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.

52nd Trofeo Bonfiglio 2011 – Day 2

The seeds continued to drop on Day 2 of the Trofeo Bonfiglio with Brazilian Bruno Sant’anna, in particular, having a tournament to forget.

Not only did he lose his doubles match alongside compatriot Thiago Moura Monteiro but the tenth seed and junior world number 14 also crashed out of the first round in the singles draw, losing 6-1, 6-1 to Russian qualifier Mikhail Vaks.

Shane Vinsant (14) lost to Belarus’ Yaraslau Shyla and that proved to be the last shock of the first round results but as those were being completed some second round matches provided further big-name defeats.

On Day 1 it was the Italians who crushed the seeds but Americans Alexios Halebian and Bjorn Fratangelo were the giant killers this time.

Ninth seed Luke Saville of Australia succumbed to Halebian 6-1, 6-4 whilst Fratangelo beat Croatian Mate Delic 7-5, 6-2.

In the latter match Delic had been given the lowest seeding of sixteen but with Frantangelo sat one place below him in the rankings it wasn’t a huge upset.

German Robin Kern also knocked out Nikola Milojevic (15) but Mate Pavic (4), Andrew Whittington (5), Filip Horansky (7) and Joao Pedro Sorgi (8) all made it to the third round.

Unfortunately for the home crowd Gianluigi Quinzi couldn’t replicate his first round heroics as he fell to Patrick Ofner.

Oliver Golding will take on Antonio Campo, one of two remaining Italian players in the boys’ event today looking to avenge his British companions’ defeats on Monday. Top seeds Hugo Dellien and Dominic Thiem are also in second round action later.

Oliver Golding (GBR)

In the girls’ draw the biggest surprise was seventh seed Victoria Bosio’s second round defeat. The 16-year-old Argentine lost 6-3, 6-4 to Russian Elizaveta Kulichkova.

Czech twelfth seed Jesika Maleckova fell to Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova in the first round but elsewhere most of the top seeds won their second round matches with relative ease.

Eugenie Bouchard and Chantal Skamlova will want to leave Milan sharply after the pair lost out in the doubles to coincide with both their first round defeats.

Looking for someone I missed? The drawsheets for the boys’ singles and girls’ singles are still available and updated everyday via the Tennis Club Milano Alberto Bonacossa website as well as the boys’ doubles and girls’ doubles events.

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