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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Zheng Wins J1 Title in Colombia; Filin Sweeps Singles and Doubles at J4 in Costa Rica; Five US Juniors Advance to Round 2 at Australian Open; Collins, Fritz and Cressy Reach Round of 16 in Melbourne

The singles finals of the ITF J1 in Barranquilla Colombia were played today, with Michael Zheng taking the boys title and Olivia Lincer falling in the girls championship match.

In last night's semifinals, Zheng avenged his semifinal loss to Cooper Williams at last week's  J1 in Costa Rica, with the No. 5 seed defeating the top seed 6-3, 6-3. In today's final, Zheng beat No. 8 seed Jan Hrazdil of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-1 to earn his first ITF Junior Circuit singles title. Last week's doubles title with Williams in Costa Rica was the 17-year-old Columbia recruit's first title on the circuit. 

Lincer, the No. 9 seed, defeated Madeleine Jessup of Taiwan 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in Friday night's semifinal, but she lost to No. 11 seed Sayaka Ishii of Japan in today's final 6-3, 6-2. 

In the doubles finals Friday, the unseeded Slovakian team of Renata Jamrichova and Nina Vargova defeated No. 2 seeds Krystal Blanch and Ava Krug 7-5, 6-2 and No. 2 seeds Peter Nad of Slovakia and Martin Vergara del Puerto of Paraguay beat the unseeded pairing of John Kim and Canada's Duncan Chan 6-4, 5-7, 10-8. 

Nikita Filin swept the titles at this week's J4 in Costa Rica, as did Puerto Rico's Natalia Perez.  Filin, the No. 2 seed, defeated top seed Jackson Armistead 7-6(4), 6-7(5) 6-1 in the all-US singles final. The 15-year-old from Illinois had won the doubles title Friday with partner Roy Horovitz, with the top seeds defeating unseeded Tygen Goldammer and Kase Schinnerer 6-3, 6-1 in another all-US final.

The 15-year-old Perez, seeded No. 3, beat unseeded Claire An 6-4, 6-2 in the girls singles final. She and Brooklyn Olson won the doubles title Friday, with the No. 3 seeds defeating unseeded An and Kayla Schefke 6-4, 7-6(2). 

It's the second J4 singles title for both Filin and Perez.

Five of the six Americans in action Saturday advanced to the second round of the Australian Open Junior Championships, and the remaining five in the draw are on Sunday's schedule. Rahman, who was playing in Costa Rica last week, was particularly impressive in rebounding for his first junior slam win after making that long trip.

Saturday's first round junior matches featuring Americans:

Yannick Rahman d. Louis Bowden[Q](GBR) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
Aidan Kim d. Gerard Campana Lee(KOR) 6-3, 6-2
Kilian Feldbausch[11](SUI) d. Quang Duong[Q] 6-0, 6-3
Ozan Colak[13] d. Dinko Dinev(BUL) 6-0, 6-1

Liv Hovde[13] v Talia Gibson[WC](AUS) 6-3, 7-6(8)
Clervie Ngounoue[5] d. Nahia Berecoechea(FRA) 6-3, 6-4

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

The doubles draws were released Saturday, with Sunday's schedule featuring eight girls and eight boys doubles matches. The top seeds in the boys draw are the Traralgon J1 champions Mili Poljicak of Croatia and Edas Butvilas of Lithuania. Bruno Kuzuhara and Hong Kong's Coleman Wong are the No. 2 seeds.

Alex Michelsen and Kurt Miller, who lost in the final round of singles qualifying, both were accepted into the doubles draw, easing the disappointment of not reaching the main draw in singles.

The top seeds in the girls draw are Diana Shnaider of Russia and Clervie Ngounoue. The No. 2 seeds are Croatia's Petra Marcinko and Johanne Svendsen of Denmark. Shnaider and Marcinko won the Orange Bowl doubles title last month.

Three more Americans advanced to the Australian Open round of 16 with wins Saturday, two of them former NCAA champions. Danielle Collins(Virginia), who won the singles title in both 2014 and 2016, earned a come-from-behind victory over Danish teenager Clara Tauson, while Maxime Cressy(UCLA), who won the doubles title in 2019, made the fourth round of a major for the first time with a four-set win over Australian wild card Christopher O'Connell.  Taylor Fritz also reached the fourth round of a major for the first time with a five-set win over Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.

Saturday's third round results of Americans: 

Danielle Collins[27] d. Clara Tauson(DEN) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Taylor Fritz[20] d. Roberto Bautista Agut[15](ESP) 6-0. 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Maxime Cressy d. Christopher O'Connell[WC](AUS) 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2

Sunday's fourth round matches featuring 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