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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Kuzuhara, Lopez Advance at Australian Open Junior Championships; Keys and Pegula Reach Quarterfinals in Melbourne; Nine Americans Begin Competition at Les Petits As in Tarbes

Two more Americans advanced to the second round of the Australian Open Junior Championships with victories Sunday, joining the five who had picked up opening round wins on Saturday.

Top seed Bruno Kuzuhara defeated Daniele Minighini of Italy 6-2, 6-2, and Qavia Lopez earned her first win at a junior slam beating Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. The 16-year-old Lopez is playing in her first junior slam main draw, after losing in the qualifying at the US Open last summer. The ITF spoke with Kuzuhara and girls top seed Petra Marcinko of Croatia, who beat American Alexis Blokhina 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 Sunday, for this article.

In doubles action Sunday, unseeded Ozan Colak and Aidan Kim defeated No. 4 seeds Kalin Ivanovski of Macedonia and Konstantin Zhzhenov of Russia 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the second round. The remainder of the first round of doubles will be played Monday.

Sunday's first round junior matches featuring Americans:

Petra Marcinko[1](CRO) d. Alexis Blokhina 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Qavia Lopez d. Lucie Havlickova(CZE) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1

Bruno Kuzuhara[1] v Daniele Minghini(ITA) 6-2, 6-2
Woobin Shin(KOR) d. Rohan Murali[Q] 6-0, 6-2 
Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez[9](MEX) d. Leanid Boika 6-4, 6-1

Monday's second round junior matches featuring Americans:
Liv Hovde[13] d. Georgia Pedone(ITA) 6-0, 6-1
Ekaterina Khayrutdinova(RUS) d. Clervie Ngounoue[5] 6-4, 6-2

Yannik Rahman d. Olaf Pieczkowski[8](POL) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
Jakub Mensik[4](CZE) d. Aidan Kim 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 
Ozan Colak[12] d. Luis Alvarez Valdes(MEX) 6-4, 6-0

Both Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys advanced to the women's quarterfinals at the Australian Open with wins Sunday over higher ranked opponents. Amanda Anisimova was beaten by top seed Ashleigh Barty.

Sunday's round 4 results for Americans:
Ashleigh Barty[1](AUS) d. Amanda Anisimova 6-4, 6-3
Jessica Pegula[21] d. Maria Sakkari[5](GRE) 7-6(0), 6-3
Madison Keys d. Paula Badosa[8](ESP) 6-3, 6-1

Monday's round 4 matches featuring Americans:
Danielle Collins[27] d. Elise Mertens[19](BEL) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Stefano Tsitsipas[4](GRE) d. Taylor Fritz[20] 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 
Daniil Medvedev[2](RUS) d. Maxime Cressy 6-2, 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 7-5 

The 40th edition of the Les Petits As 14U tournament begins Monday in Tarbes France, with five US boys and four US girls in the singles draws. 

Junior Orange Bowl 14s finalist Shannon Lam, who won the USA Qualifying Playoffs this fall, is not participating, but the other three semifinalists are in the draw: Sydney Jara, seeded No. 16, Marcella Roversi and Julieta Pareja. Capucine Jauffret, who lost to Jara in the quarterfinals of the playoffs, was given a wild card.

The top girls seed is Alena Kovackova of the Czech Republic, which has three of top four girls seeds. Hannah Klugman of Great Britain, who reached the quarterfinals of the Junior Orange Bowl 14s last month, is in the draw, but not seeded. She reached the semifinals of the 2021 Les Petits As last September, after the tournament was postponed from early in the yearl.

All four semifinalists from the boys playoffs are in the draw: winner Jack Kennedy, seeded No. 8, finalist Ford McCollum, seeded No. 16, Keaton Hance and Sebastian Bielen. Carel Ngounoue, who did not compete in the Playoffs, is the fifth US boy in the draw, seeded No. 10.  

The top seed in the boys draw is Flynn Thomas of Switzerland. Junior Orange Bowl B12s champion Svit Suljic of Slovenia received a wild card.

If you prefer the printable ITF-style draws and order of play, they can be found at the Tennis Europe tournament page.

I covered the ITF Junior Circuit results from Traralgon, the J1 in Colombia, the J4 in Costa Rica and the J5 in New Jersey, but I neglected to note another doubles title for Anya Murthy at the J2 in India. Murthy, who won a J3 doubles title earlier this month, partnered with Russian Vlada Mincheva for a title this week in Kolkata. The No. 4 seeds beat No. 3 seeds Victoria Milovanova and Daria Shadchneva of Russia 1-6, 6-4, 10-6 in the final.