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Thursday, September 15, 2022

My US Open Juniors Recap; Four International Juniors Advance to Champaign $15K Quarterfinals; Rabman, Horovitz Reach Montreal J2 Finals; US Wins Again in Davis Cup Group Play

Unlike this year's Wimbledon Junior Championships, which were played over nine days with no rain delays, last week's US Open Junior Championships did not go smoothly. Packing the tournament into seven days left no room for the rain storms that seem obligatory in the second week of the Open, and when rain kept any matches from being played on Tuesday, those who did not complete their second round of singles or first round of doubles on Monday were bound to suffer. 

Girls finalist Lucie Havlickova bore the brunt of this scheduling problem, playing three matches on both Wednesday and Friday. Although the 17-year-old from the Czech Republic, who did take over the top spot in the ITF Junior Circuit rankings this week, was aware that any complaint would sound like an excuse, she did admit that it hurt her in the final against Eala, who never played more than two matches in a day.

For me, the Wimbledon schedule was ideal, and I hope if the US Open does not adopt that, at least they return to the Sunday singles finals that had been a tradition at the event since I began covering it in 2004 through 2019.

My recap of the tournament for the Tennis Recruiting Network is available today.

Four of the boys who competed in the US Open Junior Championships--Peter Privara of Slovakia, Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay, Edward Winter of Australia and Rei Sakamoto of Japan--have advanced to the quarterfinals of this week's $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign. Privara, who lost to champion Martin Landaluce of Spain in the third round in New York, defeated NCAA Most Outstanding Player Gianni Ross(Virginia) 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 and will play top seed Sekou Bangoura(Florida) in Friday's quarterfinals.

The seventh-seed Vallejo, who lost to Landaluce in the semifinals last week, defeated Cash Hanzlik(Arizona State) 6-3, 6-3 and will play unseeded Yuta Kikuchi(Cal) of Japan, who defeated No. 2 seed Emil Reinberg(Georgia) 6-1, 6-3 today. The eighth-seeded Edward Winter, who qualified for the US Open Juniors but lost in the first round, defeated qualifier Jody Maginley of Antigua 7-5, 6-7(0), 6-1 and will face qualifier Justin Boulais(Ohio State) of Canada.

Sakamoto, who lost in the second round of the US Open Junior Championships, defeated No. 3 seed Tadeas Paroulek(Baylor) of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4 and will play No. 5 seed AJ Catanzariti(Texas A&M) in the quarterfinals.

It's the fifth $15K quarterfinal for Vallejo and the first for the other three.

USTA National 16s champion Darwin Blanch, who trains in Spain and returned there after Kalamazoo, decided to extended his trip to the United States for the US Open Juniors, where he won a round. Playing this week at the ITF J2 in Montreal, Blanch reached the semifinals, where he lost today to Roy Horovitz 7-5, 6-1. No. 8 seed Horovitz, who had not played since losing in the fourth round as the No. 1 seed in Kalamazoo last month, will play unseeded Keegan Rice of Canada in Friday's final.

Blanch and Horovitz did team up for the doubles title today, with the unseeded pair defeating wild cards Adam Faragcao and Stephane Kamendje of Canada 6-1, 6-1 in the final.

Top seed Thea Rabman will play No. 4 seed Mayu Crossley of Japan in the girls final Friday.

The girls doubles title went to No. 4 seeds Maya Joint and Ariana Pursoo, who beat wild cards Raphaelle Leroux and Gianna Oboniye of Canada 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 in today's final.

The United States beat Kazakhstan 2-1 today in Davis Cup Group play, with Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz getting singles victories. There are still many permutations left, with matches scheduled for Friday and Saturday, so although they are in a good position as far as qualifying for the quarterfinals in November, nothing is decided as of yet.  For more on today's match, see this Davis Cup article.