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Sunday, September 4, 2022

Eleven Americans, Including Five Wild Cards, Advance to US Open Junior Championships Second Round; Ngounoue Defeats No. 6 Seed Daubnerova, Glozman Earns First ITF Junior Circuit Win

©Colette Lewis 2022--
Flushing Meadows NY--

A hot and humid first day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis saw mixed results for American juniors, with 11 making it through to the second round, while 15 lost their opening matches, including both USTA National 18s champions.

Clervie Ngounoue, playing in just her third tournament since March, claimed a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 6 seed Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia, a reassuring victory after so little match play in the past six months.

"This is my first slam since Australia," said Ngounoue, who turned 16 in July. "I'm really glad I could pull it out of the bag today; I did not know if I was going to come back or not. Point by point is all I can take it, game by game, match by match."

Ngounoue said a persistent foot injury has been the reason for her absence from competitive tennis between March and August. 

"I have some issues with my foot, the pain comes back, so I'm just managing it for now," said Ngounoue, who retired from her fourth round singles match at San Diego last month, but won the doubles title there with Reese Brantmeier. "We'll see what we can do maybe next year for it, but as of right now, I'm just going with it."

Ngounoue led 3-1 in the first set, but lost five games in a row. She got the only break of the second set to force a third against Daubernova, who is No. 8 in the ITF junior rankings.

Up an early break in the third set, Ngounoue came back from 0-40 down serving at 2-1 to hold, closing the door on Daubernova's hopes for a comeback.

"I really trusted myself, I was confident with my first serve, so afterwards, everything was just flowing," Ngounoue said. "I just thought about every shot as it came, wasn't thinking too much ahead of myself. So once I got the serve in the court, I knew that if I kept my feet moving, I would be really solid on the baseline. I felt confident and that took me point by point there."

Ngounoue has a new, bright orange hair style, which she said is courtesy of her mother, who does hair, but not nails.

"People get their nails done a lot, go through nails every few weeks, and I'm not the person to do that," Ngounoue said. "My mom does my hair and I can control what she does, so I said I might as well get my hair done like people do their nails. We decided to play around with stuff. It's just fun."

Ngounoue will face qualifier Tatum Evans, who defeated Amelia Waligora of Belgium 6-1, 6-4.

Ngounoue and Evans both finished their matches right before a rain shower led to the suspension of seven junior matches on court, the last matches of the day. 

After play resumed more than an hour later, wild card Ariana Pursoo completed her 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over Laniana Tararudee of Thailand, while qualifier Alanis Hamilton lost to No. 2 seed and Roland Garros champion Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4.

Fifteen-year-old Valerie Glozman was not sure how she would stack up to the next level of competition when she began playing 18s this summer, but she has proven a quick study. The Bellevue Washington resident reached the USTA National 18s final, won a round in the US Open womens' qualifying with the wild card she earned as the San Diego runnerup and today got her first win at an ITF Junior Circuit event by beating ITF No. 32 Yaroslava Barashevich of France 7-5, 6-3.

"When I play very tough players it really motivates me," said Glozman, who plays two-handed on both sides and prides herself on her ability to keep her opponents off balance and guessing. "I do practice pretty well and I do a lot of the right things in practice, so it's a matter of getting it out in a match. Since I have to against a higher level, I get it out, because sometimes I can get away with doing the wrong things at a lesser level."

Glozman admitted to some trepidation when competing at the National Tennis Center in women's qualifying and then today.

"It was a little bit intimidating coming here, but once I started hitting, I started believing a little bit more, knowing that I could give some of them some trouble," Glozman said. "I didn't feel prepared going into it, but it was really awesome."

Playing on Court 6, with hundreds of curious spectators dropping by was not a familar experience.

"I was a little worried about that, because I'm kind of sheltered from that and I usually play with like two people in the audience, who are my parents," Glozman joked. "This is completely different obviously, but I think I've kept my head on the court, rather than all over."

Glozman will have a challenge on Monday, when she faces top seed Sofia Costoulas of Belgium in her second round match. Costoulas defeated Lucciana Perez Alarcon of Peru 6-2, 6-0.

While Glozman, the San Diego 18s finalist was successful in her US Open debut, champion Eleana Yu is still looking for her first junior slam victory after losing to Ella McDonald of Great Britain 7-5, 6-3.

Kalamazoo 18s champion Learner Tien was also beaten in today's first round, with No. 6 seed Lautaro Midon of Argentina posting a 6-3, 6-2 victory. Tien had beaten Midon on clay in the quarterfinals of the Grade A in Milan, but could not get anything going in today's rematch.

The Kalamazoo 16s champion Darwin Blanch did earn his first junior slam win in his debut, beating Duke freshman Pedro Rodenas of Spain 6-2, 6-4.

The most impressive win of the day in boys competition was by Aidan Kim who defeated Hayato Matsuoko of Japan 6-0, 6-1 in 39 minutes. Kim put in 74% of his first serves, hit 19 winners and just 7 unforced errors and won 50 points to 17 by Matsuoko. Kim will face No. 9 seed Coleman Wong of Hong Kong in the second round Tuesday.

The completion of the first round of singles, plus some second round singles matches are scheduled for Monday. Doubles also begins Monday, with eight boys and eight girls first round matches on the schedule. The weather forecast is calling for a 50% chance of rain, so all those matches may not be completed.

The top seeds in doubles are Havlickova and Diana Schnaider of Russia in the girls draw and defending champion Wong and Edas Butvilas of Lithuania in the boys draw.

In women's singles today, Americans went 1-1, with No. 12 seed Coco Gauff advancing to the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Shuai Zhang of China. No. 29 seed Alison Riske-Amritraj lost to No. 17 seed Caroline Garcia of France 6-4, 6-1. Danielle Collins[19] and Jessica Pegula[8] are in action Monday, along with the last American man remaining, No. 22 seed Frances Tiafoe.

Sunday's first round junior results of Americans:

Ella McDonald(GBR) d. Eleana Yu[WC] 7-5, 6-3 
Valerie Glozman[WC] d. Yaroslava Bartashevich(FRA) 7-5, 6-3
Taylah Preston[8] d. Alyssa Ahn[WC] 6-0, 3-6, 6-1
Celine Naef[4](SUI) d. Sonya Macavei 6-4, 6-1
Anastasiya Lopata(UKR) d. Qavia Lopez[16] 6-3, 6-3
Iva Jovic[WC] d. Sayaka Ishii(JPN) 6-4, 6-2
Nina Vargova(SVK) d. Mia Slama 6-0, 7-6(5)
Victoria Mboko[9](CAN) d. Kaitlin Quevedo 6-4, 6-2 
Clervie Ngounoue d. Nikola Daubnerova[6](SVK) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
Tatum Evans[Q] d. Amelia Waligora(BEL) 6-1, 6-4
Lucia Havlickova[2](CZE) d. Alanis Hamilton[Q]  6-3, 6-4
Ariana Pursoo[WC] d. Laniana Tararudee(THA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

Daniel Vallejo[1](PAR) d. Kaylan Bigun 6-2, 6-2 
Kyle Kang[WC] d. Paul Barier Gazeu(FRA) 6-3, 6-2
Alex Michelsen d. Tanapatt Nirundorn(THA) 6-1, 6-3
Jack Loutit(NZL) d. Alexander Frusina 7-5, 6-3 
Gonzalo Bueno[7](PER) d. Jelani Sarr[WC] 7-5, 6-4
Michael Zheng[16] d. Borys Zgola[Q](POL) 6-4, 6-4
Rei Sakamoto(JPN) d. Calvin Baierl[LL] 6-1, 7-6(4)
Lautaro Midon[6](ARG) d. Learner Tien 6-3, 6-2
Yaroslav Demin[14](RUS) d. Nicholas Godsick 7-5, 6-4
Aidan Kim d. Hayato Matsuoka(JPN) 6-0, 6-1
Darwin Blanch[WC] v Pedro Rodenas(ESP) 6-3, 6-4
Ozan Baris d. Constantinos Koshis[Q](CYP) 6-3, 6-4
Paul Inchauspe(FRA) d. Sean Daryabeighi[Q] 6-1, 6-1 
Olaf Pieczkowski(POL) d. Alexander Razeghi[WC] 6-4, 6-2

Monday's first round junior matches featuring Americans:

Leanid Boika[WC] v Connor Henry Van Schalkwyk(NAM)
Cooper Williams v Hynek Barton(CZE)
Hudson Rivera[Q] v Martin Landaluce[5](ESP)
Jonah Braswell[WC] v Patrick Brady[Q](GBR)
Nishesh Basavareddy[4] v Dylan Dietrich(SUI)
Bryce Nakashima[WC] v Juan Manuel La Serna(ARG)

Shannon Lam[WC] v Ella Seidel
Katherine Hui[Q] v Johanne Svendsen[13](DEN)
Liv Hovde[3] v Aruzhan Sagandikova(KAZ)
Alexis Blokhina v Amelie Van Impe(BEL)
Capucine Jauffret[WC] v Weronika Ewald(POL)

Monday's second round junior matches featuring Americans:

Aidan Kim v Coleman Wong[9](HKG)
Ozan Baris v Kilian Feldbausch[3](SUI)
Darwin Blanch[WC] v Yaroslav Demin[14](RUS)
Michael Zheng[16] v William Jansen(GBR)
Kyle Kang v Jakub Nicod[11](CZE)

Valerie Glozman[WC] v Sofia Costoulas[1](BEL) 
Iva Jovic[WC] v Solana Sierra[5](ARG)