakia 6-0, 6-1 in the final in Spain and Lara Smejkal, the No. 6 seed, lost to No. 8 seed Andrea Obradovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-0 in the final in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This week features the rescheduled J1 in Belgium, which has always been before the French Open in the spring. Two Americans are in the draws: Sebastian Sec and Krystal Blanch. As the 15 seed, Blanch has a bye. Sec won his first round match today. US Open boys doubles champion Coleman Wong of Hong Kong is the top boys seed; Sofia Costoulas of Belgium is the No. 1 girls seed.

It's been over a month since I posted results from the UTR Pro Tennis Tour in the United States, so here's the latest. Marcela Zacarias continues to collect titles and prize money, but others have been able to break through, with the winners receiving $3475, and the finalists $1750.  For the results from May through early August, see this post

August 23 New York
Tatiana Makarova d. Jessica Livianu 5-7, 7-5, 6-0

August 23 Newport Beach
Marcela Zacarias d. Solymar Colling 6-4, 6-1

August 30 Dallas
Marcela Zacarias d. McCartney Kessler 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

September 6 Bradenton

Sophie Chang d. Anastasia Sysoeva 6-3, 6-2

September 12 Bradenton
Ena Koike d. Anastasia Sysoeva 3-6, 6-1, 6-3

September 12 Dallas
Quinn Gleason d. Marcela Zacarias 7-5, 6-4

August 16 Naples

Jake Van Emburgh d. Jorge Panta 2-6, 6-3, 6-3

August 22 Newport Beach
Tristan Boyer d. Raymond Sarmiento 6-3, 6-4

August 23 Naples
Jorge Panta d. Matthew Segura 6-3, 6-5 ret.

August 29 Newport Beach
Tristan Boyer d. Drew Baird 6-3, 6-4

August 30 Dallas
Luc Fomba d. Evan Zhu 7-6(3), 6-7(1), 7-5

September 6 Bradenton
Kiranpal Pannu d. Rubin Statham 1-0 ret.

September 12 Bradenton

Michal Lusovsky d. Michal Schmid 7-6(2). 3-6, 6-2

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Damm Claims First Pro Singles Title in Champaign; Krueger Wins A Second Challenger in Cary; Three Americans Qualify at WTA 125 in Columbus

Martin Damm gave himself an early birthday present this week, claiming his first Professional Circuit singles title today at the $15,000 USTA men's tournament in Champaign Illinois. Damm, who will turn 18 on September 30th, was the No. 2 seed this week, and one of the few non-collegiate players in the draw, and he was no stranger to ITF or USTA Pro Circuit finals, having made the final of a $25K in Naples Florida two years ago and a $15K in Croatia this spring. With three pro doubles titles already this year on the surface, and one in 2020, Damm has had his best results on clay, so this one, on the hard courts at the University of Illinois stands out.

Baylor junior Adrian Boitan made Damm work for it, today, with the unseeded Romanian forcing a third set after nearly two hours of play. But Damm, who had to be disappointed in his round of 32 loss as the No. 2 seed in Kalamazoo last month, came from a break down in the the third set, hitting seven of his 12 aces, to earn his first singles title on the pro circuit. His semifinal win over John McNally Saturday took three hours and 13 minutes, so he has to be happy with his fitness in taking the final five games of his 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory.

The ATP Challenger 80 in Cary North Carolina finished the same way as the Challenger there in July, with Mitchell Krueger as the champion. The 27-year-old, seeded sixth, defeated No. 2 seed Denis Kudla in the semifinals last night 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(2) and came back this afternoon to beat No. 8 seed Bjorn Fratangelo 6-4, 6-3. Fratangelo had also prevailed in a long, tough semifinal last night, beating former University of Illinois star Aleks Vukic of Australia 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-2.

Krueger is projected to reach a new career high with his second Challenger title of the summer, moving to 156. His previous career-high was 159 in February of 2019, after he won the Dallas Challenger.

The qualifying is complete for the WTA 125 in Columbus Ohio, with three Americans reaching the main draw: Alexa Glatch, Louisa Chirico and Danielle Lao(USC). Priscilla Hon of Australia is the fourth qualifier. 

Three main draw matches were played today as well, with No. 5 seed Lauren Davis defeating Usue Arconada 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3, Caroline Dolehide losing to No. 6 seed Renata Zarazua 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(8), and Coco Vandeweghe taking out wild card Peyton Stearns, a sophomore at the University of Texas, 6-2, 6-4.

Wild card Elvina Kalieva, the US Open girls doubles finalist, will face her first WTA Top 100 player tomorrow: No. 2 seed Nuria Parrizas-Diaz of Spain, who is No. 88 in the rankings.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Kalamazoo Finals Videos; Blumberg and Schnur Win Cary Challenger Doubles Title; Damm and Boitan Reach Champaign $15K Final; Columbus Challenger, WTA 125 Wild Cards

It's the first weekend since late July that I haven't been at or traveling to a tournament, so I finally had the opportunity to process the videos from last month's finals in Kalamazoo. 

The Tennis Recruiting Network's Bill Kallenberg also created a photo gallery from Kalamazoo, with more than 100 photos. 

It's rare to have your first professional doubles title come at the ATP level, but Will Blumberg's title with Jack Sock in Newport back in July was that rarity.  Today, the recent North Carolina grad got his second pro title, at the ATP Cary Challenger, partnering with former Columbia star Max Schnur. Blumberg and Schnur, who were unseeded, beat top seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Nick Monroe in the first round, No. 4 seeds Christian Harrison and Dennis Novikov in the semifinals and today, unseeded Stefan Kozlov and Canadian Peter Polansky 6-4, 1-6, 10-4.

Schnur, who is 28, had a dozen titles coming into this week, with a career-high ATP doubles ranking of 95 back in 2017. 

The singles semifinals are now underway in Cary, with Mitchell Krueger facing No. 2 seed Denis Kudla, followed tonight by Aleks Vukic(Illinois) against Bjorn Fratangelo. Vukic defeated Kalamazoo champion Zachary Svajda 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Friday.

Live streaming is available here.

The singles final at the $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign Illinois Sunday will feature 17-year-old Martin Damm and Baylor junior Adrian Boitan of Romania. Damm, the No. 2 seed, defeated John McNally(Ohio State) 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-3 in a three-hour-plus battle of former Kalamazoo 16s champions (McNally 2014, Damm 2018). The unseeded Boitan defeated Ohio State junior Cannon Kingsley 6-4, 6-4. The 22-year-old Boitan will be appearing in his first Pro Circuit singles final, while Damm is looking to win his first title after two previous losses in the finals, both on clay.

The fourth-seeded team of Karlis Ozolins, a freshman at Illinois, and Kweisi Kenyatte, a senior at Illinois, won the doubles title today, defeating Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State) and Ryan Shane(Virginia) 7-5, 2-6, 10-7. It's the first pro circuit title for both Ozolins and Kenyatte.

The ATP Challenger circuit moves to Columbus next week, where it combines with a new WTA 125 event. I received an email Thursday with this information on wild cards:

The qualifying has begun for the women, with Yu and Cantos losing their first matches today.

WTA 125 Wildcards:
Katrina Scott (Main Draw), Peyton Stearns (Main Draw), Elsa Jacquemot (Main Draw), Elvina Kalieva (Main Draw), Eleana Yu (Qualification), Irina Cantos Siemers (Qualification).

ATP Challenger Tour Wildcards:
Matej Vocel (Main Draw), Cannon Kingsley (Main Draw), JJ Tracy (Main Draw), James Trotter (Qualification), Justin Boulais (Qualification), Jake Van Emburgh (Qualification).

Friday, September 17, 2021

My US Open Junior Championships Recap; Notes and Observations From New York; College Stars, Damm Reach Champaign $15K Semifinals

If you didn't follow my daily coverage of the US Open junior championships herelast week or at the ITF Junior Circuit website, my wrap-up today for the Tennis Recruiting Network is a good synopsis of the titles by Robin Montgomery and Daniel Rincon in singles, with coverage of the doubles champions as well.

When I'm on-site at an event (and this was the first junior slam I had covered in person in two years, since the 2019 US Open juniors), I don't have time to report on the incidental information or observations that pop up unexpectedly, so today I'm going to pass along some of those things from last week's tournament.

While I did not like doing my junior interviews on Zoom when we were all on-site (an outside alternative was certainly doable), I still believe that actually being in New York to watch matches was worthwhile. Although I did not watch an entire junior match from start to finish until the finals, I still was able to ask better questions and get a better feel for the match when I was sitting courtside, rather than watching a live stream. 

I was the only credentialed journalist on-site who requested interviews with juniors for daily articles, regardless of their nationality, but in a discussion with the employees at the USTA who arranged the interviews, I learned which countries were likely to care about the progress of their juniors. Those mentioned to me were Belgium, France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.  This, of course, assumes that they had juniors in the tournament to begin with, but that is not the four countries I would have guessed. 

The quality of English that the international juniors speak astounds me. It wasn't so long ago that it was rolling the dice when requesting an interview with a player from a non-English speaking country, but now juniors who are not fluent in English are a rarity. Three of the four junior finalists--from China, Belarus and Spain--were speaking English as a second language, but all three provided great insight and nuance in their interviews. Monolingual as I am, I have nothing but admiration for the skill and work that it takes to master another language, when becoming a world class tennis player is obviously their top priority.

The community of tennis journalists is a small one, and my interactions with those who focus on the professional side of the sport are usually limited to Wimbledon and the US Open, the two major tournaments that I have covered regularly, in person, for many years. Although many of those I have come to know over the years were not there, due to the drastic reduction in journalists the USTA imposed this year, I did have an opportunity to talk, face-to-face (mask-to-mask) with those who, in the past, have expressed an interest in the junior game. Those random, what-do-you-know-about-x in-person conversations I had with (shameless name-dropping alert) Jon Wertheim, Peter Bodo, Liz Clarke, Ben Rothenburg, Chris Clarey, David Kane, Victoria Chiesa, Courtney Nguyen and Mary Carillo illustrated to me just how much I've missed those interactions in the past two years of media covid cancellations/restrictions. 

I also enjoyed talking with Nick McCarvel, Blair Henley, Marc Lucero, Brad Stine and Mike Cation, who were working for either the world feed for ESPN or US Open radio, or, in Blair's case, as an on-court master of ceremonies. And that leads me into another topic, which is the fantastic option that fans now have to watch any and every match they want to see via ESPN+. There is no better bargain out there (well, maybe the free Challenger streams) than a $6.99 a month ESPN subscription, which can be canceled at any time, and provides access to all courts at a slam. Every tennis fan who can't, or isn't comfortable with traveling to slams, has to be grateful for that option.

Speaking of world feed commentators, I ran into Bradley Klahn, who was doing some of that work, while also preparing to resume his professional career. The 2010 NCAA champion at Stanford, who reached 63 in the ATP rankings despite chronic back problems, intends to return to competitive tennis, although he said he has no firm time frame or schedule. He is hitting now, and hopes to get medical clearance to return for 2022.

The trend of increasing prize money for earlier rounds at slams has meant the decision about turning pro extends to those who lost in qualifying as well. San Diego 18s finalist Reese Brantmeier, who won two rounds in qualifying, earned $42,000, which she can't accept if she wishes to retain her NCAA eligibility. Brantmeier, who is a senior, although she doesn't turn 17 until next month, said she had not decided whether to take the money, saying she still had "a lot of time. I want to see how this week goes, how the rest of the year goes, and go from there."

The ballrunners at the US Open are great. Period. Much respect to their supervisors and trainers, who gave them the structure and feedback that resulted in uniformly outstanding performances day-in, day-out, regardless of the court assignment.

I will be writing an article later this month about the Electronic Line Calling System used in all matches, and how the juniors felt about it, but overall, it was popular and, by mid-week, no longer a novelty for anyone, players or fans.

All told, it was a great tournament, and although I didn't like the draw size reduction, at all, I am grateful I had the opportunity to cover a junior slam again in person. Here's hoping that option is available to me again in 2022.


The singles semifinals are set for the $15,000 men's Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign, Illinois. Three current or recent collegians, plus 17-year-old Martin Damm, will play Saturday for a place in the finals, while the Illinois team of Karlis Ozolins and Kweisi Kenyatte have reached the doubles final.

Recent Ohio State graduate John McNally, the No. 5 seed, defeated No. 3 seed Omni Kumar(Duke) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 and will take on No. 2 seed Damm, who beat Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State) 7-6(3), 6-4.  

In the top half, Ohio State junior Cannon Kingsley will face Baylor junior Adrian Boitan, with both unseeded. Kingsley defeated qualifier Drew Baird(UCLA) 6-0, 6-3, while Boitan took out Dali Blanch 6-3, 6-2.

Ozolins and Kenyatte, the No. 4 seeds, will play unseeded Ryan Shane and Ponwith in the doubles final Saturday. Shane and Ponwith prevented an all-Illini final when they defeated No. 3 seed Alex Brown and Zeke Clark 7-5, 1-6, 15-13 in today's semifinals.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Blanch Reaches First Pro Circuit Quarterfinal; Svajda Advances at Cary Challenger; Preseason No. 1s Missing From ITA All-American Championships Acceptance Lists

The quarterfinals are set for the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign Illinois, with 18-year-old Dali Blanch advancing to his first pro circuit quarterfinal today with a 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over unseeded AJ Catanzariti(Texas A&M). Blanch went 0-5 this spring in $15K first rounds in Argentina and Turkey this spring, but he picked up first round wins in two $15Ks in Italy in June, and now has two wins this week. 

He will face Baylor junior Adrian Boitan of Romania, who took out No. 6 seed and ITA singles No. 1 Liam Draxl of Canada 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. 

Qualifier Drew Baird(UCLA) will play Cannon Kingsley(Ohio State) in the other top half quarterfinal. In the bottom half, No. 2 seed Martin Damm meets Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State), and in the only quarterfinal that reflects the seeding, No. 5 seed John McNally(Ohio State) will play No. 3 seed Omni Kumar(Duke).

Zachary Svajda, the two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion, advanced to his first Challenger quarterfinal today in Cary North Carolina, defeating qualifier Rinky Hijikata(North Carolina) of Australia 7-5, 6-3. When it counted, Svajda simply did not miss, converting all four of his break points. He will face former Illinois start Aleks Vukic of Australia, who beat No. 3 seed Salvatore Caruso of Italy 6-2, 6-4 Wednesday.  It was announced today that Svajda has received a qualifying wild card into next week's San Diego Open, an ATP 250 event added recently as a warmup for Indian Wells.

Bjorn Fratangelo plays the winner of tonight's match between Ryan Peniston(Memphis) and Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech), Mitchell Krueger plays Max Purcell of Australia and No. 7 seed Michael Mmoh meets No. 2 seed Denis Kudla in the other quarterfinals.

The ITA All-American Championships, which were not played last fall due to the pandemic, are coming up next month, and the ITA released the selections last week.

The men's tournament, which remains in Tulsa, begins with pre-qualifying on Saturday October 2, followed by qualifying Monday, October 4 and main draw Wednesday October 6, with the finals scheduled for Sunday October 10.

Forty-six players are on the main draw selection list, so with 16 qualifiers, there are two yet to be added to fill the 64-player draw. The list does not include, of the preseason Top 10, Draxl[1] or Duarte Vale[4] of Florida, but does include the 2021 NCAA champion Sam Riffice of Florida and Daniel Rodrigues of South Carolina.

The wild cards have been announced, with Washington's Clement Chidekh of France, who has had outstanding results this summer, receiving the ITA wild card. Jacob Bickersteth of Michigan earned his wild card by winning the ITA Summer Championships last month, and Alex Reco of Arkansas received the host wild card. Wild cards into qualifying went to Yuta Kikuchi of California, Athell Bennett of Purdue and Florida's Lukas Greif, who was the Summer Championships finalist.

In doubles, Riffice and Ben Shelton, who is in singles qualifying,  received a main draw wild card, as did Tennessee's Adam Walton(2021 NCAA champion) and Mark Wallner.

The women's tournament is moving to the Har-Tru courts of the LTP Tennis Club in Charleston South Carolina this year, and, as has been the case, the draws for the women are smaller, leading to a shorter tournament. The women begin with qualifying on Monday October 4, with three matches over two days to determine the eight qualifiers in the 32-player main draw. According to the tentative schedule, there will be one singles match per day in the main draw; previously, the women had played five matches in four days.

NCAA champion and ITA preseason No. 1 Emma Navarro of Virginia is not on the selection list, which is a surprise, given that she is from Charleston. Nor is McCartney Kessler[4] of Florida on the list, although she is the only other Top 10 player missing. Wild cards went to Chloe Beck of Duke(host wild card), Haley Giavara of Cal(ITA), Julia Adams of Furman(ITA Summer champion) and Laia Monfort of Tulsa(release agreement, as tournament was moved from there).

Doubles main draw wild cards went to Pepperdine's new transfers Janice Tjen and Victoria Flores(ITA), South Carolina's Megan Davies and Allie Gretkowski(ITA), Virginia's Elaine Chervinsky and Melanie Collard(host) and Monfort and Shura Poppe(Tulsa).

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Quinn, Kalieva Top ITF B1 Pan American Closed Acceptance Lists; Baird Defeats Top Seed Boyer at Champaign $15K; Former Georgetown Coach to Plead Guilty in Varsity Blues Scandal

The next big junior tournament in North America is next month's ITF B1 Pan American Closed in Nicholasville Kentucky, where it moved from its longtime home in Tulsa (and one year in Charlotte in 2018) for the 2019 tournament. 

As usual, the field is mostly Americans, although there is strong representation from Canada this year in the girls acceptances. I had thought with so many good South American boys eligible this year, a few might enter, as this tournament is an excellent opportunity for the 2004s to start building a ranking that will help them qualify for the junior slams next summer. Perhaps the hard indoor courts kept them away, or the opportunity to play clay events closer to home; this lack of South American players is not unusual, but still a bit puzzling to me.

Ethan Quinn heads the boys acceptances, followed by Ozan Colak, Aidan Kim, Ryan Colby and Benjamin Kittay.

Elvina Kalieva, now up to a career-high No. 9 in the ITF junior rankings, is entered in the girls draw. In New York, she told me she didn't think she would continue to play juniors, although she didn't rule it out either. But as a 2003, Kalieva's junior ranking is not important for next year, although the higher she can finish, the bigger ITF Women's Circuit events she will receive direct entry into as a Top 10 junior.

Alexis Blokhina and Katja Wiersholm are the only other Top 100 US girls on the acceptance list.

In first round action today at the $15,000 USTA Men's Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign, half of the seeds were eliminated, including No. 1 seed Dusty Boyer(Nebraska). Qualifier Drew Baird, a junior at UCLA, defeated Boyer 6-4, 6-1; No. 4 seed Alex Brown(Illinois) lost to AJ Catanzariti(Texas A&M) 6-1, 6-2; No. 7 seed Ryan Shane(Virginia) was beaten by Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State) 7-5, 6-2 and No. 8 seed Zeke Clark(Illinois) lost to Cannon Kingsley(Ohio State) 6-3, 6-2.

The only junior advancing to the second round was Dali Blanch, who beat Illinois freshman Karlis Ozlins 7-5, 7-6(3). Victor Lilov, Samir Banerjee and Alexander Bernard all lost their first round matches.

The Associated Press is reporting that former Georgetown coach Gordon Ernst will plead guilty to charges that include "conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery."  Ernst, previously the men's and women's coach at Georgetown, was among the coaches arrested in March of 2019 in the Varsity Blues scandal, which involved schemes to secure admission to prestigious schools by inflating the athletic credentials of children of wealthy parents, who paid for that guarantee of admission. Ernest was scheduled to go to trial in November. The plea agreement filed recommends a jail sentence of four years or less. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Svajda Advances, Sandgren Defaulted at Cary Challenger; Qualifying Complete at Men's $15K in Champaign; Kentucky's Draxl and Virginia's Navarro Top ITA D-I Preseason Rankings

The first round is complete at the ATP Challenger 80 in Cary North Carolina, with an abrupt end to the tournament for top seed Tennys Sandgren, who was defaulted in the second game of his match tonight with Christopher Eubanks. Although it wasn't visible on the live stream, Sandgren lost a point on an unforced error and after a misdirected ball toss to him by a ball boy prior to the next point, he swatted a ball, which appeared to hit a line umpire. The supervisor was called to the court and Sandgren was defaulted, leading 1-0.

In a less dramatic start to the day, two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda advanced to the second round when Stefan Kozlov retired trailing 7-5, 2-0.  Svajda will play North Carolina junior Rinky Hijikata of Australia, who qualified yesterday and today defeated No. 5 seed Jason Jung(Michigan) 6-4, 6-4. Alex Kovacevic(Illinois) is another qualifier who advanced to the second round, beating wild card Garrett Johns of Duke 7-6(3), 6-4. Kovacevic will play No. 2 seed Denis Kudla in the second round Wednesday.

Former ITF World No. 1 junior Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan, still just 18 years old, is the third qualifier into the second round, with the 2019 Wimbledon boys champion defeating Ulises Blanch 7-5, 6-1 today. 

The other USTA Pro Circuit event this week is also for men, a $15, 000 tournament in Champaign Illinois. Qualifying was completed today, with seven of the eight qualifiers current college players: Blaise Bicknell(Florida), Drew Baird(UCLA), Tyler Zink(Oklahoma State), Jake Van Emburgh(Ohio State), Emile Hudd(Tennessee), Tristan McCormick(Georgia) and Alexander Petrov(Illinois).

The top US juniors went from New York to Champaign, with US Open quarterfinalist Victor Lilov, Dali Blanch and Alexander Bernard using the junior reserve program for entry and Samir Banerjee receiving a wild card.  The other wild cards went to Illinois players Lucas Horve, Olivier Stuart and Hunter Heck. Karl Ozlins, a freshman at Illinois, got in on his own ranking.

Dusty Boyer(Nebraska) is the top seed, with Martin Damm seeded second.

All 16 first round matches are scheduled for Wednesday.

It's been a week since the ITA preseason rankings came out, but when I'm covering a major tournament in person, some things have to wait. Below are the Top 20 in singles for men and women and the Top 8 doubles teams. While these preseason rankings shouldn't be taken too seriously(e.g. no Big 10 men's player is listed until No. 20, and he's a transfer), it is a way to get some official confirmation of who transferred where this summer. It appears that Hijikata is taking the fall off, as he is not in the rankings, but is on the North Carolina roster; I'm sure there are other top players who will not be included until well into the dual match season in 2022.

This is not an comprehensive list, but ranked men and women who will be playing for different teams in 2021-22 include:

Matej Vocel Oklahoma State to Ohio State
Hamish Stewart Tulane to Georgia
Tyler Zink Georgia to Oklahoma State
James Story Memphis to South Carolina
Richard Ciamarra Notre Dame to Texas
Barnaby Smith Texas A&M to Florida State
Bar Botzer Wake Forest to Virginia
Emile Hudd Oklahoma State to Tennessee
Matias Siimar Michigan to Florida

Janic Tjen Oregon to Pepperdine 
Victoria Flores Georgia Tech to Pepperdine
Ayana Akli Maryland to South Carolina 
Bunyawi Thamchaiwat Oklahoma State to San Diego State
Emma Shelton South Carolina to Florida
Layne Sleeth Florida to Oklahoma

Men's Preseason Top 20 Division I Singles:
1. Liam Draxl, Kentucky
2. Sam Riffice, Florida
3. Daniel Rodrigues, South Carolina
4. Duarte Vale, Florida
5. Adam Walton, Tennessee
6. Johannus Monday, Tennessee
7. Matias Soto, Baylor
8. Luc Fomba, TCU
9. Adrian Boitan, Baylor
10. Eliot Spizzirri, Texas
11. Finn Reynolds, Mississippi
12. Trent Bryde, Georgia
13. Gabriel Diallo, Kentucky
14. Andy Andrade, Florida
15. Philip Henning, Georgia
16. Connor Thomson, South Carolina
17. Micah Braswell, Texas
18. Juan Carlos Aguilar, TCU
19. Tyler Stice, Auburn
20. Matej Vocel, Ohio State

1. Emma Navarro, Virginia
2. Abigail Forbes, UCLA
3. Janice Tjen, Pepperdine 
4. McCartney Kessler, Florida
5. Georgia Drummy, Duke
6. Peyton Stearns, Texas
7. Irina Cantos, Ohio State
8. Natasha Subhash, Virginia
9. Buyawi Thamchaiwat, San Diego State
10. Tatiana Makarova, Texas A&M
11. Viktoryia Kanapatskaya, Syracuse
12. Alexa Noel, Iowa
13. Victoria Flores, Pepperdine
14. Vanessa Wong, Washington
15. Meg Kowalski, Georgia
16. Isaella Pfennig, Miami
17. Haley Giavara, Cal
18. Salma Ewing, USC
19. Lea Ma, Georgia
20. Valeriya Zeleva, Central Florida

1. Adam Walton and Pat Harper, Tennessee
2. Eliot Spizzirri and Siem Woldeab, Texas
3. Bogdan Pavel and Trey Hilderbrand, Central Florida
4. Daniel Rodriguez and Connor Thomson, South Carolina
5. David Stevenson and Oscar Cutting, Memphis
6. Florian Broska and Gregor Ramskogler, Mississippi State
7. Tad Maclean and Finn Murgett, Auburn
8. Marcus McDaniel and Andres Martin, Georgia Tech

1.Ivana Corley and Carmen Corley, Oklahoma
2. Chloe Beck and Karolina Berankova, Duke
3. Tatiana Makarova and Jayci Goldsmith, Texas A&M
4. Natasha Subhash and Sofia Munera, Virginia
5. Esther Adeshina and Daria Kuczer, Tennessee
6. Gia Cohen and Ava Hrastar, Georgia Tech
7. Bronte Murgett and Marta Oliveira, Missouri
8. Anna Brylin and Brooke Killingsworth, Wake Forest

Monday, September 13, 2021

Svajda Awarded Cary Challenger Wild Card, Meets Kozlov Tuesday; Florida State, South Carolina Freshmen Lead ITA Newcomers Lists; Bhakta Wins J4 Doubles Title

The ATP Challenger 80 in Cary North Carolina is underway after a five-week break in men's professional tennis in the United States, with two collegians and 2019 and 2020 Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda receiving wild cards.

Duke junior Garrett Johns and North Carolina State freshman Luca Staeheli of Switzerland join Svajda in the main draw. Johns will play qualifier Aleks Kovacevic, the recent Illinois grad, in the first round Tuesday; Svajda has drawn 2015 Kalamazoo 18s finalist Stefan Kozlov.

In addition to Kovacevic, North Carolina's Rinky Hijikata of Australia made it through qualifying as did 18-year-old Shintaro Mochizuki, the 2019 Wimbledon boys champion, of Japan. Former Pepperdine start Alex Sarkissian is the fourth qualifier.

Tennys Sandgren, the top seed, will face Christopher Eubanks in Tuesday's first round action; Denis Kudla, seeded second, plays Donald Young later tonight.

Live streaming is available here

I'm not familiar with Luca Staeheli, but he's No. 3 on the ITA's Men's Newcomers list for the 2021 season, which was published last week.

Top 10 Men's Newcomers:
1 Antoine Cornut Chauvinc, Florida State
2 Pedro Vives Marcos, TCU
3 Luca Staeheli, NC State4 Alexander Hoogmartens, UCLA
5 Nini Gabriel Dica, Clemson
6 Gavin Young, Michigan
7 Jurabek Karimov, Wake Forest
8 Murphy Cassone, Arizona State
9 Shunsuke Mitsui, Tennessee
10 Max Basing, Stanford

1 Sarah Hamner, South Carolina
2 Patricija Spaka, Arizona State
3 Melodie Collard, Virginia
4 Mell Reasco, Georgia
5 Sabine Rutlauka, Penn
6 Jenna DeFalco, LSU
7 Jessica Alsola, California
8 Alexandra Yepifanova, Stanford
9 Victoria Hu, Princeton University
10 Mary Stoiana, Texas A&M

There were 17 ITF Junior Circuit events last week, including the US Open, but, other than Robin Montgomery and Ashlyn Krueger, only one American claimed a title.

The only ITF Junior Circuit in North America, other than the US Open, was the J4 in Mexico, where Ria Bhakta won the doubles title and reached the singles final. The 16-year-old Bhakta and her partner Maria Martinez Hernandez of Mexico won the doubles title as the top seeds, beating No. 3 seeds Ana Paula Chavez Sanchez of Mexico and Vanesa Suarez of Venezuela 6-1, 6-3 in the final. Martinez Hernandez, the No. 1 seed in singles, then defeated her doubles partner Bhakta, the No. 2 seed, 7-6(3), 6-1 in the singles championship match.

This week's only ITF Junior Circuit tournament in this part of the world is a J5 in Nicaragua. This week's J1 in Germany features just one American, Princeton recruit Sebastian Sec.  Kseniz Zaytseva of Russia is the top girls seed, with Aleksander Orlikowski of Poland the top boys seed.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Gauff and McNally Fall in Three Sets in Women's Doubles Final; Deming and An Claim Les Petits As Doubles Title

US Open women's doubles finalists Coco Gauff and Caty McNally
photo credit: Garrett Ellwood/USTA

With the junior singles finals finishing on Saturday (my coverage for the ITF is here) for the first time since I began reporting on the US Open in 2004, Sunday was a bonus day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for me. I was fortunate to be able to watch Sunday's two matches in Ashe for the first time in many years, and although I was excited to see Novak Djokovic compete for the men's singles grand slam, I was thrilled to see Caty McNally and Coco Gauff play in the women's doubles final in the early match.

Three years ago, I spoke to them after they won the US Open girls title, on a match played at the Chase Center indoor courts, in front of no fans, due to rain. 

Today they played on Arthur Ashe stadium, with a vocal crowd behind them, against Australia's Samantha Stosur and China's Shuai Zhang. Although they lost 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, McNally and Gauff proved they were ready for the sport's biggest stage and intend to make their appearance in slam finals a regular occurrence.

At their press conference in Interview Room 1, the only one I attended in person, rather than via Zoom, because the junior champions did not get that room this year, I asked them to reflect on their progression from girls US Open champions to women's US Open finalists.

"It's been a great journey so far," McNally said. "Winning the juniors, now we're playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium, it's pretty cool to see how far we've come. I think it just shows how much better we've gotten as a team. We want to do better. We can't wait to be back out on that court again. But I think from day one when we played, we just had a special relationship, a special partnership. I think we knew this was coming. I think we knew finals were coming down the road. I still think we'll be back out on that court again with a different result sooner than later."

"Yeah, I agree," Gauff said. "It's amazing how far we've come. I'm glad that Caty is able, we're able to do this journey together. There's no other person or player that I would rather do this with. I know that we'll be Grand Slam champions eventually."

A journalist via Zoom asked if they felt their success this year, and that of Raducanu, Fernandez and Alcaraz could be viewed as "jumping the line by going so deep into a Grand Slam."

McNally dismissed that interpretation.

"Yeah, I don't know if there's like a line. I just think we all believe in ourselves, believe in our games," McNally said. "We've all played at really high levels, especially in juniors. We've all played in Grand Slams, all of us. I think that's given us a lot of exposure to what we're getting ourselves into. I think we're just taking on these big moments head first. We're not really afraid to play our games and get the crowd involved, to win these big matches. I think it's just awesome and inspiring to me, I know to myself, I know to Coco, other young players, that anyone can do it."

"I mean, success has no timeline to it," said Gauff, who at 17 is the youngest of all the teenagers who excelled at this US Open. "It can happen early; it can happen later. There are a lot of players that it happened later in their career, and there's a lot of players it happened earlier in their career. There's players like Serena who have success throughout the whole career (smiling). Like Caty said, I don't think there's any line or anything. I think especially the young generation, the new generation coming up, just really believe in themselves, don't really care about how many more years of experience the opponent on the other side of the court has."

One of the biggest stages preparing junior players for the future is in Tarbes France at the 14U Les Petits As tournament. Usually held at the end of January and beginning of February, the tournament was moved to this week due to the pandemic. I usually follow the event closely, which I was unable to do this year because of the conflict with the US Open Junior Championships.

Five US girls and four US boys were in the draws, with Claire An and Max Exsted the top-seeded Americans, both at No. 8. Exsted lost in the quarterfinals, while unseeded Darwin Blanch and Matisse Farzam both advanced to the semifinals. Blanch lost to No. 3 seed Federico Cina of Italy, who had beaten Exsted, 6-3, 6-2 and Farzam was beaten by top seed Maxim Mrva of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Mrva won the title today, beating Cina 6-3, 3-6 6-0. 

Cin and Andrea De Marchi, the No. 6 seeds, won the doubles title, beating No. 7 seed Felix Alopaeus and Oskari Paldanius of Finland 6-7(5), 6-3, 12-10 in the final. 

France ended a long drought in girls singles, with No. 7 seed Mathilde Ngijol Carre becoming the first girl from the host country to win the title since 1984. She defeated unseeded Mika Buchnik of Israel 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the championship match.  An, the only US girl to advance past the second round, lost in the semifinals to Buchnik, 7-6(5), 6-3.

An and Emily Deming were unseeded in the girls doubles competition, but they took home the title, defeating Flora Johnson and Hephzibah Oluwadare of Great Britain, who were also unseeded, 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

Riley Crowder and Deming met in the consolation final, with Crowder winning 4-1, 4-1.

Photos from the event can be found at the tournament website. The draws are best viewed at Tennis Europe's website.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Robin Montgomery Sweeps US Open Girls Titles, Rincon Claims Boys Championship; Krawczyk Goes into History Books with Third Mixed Doubles Title This Year

©Colette Lewis 2021--
Flushing Meadows NY--

Robin Montgomery and Daniel Rincon have more in common than being left-handed. Both won Orange Bowl titles in 2019, Montgomery in the 18s and Rincon in the 16s, and after the final day of the junior competition in New York, both are US Open champions.

Montgomery became the first girl since Michaela Krajicek of the Netherlands in 2004 to sweep the singles and doubles titles, and the first American girl to do so since Lindsay Davenport in 1992. The 17-year-old from Washington DC, who was a week old when Krajicek took both titles, defeated No. 6 seed Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus 6-2, 6-4 in the singles final Saturday afternoon on Court 12, then added the doubles championship, with Ashlyn Krueger, in the early evening.

In the singles final, Dmitruk started quickly, serving well and putting pressure on Montgomery, the No. 7 seed, in her first few service games. But there were no breaks until the sixth game, when Montgomery got her return working against Dmitruk's serve, and with increasing confidence, began hitting out, especially on the backhand side. The first set was over quickly, in less than 30 minutes, but when Dmitruk returned from a bathroom break, she was the one who reset, breaking Montgomery and holding for a 2-0 lead.

Montgomery admitted it was a dangerous time in the match for her.

"I was a little bit worried to be honest, when she broke me that fast," said Montgomery, who has another year of eligibility in juniors in 2022 but is not expected to use it. "Then she went up 2-0 and that's when I got a little bit more nervous. My goal then was not to lose the set 6-0, to focus on just getting a game."

Dmitruk held on her break for 4-2, but as in the first set, Montgomery began to dig in. She pulled even at 4-4, saved a break point with a brave backhand winner before holding for 5-4, and was able to keep her mind on the task at hand in the final game.

"I noticed my thoughts were going a little bit crazy at 4-all," Montgomery said. "I was a bit more nervous because I had already played such good tennis over those games, and I was nervous she was going to step it up."

That didn't happen, as Montgomery relied on her return game again, ending her second four-game run of the match with another break, this one for the title.

Dmitruk, getting her first look at Montgomery's game, recognized it as well-suited for the fast hard courts of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

"She played very aggressive," said the sixth-seeded Dmitruk, who turns 18 in two weeks. "For hard, it's very good, it's what you should do. She played much harder than me, and she has good serve, so it's play aggressive, go into the court."

As the American, Montgomery enjoyed the crowd's support, and she appreciated it, yet having her family and her longtime coach Ali Agnamba of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in New York to witness her two titles was especially gratifying.

"My family that lives in New York came to watch me, my mom, grandma and aunt came up from DC, and I love playing in front of all them," Montgomery said. "The last time my grandma saw me play was Orange Bowl, when I won that, so I was really happy I could pull out another tournament in front of her eyes."

As for her coach, Montgomery considers him family too.

"He's been with me since I was six," Montgomery said. "He's like family to me. I didn't grow up with a father, it's always been my mom and grandma raising me pretty much. Since I met him so young, he kind of became a father figure to me...he just means so much to me. Tomorrow is actually his birthday, so I told him this is his birthday present."

The boys singles final between No. 3 seed Daniel Rincon of Spain and top seed Juncheng Shang of China entertained the large crowd that gathered around Court 12 prior to the women's singles final on Ashe, with Rincon winning a pivotal game late in the second set that led to his 6-2, 7-6(6) victory.

Rincon was the steadier of the two left-handers in the first set, but Shang brought a higher level of play to the second set, serving for it at 5-4. He had four set points in the game, with both bad luck (a net cord winner for Rincon) and nerves (a double fault) sending the score to deuce. Finally, another double fault cost Shang the game.

Rincon said the key to battling through that game was concentrating on each point.

"If you think about the big picture, it gets hard to win matches like that," said the 18-year-old, who trains at the Rafael Nadal Academy and has often practiced with the Spanish legend. "So I just try to focus point by point. I just said to myself, look, make him play every point, and if he wins every point with a winner, good job, we'll have a third set. But that wasn't the case and I'm really happy I got through to win that game."

Shang knew he had let a golden opportunity slip away in that game.

"I think that game was obviously the most important game of the match," Shang said. "If I had won that game, the third set would have been a different story. But I think I was rushing a little bit and I was looking for the winners instead of being patient on every ball. I kind of threw it away. I had a lot of chances, and that was just a little mental breakdown. I just was giving it away. He didn't play that well."

In the tiebreaker, Shang went up 5-2, but Rincon's two excellent first serves narrowed the gap to 5-4, and another net cord in his favor brought it to 5-all. Shang saved one match point with Rincon serving at 6-5, but another good first serve gave Rincon a second, and he maneuvered to get himself short forehand. The powerful result was close to the line, and Rincon didn't hear any out call, but with the recorded automated line call used in this tournament not always audible above the crowd noise, he couldn't be certain he had won the match.

"It was a combination," Rincon said of his reaction, which was both hesitant and stunned. "I didn't know if it was in or out and I couldn't believe that I had won the match. So I just waited for the ref to say game, set and match and went on the floor and enjoyed the moment."

In the girls doubles final that followed the boys singles,  No. 3 seeds Montgomery and Krueger defeated No. 8 seeds Reese Brantmeier and Elvina Kalieva 5-7, 6-3, 10-4 in the all-USA final.

Montgomery and Krueger won the National 18s title last month, earning a wild card into the women's doubles two weeks ago, and they defeated No. 13 seeds Asia Muhammad and Jessica Pegula 6-2, 7-6(5) in the first round. After that win, and saving two match points in their quarterfinal match this week, Krueger and Montgomery were not surprised by their continued success.

"We go into every match thinking we have a chance and we know on our good days we can compete with anyone," Krueger said.

"They're obviously a really aggressive team," Brantmeier said. "So you can't really leave it up to them. I think we got a little hesitant in the second set, and the tiebreaker, and they kind of took it away from us."

"The first set they were playing really well," Montgomery said. "I think we stepped it up in the second set and in the tiebreaker. I could sense they were getting more nervous in the tiebreaker, especially when we went up really fast."

With so much success as a doubles team in the juniors, Krueger and Montgomery are setting their sites now on the professional circuit.

"We've played matches at that level, at San Jose we dipped our toes in it a little bit," Krueger said. "And we played at the US Open together, so I think we'll stay together." 

The boys doubles title went to the unseeded team of Max Westphal of France and Coleman Wong of Hong Kong, who defeated No. 8 seeds Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine and Petr Nesterov of Bulgaria 6-3, 5-7, 10-1. Wong did not get through qualifying in singles, so he was not sure he and Westphal would get into the doubles tournament, but once they did, and beat  Wimbledon champions Edas Butvilas and Alejandro Manzanera Pertusa in the first round, they were on their way.

All five of Westphal and Wong's victories came via third-set match tiebreakers.

"All the time we played unbelievable for the third set," said Westphal, who is beginning his collegiate career this month at Columbia University in New York. "I think it was the body language, the way we were acting in the third sets made us win, nothing else."

"It's amazing," the 17-year-old Wong said. "When I lost in singles qualies I was a bit down and I don't know if I'm going to make it into doubles. We had the toughest draw, but after that first match we play much better, and this is it."

Desirae Krawczyk and Joe Salisbury
photo credit: Darren Carroll/USTA

 Desirae Krawczyk and Great Britain's Joe Salisbury won the mixed doubles title today, defeating former USC star Giuliana Olmos of Mexico and former Tulsa star Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador 7-5, 6-2. For Salisbury, who played college tennis at Memphis, it's his second doubles title of the tournament, having claimed the men's doubles with Rajeev Ram yesterday. He is the first to earn that double since Bob Bryan in 2010. 

Krawczyk, the former Arizona State Sun Devil, put herself in the history books with some of the best doubles players of all time by claiming her third mixed doubles title of the year, adding the US Open to the titles she won at the French (with Salisbury) and Wimbledon (with Neal Skupski). She is the seventh player to win three in the same year, joing Martina Hingis and Leander Paes(2015), Martina Navratilova(1985), Bob Hewitt(1979) and Marty Riessen and Margaret Court(1969).

For more on the mixed doubles final, see this article from usopen.org.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Montgomery Reaches Singles and Doubles Finals at US Open Junior Championships; Top Seed Shang, No. 3 Seed Rincon Play for Boys Title; Ram and Salisbury Win Men's Doubles Championship

©Colette Lewis 2021--
Flushing Meadows NY--

Robin Montgomery had played a near-perfect match to defeat top seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva 6-3, 6-2 in Thursday night's quarterfinals, but the 17-year-old from Washington DC was forced to win ugly in her US Open Junior Championships semifinal match Friday, with gusty winds making her 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over unseeded Solana Sierra a challenge from the first ball.

Montgomery couldn't find her range until the second set, while Sierra was able to put the ball where she wanted, despite the havoc the wind was causing.

"I was questioning how she was able to hit some of those shots because it was so windy," Montgomery said. "I'll give it to Solana, she was hitting her spots well, maybe a little bit too well. None of us here could keep that level for the whole match...I just tried to believe in myself, make the points a little bit longer."

As Montgomery employed that strategy, Sierra, who had won two consecutive matches in third-set tiebreakers, began to make more errors. Montgomery stepped up on the key points winning all the 40-30 points on her own serve, while breaking Sierra to go up 5-2 in the third set. The next game, which Montgomery admitted was partly due to nerves, was a nightmare; she failed to convert three match points, hitting double faults on two of them, but the fact that she would be changing ends kept her from any panic.

"There was more wind on that side, moving my toss around more," Montgomery said. "Even though she broke me in that game, I knew it was close and I was confident enough that I could close it out in my next service game."

True to her word, Montgomery made every first serve in her next chance to serve for the match, earning a place in her first junior slam final.

She will face No. 6 seed Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus, who produced a quick 6-1, 6-2 win over unseeded Sebastianna Scilipoti of Switzerland.

Dmitruk, a year older than Montgomery, will be playing in her first junior slam final in her last junior slam.

"It's my last grand slam, but I hope I will play others in the future," said Dmitruk, who turns 18 later this month. "A final is sometimes difficult to play, because you are nervous, but we will see tomorrow. I don't know about tomorrow, it will be a surprise for all of us."

The boys final will feature two left-handers: top seed Juncheng Jerry Shang of China and No. 3 seed Daniel Rincon of Spain who won their semifinals matches Friday in contrasting fashion.

Shang had his first straightforward match of the tournament, beating No. 11 seed Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg of France 6-4, 6-4, while Rincon had to compensate for an ailing shoulder to overcome No. 8 seed Jerome Kym of Switzerland 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.

Despite close matches throughout the week, Shang has been happy with his performance, and he likes the fast courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

"I think it's the courts that suit me really well, said the 16-year-old, who trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida. "It's really fast here and I'm the type of player who is attacking, being aggressive, so I think I'm playing really well this week."

Shang was especially pleased with his performance against Gueymard Wayenburg. 

"It went really well for me," said Shang, who reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and the semifinals at Wimbledon, both as the top seed. "I played really good games, I was serving really well during the match, returning well. I think everything was kind of my side today. He got a little unlucky at the end of the first set, but on my side it was really high intensity."

Shang is making his debut at the US Open this year, and he can see a definite difference in the atmosphere in comparison to Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

"I was at the French Open and Wimbledon this year and the energy in New York, it's just different," Shang said. "Wimbledon is just more quiet. Here everyone is in a party, they're supporting players they like and I think it's really great. This would be a perfect party to go to."

Rincon is hoping to go out a champion in his final junior major, and he showed his mettle against Kym after failing to convert five set points serving for the second set at 5-3. Kym served for the match at 6-5, but Rincon, who had his shoulder worked on in the first set, held on, converted his eighth set point in the tiebreaker, and went on to build a 4-0 lead in the third set.

"Under normal conditions I would just go for huge first serves and try to finish it quickly," said Rincon, saying growing up playing at high altitude and often indoors has helped him on the fast outdoors courts this week. "But I had to play the points, and he was playing great, but I did a good job of making him play every point while staying aggressive, so I'm really happy with this win."

Rincon's 4-0 third-set lead dwindled to 4-3, but he held steady when he had a chance to close out the victory.

"I'm really enjoying my time here and I know it's the last junior slam I'm playing, so I'm going full out, trying to give my best, as I think I always do," Rincon said.

Montgomery and her partner Ashlyn Krueger will play in the girls doubles final Saturday, after the No. 3 seeds won two matches Friday afternoon and evening. The 2021 USTA National 18s champions saved two match points in their 4-6, 6-2, 15-13 quarterfinal win over No. 7 seeds Mara Guth and Julia Middendorf of Germany, then defeated top seeds Jimenez Kasintseva and Ane Del Olmo Mintegi 6-1, 7-5 to reach the final.

They will face No. 8 seeds Elvina Kalieva and Reese Brantmeier, who beat No. 2 seeds Dmitruk and partner Diana Shnaider 7-6(5), 6-1 in the quarterfinals, and No. 6 seed Alexandra Eala and Hanne Vandewinkel 5-7, 6-2, 10-7 in the semifinals.

The last American boys exited the US Open Junior Championships in the doubles semifinals. Bruno Kuzuhara and his partner Mili Poljicak of Croatia lost to Max Westphal of France and Coleman Wong of Hong Kong 6-4, 4-6, 10-4, while wild cards Ethan Quinn and Nicholas Godsick were beaten by No. 8 seeds Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine and Petr Nesterov of Bulgaria 7-6(2), 6-3.

Finals day for the juniors begins with the girls singles final at 1 p.m., followed by the boys singles final and the girls doubles final, all on Court 12. The boys doubles final is not before 3 pm on Court 11.

The first champions of the 2021 US Open were crowned today in men's doubles, with No. 4 seeds Rajeev Ram and Great Britain's Joe Salisbury earning their second major men's title as a team with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 7 seeds Jamie Murray of Great Britain and Bruno Soares of Brazil. Ram, who played college tennis at Illinois, and Salisbury, who played college tennis at Memphis, won the 2020 Australian Open doubles title.

Salisbury will play for the mixed title on Saturday with Arizona State alum Desirae Krawczyk, who can become only the seventh player, male and female, to win three mixed majors in the same year. No. 2 seeds Krawczyk and Salisbury, who won the French mixed title this year, will face Giuliana Olmos(USC) of Mexico and Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador(Tulsa) in the final.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Montgomery Rolls Over Top Seed Jimenez Kasintseva to Reach US Open Junior Semifinals on Rainy Day Four in New York

©Colette Lewis 2021--
Flushing Meadows NY--

Rain dominated the conversation Thursday at the US Open Junior Championships, at least until dinner time, when the showers finally ended and the singles quarterfinals could begin.

With the decision not to play any matches indoor, the tournament officials relied on the weather forecast of late clearing to keep the eight singles matches on the schedule, even after the doubles quarterfinals were canceled around 5 p.m. A few games of the first four matches were played around 2 p.m., but it was after 6 p.m. before competition to determine the final four began.
Robin Montgomery was in no mood to extend her stay at the USTA Bille Jean King National Tennis Center, and it was World Junior No. 1 and top seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra who fell victim to the 17-year-old American's power and pace. After leading 3-2, on serve when the first delay came, Montgomery returned to display her best tennis, crushing 20 winners to only six for Jimenez Kasintseva and getting revenge for her earlier losses to her fellow left-hander.

"I was telling myself if you go up, you have to figure out a way to win it," said Montgomery, who lost a three-set quarterfinal match to Jimenez Kasintseva at the 2020 Australian Junior championships, which Jimenez Kasintseva went on to win.

"Even before Australia, in Mexico, I was up a set and 5-2 and I lost that one as well. So I was a little bit shaky, but when I went up 5-1, I was like, ok, this is it. When she made it 5-2, she was getting a little more pep in her step and I was, no, no, no. You can't do this again. You have to serve this out Robin, I don't care what you do."

A forehand winner at 40-30 got the job done, with Montgomery earning a place in her first junior slam semifinal against unseeded Solana Sierra of Argentina.

Sierra came from a set down for the third consecutive match, and for the second straight day won in a third set tiebreaker, beating No. 12 seed Elvina Kalieva of the United States 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).

Kalieva trailed 5-1 in the final tiebreaker but got it back to 5-all, only to make two errors on the forehand to put Sierra in the semifinals.

No. 2 seed Alexandra Eala of the Philippines also lost Thursday night, with unseeded Sebastianna Scilipoti of Switzerland taking out Eala 7-5, 6-3. Scilipoti will face No. 6 seed Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus, who eliminated unseeded Petra Marcinko of Croatia 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Americans Samir Banerjee and Victor Lilov, the surprise finalists this year at Wimbledon, were eliminated today at their home slam. No. 3 seed Daniel Rincon of Spain crushed Lilov 6-3, 6-1, with Rincon not facing a break point in his 57-minute win.

Banerjee had a set and a break lead over No. 8 seed Jerome Kym of Switzerland, but Kym fought back, winning six straight games to take the second set. The 18-year-old from Basel served for the match at 5-2, lost serve without reaching match point, then went to 30-all serving for the match for a second time at 5-4. Banerjee made a forehand error on that crucial point to give Kym his first match point, and he converted it with an ace, one of 16 he hit in the match.

"I'm used to these situations," Kym said of the drama he created for himself at the end of the match. "It's normal that you are getting tight; it's the quarterfinal of a slam. You have to remind yourself what to do: relax arm, towel, breathe two, three times. I did that at 5-4, the changeover. I tried to stay aggressive, loyal to my game plan."

Kym, who reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, is now into his first slam semifinal, where he will face Rincon for the first time in nearly three years.

Top seed Juncheng Jerry Shang of China had flirted with losing the first set in his first two matches Tuesday and Wednesday, only to come back to win them in tiebreakers. On Thursday he did drop the opener, but again he survived, beating unseeded Pierre Bailly of Belgium 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Shang will face No. 11 seed Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg of France, who defeated unseeded Petr Nesterov of Bulgaria 0-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The weather is expected to improve for Friday, which will feature the singles semifinals and both the quarterfinals and semifinals of doubles. All singles and doubles finals are scheduled for Saturday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Wimbledon Finalists Lilov and Banerjee Advance to US Open Junior Quarterfinals; Kalieva and Montgomery US Representatives in Girls Final Eight; Gauff and McNally Reach Women's Doubles Semifinals After Defeating Top Seeds

©Colette Lewis 2021--
Flushing Meadows NY--

Samir Banerjee and Victor Lilov are well versed in the process of advancing to the quarterfinals of a junior slam, having just reached the Wimbledon boys final two months ago. Robin Montgomery has made the quarterfinals of the last three junior slams she's competed in. The fourth American to make the quarterfinals of the US Open Junior Championships this year is Elvina Kalieva, whose best showing at a junior slam prior to this week was the second round.
No. 7 seed Montgomery, who turned 17 three days ago, defeated No. 9 seed Natalia Szabanin of Hungary 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, fighting off both the gusty winds of the late afternoon and a second set charge from her opponent to earn the victory.

"In the second set she started playing well," Montgomery said. "I don't want to take any credit away from her. But at the same time I think I slowed down in the second set, wasn't making as many balls; she was forcing errors and making more serves. And the conditions were tough, it was really windy, balls flying here and there, so it was hard to time everything. But I'm glad to pull it out, because it proves to me that I can win ugly."

Montgomery's opponent in the quarterfinals is top seed and fellow left-hander Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, who defeated Montgomery 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals en route to her Australian Open title in 2020.

"The one from Australia, it definitely hurt," Montgomery said. "I was in complete control of the match. But I know she's a good player and I haven't seen her in over a year. I know she's been having good wins on the pro tour, I've been having good wins on the pro tour, so it should be a good match."

Jimenez Kasintseva had her own struggles today before defeating unseeded Jana Kolodynska of Belarus 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4. Jimenez Kasintseva was frustrated by the lack of pace and rhythm she was seeing from the two-time Orange Bowl finalist, but she will not face that problem Thursday against Montgomery, who hits with as much power as anyone in the field.

Kalieva, the No. 12 seed, came through a tough two-setter with No. 5 seed Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic, serving well and hitting 32 winners to Fruhvirtova's 13. Kalieva's opponent will be unseeded Solana Sierra of Argentina who defeated No. 13 seed Matilda Mutavdzic of Great Britain in a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) thriller. Mutavdzick served for the match twice, at 5-4 and 6-5, but her double faults and errors kept Sierra alive, and when it came down to the last few points, it was Sierra who stepped up, hitting big forehands to close it out.

No. 6 seed Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus ended the run of lucky loser Katja Wiersholm 6-4, 6-1, and unseeded Petra Marcinko of Croatia defeated unseeded Alexis Blokhina 7-5, 6-1. 

Unseeded Sebastianna Scilipoti of Switzerland squeezed past unseeded Sofia Costoulas of Belgium 7-6(6), 7-6(5), but that was a straightforward win compared to that of her quarterfinal opponent, No. 2 seed Alexandra Eala of the Philippines. 

Eala, who had a sizable crowd of New Yorkers of Filipino descent cheering her on every point, faced a match point with Michaela Laki of Greece serving at 6-4, 5-4 in the second set. Laki went up 30-0 and after Eala had won the next two points, Laki hit a backhand winner that caught both baseline and sideline. But on match point, Laki didn't get her first serve in, and Eala had no hesitation in stepping into the second serve, blasting a backhand winner before Laki could take a step. Eala then won 10 of the next 11 points to take the set, and, eventually, a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory.

Banerjee has received prime court assignments the past two days, playing on Grandstand Tuesday and Court 17 today. With his winning streak at junior slams now at eight matches after a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 15 seed Maks Kasnikowski of Poland, Banerjee is seeing the effects of his Wimbledon title.

"It's pretty cool and I can't take it for granted," said the 17-year-old from New Jersey. "So many people would dream of playing on these courts and I'm being put on them. It's not a full stadium, but it's still cool playing on these big courts, playing good players."

Banerjee recognized that he made the match much more difficult than it needed to be, failing to convert on four set points serving at 5-4 in the first, but he was able to rebound.

"I was just playing some pretty sloppy points on the set points," Banerjee said. "I'd make a decision that wasn't great. Honestly, if I had gotten that set, it would have been a more straightforward match. I kind of went away in that set, so I had to reset after that, but I think I did a good job of resetting after blowing that opportunity."

Banerjee began to extend rallies as he sensed Kasnikowski was wearing down after the Polish 18-year-old was taken to third-set tiebreaker Tuesday.

"I could see he was kind of getting tired in the heat, so I tried to keep the pressure on," Banerjee said. "I could see him bending down between points, maybe going for some shots he normally wouldn't, not running for some balls. I knew he played a long three-setter the round before, so I knew if I just kept him out there long enough, just kept making him play, it would help me in the end."

Banerjee's quarterfinal opponent is No. 8 seed Jerome Kym of Switzerland, who got past Alejandro Vallejo of Paraguay 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2).

"I've never played him, but I've seen him play a couple of times," Banerjee said. "Big game, a very big serve that will be pretty effective on these faster courts. It should be tough, but I'm looking forward to it."

No. 6 seed Lilov did not need a comeback in his 6-2, 6-2 win over College Park J1 champion Mark Lajal of Estonia, the No. 9 seed.  Lajal made 32 unforced errors, so Lilov wasn't required to do much but stay in a rally to get the victory.

Lilov will face No. 3 seed Daniel Rincon of Spain, who defeated No. 16 seed Alexander Bernard 6-4, 6-3. 

Top seed Juncheng Shang of China had another tough opening set, but defeated unseeded Daniel Merida Aguilar of Spain 7-6(5), 6-4. He will face his third straight unseeded opponent Thursday in the quarterfinals, Pierre Bailly of Belgium. Bailly ended the run of wild card Colton Smith 6-4, 6-4.

All four Wimbledon boys semifinalists have advanced to the quarterfinals in New York: Banerjee, Lilov, Shang and No. 11 seed Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg of France. Gueymard Wayenburg defeated No. 7 seed Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine 7-5, 7-6(3) and will play unseeded Petr Nesterov of Hungary Thursday.

The top two seeded teams in boys doubles are out after Wednesday play. No. 1 seeds Kym and his partner Jack Pinnington Jones of Great Britain withdrew after Pinnington Jones had retired from his singles match with Smith Tuesday. Alternates Ryan Colby and Aidan Kim, who were third on the list of alternates, stepped into their spot at the top of the draw, but lost to Max Westphal of France and Coleman Wong of Hong Kong 4-6, 6-2, 10-3.

No. 2 seeds Banerjee and Ozan Colak lost to Mans Dahlberg of Sweden and Lui Maxted of Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 10-7.

Unlike the boys, with only three of the eight seeded teams reaching the quarterfinals, seven of the eight seeded girls teams have advanced, including three American teams: No. 3 seeds Montgomery and Ashlyn Krueger, No. 8 seeds Kalieva and Reese Brantmeier and unseeded Ellie Coleman and Madison Sieg.

My article on the day's action for the ITF junior website can be found here.

In women's doubles quarterfinal action today, No. 11 seeds Caty McNally and Coco Gauff defeated Wimbledon champions Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Elise Mertens of Belgium, the top seeds, 6-3, 7-6(1) to reach their first slam semifinal. For more on their victory today, see this article from usopen.org.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Blokhina Ends Losing Streak to No. 3 Seed Shnaider; Wild Card Smith, Lucky Loser Wiersholm Advance; 13 Seeds Fall on Day Two of US Open Junior Championships

©Colette Lewis 2021--
Flushing Meadows NY--

Alexis Blokhina has been playing on the ITF Junior Circuit all year, and with a top 100 ranking, has competed in seven J1s.  In three of them, the 17-year-old from Florida lost to Diana Shnaider of Russia, most recently at Roehampton on grass. With the other two losses, on South American and European clay, Blokhina could have been dismayed to see her fellow left-hander once again in her path at the US Open Junior Championships, but she gave herself a pep talk after seeing her 6-2, 4-0 lead become 6-2, 4-4 and secured an emotional 6-2, 7-6(5) victory.

Blokhina was obviously thrilled with the win when I talked to her (via a zoom call, even though we were both in the media center) after the match, and she is the lead story in my account of day two for the ITF Junior website.

But Blokhina was not the only American to pull off a surprise win Tuesday, with two players from the Pacific Northwest coming through against seeded opponents. 

Wild card Colton Smith, who began classes at the University of Arizona last month, dropped the opening set to No. 5 seed Jack Pinnington Jones of Great Britain 7-6(5). But he fought back in the second set, holding on to the only break of the match up to that point to take it 6-4. At the end of that set, Pinnington Jones appeared to suffer a cramp or a muscle pull in his left leg, and after limping through the first two games of the third set, both of which Smith won, Pinnington Jones retired.

Smith, the only American boy remaining in the top half of the draw, will face unseeded Pierre Bailly of Belgium, who defeated No. 12 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru 6-0, 6-3.  

Katja Wiersholm, who received entry as a lucky loser, continued her run with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 win over No. 11 seed Mara Guth of Germany. Wiersholm, who is training in Florida now, but developed her game at Northwest High Performance Tennis, will face No. 6 seed Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus Wednesday. Her older brother Henrik, a star at the University of Virginia, was at her match today and said he was attempting to fire up her competitive instincts by reminding Katja that she could beat his best performance in New York by advancing past the round of 16. Mark Hanson, the director at Northwest High Performance said he is now no longer referring to Katja as a lucky loser, but rather as a skillful winner.

The only three seeds remain in the top half of the boys draw: No. 1 Juncheng Shang of China, who outlasted wild card Aidan Mayo 7-6(5), 6-3, No. 7 seed Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine and No. 11 seed Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg of France.

No. 4 seed Bruno Kuzuhara lost to qualifier Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

The bottom half features just one unseeded player, Adolfo Vallejo of Paraguay, who defeated No. 10 seed Sean Cuenin of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. 

The three other US boys to reach the round of 16 are all seeds in the bottom half: No. 6 Victor Lilov, who beat Philip Sekulic of Australia 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-2, No. 16 seed Alexander Bernard, who defeated Max Westphal of France 6-3, 7-6(5) and Samir Banerjee.

Banerjee, who was back on a grand slam show court for the first time since winning the Wimbledon boys title in July, looked very comfortable in his 6-0, 6-4 victory over Max Rehberg of Germany on the Grandstand.

In addition to Wiersholm and and Blokhina, who are in the bottom half, two other American girls advanced to the third round in the top half: No. 7 seed Robin Montgomery and No. 12 seed Elvina Kalieva. Montgomery needed just 49 minutes to beat qualifier Annabelle Xu of Canada 6-2, 6-0, while Kalieva had a surprisingly easy go of it against doubles partner Reese Brantmeier in a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

Seven of the 16 girls seeds went out in their first matches of the tournament, with Wimbledon champion Ane Mintegi Del Olmo of Spain among them. The No. 4 seed lost to Solana Sierra of Argentina 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

The first round of doubles was completed today, with the eight seeded teams taking the courts for the first time on Wednesday.

Results from Tuesday's second round singles involving Americans:

Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva[1](AND) d. Theodora Rabman[Q] 6-1, 6-0
Robin Montgomery[7] d. Annabelle Xu[Q](CAN) 6-2, 6-0
Elvina Kalieva[12] d. Reese Brantmeier 6-3, 6-3
Linda Fruhvirtova[5](CZE) d. Clervie Ngounoue 6-0, 6-2
Katja Wiersholm[LL] d. Mara Guth[11](GER) 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
Petra Marcinko(CRO) d. Ashlyn Krueger[16] 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Alexis Blokhina d. Diana Shnaider[3](RUS) 6-2, 7-6(5)
Sofia Costoulas(BEL) d. Madison Sieg[10] 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Michaela Laki[15](GRE) d. Ellie Coleman 6-0, 6-4
Alexandra Eala[2](PHI) d. Charlotte Owensby[WC] 6-3, 6-3

Juncheng Shang[1](CHN) d. Aidan Mayo[WC] 7-6(5), 6-3
Daniel Merida Aguilar(ESP) d. Dali Blanch[13] 6-3, 7-6(2)
Colton Smith[WC] d. Jack Pinnington Jones[5](GBR) 6-7(5), 6-4, 2-0 ret. inj.
Jakuk Mensik[Q](CZE) d. Bruno Kuzuhara[4] 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg[11](FRA) d. Ryan Colby[WC] 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3
Victor Lilov[6] d. Philip Sekulic(AUS) 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-2
Mark Lajal[9](EST) d. Alexander Razeghi[WC] 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
Alexander Bernard[16] d. Max Westphal(FRA) 6-3, 7-6(5)
Daniel Rincon[3](ESP) d. Aidan Kim[WC] 7-6(4), 7-5
Maks Kasnikowski[15](POL) d. Ethan Quinn 4-6, 6-0, 7-6(4)
Samir Banerjee[2] d. Max Rehberg(GER) 6-0, 6-4

Monday, September 6, 2021

Wild Cards Have Great Success in Boys Draw on First Day of US Open Junior Championships; Qualifier Rabman, Nationals 18s Finalist Brantmeier Through to Second Round After Wins Monday; Repentigny J3 Update

©Colette Lewis 2021--
Flushing Meadows NY

With seeds on the sidelines for one more day at the US Open Junior Championships, many of the intriguing Labor Day matches involved players who were wild cards or qualifiers, many of whom were playing in a junior slam for the first time.

The American boys were the most successful of those debutantes, with five of the six wild cards collecting victories on a beautiful day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. 

The youngest of those was Kalamazoo 16s champion Alexander Razeghi. The 15-year-old Texan came back to defeat North Carolina freshman Christopher Li of Peru 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5). Razeghi held his nerve in a tense tiebreaker, with Li missing two backhands at 5-all in the breaker.

College Park ITF J1 finalist Ryan Colby, who earned his wild card for winning the USTA 18s Clay Courts, advanced when Alvaro Guillen Meza of Ecuador retired with an injury trailing 7-5, 4-6, 4-0. Colton Smith, who earned his wild card by finishing third in the Kalamazoo 18s last month, defeated ITF No. 25 Edas Butvilas of Lithuania 7-6(4), 6-4 and Aidan Kim took out TCU freshman Lui Maxted of Great Britain 6-2, 6-4.  Aidan Mayo, the only one of the five wild card winners who had played a junior slam before today, and reached the third round here in 2019, defeated qualifier Miguel Gomes of Portugal 6-3, 6-3. Mayo faces top seed and World No. 1 Juncheng Shang of China in Tuesday's second round.

Only one of the six US girls who received wild cards advanced today, with Charlotte Owensby, who got in late when Alexis Blokhina moved in on her own ranking, defeating College Park semifinalist Pimrada Jattavapornvanit of Thailand, a qualifier, 6-1, 7-6(3).

Lucky loser Katja Wiersholm came from 5-3 down in the first set to defeat Linda Klimovicova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-1, and local favorite Theadora Rabman, who won two qualifying matches in third set match tiebreakers, came from 5-1 down in the first set to defeat Laura Hietaranta of Finland 7-5, 6-2. 

Rabman admitted that she came into the tournament low on confidence after falling in the first round of the USTA 16s Nationals in San Diego last month, so getting through qualifying was a huge step in restoring that essential commodity.

"I'm really happy I got the qualifying matches in, because they gave me more experience," said Rabman, who lives in nearby Port Washington and had her high school tennis teammates in the stands cheering her on. "I was so nervous at first, but I was like, you've been on these courts before; USTA tournaments are held here, so I was thinking about that; breathe, stay focused, one point at a time, and I got through it."

Rabman faces top seed and World No. 1 Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva Tuesday.

"I think it's going to be a great experience," said Rabman, who is playing in just her third ITF Junior Circuit event this week. "I'm definitely going to learn something; I'm really excited. I'm going in as the underdog, so I think that's definitely less pressure on me, so I'm going to see if I can do something."

Reese Brantmeier had qualifying experience to draw on as well in her 6-3, 6-1 win today over Radka Zelnickova of Slovakia, but her qualifying success was two weeks ago in the women's qualifying, where she won two rounds before falling to No. 2 seed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia. Although disappointed in coming that close to the main draw but falling short, the Girls 18s Nationals finalist needed only a few hours to realize how much the experience would help her, not just this week in the juniors, but in building her professional career.

"Obviously I could play really free in qualies," said Brantmeier, who has not yet made a decision about whether she will attend college. "I'm the underdog there, I'm a lot younger and I think that really helped me. Coming to juniors, I do feel there is a little bit of expectations following that tournament. But I also gained a lot of confidence in where my game's at, so I think it kind of evens out."

Brantmeier will face No. 12 seed and doubles partner Elvina Kalieva in the second round Tuesday.

Americans went 13-10 in the first round, with the nine seeded players joining the 13 winners today in the second round.

Half of the unseeded teams in doubles played today, with the other half playing Tuesday. The seeded doubles teams don't play  until Wednesday.

Results of Americans in first round singles matches Monday:

Girls (7-6)
Theadora Rabman[Q] d. Laura Hietaranta(FIN) 7-5, 6-2
Jana Kolodynska(BLR) d. Liv Hovde[WC] 6-2, 1-6, 6-2
Alina Shcherbinina(RUS) d. Amelia Honer[WC] 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4
Solana Sierra(ARG) d. Sarah Hamner[WC] 6-3, 6-1
Lucija Ciric Bagaric[Q](CRO) d. Tatum Evans[WC] 6-2, 6-1
Reese Brantmeier d. Radka Zelnickova(SVK) 6-3, 6-1
Clervie Ngounoue d. Julia Middendorf(GER) 6-3, 6-3
Johanne Svendsen(DEN) d. Valencia Xu[Q] 7-5, 6-2 
Katja Wiersholm[LL] d. Linda Klimovicova(CZE) 7-5, 6-1
Alexis Blokhina d. Julia Garcia(MEX) 7-6(6), 6-0
Sebastianna Scilipoti(SUI) d. Eleana Yu[WC] 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
Ellie Coleman d. Bianca Behulova(SVK) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
Charlotte Owensby[WC] d. Pimrada Jattavapornvanit(THA) 6-1, 7-6(3)

Boys (6-4)
Aidan Mayo[WC] d. Miquel Gomes[Q](POR) 6-3, 6-3
Pierre Yves Bailly(BEL) d. Jack Anthrop 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4
Colton Smith[WC] d. Edas Butvilas 7-6(4), 6-4
Ryan Colby[WC] d. Alvaro Guillen Meza(ECU) 7-5, 4-6, 4-0 ret.
Abedallah Shelbayh(JOR) d. Ozan Colak 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(9)
Alexander Razeghi[WC] d. Christopher Li[Q](PER) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5)
Aidan Kim[WC] d. Lui Maxted(GBR) 6-2, 6-4
Ignacio Buse(PER) d. Michael Zheng[WC] 7-5, 6-3
Adolfo Vallejo(PAR) d. Kyle Kang[Q] 6-4, 7-5 
Ethan Quinn d. Mili Poljicak(CRO) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1

In my recap yesterday of all the ITF Junior Circuit events with American champions, I neglected to mention the J3 in Canada, which is usually a J1 that attracts most of the US Open participants. This year it didn't, with Canadians making up the majority of the fields, but Americans did take the doubles titles there. Californian Alex Michelsen, the No. 6 seed, reached the boys final, where he lost to No. 4 seed Jaden Weekes of Canada 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Michelsen did win the doubles title, with partner Ekansh Kumar. The top seeds defeated No. 7 seeds John Kim and Canada's Sasha Rozin 6-1, 7-5 in the final. No. 2 seeds Kaitlin Quevedo and Canada's Reece Carter won the girls doubles, beating top seeds Sophie Williams and Canada's Martyna Ostrzygalo 4-6, 7-6(5), 12-10 in the final.