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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Kuzuhara, Hovde and Zheng Advance at Roland Garros Junior Championships, Second Seed Costoulas Falls; Anderson Wins Orlando $60K; Dutta Sweeps J5 Titles in El Salvador; Christensen of Tufts and Morris of Middlebury Claim Division III Titles

Less than six hours after I posted my NCAA Division I individual championships article last night, the Roland Garros Junior Championships began, with 12 of the 15 Americans competing in Sunday's first round of singles.

Just three recorded victories: top seed Bruno Kuzuhara, Michael Zheng and No. 6 seed Liv Hovde.

Kuzuhara defeated qualifier Topan Tokac of Turkey without much difficulty, although he did trail briefly in the second set of his 6-1 6-3 victory. Hovde had to work for her 6-3, 6-2 win over Kristyna Tomajkova of the Czech Republic, while Michael Zheng earned his second win over Korea's Gerard Campana Lee in the past six months coming back for 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory.

Qualifier Sonya Macavei had a match point on No. 13 seed Nikola Bartunkova of the Czech Republic with Bartunkova serving at 3-6, 4-5, but the 16-year-old, who has an WTA ranking of 350, saved it and took the second set in a tiebreaker. Macavei led 4-2 in the third set, but that set also went to a tiebreaker, this one the new standard of first to 10, with Bartunkova taking it 10 point to 8 for a 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(8) win.

Cooper Williams had three break points at 5-all in the third set against No. 3 seed and 2022 Australian Open boys finalist Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic, but he wasn't able to convert them, and Mensik took his first opportunity in the next game to earn a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win. 

The girls Australian Open finalist was able to pull out her first match on the red clay in Paris, with No. 2 Sofia Costoulas of Belgium falling to Dominika Salkova of the Czech Republic 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-3. No. 8 seed Ksenia Zaytseva of Russia lost to French wild card Sarah Ilev 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.  Top seed and Australian Open girls champion Petra Marcinko of Croatia defeated Canada's Kayla Cross 6-1, 6-4.

For more on Salkova's upset victory, see this article from the ITF website.

US junior results in Roland Garros round 1:

Taylah Preston(AUS) d. Mia Slama(USA) 7-5, 6-4
Nina Vargova(SVK) d. Kaitlin Quevedo[Q](USA)
Tiantsoa Sarah Rakotomanga Rajaonah[WC](FRA) d. Alexis Blokhina(USA) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5)
Liv Hovde[6](USA) d. Kristyna Tomajkova(CZE) 6-3, 6-2
Nikola Bartunkova[13](CZE) d. Sonya Macavei[Q](USA) 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(8)
Lucia Peyre(ARG) d. Qavia Lopez[15](USA) 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3

Bruno Kuzuhara[1](USA) d. Togan Tokac[Q](TUR) 6-1, 6-3
Michael Zheng(USA) d. Gerard Campana Lee(KOR) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Edas Butvilas(LTU) d. Alex Michelsen(USA) 6-2, 6-4
Hynek Barton(CZE)[Q] d. Nicholas Godsick(USA) 6-2, 6-4
Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez(MEX) d. Victor Lilov[12](USA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Jakub Mensik[3](CZE) d. Cooper Williams(USA) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5

The three Americans who didn't play today are on Monday's schedule: Nishesh Basavareddy[5], Ozan Colak and Ahmani Guichard.

Colak and Guichard reached the semifinals of the ITF Grade 1 Astrid Bowl, a traditional warm-up event prior to Roland Garros, last week. By advancing that deep, Guichard received a special exemption into the main draw, avoiding qualifying. Alina Korneeva of Russia, the No. 11 seed, and Arthur Gea of France, the No. 14 seed, won the singles titles. 

Monday's schedule also includes second round singles matches for Hovde and Zheng, and 18 of the 32 first round doubles matches.

Hovde and Qavia Lopez are the No. 3 seeds, as are Nishesh Basavareddy and Victory Lilov. Australian Open doubles champions Kuzuhara and Hong Kong's Coleman Wong are seeded No. 4; Wong is attempting to win his third consecutive junior slam doubles title, having won the US Open last September with Columbia freshman Max Westphal.

Draws can be found here.

Former UCLA All-American Robin Anderson won the title at the $60,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Orlando today, with the top seed defeating Sachia Vickery, seeded No. 6, 7-5, 6-4. Anderson, 29, will reach a new career high in the WTA rankings, with the title moving up to 137 in the live rankings.

Top seeds Sophie Chang and Angela Kulikov(USC) won the doubles title, beating unseeded Hanna Chang and Elli Mandlik 6-3, 2-6, 10-6. It's their fourth title of the year as a team, all of them at the $60K or higher level.

Martin Damm reached the final of a $25K in the Czech Republic, and former Pac-12 rivals Gage Brymer(UCLA) and Brandon Holt(USC) won $15K titles in Tunisia and Cancun, respectively.

Sixteen-year-old Maya Dutta won her first ITF Junior Circuit singles title this week at the Grade 5 in El Salvador. The No. 1 seed defeated No. 8 seed Maria Paula Ramos Garcia of Guatemala 6-3, 6-3 in the final.  Dutta and Mia Garber won the doubles title as the No. 1 seeds, defeating No. 2 seeds Ramos Garcia and her partner Mariela Fotuny of Guatemala 6-3, 6-4 in the final.

I don't believe I mentioned Calvin Baierl's ITF junior circuit title from the previous week when I did my wrap-up, but his results this month certainly deserve recognition. The 15-year-old from Florida is now 14-1 in May, winning two Grade 5s in Colombia with a final sandwiched in between. Seeded No. 7 in the May 16-21 tournament, Baierl defeated Samuel Heredia of Colombia 6-4, 7-5 in the final, with Heredia the opponent who had handed Baierl his only loss of the month.

The NCAA Division III singles and doubles champions were crowned today at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona. 

Elle Christensen of Tufts defeated Angie Zhou of Pomona-Pitzer 6-4, 7-5 in the women's singles final. Because Christensen was in the singles final, which is played before the doubles semifinals and finals, the women's doubles final is just starting, with Christensen and Tilly Rigby facing Erica Ekstrand and Yuu Ishikawa of Williams.

For more on the women's singles final, see this article from the Tufts website.

The women's results can be found here.

Stan Morris of Middlebury won the men's singles title, beating  Vishnu Joshi of Johns Hopkins 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. James Hopper and Jonathan Powell of Case Western defeated Andrew Esses and Nolan Shah of Emory 6-4, 6-1 for the men's doubles title.

For more on the men's singles final, see this article from the Middlebury website. For more on the men's doubles, see the Case Western website.

The men's results can be found here.