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Sunday, January 9, 2022

Australian Open Qualifying Features Seven US Men, 16 US Women; Anisimova, Escobedo Claim Titles in Australia; Williams, Blanch No. 1 Seeds at J1 in Costa Rica

Qualifying begins Monday (tonight in the US) for the Australian Open, with seven US men and 16 US women in the 128-player draws. Ten of those 23 are on the Day One schedule, including two of the three USA vs USA matchups: Hanna Chang facing Katie Volynets and Jamie Loeb playing Alycia Parks. The other American women playing Monday are Caroline Dolehide, Hailey Baptiste, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Christina McHale and Whitney Osuigwe. 

The other seven US women in qualifying are Caty McNally[21], Asia Muhammad, Grace Min, Emina Bektas, Coco Vandeweghe, Sachia Vickery and Usue Arconada.

The only American man playing Monday is Michael Mmoh, who plays No. 18 seed Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic.  The other American men include Ulises Blanch, who plays Mitchell Krueger in an all-USA first rounder, Ernesto Escobedo, Christopher Eubanks[31], Bjorn Fratangelo and JJ Wolf.

The men's qualifying draw is here; the women's qualifying draw is here. The Day One schedule is here.  Live scoring is here. Streams of all qualifying matches are available via the ESPN+ streaming service

Escobedo is coming off a Challenger title, the fourth of his career, at the ATP 80 in Bendigo. The 25-year-old Californian, seeded No. 8, defeated No. 10 seed Enzo Couacaud of France 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in Sunday's final. 

Fratangelo lost to Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic in the final of the Traralgon Challenger 80 7-6(2), 6-3.

Amanda Anisimova won her first WTA title since 2019 and the second of her career at the 250 in Melbourne, with the 20-year-old defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 in the final. For more on the final, see this article from the WTA.

Maxime Cressy lost in the final of the ATP 250 in Melbourne, with top seed Rafael Nadal earning a 7-6(6) 6-3 victory over the former UCLA Bruin. For more on that final, see this article from the ATP.

Qualifying is complete at the ITF J1 Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica, with all four boys qualifiers from the United States: Learner Tien[1], John Kim[5], Meecah Bigun[6] and Jackson Armisted[8]. Two of the four girls qualifiers are Americans: Victoria Osuigwe[5] and Germany Davis. 

The boys main draw features 17 Americans, meaning that one first round match has to be between two Americans. In that one, Joseph Phillips will take on No. 5 seed Michael Zheng. Nishesh Basavareddy, who is coming back from a long injury layoff (he played doubles at the Orange Bowl, reaching the quarterfinals), received a wild card.  The top three seeds are Americans: Cooper Williams, Yannick Rahman and Nicholas Godsick. Other US boys in the draw are Sebastian Gorzny[7], Preston Stearns, Alexander Razeghi, Jonah Braswell, Sean Daryabeigi, Alex Frusina, Zane Ford and the four qualifiers. 

There are 12 US girls in the draw, including top seed Krystal Blanch. In addition to the two qualifiers, Isabella Chhiv received entry as a lucky loser and Taylor Goetz, who won the USTA Winter Nationals 16s title last week, was given a wild card. The other American girls in the draw are Mia Slama[4], Ava Krug[5], Sonya Macavei[8], Elisabeth Jones, Daniella Ben-Abraham, Alexia Harmon and Ahmani Guichard.

The order of play for Monday should be posted soon on the tournament website.