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.


Jan from Atlanta said...

Saw Robin Montgomery play an ITF in FL a few months ago. I would classify her as more of a consistent retriever, not really a lot of power. In juniors winners are hit more through moving the opponent and opening the court.

Just Curious said...

Just curious - whatever happened to Danny Thomas? Any update on what he is doing, or if he is still in tennis by any means?

Colette Lewis said...

You must have seen Montgomery on an off day. She has undeniable pace and power and has always had that.