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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Four Americans Reach Final Round Qualifying at Roland Garros Junior Championships; Schachter and Tian Oust Top Seeds at Rancho Santa Fe $15Ks; 21 Collegiate Men Qualify for ATP Accelerator Program; Six More Americans Advance to Third Round at Roland Garros

Friday's final round of qualifying for the Roland Garros Junior Championships will feature four Americans; top seed Tyra Grant, No. 6 seed Ashton Bowers, No. 14 seed Cooper Woestendick and No. 16 seed Maxwell Exsted.

Grant didn't drop a game in getting past wild card Eva Marie Desvignes of France, while Bowers cruised past another French wild card, Zlata Baranusz, 6-1, 6-0. Thea Rabman[5] and Anya Murthy lost their first round qualifying matches today.

Woestendick defeated wild card Felix Balshaw of France 6-0, 6-2 and Exsted beat Zoran Ludoski of Serbia 6-4, 6-2.  Woestendick and Exsted are the only two US boys in qualifying. 

Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker.

Alexia Harmon lost her quarterfinal singles match today at the J300 in Belgium, but she and Valeria Ray, the No. 4 seeds, advanced to the girls doubles final, where they'll play unseeded Mia Slama and the Netherlands' Rose Marie Nijkamp. Ray and Slama are in the main draw at Roland Garros; Harmon is hoping for a special exemption to reach the main draw.

Live scores are available at Tennis Ticker.

The top two seeds were eliminated in the second round of the $15,000 men's and women's SoCal Pro Series tournaments in Rancho Santa Fe.  Although USC's Eryn Cayetano was the top seed, it isn't really a surprise that she lost to unseeded Fangran Tian of China, who won the NCAA women's singles title Saturday in Lake Nona. Tian is obviously the in-form player, given her series of straight-sets victories last week, and she took out Cayetano 6-3, 6-2.  Stanford rising freshman Katherine Hui, who defeated No. 4 seed Carolyn Ansari(Auburn) in the first round, advanced to her third $15K quarterfinal with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Madison Bourguignon today.

Qualifier Noah Schachter's two-and-a-half hour 6-3, 7-6(4) win over No. 1 seed Aidan McHugh of Great Britain was arguably more unexpected, although the Texas A&M fifth-year has played at the top of the Aggies lineup for several years and was injured prior to the NCAA individual championships, where he lost in the second round. Ohio State rising sophomore Jack Anthrop is also through to the quarterfinals, after defeating Pepperdine rising freshman and No. 8 seed Edward Winter of Australia 6-3, 6-2.

More attention than usual is directed at this $15K due to the men's doubles draw, which features James Blake, who is teaming up with Stanford rising freshman Hudson Rivera in doubles. The wild card pairing defeated No. 3 seeds Schachter and Trey Hilderbrand(UCF/Texas A&M) 6-4, 1-6, 10-7 last night in the first round; they play Anthrop and rising Ohio State freshman Bryce Nakashima in the quarterfinals later tonight.  For more on their win last night, see this article from Steve Pratt.

The ITA today released a confirmation of the Division I men's players who have qualified for the ATP's new Accelerator program. The criteria for qualification is top 20 in the final ITA rankings or reaching the NCAA singles quarterfinals. The only player who advanced to the quarterfinals but did not make the Top 20 rankings is Ohio State freshman Alexander Bernard. As I mentioned last night, there is currently no comparable program for collegiate women.

The 21 players eligible for the ATP Accelerator program:

1. Eliot Spizzirri, Texas
2. Ethan Quinn, Georgia
3. Arthur Fery, Stanford
4. Ondrej Styler, Michigan
5. Chris Rodesch, Virginia
6. Johannus Monday, Tennessee
7. Melios Efstathiou, Wake Forest
8. Antoine Cornut-Chauvinc, Florida State
9. Andres Martin, Georgia Tech
10. Toby Samuel, South Carolina
11. Liam Draxl, Kentucky
12. Cannon Kingsley, Ohio State
13. Murphy Cassone, Arizona State
14. Andrew Fenty, Michigan
15. Sebastian Dominko, Notre Dame
16. Nishesh Basavareddy, Stanford
17. Connor Thomson, South Carolina
18. Garrett Johns, Duke
19. Jake Fearnley, TCU
20. Alafia Ayeni, Kentucky
21. Alexander Bernard, Ohio State

Six more Americans advanced to the third round at Roland Garros with wins today, with qualifier Kayla Day and Bernarda Pera pulling off upsets. Day defeated No. 20 seed Madison Keys 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 and Pera took out No. 22 seed Donna Vekic of Croatia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen spoke with Day about all her setbacks in the past seven years, with injuries and the pandemic stalling the progress so many expected after she won the USTA 18s title, a round in the US Open main draw and the US Open girls title in 2016. Day is into the third round of a major for the first time, where she'll face unseeded Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia.

Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva of Russia continues her mastery of the WTA competition, defeating French wild card and 2019 ITF World Junior Champion Diane Parry 6-1, 6-2. She will play Coco Gauff in the third round Saturday.

Thursday's second round results of Americans:

Iga Swiatek[1](POL) d. Claire Liu 6-4, 6-0
Kayla Day[Q] d. Madison Keys[20] 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Bernarda Pera d. Donna Vekic[22](CRO) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Coco Gauff[6] d. Julia Grabher(AUT) 6-2, 6-3
Bianca Andreescu(CAN) d. Emma Navarro[WC] 6-1, 6-4
Lesia Tsurenko(UKR) d. Lauren Davis 6-3, 1-0 ret.

Frances Tiafoe[12] d. Aslan Karatsev[Q](RUS) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2
Nicolas Jarry(CHI) d. Tommy Paul[16] 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 
Marcos Giron d. Jiri Lehecka(CZE) 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
Taylor Fritz[9] d. Arthur Rinderknech(FRA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Friday's third round matches featuring Americans:

Jessica Pegula[3] v Elise Mertens[28](BEL)
Peyton Stearns v Daria Kasatkina[9](RUS)
Sloane Stephens v Yulia Putintseva(KAZ)