Sunday, September 5, 2021

US Open Junior Championships Begin Monday, with 32 Americans in Singles Draws; Blanch, Tindera, Grant and Bowers Claim ITF Junior Circuit Titles

©Colette Lewis 2021--
Flushing Meadows NY--

Juniors begin play Monday at US Open

It was an oddly quiet middle Sunday at the US Open, at least for those of us interested in the Junior Championships. Sunday has always marked the beginning of that part of the tournament with the first round of the junior event played over two days and concluding eight days later with the singles championships.

That schedule gave the tournament a bit of breathing room in case of rain; this year the draws have been reduced and the tournament shortened from eight days to six, leaving no wiggle room should it rain, as it did today and is expected to do again Wednesday.

The 48-player draws give the 16 seeds a bye, so none will play on Monday. The seeds are listed below; links to the draws are in the headers:

1. Juncheng Shang, China
2. Samir Banerjee, USA
3. Daniel Rincon, Spain
4. Bruno Kuzuhara, USA
5. Jack Pinnington Jones, Great Britain
6. Victor Lilov, USA
7. Viacheslav Bielinkskyi, Ukraine
8. Jerome Kym, Switzerland
9. Mark Lajal, Estonia
10. Sean Cunenin, France
11. Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg, France
12. Gonzalo Bueno, Peru
13. Dali Blanch, USA
14. Alejandro Manzanera Pertusa, Spain
15. Maks Kasnikowski, Poland
16. Alexander Bernard, USA

1. Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva, Andorra
2. Alexandra Eala, Philippines
3. Diana Shnaider, Russia
4. Ane Mintegi Del Olmo, Spain
5. Linda Fruhvirtova, Czech Republic
6. Kristina Dmitruk, Belarus
7. Robin Montgomery, USA
8. Oceane Babel, France
9. Natalia Szabanin, Hungary
10. Madison Sieg, USA
11. Mara Guth, Germany
12. Elvina Kalieva, USA
13. Matilda Mutavdzic, Great Britain
14. Dana Guzman, Peru
15. Michaela Laki, Greece
16. Ashlyn Krueger, USA

I wrote my first article for the ITF Junior website today after the draws were released, which you can find here. The number of Americans in the draws is one of the main takeaways, with 15 boys, including five seeds, and 17 girls, including four seeds, which means one in every three players is from the US.  2019 finalist Alexandra Yepifanova was the late withdrawal, with Katja Wiersholm taking her spot as a lucky loser.

The doubles draws have also been released, with Jimenez Kasintseva and Mintegi Del Olmo the No. 1 girls seeds and Kym and Pinnington Jones the No. 1 boys seeds. Eight doubles matches are also on the schedule for Monday, in addition to the 32 singles matches. As with singles, the seeded teams have byes in the first round.

Monday's junior singles matches featuring Americans:

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

Aidan Mayo[WC] v Miquel Gomes[Q](POR)
Jack Anthrop v Pierre Yves Bailly(BEL)
Colton Smith[WC] v Edas Butvilas
Ryan Colby[WC] v Alvaro Guillen Meza(ECU)
Ozan Colak v Abedallah Shelbayh(JOR)
Alexander Razeghi[WC] v Christopher Li[Q](PER)
Aidan Kim[WC] v Lui Maxted(GBR)
Michael Zheng[WC] v Ignacio Buse(PER)
Kyle Kang[Q] v Adolfo Vallejo(PAR)
Ethan Quinn v Mili Poljicak(CRO)

I won't have time to follow any of the ITF Junior Circuit tournaments outside of New York this week, but here's an update on the Americans who won titles at four of the 25(!) junior events taking place across the globe in the week that just ended.

Krystal Blanch won her third ITF J3 titles in the past four weeks, won her second straight in Spain today, defeating fellow American Sonya Macavei 7-5, 7-5 in the final. Blanch, the top seed, is the younger sister of Ulises and Dali Blanch. Macavei, the No. 5 seed in singles, won the doubles title Saturday, partnering with Zuzanna Kubacha of Poland. The top seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Carolina Gomez of Spain and Tiziana Rossini of Argentina 4-6, 6-1, 10-8 in the final.

Not to be outdone by Blanch, Elizabeth Tindera won her third J5 in as many weeks, with the 17-year-old also winning an all-USA final. Tindera, the top seed in Panama, defeated unseeded 15-year-old Brianna Baldi 7-5, 7-5. She has dropped just one set in the past three weeks, in El Salvador in the first week of this stretch. She also claimed the doubles title, with Fatima Gutierrez Martinez of Mexico. The top seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Carolina Chiatti Reynoso of the Dominican Republic and Anika Lemus Maldonado of Guatemala 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

In the boys doubles in Panama, Tommy Czaplinski and his partner Wil Jenkins of Great Britain won the title, with the No. 4 seeds beating Thanphat Boosarawongse of Thailand and Paris Pouatcha of the US 6-7(4), 6-4, 12-10 in the final. 

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Bowers won the J4 in Leon Mexico as the top seed. She defeated No. 8 seed Maya Dutta 6-4, 6-2 in yet another all-US girls final this week. 

At a J5 in France, 13-year-old wild card Tyra Grant won the singles and doubles titles, her first on the ITF Junior Circuit, without losing a set in either. Grant defeated three seeds, including top seed Masa Viriant of Slovenia in the semifinals, before downing unseeded wild card Alice Battesti of France 6-4, 6-3 in the final. In doubles, Grant partnered with Ophelie Boullay of France, and the unseeded pair defeated top seeds Amahee Charrier and Carla Tanguy of France 6-2, 6-3 in the final.