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Monday, January 17, 2022

Kuzuhara Through to Semifinals at Traralgon J1; Australian Open Junior Wild Cards; Eleven Americans Advance in Melbourne; Chang Sweeps Titles at Vero Beach $25K, Black Wins $15K

Top seed Bruno Kuzuhara has moved into the semifinals of the ITF J1 in Traralgon Australia, with the other three Americans in the quarterfinals failing to advance.

Kuzuhara defeated No. 7 seed Olaf Pieczkowski of Poland 6-2, 6-2 and will play No. 6 seed Edas Butvilas of Lithuania in the semifinals. Butvilas ended the run of qualifier Alex Michelsen 6-3, 7-6(4).  The other boys semifinal features No. 5 seed Gabriel Debru and No. 2 seed Mili Polijcak of Croatia.

Top seed Diana Shnaider of Russia lost to No. 7 seed Sofia Costoulas of Belgium 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and will face Australian wild card Taylah Preston. Preston defeated No. 11 seed Liv Hovde 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Clervie Ngounoue, the No. 4 seed, retired trailing No. 8 seed Celine Naef of Switzerland 6-4, 0-1. Naef's semifinal opponent is No. 16 seed Kayla Cross of Canada, who defeated unseeded Dominika Salkova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Kuzuhara and his partner Coleman Wong of Hong Kong, the No. 2 seeds, will play the unseeded team of Ozan Colak and Aidan Kim in the doubles semifinals, assuring at least one American in the final. No US girls remain in doubles.

The main wild cards for the Australian Open Junior Championships have been announced, with all but two from the host country. The six Australian boys below all received Traralgon wild cards as well, with Winter, who beat Gilles Simon in the first round of men's qualifying, getting one win and Jin two before falling to seeds Debru and Kuzuhara respectively. Of the girls AO wild cards, seven of the eight also received wild cards into Tralagon. Preston is still going, of course, with Gibson and Saito reaching the third round.

Edward Winter (AUS)
Jeremy Jin (AUS)
Charlie Camus (AUS)
Hayden Jones (AUS)
Alec Braund (AUS)
Amor Jasika (AUS)
Maxim Batyutenko (KAZ)

Taylah Preston (AUS)
Talia Gibson (AUS)
Catherine Aulia (AUS)
Lily Taylor (AUS)
Roisin Gilheany (AUS)
Lily Fairclough (AUS)
Yuilin Yan (AUS)
Sara Saito (JPN)

Americans went 11-9 in first round play Monday at the Australian Open. Sebastian Korda, who tested positive on his arrival in Australia and did not get to play any warmup events, defeated No. 12 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 in the biggest men's upset of the first day. The only two seeded women to lose Monday were both Americans: Coco Gauff, the No. 18 seed, fell to Qiang Wang of China 6-4, 6-2 and Sofia Kenin, the 2020 champion and No. 11 seed this year, lost to Madison Keys 7-6(2), 7-5.

Fourteen more Americans are in action Tuesday (Monday night in the US):

Ana Konjuh(CRO) d. Shelby Rogers 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Danielle Collins[27] d. Caroline Dolehide[Q] 6-1, 6-3
Beatriz Haddad Maia(BRA) d. Katie Volynets[Q] 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
Emma Raducanu[17](GBR) d. Sloane Stephens 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 
Samantha Stosur[WC](AUS) d. Robin Anderson[WC] 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 
Hailey Baptiste[Q] d. Caroline Garcia(FRA) 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3
Liudmila Samsonova(RUS) d. Emina Bektas[Q] 7-5, 6-4 
Xinyu Wang(CHN) d. Ann Li 7-6(5), 6-3

Steve Johnson d. Jordan Thompson(AUS) 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Frances Tiafoe d. Marco Trungelliti[Q](ARG) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
Taylor Fritz[20] v Maximilian Marterer[Q](GER) 7-6(8), 6-3, 6-2
Maxime Cressy d. John Isner[22] 7-6(2), 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-7(4), 6-4

Monday's first round results:

Tereza Martincova(CZE) d. Lauren Davis 7-5, 6-2 
Amanda Anisimova d. Arianne Hartono[Q](NED) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
Madison Brengle d. Dayana Yastremska(UKR) 6-1, 0-6, 5-0 ret.
Bernarda Pera d. Ekaterina Alexandrova(RUS) 7-5, 6-3
Jessica Pegula[21] d. Anhelina Kalinina(UKR) 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5
Veronika Kudermetova[28](RUS) d. Claire Liu 6-4, 6-4
Alison Riske d. Donna Vekic(CRO) 6-2, 6-2
Madison Keys d. Sofia Kenin[11] 7-6(2), 7-5
Qiang Wang(CHN) d. Coco Gauff[18] 6-4, 6-2 

Tommy Paul d. Mikhail Kukushkin[Q](KAZ) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Lorenzo Sonego[25](ITA) d. Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
Alexander Bublik(KAZ) d. Ernesto Escobedo[LL] 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-3
Sebastian Korda d. Cameron Norrie[12](GBR) 6-3, 6-0, 6-4
Stefan Kozlov[WC] d. Jiri Vesely(CZE) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Matteo Berrettini[7](ITA) d. Brandon Nakashima 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-3
Reilly Opelka[23] d. Kevin Anderson(RSA) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3)
Mackenzie McDonald d. Nikola Milojevic[Q](SRB) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
Karen Khachanov[28](RUS) d. Denis Kudla 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(2) 
Rafael Nadal[6](ESP) d. Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

Rain interrupted the finals of the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Vero Beach, but they did manage to complete it last night, with Sophie Chang claiming both the singles and doubles titles. The 24-year-old Chang, the No. 7 seed, defeated No. 4 seed Vera Lapko of Belarus 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 to earn her second singles title on the Pro Circuit and her first since 2018. Chang and partner Allie Kiick, the No. 3 seeds, then won the doubles title, beating No. 4 seeds Anna Rogers(NC State) and Christina Rosca(Vanderbilt) 6-3, 6-3. Chang now has won 11 titles on the ITF World Tennis Tour.

Hurricane Tyra Black ended her year in November with the title at a $15,000 ITF World Tennis Tour women's tournament in Guatemala and she picked up right where she left off last week in Turkey, running her winning streak to 20 sets and 10 matches at the $15,000 tournament in Antalya. The No. 1 seed, Black defeated Czech junior Barbora Palicova, seeded No. 7, 6-0, 6-4 in the final.


Texas tennis fan said...

Two thoughts:
1) This girl's management company (and mother) is certainly on the job with publicity ...
2) This kind of publicity almost never portends the development of a player who will be a major pro
3) What are her actual results like?
4) Interesting to hear about the tryouts at the PM academy.

Jon KIng said...

Yes they have been marketing her for a few years now. Its the perfect combination, tennis mom promoter meets Patrick Mouratoglou. There are thousands of talented girls all over the world working hard at their tennis. No one has a clue who will put it all together and be a top pro. I also cringed yesterday when I saw Serena had posted a video of her daughter hitting a back hand and every comment was about how she was going to be a future champion. Geez, let these kids have some fun and hit the ball. Who knows who will emerge as a top player. They put so much pressure on Co CO Gauff to win slams at age 15-16-17. She will be 18 by the time she has her next opportunity, I guess the pressure on her will only build as she gets older. Maybe she wins a slam, maybe more than one, but maybe not. Just let them all play and see what happens.