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Few surprises in junior matches on Day 1

By Marcia Frost
Sunday, September 06, 2015

Everything aligned today at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center as the sun continued to shine and the top seeds in the junior championships moved on, though there were lots of great matches as this younger group took to the outer courts.

Top-seeded Taylor Fritz, who was the finalist for the junior title at Roland Garros earlier this summer, had a tight start against Ugo Humbert of France, but the American broke through for a 6-4, 6-3 win.

No. 4 seed Seong-Chan Hong of Korea eliminated Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina, 6-1, 6-3, and American Reilly Opelka, this year’s Junior Wimbledon boys’ singles winner, stayed true to his No. 6 seeding in dispatching Canada’s Alejandro Tabilo, 6-1, 6-4.

The only seeds in the boys’ singles draw who were stretched to the limit were No. 10 Corentin Denolly, who rallied to beat Patrick Niklas-Salminen of Finland, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, and No. 13 Lloyd George Harris of South Africa, who outlasted American Sam Riffice, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.

On the girls’ side, two upsets were recorded. The first was by Maia Lumsden of Great Britain, taking out No. 6 Anna Kalinskaya of Russia, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The second player to eliminate a seed was Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus. After Shymanovich captured a long first set and 12th-seeded Luisa Stefani of Brazil rallied to force a decider, Shymanovich pulled it back together to emerge victorious, 7-5, 1-6, 6-1.

A major upset looked like it may happen on the girls’ side when American Alexandra Sanford took the first set in a tiebreaker over No. 2 Dalma Galfi. The Hungarian rallied to take the second set, but it was Sanford who had a break for 5-3 in the third. However, the wildcard couldn’t serve it out and the second seed moved on with a 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 win.

Elsewhere, the match between No. 13 Vera Lapko of Belarus and Tornado Alicia Black of the U.S. started extremely close, with Lapko taking the first set with one break at 7-5. The second was also going along without a break, but Black retired at 5-5 and gave Lapko the win.