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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Eighteen Americans Advance to Second Round of Australian Open Qualifying; Australian Junior Circuit Underway in Traralgon; Hamilton Qualifies for Naples $25K; TRN Recaps Winter Nationals

The second round of Australian Open qualifying begins Wednesday (tonight in the US) with 18 Americans still in contention for a spot in the main draw. Three US women won their first round matches Tuesday: top seed Alycia Parks, Asia Muhammad and Robin Montgomery. Five US men picked up wins Tuesday: No. 6 seed Denis Kudla, No. 9 seed Michael Mmoh, who cruised past 2022 Australian Open boys champion Bruno Kuzuhara 6-1, 6-0, Emilio Nava, Ernesto Escobedo and Mitchell Krueger.

None of the second round opponents are fellow Americans and the US players in both draws were distributed so that only two all-US third round matches are possible.

One of the matches I'm most interested in will feature two 18-year-old left-handers: No. 8 seed Diana Shnaider of Russia, the NC State freshman, and Robin Montgomery, the 2021 US Open girls champion. Shnaider and Montgomery played just over two months ago in the final round of qualifying of the WTA 125 in Midland (my coverage of that match is here), with Montgomery at her absolute best in claiming a 6-3, 6-2 win. But these are much different conditions: outdoors in summer, rather than indoors, and I wouldn't expect another result like the one at the Dow. Unfortunately, the match is fifth on, so it's unlikely I'll manage to stay up that late.

I'm also looking forward to the matches between 15-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic and 2018 Wimbledon girls champion Daria Snigur of Ukraine and 2022 Australian Open girls champion and 2021 ITF World Junior Champion Petra Marcinko of Croatia's contest with Coco Vandeweghe[23].

Wednesday's schedule is here, with all matches streamed at ESPN+.

Qualifying begins Wednesday for the ITF J300 (former known as J1) tournament in Traralgon, the warmup for the Australian Open Junior Championships. 

Only one American is in qualifying: Martina Marica, a Cornell recruit. Meecah Bigun was just outside of the main draw at the freeze date, but must have gotten in, as he is not in the boys qualifying.

Although all the American boys planning to play in Australia are still set to compete according to the acceptance lists, not so for the girls. Qavia Lopez is the latest to withdraw from the Australian Open Juniors, although several US girls have gotten into the main draw that were not in initially: Ashton Bowers, Ava Krug, Ahmani Guichard and Anya Murthy. 

Fifteen-year-old Alanis Hamilton advanced to her first main draw match on the Pro Circuit today at the $25,000 tournament in Naples, beating a former Division I college star for the second day in a row. After beating Vanderbilt alum Christina Rosca, the No. 7 seed, yesterday, Hamilton defeated No. 9 seed Tiphanie Fiquet(Kentucky/Ole Miss) of France 6-2, 7-6(5) today. She will face No. 3 seed Elvina Kalieva in first round play Wednesday.

USC freshman Madison Sieg, Lauren Proctor(Winthrop), Makenna Jones(UNC) and Victoria Hu(Princeton) are the other Americans who qualified today.

The Tennis Recruiting Network concluded its coverage of the USTA Winter Nationals today, with an article on the 12s titles by Tabb Tuck and Allison Wang. For more on 14s champions Vihaan Reddy and Nancy Lee, see this article from Monday. Leena Friedman and Maximus Dussault, the 16s champions, are featured in this article from Friday, and 18s champions James Lian and Tianmei Wang talk about their titles in this article from Thursday.


Southern Dilemma said...

Any arguments for Diana Shnaider that college tennis is still the ideal pathway?

Qualifying into Main Draw Australian Open by not losing 1 set.

She is favored in her first round of Main Draw

She is one win away from Top 100 ranking.

She will turn down 73,000 dollars & 109,000 if she wins her next match.

She is 69-23 in Pro Singles Career.

I read she is on a Student Visa which she can still be on even if she doesn't play for NC State, unless NC State demands she play for them or will take it away.

Is there a ranking or prize money that is too high to turn down?