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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Colak, Kuzuhara and Hovde Reach Quarterfinals at Australian Open Junior Championships; Collins Joins Keys in Women's Semifinals; Three More Americans Advance at Les Petits As

Because all the Americans remaining in the Australian Open junior draws were first on Wednesday in Melbourne, I decided to wait for those results before I posted today. It was definitely a great day for Americans, with three of the five playing in the third round advancing to the quarterfinals.

No. 13 seed Ozan Colak eliminated the highest seed to fall so far, beating No. 2 seed Mili Poljicak of Croatia 3-6, 6-1, 7-5. Colak suffered the only break in the first set, but Poljicak, who was coming off a title at the J1 in Traralgon last week, didn't win a point on serve in his first two service games of second set, and Colak closed it out. The third set was close throughout, with Colak saving the only break point serving at 2-3 until Polijcak went down 15-40 at 5-all. He saved one break, but not the second, it was unforced errors that were the difference in that game. Colak didn't give points away, while Poljicak, who has a big serve, was not able to get himself out of trouble with it.

Colak fell behind 15-30 serving out the match, but he got two first serves in at 30-all and 40-30, and was rewarded with is first appearance in a junior slam quarterfinal.

Liv Hovde, also a No. 13 seed, also reached her first junior slam quarterfinal when No. 3 seed Ksenia Zaytseva of Russia retired trailing 6-3, 3-0. Hovde fell behind 2-0 to start the match, but found her form, while Zaytseva was ailing physically. She took a medical timeout, possibly for heat-related issues, and once Hovde held for 3-0, Zaytseva retired. Hovde will play No. 6 seed Michaela Laki of Greece, who came from 5-1 down in the third set to beat Dominika Salkova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(8).

Top seed Bruno Kuzuhara keeps rolling along, taking out No. 16 seed Lautaro Midon of Argentina 6-4, 6-1. Kuzuhara gets a chance for revenge in the next round when he takes on No. 7 seed Edas Butvilas of Lithuania, who beat him 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals of last week's J1 in Traralgon. 

Yannik Rahman lost to unseeded Yaroslav Demin of Russia 6-3, 6-1 and Qavia Lopez fell to No. 2 seed Diana Shnaider of Russia 6-2, 6-2. Lopez had taken out No. 14 seed Victoria Mboko of Canada 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in Tuesday's second round.

Colak and Aidan Kim, Hovde and Alexis Blokhina, Alex Michelsen, Leanid Boika, Kuzuhara and Clervie Ngounoue are all through to the quarterfinals in doubles, which are later Wednesday.

No. 27 seed Danielle Collins is through to the semifinals of the Australian Open for the second time in her career, after defeating Alize Cornet of France 7-5, 6-1 Wednesday. The two-time NCAA singles champion at Virginia served for the first set at 5-4, failed on that attempt, but showed no frustration. At 5-6, Cornet saved two set points, but Collins got the third, and ran out to 5-0 lead in the second set before Cornet held.

Madison Keys also reached the Australian Open semifinals for the second time with a 6-3, 6-2 win Tuesday over No. 4 seed Barbora Krejickova of the Czech Republic. Keys will play top seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia, who defeated Jessica Pegula 6-2, 6-0.

The first round of singles concluded at Les Petits As Tuesday, with the three Americans who did not play Monday all getting wins. No. 8 seed Jack Kennedy defeated Jakub Smejcky of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-1, Keaton Hance beat qualifier Liam Channon of Great Britain 6-4, 6-2 and wild card Capucine Jauffret defeated wild card Rose Sueur of France 6-3, 6-0. Those three join Sydney Jara[16], Marcella Roversi, Carel Ngounoue, Ford McCollum and Sebastian Bielen, all of whom won Monday, in the second round.

The boys doubles are already at the quarterfinal stage, with Ngounoue, who is seeded No. 1 with partner Thijs Boogaard of the Netherlands, advancing, along with the unseeded team of Hance and McCollum. There are no boys doubles on Wednesday, with the second round of girls doubles on the schedule. The unseeded Julieta Pareja and Jauffret will play for a spot in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Live streaming is here; live scoring is here.