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Saturday, June 4, 2022

Havlickova Sweeps Roland Garros Girls Titles, Debru Takes Boys Singles Championship; Gauff Falls in Women's Final; Rojer and Arevalo Claim Men's Doubles; Collegians Aim for Sweeps at Rancho Santa Fe $15Ks

Lucie Havlickova in 2022 Offenbach JA final
photo by Richard van Loon at toptennis.photos

Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic is in good company after sweeping the singles and doubles titles today at the Roland Garros Junior Championships.

The 17-year-old is one of just four girls to accomplish that, and the first in 17 years, joining Natasha Zvereva (1987), Martina Hingis (1994) and Agnes Szavay (2005).

The first step for Havlickova was the singles title, with the No. 9 seed facing unseeded Solana Sierra of Argentina in the final. Although Havlickova had four three-set victories in advancing to the championship match, two of which she came from a set down, that physical and mental toll didn't show in the most of important match of her career and she glided to a 6-3, 6-3 victory. She is the second consecutive Czech girl to win the Roland Garros girls title, after Linda Noskova ended a long drought for the country last year. For Havlickova's comments and those of Sierra, who defeated four seeds to advance to the final, see this article on the girls final from the ITF Junior website.

Havlickova and partner Sara Bejlek of the Czech Republic, the top seeds, then took the court for the doubles final against No. 2 seeds Nikola Bartunkova, also from the Czech Republic, and Celine Naef of Switzerland. Bejlek admitted to still being angry after losing a 5-2 third set lead in her semifinal loss to Havlickova on Friday, but that was quickly forgotten, and by the same 6-3 6-3 score, the doubles title was secured.

Gabriel Debru in 2022 Offenbach JA quarterfinals
photo by Richard van Loon at toptennis.photos

In the boys final, which clocked in at over two hours despite being just two sets, France got its second consecutive boys champion, with No. 14 seed Gabriel Debru defeating unseeded Gilles Bailly of Belgium 7-6(5), 6-3. Debru obviously had the support of the large crowd on Court Simonne-Mathieu, but that kind of pressure isn't always conducive to a winning performance. The 16-year-old, who lost in the third round at Roland Garros last year as a wild card, and in the first round this year at the Australian Open, will see his ITF Junior ranking, currently 15, rise dramatically with the 1000 points. I don't think he'll catch Kuzuhara for No. 1, but should be no lower than 3 when Monday's rankings are released.

For more on the boys final, see this article from the Roland Garros website, and this article from the ITF Junior website.

The boys doubles title also went to the top seeds, with Edas Butvilas of Lithuania and Mili Poljicak of Croatia defeating No. 2 seeds Gonzalo Bueno and Ignacio Buse of Peru 6-4, 6-0. It's the second junior slam title for Butvilas, who won Wimbledon with Alejandro Manzanera Pertusa of Spain last year. It's the first for Pojicak, who lost in the semifinals at last year's US Open with Bruno Kuzuhara as his partner.

Coco Gauff lost to top seed and WTA No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland in today's women's singles final, with the 18-year-old from Florida getting off to a poor start and the 21-year-old Swiatek taking advantage of it. Gauff provided a glimmer of hope that the match would provide some compelling drama when she went up 2-0 in the second set, but Swiatek raised her level and efficiently closed out a 6-1, 6-3 victory. 

Gauff will play for the women's doubles title on Sunday, with Jessica Pegula. Gauff, who reached the women's doubles final last year at the US Open with Caty McNally, has four WTA doubles titles, with the most recent coming at the WTA 1000 in Doha, with Pegula. They will face the unseeded French pairing of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic prior to the men's singles final.

Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer
photo via Roland Garros twitter

An excellent men's doubles final followed the women's singles championship match, with two former collegians collecting the title. Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands, who played at UCLA, and Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador, who played at Tulsa, saved three match points in the second set and went on to claim the championship with a 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3 win over Ivan Dodig of Croatia and American Austin Krajicek, who played collegiate tennis at Texas A&M.

Rojer and Arevalo got the only break of serve in the match to go up 4-2 in the third set, and that was enough to ensure victory. Arevalo, who delivered a pair of spectacular shots, either of which would qualify for the best shot of the tournament, becomes the first player from Central America to win a slam title. Rojer, at 40, is the oldest player to win a slam doubles title; he now has four slam doubles titles, three in men's and one mixed.

For more on the men's doubles final, see this article from the Roland Garros website.

Both Americans who were in the semifinals at the ATP Challenger 100 in Little Rock Arkansas lost today, with wild card Ben Shelton(Florida) falling to No. 4 seed Jason Kubler of Australia 6-4, 6-4 and Aleks Kovacevic(Illinois) dropping a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 decision to No. 8 seed Tung-Lin Wu of Taiwan.

Christian Harrison and Australia's Andrew Harris(Oklahoma) won the doubles title, with the unseeded pair defeating top seeds Robert Galloway(Wofford) and Max Schnur(Columbia) 6-3, 6-4.

The singles finals are set for the men's and women's SoCal Pro $15Ks in Rancho Santa Fe California, with two recent NCAA individual standouts already claiming one title in today's doubles and going for another on Sunday.

NCAA singles finalist San Diego's August Holmgren of Denmark took on Florida's Duarte Vale in a battle of fifth-year seniors, with the unseeded Holmgren defeating the No. 3 seed from Portugal 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-3. Holmgren will face No. 2 seed Gage Brymer, the former UCLA star, in Sunday's final, after Brymer defeated qualifier Bjorn Swenson, a rising freshman at Michigan, 6-3, 7-5. 

Steve Pratt, the press aide for the events, wrote this article detailing the relentless and global schedule Brymer has been participating in this year after his quarterfinal win yesterday.

Mariia Kozyreva of St. Mary's won two rounds at the NCAA singles tournament last week in Champaign to achieve All-American status; the fifth year senior from Russia, seeded No. 4, will play for her first pro title Sunday after beating 18-year-old qualifier Ya Yi Yang of Taiwan 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Kozyreva will face another teenager in the final, 17-year-old Talia Gibson of Australia, the No. 2 seed. Gibson beat Bunyawi Thamchaiwat(San Diego State) of Thailand 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. 

Kozyreva and Holmgren both won doubles titles today, with Holmgren and partner Alexander Cozbinov(UNLV) of Moldova, the No. 2 seeds, eking out a win over Abraham Asaba of Ghana and Mitchell Harper of Australia 6-4, 6-7(3) 21-19. 

Kozyreva and her partner Veronica Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) had an easier time of it in their final, with the unseeded pair defeating San Diego teammates Solymar Colling and Spain's Claudia De Las Heras 6-1, 6-3. 

Alex Gruskin is providing Red Zone coverage of the semifinals and finals of the SoCal Pro Circuit tournaments these next six weeks on the Cracked Racquets YouTube channel.