US Open Juniors 2011 – Girls’ Singles Round-Up

The last American to win the US Open girls’ singles title was Coco Vandeweghe in 2008 but with 20 homegrown competitors in this year’s event there was every chance it could be repeated.

Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati were two other US players to claim the prize at Flushing Meadows. Out to stop the trophy staying in the States were defending champion Daria Gavrilova and last year’s finalist Yulia Putintseva as well as Irina Khromacheva and Caroline Garcia, with the latter reaching the semi-finals of the last three majors.

Here’s how the tournament progressed:

Round 1: By far the biggest surprise in the first round belonged to American Grace Min as she defeated second seed Irina Khromacheva. The Russian world number one and Wimbledon junior finalist lost a first set tiebreak 7-5 before going out in straight sets. Min was not the only home player to enjoy an upset though as wildcards Krista Hardebeck, Taylor Townsend and Hayley Carter knocked out Natalija Kostic (8), Jesika Maleckova (15) and Montserrat Gonzalez (7) respectively. They joined another nine US players in the second round but they wouldn’t be facing Dutch ninth seed Indy De Vroome as she also fell.

Round 2: When the dust settled at the end of the second round only three seeds remained in the draw as American players took centre stage by knocking out the game’s top juniors. Defending champion Daria Gavrilova exited at the hands of Victoria Duval while Canada’s WTA top 350-ranked Eugenie Bouchard suffered a first set bagel before losing in three to Nicole Gibbs. It wasn’t all good news for the Americans though as 12th seed Madison Keys – who made it to the second round of the US Open main draw – couldn’t go any further in the juniors either, losing to Francoise Abanda and giving Canada some revenge. Sachia Vickery and Kyle S. McPhillips beat Anett Kontaveit (13) and Anna Schmiedlova (16) to ensure American interest had plenty of life despite Keys’ and 14th seed Jessica Pegula’s losses. Even top seed Caroline Garcia lost the first set 7-5 before seeing out the match in three as Victoria Bosio (11) and Annika Beck’s (10) exits completed the dour round for seeded players.

Round 3: Before a ball was hit there was a chance for six of the eight quarter-final places on offer being filled by American players. As it happened, this wasn’t to be but they did have four representatives. Victoria Duval and Krista Hardebeck both progressed with ease but Caroline Garcia (1) and Ashleigh Barty (3) also went through as comfortable winners over Sachia Vickery and Kyle S. McPhillips in the top half of the draw. In the bottom half, sixth seed Yulia Putintseva and unseeded Swede Ellen Allgurin thumped their opponents while Grace Min won in straights and Nicole Gibbs in three.

Quarter-finals: Top seed Caroline Garcia and third seed Ashleigh Barty made it a dream semi-final line-up as both won their last eight matches with relative ease. Wimbledon junior champion Barty inflicted a 6-0 scoreline on her American opponent Krista Hardebeck in the first set before taking the second 7-5 while Garcia won 6-3, 6-4 against Victoria Duval. While the neutral looked forward to that semi, the home crowd had their own match to marvel in as an all-American semi emerged. Qualifier Nicole Gibbs produced the best performance as she ousted Russian sixth seed Yulia Putintseva in three sets. Grace Min completed the last four line-up after winning in straight sets against Ellen Allgurin.

Semi-finals: Despite their billing as two potential classics the last four matches passed without too much excitement. The WTA’s top 150 player Caroline Garcia easily dispatched of Wimbledon junior champion Ashleigh Barty 6-3, 6-2 to go out of the junior slam scene with a chance of winning a final. Her opponent would be Grace Min who conquered Irina Khromacheva in the first round and enjoyed a decent draw to the final. In her semi she took on fellow American Nicole Gibbs and won 6-3, 6-3.

Final: With a home crowd backing Grace Min against the top seed and highly-rated Caroline Garcia it was an interesting final in store. Min had a decent record on hard courts after reaching the final of the Orange Bowl in the spring while Garcia nearly knocked out Maria Sharapova in her home tournament the French Open. Despite Garcia’s favourite tag the home crowd must have had an effect as Min took the match 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) thanks mostly to 10 double faults and a further 10 unforced errors from her French opponent. It was 17-year-old Min’s second Slam title after her victory in the Wimbledon doubles final but this victory on home soil and in the prestigious singles event will prove much more of a sweeter taste.

Francesco Ricci Bitti, Grace Min, Caroline Garcia, ?????, Katrina Adams

There was success for Irina Khromacheva in the girls’ doubles as the Russian and her Dutch partner Demi Schuurs overcame American duo Gabrielle Andrews and Taylor Townsend 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-5). The full drawsheets for the girls’ singles and girls’ doubles are available via the US Open website.

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US Open Juniors 2011 – Main Draw

The three junior Grand Slam winners are all present in the boys’ draw for the last major of the year including home favourite Bjorn Fratengelo.

The French Open winner is one of sixteen players representing the States in the 64-strong field as they look to match Jack Sock’s victory at last year’s event. Australian Open champion and world number one Jiri Vesely along with Wimbledon-winning Aussie Luke Saville will be out to stop that happening.

Seeing as she’s already a top 150 established player on the WTA Tour thanks partly to a second round appearance in the women’s draw at her home tournament Roland Garros, unsurprisingly, Caroline Garcia is ranked the number one seed in the girls’ draw.

She’s joined by this year’s Wimbledon finalist Irina Khromacheva and winner Ashleigh Barty while Daria Gavrilova is out to defend her title.

Madison Keys, who made the second round of the US Open women’s draw this week, and Jessica Pegula offer the best chances of an American taking the junior title for the girls.

For many it will be the last time they compete in a Grand Slam junior event so they will be out to impress. The draws in full are:

Boys’ Singles – 1st Round:
VESELY, Jiri (CZE) [1] vs. MANAFOV, Vladyslav (UKR)
GIRON, Marcos (USA) vs. COUACAUD, Enzo (FRA) (Q)
VINSANT, Shane (USA) vs. MILOJEVIC, Nikola (SRB)
NUNEZ, Marco Aurei (MEX) vs. SBOROWITZ, Matias (CHI) [15]
BROADY, Liam (GBR) [9] vs. NAPOLITANO, Stefano (ITA) (Q)
BRYMER, Gage (USA) (W) vs. DELIC, Mate (CRO)
LENZ, Julian (GER) vs. SHYLA, Yaraslau (BLR)
HALEBIAN, Alexios (USA) vs. MONTEIRO, Thiago (BRA) [5]
DELLIEN, Hugo (BOL) [4] vs. NOVIKOV, Dennis (USA) (W)
BOTZER, Bar Tzuf (ISR) (Q) vs. UCHIDA, Kaichi (JPN)
SCHNEIDER, Ronnie (USA) (W) vs. HOSSAM, Karim (EGY)
SILVA, Frederico Ferreira (POR) vs. PATROMBON, Jeson (PHI) [16]
WHITTINGTON, Andrew (AUS) [11] vs. PELIWO, Filip (CAN) (Q)
BERMAN, Sean (USA) vs. KIM, Jae Hwan (KOR) (Q)
DE LOORE, Joris (BEL) vs. EDMUND, Kyle (GBR)
KRUEGER, Mitchell (USA) vs. THIEM, Dominic (AUT) [7]
HORANSKY, Filip (SVK) [6] vs. STYSLINGER, Mac (USA)
KARATSEV, Aslan (RUS) vs. DUBARENCO, Maxim (MDA)
CORINTELI, Luca (USA) (W) vs. NISHIOKA, Yoshihito (JPN)
KRSTIN, Pedja (SRB) vs. OFNER, Patrick (AUT) [12]
GOLDING, Oliver (GBR) [13] vs. CLARK, Brett D. (USA) (W)
CHRIST, Constantin (GER) (Q) vs. WAGLAND, Ben (AUS)
SANT’ANNA, Bruno (BRA) vs. COPPEJANS, Kimmer (BEL)
UGARTE, Benjamin (CHI) vs. FRATANGELO, Bjorn (USA) [3]
PAVIC, Mate (CRO) [8] vs. ARAGONE, JC (USA) (W)
MONTGOMERY, Wayne (RSA) vs. KERN, Robin (GER)
HIDALGO, Diego (ECU) vs. FARREN, Connor (USA) (W)
CAGNINA, Julien (BEL) vs. MORGAN, George (GBR) [10]
SORGI, Joao Pedro (BRA) [14] vs. KWIATKOWSKI, Thai-Son (USA) (W)
NOVAK, Dennis (AUT) vs. RAM-HAREL, Or (ISR) (Q)
LAMA, Gonzalo (CHI) vs. REDLICKI, Michael (USA) (Q)
PAVLASEK, Adam (CZE) vs. SAVILLE, Luke (AUS) [2]

Girls’ Singles – 1st Round:
GARCIA, Caroline (FRA) [1] vs. LEE, So-Ra (KOR)
PORTER, Peggy (USA) (W) vs. HAAS, Barbara (AUT)
VICKERY, Sachia (USA) (W) vs. MEKOVEC, Iva (CRO)
KIICK, Alexandra (USA) vs. KONTAVEIT, Anett (EST) [13]
KEYS, Madison (USA) [12] vs. FANNING, Emily (NZL)
ABANDA, Francoise (CAN) vs. RAZAFIMAHATRATRA, Zarah (MAD)
DUVAL, Victoria (USA) vs. SANCHEZ, Ana Sofia (MEX) (Q)
OKUNO, Ayaka (JPN) vs. GAVRILOVA, Daria (RUS) [5]
BARTY, Ashleigh (AUS) [3] vs. ZHAO, Carol (CAN)
DANILINA, Anna (KAZ) vs. ANDREWS, Gabrielle Faith (USA)
CADAR, Elena-Teodora (ROU) vs. MCPHILLIPS, Kyle (USA)
GONZALEZ, Domenica (ECU) vs. SCHMIEDLOVA, Anna Karolina (SVK) [16]
BECK, Annika (GER) [10] vs. FABIKOVA, Klara (CZE)
ELBABA, Julia (USA) (Q) vs. OZAKI, Risa (JPN)
SCHUURS, Demi (NED) vs. NAUTA, Stephanie (USA)
HARDEBECK, Krista (USA) (W) vs. KOSTIC, Natalija (SRB) [8]
PUTINTSEVA, Yulia (RUS) [6] vs. ZACARIAS, Marcela (MEX) (Q)
MALOVA, Viktoria (SVK) vs. CRAWFORD, Samantha (USA) (W)
VEKIC, Donna (CRO) vs. MAKAROVA, Christina (USA)
HIBINO, Nao (JPN) vs. BOSIO, Victoria (ARG) [11]
MALECKOVA, Jesika (CZE) [15] vs. TOWNSEND, Taylor (USA) (W)
JEUKENG, Anne-Liz (USA) (W) vs. CASARES, Marie Elise (ECU)
GIBBS, Nicole (USA) (Q) vs. KU FLORES, Patricia (PER)
DEHEZA, Maria Paula (BOL) vs. BOUCHARD, Eugenie (CAN) [4]
GONZALEZ, Montserrat (PAR) [7] vs. CARTER, Hayley (USA) (W)
KING, Hannah (USA) (W) vs. SASNOVICH, Aliaksandra (BLR)
ERAYDIN, Basak (TUR) (Q) vs. YEE, Kimberly (USA) (Q)
ALLGURIN, Ellen (SWE) vs. DE VROOME, Indy (NED) [9]
PEGULA, Jessica (USA) [14] vs. ROHANOVA, Petra (CZE)
NINOMIYA, Makoto (JPN) vs. JANG, Su Jeong (KOR) (Q)
PATIUK, Valeria (ISR) (Q) vs. POZNIKHIRENKO, Ganna (UKR)
MIN, Grace (USA) vs. KHROMACHEVA, Irina (RUS) [2]

To see how all the qualifying rounds panned out then the boys’ and girls’ singles results are available via the ITF Juniors website.

French Open 2011 – Ranking Review

With the second Grand Slam of the year completed the ranking changes this week will feature significant drops and encouraging highs as the points gained or lost are at their highest values.

Therefore it seems an appropriate time to assess how the ATP and WTA tour rankings look heading into the grass court season and how some of the players being tracked on this website are progressing.

The biggest news, and the main brunt of it in all honesty, comes from the WTA tour.

Heather Watson’s five match winning run which saw her through qualifying and into the second round of the main draw has been rewarded with a top 100 place.

It’s the first time the 19-year-old has been in the top 100 and she has a great chance of getting higher this year as she’s entered the Aegon Classic and Wimbledon should give her a wildcard if she can’t qualify automatically.

Another big mover is Caroline Garcia. The 17-year-old almost pulled off the shock of the tournament after being two games away from beating Maria Sharapova in front of her home crowd but her first round win, with some help from her own wildcard, entry means she’s risen 38 places to #150.

Other young players who’ve made big strides are American Christina McHale, Canada’s Rebecca Marino and Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

Sabine Lisicki is back in the top 100 having made the third round and Vania King has reached #85 which is an increase of 30 places.

In terms of the top 10, there is good news for Petra Kvitova who’s at a career high world number eight whilst the chasing pack of Andrea Petkovic, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Julia Goerges have nudged ever closer to the next level.

Strangely enough it’s China’s Li Na who’s become a superstar at the age of 29 after becoming the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam title. Not many put that bet on two weeks ago but then again the same could be said of last year’s winner and her opponent in the final Francesca Schiavone.

A similar scenario is emerging in the ATP tour in that the titles are being won by older players. There really isn’t a new generation coming through yet in the men’s game with Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and now Novak Djokovic favourites to win every major, masters series and world championship final.

Two of the above are undoubtedly modern-day legends and until they either retire or become awful then the sport will continue to be dominated by them.

Looking to break the dynasty are the likes of Milos Raonic and Alexandr Dolgopolov, who have dropped a place and gained one respectively. They seem to be the only young players with top 10 potential at the present time.

Marin Cilic and Ernests Gulbis had that at one point but the former has gone down six places over the two weeks and 13 places in total from the start of the year. Gulbis, incidentally, has actually gone up five places.

There are other ways of becoming a tennis superstar though. Just making the top 50 these days gets you noticed whilst you can still be big in your home country or continent, which Li Na has proven and Kei Nishikori is still striving for.

The Japanese 22-year-old is down a place but is still up 38 from the start of January. The American situation is also intriguing with their supposed lack of depth but Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick have both returned to the top 10 but youngster Ryan Harrison has moved down three places to #122.

The men’s tour is interesting. It seems to be in different leagues right now. But still, the young players, and even some old where warranted, will continue to be charted here whether that be in the top 10, top 100 or number one in Kazakhstan.

French Open Juniors 2011 – Semi-finals

The final line-ups for the 2011 French Open juniors have been decided with the two favourites that looked destined to meet in the girls’ singles final both losing in three set semi-final encounters.

Irina Khromacheva (RUS)

Russian second seed Irina Khromacheva had an unbeaten record stretching back to March but couldn’t keep the run going on the Grand Slam stage as Monica Puig won 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.

The Puerto Rican has been in impressive form herself on the ITF circuit and the opening set reflected the players’ current confidence as the pair broke each other several times. Puig came out on top before Khromacheva blitzed the second set despite a first serve percentage of 40%.

The decider lasted more than an hour and the Russian’s continued poor service game allowed Puig two break conversions to seal victory.

Her opponent in the final is not the one the French crowd had hoped for. Their rising homegrown star Caroline Garcia had been a set and 4-1 up against Maria Sharapova last week but she’s struggled in the junior event.

The 17-year-old came back after losing the first set to Ons Jabeur of Tunisia but 12 double faults in the match and her failure to hold serve once in the third set led to her elimination at the semi-final stage with the final score reading 6-2, 1-6, 6-2.

Both Puig and Jabeur have experience at junior Grand Slam finals. Fifth seed Puig lost the Australian Open final in January to junior world number one An-Sophie Mestach whilst ninth seed Jabeur reached the final at Roland Garros last year before losing to Elina Svitolina.

The two boys’ semi-finals also went to three sets but the bad news continued for French tennis as Tristan Lamasine bowed out.

Wildcard Lamasine had surpassed everyone’s expectations by making the last four in his home tournament having failed to make it past the first round last year.

It was a similar situation for his opponent too. American Bjorn Fratangelo had previously never won a Grand Slam match but recent good form on clay means he’s in with a chance of becoming the first US winner of the boys’ singles title at Roland Garros since John McEnroe in 1977.

Fratangelo was clinical with his break point opportunities taking three out of three to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 leaving Lamasine wondering what might have been had he taken his other seven break point chances.

Word is going round that Bjorn Borg is set to be in attendance for the boys’ singles match on Sunday (also the day of the girls’ singles final). Perhaps a good omen for the boy named after the Roland Garros legend.

If he’s to take the crown then he’ll have to stop 14th seed Dominic Thiem after the Austrian came back from losing the first set to beat Mate Delic 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

There was good news for Irina Khromacheva in the girls’ doubles as herself and her partner Maryna Zanevska reached the final. They’ll play Victoria Kan and Demi Schuurs whilst American pairing Mitchell Krueger and Shane Vinsant face Spanish duo Andres Artunedo Martinavarr and Roberto Carballes Baena in the boys’ doubles final.

French Open Juniors 2011 – Quarter-finals

Bjorn Fratangelo British fourth seed Oliver Golding crashed out of the French Open juniors after being beaten by Amercan Bjorn Fratangelo for the second time in two weeks.

In the clay of Milan during the Trofeo Bonfiglio, Golding had been smashed 6-2, 6-0 and in Paris the outcome was to the same degree going down 6-1, 6-1 in just 47 minutes.

Back then Golding vented his frustration on Twitter and this time was no different. The 18-year-old said: “I have to put my hands up and say ‘too good’. When I played him two weeks ago it was the best anyone has ever played against me, but I think he just played even better.”

Not only did Golding lose in singles but he’s out of Roland Garros completely after his run in the doubles also came to an end when himself and Jiri Vesely were beaten in their quarter-final match.

There was some good news for Golding later though when it was announced he had been given a wildcard for the grass court tournament in Queen’s next week. Another young American, Ryan Harrison, was also one of the four wildcards.

For Fratangelo, named after clay-court specialist Bjorn Borg, it’s been a fruitful couple of weeks on the red dirt having reached the quarter-finals of the Trofeo Bonfiglio and now his first Grand Slam semi-final.

The 17-year-old has a great chance of making the final too but seeing off home talent Tristan Lamasine could be a tough task. Lamasine beat German Robert Kern in straights but it was less than straightforward with the wildcard saving three set points in a second set tiebreak before winning it 8-6.

In the other half of the draw, Dominic Thiem became the only surviving seed in the boys’ singles. The 14th seed beat Spain’s Oriol Roca Batalla 6-3, 6-2 and will play Mate Delic who beat another wildcard quarter-finalist in the form of Miki Jankovic.

After five days which saw the the top five seeds progressing in the girls’ singles a shock was finally provided. Top seed Daria Gavrilova played came out worse in a three set encounter with Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

Jabeur now has the chance of making history as the first Tunisian to win a Grand Slam title. She came close last year, finishing as runner-up and will now have the tricky task of beating Caroline Garcia if she’s going to at least match that.

The number three seed came through her match with Yulia Putintseva comfortably and made a change from her tight struggles having almost gone out of the tournament in round two after being match point down.

Putintseva and Gavrilova had been two of three Russians in the last eight but only one made it to the semi-finals and she looks unstoppable.

Irina Khromacheva, Trofeo Bonfiglio winner two weeks ago and unbeaten since mid-March has yet to drop a set in the French Open juniors this year and dispatched of Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-1.

At #520 on the WTA rankings the recently turned 16-year-old is already looking like a future star and next to face that imperialistic form is Monica Puig.

The fifth seeded Puerto Rican’s potential classic with fourth seed Natalija Kostic didn’t pan out that way and she came though in comprehensive fashion finishing with a 6-1, 6-3 scoreline.

At #314 in the world rankings of the WTA tour, the semi-final between Puig and Khromacheva could be the showcase of women’s tennis’ next generation.

All the boys’ doubles and girls’ doubles news is also available via the Roland Garros website.

French Open Juniors 2011 – Day 3

French tennis appears to be thriving in its home country with Marion Bartoli in the quarter-finals of the women’s singles and Tristan Lamasine progressing to the third round of the boys’ singles after beating second seed Hugo Dellien.

The 17-year-old Bolivian had performed well at Grade A clay tournaments this year including reaching the final of the Copa Gerdau and semi-finals of the Trofeo Bonfiglio but couldn’t defeat the home boy who lost in the first round last year.

And the good news continued for the French crowd as Laurent Lokoli’s defeated American Ben Wagland to guarantee a French representative in the quarter-finals with Lokoli playing fellow wildcard Lamasine in the third round.

Elsewhere 2011 Trofeo Bonfiglio winner and third seeded Slovakian Filip Horansky made it to the last 16 along with Oliver Golding (4), Joris De Loore (11) and Dominic Thiem (14).

Qualifier Miki Jankovic has already booked a place in the last eight after overcoming Yaraslau Shyla, who beat top seed Jiri Vesely on Day 1, and joins Mate Delic who pulled off a great win against fifth seed Roberto Carballes Baena.

Mate Delic (CRO)

The top four seeds all won in the girls’ singles but it wasn’t quite straightforward a conclusion as that sounds.

Caroline Garcia showed true grit as she battled from match point down to win a mighty third set 9-7 against Catalina Pella while fourth seeded Serbian Natalija Kostic was also taken to three sets before seeing off Yuliana Lizarazo.

Irina Khromacheva made it into the third round along with her Russian counterpart and top seed Daria Gavrilova who crushed 13th seed Maryna Zanevska 6-0, 6-2.

Joining Gavrilova is Tunisian Ons Jabeur (9) while back in the second round Danka Kovinic (6) won in straight sets but Daria Salnikova (13) lost to American Victoria Duval.

If all this second round/third round crossover is too much then a comprehensive look at the boys’ singles and girls’ singles draws is available via the Roland Garros website who also have the boys’ doubles and girls’ doubles breakdown.

French Open Juniors 2011 – Day 2

The second day of the juniors had a more settled outlook than the opening exchanges as the first round matches were concluded and exits occurred elsewhere en route to the third.

No youngster carried more expectation than Caroline Garcia with the tennis world now keeping a keen eye on her progress to the WTA world number one spot, according to Andy Murray.

She handled it well. The French 17-year-old only stayed on court for just over an hour as she overcame her Russian opponent Victoria Kan 6-1, 6-4. Argentinian qualifier Catalina Pella will be her next adversary.

The notable absentee from the rest of the second round names is Ganna Poznikhirenko after the Ukrainian 12th seed lost to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.

The 15-year-old came through in an epic battle which saw two tiebreaks going 11-9 to Poznikhirenko and then 10-8 to Barty before she managed to win with a 6-3 scoreline in the third set.

In the second round matches it was another Frenchwoman who had the attention as Estelle Cascino beat eighth seed Montserrat Gonzalez in straight sets.

Her next opponent will be ninth seed Ons Jabeur while some interesting match-ups are already beginning to form in the third round.

Daria Gavrilova (1) will play Maryna Zanevska (14), Alison van Uytvanck (11) faces Yulia Putintseva (7) and Monica Puig (5) has a tricky tie against unseeded Ukrainian Sofiya Kovalets.

caroline Garcia

The boys’ singles draw is looking wide open with just two seeds through to the third round and only seven left in the whole tournament.

Top seed Jiri Vesely’s exit couldn’t have been a more stunning start and seemed to have set a trend but there was little trouble for the second seed Hugo Dellien who came through his first round match 6-3, 6-2.

There wasn’t such joy for 13th seed Thiago Moura Monteiro though. In a deciding final set which lasted almost two hours, the Brazilian lost 14-12 to French wildcard Laurent Lokoli in his opening match.

It was a bad day in general for Brazil as their 10th seed Bruno Sant’anna lost in the second round to Miki Jankovic (no relation to Jelena).

But perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was Andrew Whittington’s defeat not just for the eighth seed crashing out but the manner in which it happened. It took just 49 minutes for Spain’s Oriol Roca Batalla to seal victory as he crushed his Aussie foe 6-1, 6-0.

Elsewhere there were wins for Viseley’s successor Yaraslau Shyla against the USA’s Shane Vinsant and fifth seed Roberto Carballes Baena also made it to the third round.

A full check of the Day 2 results, scores and match statistics for the boys’ singles and girls’ singles is available via the Roland Garros website.

French Open Juniors 2011 – Day 1

Jiri Vesely (CZE) With 18 of the world’s top 20 juniors in the boys’ draw it was a strong field but already that tally has fallen to 12 as the seeds dropped like flies on the opening day.

The biggest shock by far was the fall of top seed, world number one and Australian Open boys’ champion Jiri Vesely to Belarus’ Yaraslau Shyla.

Vesely claims clay is a good surface for him and he looked right when kicking his tournament off with a 6-4 scoreline in set one. But the Czech was pegged back in the second, losing it 6-1 before being seen off in the decider with a reverse score of the first.

Shyla had only played in one Grand Slam event before this one and the 18-year-old described the win as “perfect”.

Also being taken out was Austrian Patrick Ofner who a week ago had been in the final of another Grade A event, the Trofeo Bonfiglio. His performance in that tournament increased his ranking position 14 places and into the top 10 but he succumbed to one of the players he overtook in Andres Artunedo Martinavarr.

The Spaniard may fancy a decent run after his half of the draw was weakened by sixth and seventh seeds Tiago Fernandes and Mate Pavic’s exits. Fernandes, winner of last year’s Australian Open juniors, was forced to retire against Filip Peliwo whilst Pavic lost at the hands of Lukas Vrnak in straight sets.

Britain’s George Morgan (9) also fell along with Australian Luke Saville (15) but there were wins for Oliver Golding (4), Roberto Carballes Baena (5), Andrew Whittington (8), Joao Pedro Sorgi (10) Dominic Thiem (14) and Bruno Sant’anna (16).

The girls’ singles was relatively quiet in comparison. Russia have been doing well at this year’s French Open so far and that trend continued with first and second seeds Daria Gavrilova and Irina Khromacheva coming through with no trouble.

The only casualties of note were Argentina’s Victoria Bosio (16), the Ukraine’s Kateryn Kozlova (15) and Japan’s Miho Kowase (10), the latter being beaten by 16-year-old Sofiya Kovalets who’s an unseeded danger at 21st in the world.

All eyes will be on third seed Caroline Garcia today as she starts her campaign in the juniors after being two games away from beating Maria Sharapova in the second round of the women’s singles.

To see the results and scores in full then the Roland Garros website has all the details from the boys’ singles and girls’ singles.

Caroline Garcia

The biggest second round story from Roland Garros surrounded a French teenager who almost won the breakthrough game of her career.

Caroline Garcia

Caroline Garcia found herself a set and two breaks up against world number eight and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova before losing 11 straight games.

The 17-year-old from Lyon looked cagey at the beginning of the match after struggling to hold serve and it looked as if that was how the rest of the afternoon would go.

Then she broke Sharapova and the crowd began to lift, suddenly sensing their homegrown talent had a chance against a title favourite whose prospects had increased after Kim Clijsters’ earlier defeat.

Sharapova’s exit would have been more of a shock seeing as she won in Rome recently and Clijsters had only just come back from injury.

Garcia took the first set 6-3 and although she should be admired for that, her Russian opponent was unbelievably poor at times.

A stat which stood out was Garcia winning 16 points in 4-8 stroke rallies compared to Sharapova’s four. Not surprising when she describes herself on clay as “a cow on ice”.

But for however bad the seventh seed was, Garcia can be given much credit. The power on her is remarkable at such a young age and to even be taking Sharapova to lengthy rallies and bossing her in them is also a feat.

In the second set particularly, her shots, including a stunning return of serve, made her look as if she was the world’s top 10 player up against a wildcard.

It was going great until she was broken at 4-1. Sharapova then held to take it to 4-3 before the turning point.

At 30-30, Garcia hit a shot narrowly close to the baseline which, if in, would have put the momentum back in her favour. The umpire had a look and agreed with the original long call, much to the dismay of the French crowd.

From that moment onwards, Sharapova broke again and never looked back eventually winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. A cruel last set for the youngster but along with her second round appearance at the Australian Open this year she’ll climb the rankings and should find herself in the top 150.

It was apt that Garcia announced herself to the world after playing Sharapova, having won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old. Like she pointed out in her post-match interview, she’d already been around the tour a while before that win so the fact Garcia is playing more ITF events than junior tournaments is encouraging.

What’s impressive is her nerve. She did look tense before stepping out onto Philippe Chatrier Court but after breaking Sharapova on several occasions she looked composed until the capitulation was triggered. Experience will aid her and once that inevitable big win comes she’ll be reaping the benefits.

Andy Murray was certainly impressed and Garcia will next be seen in the juniors tournament on Monday, so expect more from her progress here next week and certainly beyond that.

Serb Your Enthusiasm

On the day former champion Ana Ivanovic crashed out of the French Open, new talent Bojana Jovanovski showed why Serbian tennis still has a bright future.

The 19-year-old is the youngest player in the top 50 of the women’s game and in her first round match against Andrea Petkovic she showed why she’s there.

She did lose 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) but had taken several breaks and even led *5-2 in the second set before eventually being rolled over by the 15th seed. Yet I found her match enthralling and I also think Jovanovski is my new favourite player on the WTA tour.

Let me just point out, I had been subjected to Aravane Rezai’s dour show on Day 2 as well as the appallingly bad match between Patty Schynder and Sorana Cirstea beforehand so that might have played a part but I thought Jovanovski was great.

Her forehand in particular produced some thunderous shots down the line which culminated in her 31 winners but 41 unforced errors along with Petkovic turning up a gear towards the end of the match ultimately lost it for her.

My only qualm is she reminds me of Vicky Pollard (just the hairstyle and earrings). However I’m looking forward to watching her hopefully progress into a future household name.

caroline Garcia

An even younger player did make the second round though. French wildcard Caroline Garcia beat experienced campaigner Zuzana Ondraskova to set up a meeting with Maria Sharapova.

The 17-year-old had also reached the second round of the Australian Open this year and although further progress this week looks unlikely, she could improve France’s underachieving status in the sport with Mary Pierce and Amelie Mauresmo now just memories.

Heather Watson could do the same for British tennis. She’s already become the first British woman to reach the second round at Roland Garros for 17 years. Elena Baltacha may be slightly miffed having won her match against Watson’s close friend Sloane Stephens.

Fellow American prospects Christina McHale and Coco Vandeweghe also lost to Sara Errani and Maria Kirilenko respectively whilst Melanie Oudin couldn’t upset current title-holder Francesca Schiavone.

In the mens’ singles there were also some good results for the emerging players.

Kei Nishikori has reached the second round for the second consecutive year after beating Yen-Hsun Lu. He’ll have to defeat 31st seed Sergiy Stakhovsky if he’s to top his longest run at the French Open.

Ryan Harrison got a place in the first round thanks to a lucky loser spot and almost took full advantage before fifth seed Robin Soderling finished him off. The 19-year-old looked fully out of his depth when his Swedish opponent destroyed him 6-1 in the first set before the American took the second on a tiebreak.

Despite then breaking Soderling many times throughout the rest of the match he couldn’t keep his own service game together and lost a spirited display in four sets.

To summarise, it’s been a great first round for the young tennis players, especially the women. Some of the other selected results are:

MS: Carlos Berlocq (ARG) d. Bernard Tomic (AUS) 7-5, 6-4, 6-2

MS: Michael Berrer (GER) d. Milos Raonic 26 (CAN) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

MS: Alexandr Dolgopolov 21 (UKR) d. Rainer Schuettler (GER) 6-3, 6-3, 6-1

WS: Rebecca Marino (CAN) d. Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 6-3, 6-3

WS: Simona Halep (ROU) d. Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 6-2, 6-1

WS: Gisela Dulko (ARG) d. Irina Falconi (USA) 6-3, 6-4

WS: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 14 (RUS) d. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 7-5, 6-3

WS: Polona Hercog (SLO) d. Olivia Sanchez (FRA) 6-0, 6-1

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