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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Heat, Rain Delay Completion of Australian Open First Round; Four Americans in Australian Open Junior Qualifying; Three USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments Underway; Six Americans Reach Bolton Quarterfinals

A mid-day interruption due to heat and later on and off rain left 22 first round Australian Open matches unfinished after Tuesday came to a close in Australia (after 2 a.m. Melbourne time). Americans had a good start, with eight advancing to the second round and ten more leading or yet to start their first round matches. Michael Mmoh received entry as a lucky loser when David Goffin of Belgium withdrew, putting the number of Americans who began the tournament in singles at 34. 

NCAA champion Ben Shelton(Florida) got his first slam win; 2019 USTA National 18s champion Katie Volynets, a qualifier, earned her first Australian Open main draw win; her only other main draw victory in a slam came last year at Roland Garros.

Tuesday’s first round completed matches featuring Americans:

Taylor Fritz[8] d. Nikoloz Basilashvili(GEO) 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
JJ Wolf d. Jordan Thompson(AUS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
Tommy Paul d. Jan-Lennard Struff[Q](GER) 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-2
Jenson Brooksby d. Christopher O’Connell(AUS) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
Ben Shelton d. Zhizhen Zhang(CHN) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4)

Taylor Townsend[WC] d. Diane Parry[WC](FRA) 6-1, 6-1
Shelby Rogers d. Arianne Hartono[Q](NED) 6-4, 6-3
Katie Volynets[Q] d. Evgeniya Rodina(RUS) 6-3 6-2

Wednesday's first round matches featuring Americans:

Brandon Holt[Q] leads Aleks Vukic[Q](AUS) 6-4, 1-6, 4-2
Maxime Cressy leads Albert Ramos-Vinolas(ESP) 7-6(2), 7-5, 3-6, 2-2
John Isner leads Adrian Mannarino(FRA) 7-6(5), 3-4
Michael Mmoh[LL] leads Laurent Lokoli[Q](FRA) 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-4, 3-1
Denis Kudla[LL] v Roman Safiullin(RUS)(postponed from Tues)

Alison Riske-Amritraj leads Marketa Vondrousova(CZE) 4-1
Claire Liu leads Madison Brengle 4-2
Lauren Davis leads Danka Kovinic(MNE) 1-6, 7-5, 4-1
Sloane Stephens v Anastasia Potapova(RUS) (postponed from Tues)
Elli Mandlik[LL] v Irina-Camelia Begu[27](ROU) (postponed from Tues)

Wednesday's second round matches featuring Americans:

Jessica Pegula[3] v Aliaksandra Sasnovich(BLR)
Coco Gauff[7] v Emma Raducanu(GBR)
Danielle Collins[13] v Karolina Muchova(CZE)
Caty McNally v Kateryna Baindl(UKR)
Bernarda Pera v Qinwen Zheng[29](CHN)
Madison Keys[10] v Xinyu Wang(CHN)

Mackenzie McDonald v Rafael Nadal[1](ESP)
Frances Tiafoe[16] v Jerry Shang[Q](CHN)
Sebastian Korda[29] v Yosuke Watanuki[Q](JPN)
Christopher Eubanks[WC] v Jiri Lehecka(CZE)

Qualifying for the Australian Open Junior Championships begins Wednesday(tonight in Australia), with four Americans looking to advance to the main draw.  Two boys who played the J200 in India last week, Adhithya Ganesan and Aayush Bhat, are seeded at No. 1 and No. 15 respectively.  Meecah Bigun, who was two places out of the main draw at the freeze deadline, is not in qualifying, so presumably made the main draw, as he played the J300 in Traralgon. Taylor Goetz, who was several spots out of qualifying and did not play Traralgon, is in the girls qualifying draw, as is Martina Marica, the No. 16 seed, who lost in Traralgon qualifying.

Live scoring for the qualifying is available here.

Three USTA Pro Circuit events are underway in the United States, with the women competing at a $25,000 tournament in Boca Raton and a $60,000 tournament in Vero Beach, while the men have a $15,000 tournament on the campus of Cornell in Ithaca New York.

Several players who competed in the Australian Open qualifying last week are back and entered in Vero Beach, including Hailey Baptiste, who took a wild card and is the No. 3 seed, and Kayla Day.  The top seeds are Reka Luca Jani of Hungary and Emma Navarro(Virginia), with Peyton Stearns(Texas), the finalist last week in Naples, seeded No. 7. 

Qualifiers include six Americans: Kariann Pierre-Louis, Anna Rogers(NC State), Quinn Gleason(Notre Dame) Alana Smith(NC State) and 16-year-olds Victoria Osuigwe and Kaitlin Quevedo.

Main draw wild cards went to Baptiste, McCartney Kessler(Florida) and Makenna Jones(North Carolina).

In Boca Raton, the top seeds are Lulu Sun(Texas) of Switzerland and Hanna Chang.

Qualifiers include Americans Haley Giavara(Cal), Allura Zamarripa(Texas) and 16-year-olds Maya Joint and Lexington Reed. Anastasia Sysoeva of Russia, a freshman at Florida also qualified and she will play teammate Rachel Gailis, also a freshman, who received a wild card. Also receiving wild cards are Kennedy Shaffer(Georgia) and Katerina Stewart. 

In Ithaca, the top seeds are Kyle Seelig(Ohio State) and Strong Kirchheimer(Northwestern). American qualifiers are Mac Kiger(North Carolina), Chad Kissell(Valparaiso), Drew Van Orderlain, Ishaan Ravichander(Columbia), Emmett Ward and Cornell freshman Aman Sharma. 

Wild cards were given to three Cornell players: Vladislav Melnic, a senior from Romania, Petar Teodorovic, a freshman from Serbia and Adit Sinha, a sophomore. 2013 Kalamazoo 18s champion Collin Altamirano(Virginia) received the fourth wild card.

It's good to see Aidan Kim back in draws, as he did not play the major junior events in November and December. 2022 Wimbledon finalist Michael Zheng, a freshman at Columbia, is also in the draw. 

The warmup for next week's Les Petits As in France is underway at the Tennis Europe Category 1 14U event in Bolton England, and six of the eight Americans are into the quarterfinals: Julieta Pareja[4], Annika Penickova[5] and Kristina Penickova[13] in the girls draw and Jordan Lee[4], Marcel Latak[9] and Michael Antonius[8] in the boys draw. Abigail Gordon and Izyan Ahmad are the other Americans on the trip; they lost in the second round.