Tag: daria lopatetska

Young guns to watch on the ITF Tour

THE International Tennis Federation (ITF) is well and truly stacked with developing talent, and Draft Central is beginning to delve into the young guns coming up through the ranks emphasising those who have burst onto the scene and showcased some exciting qualities in their junior years. While many of these players are beginning to feed into the ATP and WTA Tours, there are some great youngsters who are yet to break into the fold and will look to build on their 2020 form heading into the new year. All rankings are as of November 30, 2020,

Junior boys

Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)

Age: 17
ATP Tour ranking: 141

An exciting youngster looking to really break onto the ATP Tour scene is Alcaraz, with the developing Spaniard proving he is more than capable of producing excellent wins. With five titles to his name in 2020, including three clay court Challengers to go with his two M15 hard court titles, there is no doubt Alcaraz has the star power to continue propelling himself up the rankings and hitting some real strides.

Lorenzo Musetti (ITA)

Age: 18
ATP Tour ranking: 128

The young Italian is the second ranked youngster on the ATP Tour at the moment, and it shows in his consistency and drive to continue going one better. While still developing his craft and looking to continue his strong efforts against top 100 players, Musetti has showcased plenty of potential on Tour since debuting in 2019, and will look to keep his strong run going in 2021.

Brandon Nakashima (USA)

Age: 19
ATP Tour ranking:
166

American youngster Nakashima is a talent worth keeping an eye on, with the ability to be the next big thing credit to his high work rate and powerful swing. Like Musetti, Nakashima’s ability to shock top 100 players has been a key to developing his skill, flourishing on wildcard entries and using his athleticism to fly out of the blocks. Currently at his peak ranking and steadily developing, look to see Nakashima continue well into 2021.

Harold Mayot (FRA)

Age: 18
ITF Tour ranking:
1
ATP Tour ranking: 
426

ITF world number one Mayot is an exciting developing talent, with the 2020 Junior Australian Open title under his belt and a proven winning ability. With plenty of tenacity and determination, Mayot still has a way to go before truly impacting on the ATP Tour scene, but there is no doubt he will get there once he further develops against strong, more experienced bodies.

Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (DEN)

Age: 17
ITF Tour ranking: 2
ATP Tour ranking: 511

A consistent performer on the ITF Tour, Rune is one to watch in the future. While he did not win a Challenger tournament, as was his 2020 goal, three M15 titles on the senior ITF Tour is certainly nothing to sniff about. More than that, and it proves the 17-year-old is more than capable of competing against those bigger bodies in the future, especially on his preferred surface of clay.

Dominic Stephan Stricker (SUI)

Age: 18
ITF Tour ranking: 3

While Stricker is yet to really break onto the ATP Tour scene, the youngster has proven he is ready to step up to the next level and with a current ranking of third on the ITF rankings, there is no doubt he has the capacity to do so when he gets an opportunity – and an uninterrupted season. A Junior Roland Garros title in 2020 and the likes of Roger Federer to look up to certainly will aid in his progression heading into 2021.

Junior girls

Coco Gauff (USA)

Age: 16
WTA Tour ranking: 48

One of the most high profile young guns in the world at the moment, Gauff is the gift that keeps on giving with her rate of development and potential given how far she has come in such a short time. Still just 16-years-old, Gauff’s  ability to leave it all on the court and command victory as an underdog – including two straight sets victories over Venus Williams – have seen her rocket into media attention.

Daria Lopatetska (UKR)

Age: 17
WTA Tour ranking: 355

Another exciting youngster breaking onto the scene is Lopatetska, with the versatile Ukrainian able to put out excellent efforts across a range of surfaces and, even with an interrupted season following on from major knee surgery in 2019, has showcased plenty of grit and determination to get back out there. With a heap of potential and Elina Svitolina on her side, it is only a matter of time before Lopatetska is back on the cards.

Katrina Scott (USA)

Age: 16
WTA Tour ranking: 447

Scott may still be only 16-years-old, but her exciting potential has seen her rocket into contention on the WTA Tour alongside Gauff, following her compatriot’s footsteps onto the senior rankings well before expected. A competitive youngster who has showed no signs of stopping since her debut at the 2020 US Open as a wildcard, expect Scott to continue developing and keep the USA superpower going as she heads up the rankings.

Polina Kudermetova (RUS)

Age: 17
ITF Tour ranking: 6
WTA Tour ranking: 775

The younger sister of Veronika Kudermetova, there is no doubt 17-year-old Polina knows what it takes really break onto the WTA Tour stage. While she has not really made it there yet – in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited court time – the Russian youngster is a proven winner throughout the years and, with an ability to fight every second, will look to continue developing with more time in 2021.

Elsa Jacquemot (FRA)

Age: 17
ITF Tour ranking: 1
WTA Tour ranking: 535

The 2020 Junior Roland Garros winner and current world number one on the junior ITF Tour, Jacquemot is one to watch in the future. With two titles to her name in 2020 and a whopping 89 per cent win rate – 12 straight on clay – the French 17-year-old may not have broken onto the WTA Tour just yet but certainly has the proven winning ability to be a huge threat on Tour.

Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva (AND)

Age: 15
ITF Tour ranking: 2

The youngest player on this list is 15-year-old Andorran Jimenez Kasintseva, and while she is still developing her court craft there is no denying she is a star of the future, holding the Junior Australian Open title in 2020 and only leaving top spot on the ITF rankings when Jacquemot took out the Roland Garros title. With an overall win rate of 88 per cent and just three losses on tour, expect big things from the young gun.

WTA Teenage Stars – Daria Lopatetska

THERE is no shortage of top-end Ukrainian talent on the WTA Tour, and while Daria “Dasha” Lopatetska may not yet be among the trio of Elina Svitolina, Dayana Yastremska and Marta Kostyuk in the top 100, the 17-year-old is well on her way to creating a stir on Tour. Still splitting much of her competitive time between the WTA and ITF Tours, Lopatetska has proved consistent and threatening on the ITF Tour, with five titles to her name across 2018 and 2019 – with three in the first three months of the year – before injury struck. Only a lack of consistent matchplay due to the COVID-19 pandemic and her step up to the WTA circuit have limited her silverware in 2020.

While the youngster underwent knee surgery in May 2019 for a torn meniscus, it was the generosity of compariot and Ukrainian number one Svitolina – currently ranked fifth in the world – that allowed Lopatetska to get back on the court. The Ukrainian talent showcased plenty of determination, getting back to business and showing she was more than capable of stepping up to the plate on Tour. 

“I am really driven,” Lopatetska told the International Tennis Federation in October. “I really love tennis – it is my life. It is something I am passionate about. It is my work and you need to love what you do otherwise it doesn’t make any sense to do it. I am really driven about tennis and I am happy about that.”

While Lopatetska has been playing on the international women’s circuit for a couple of years now, she was eligible for the 2020 Junior Roland Garros this year through her professional ranking and took her chances, although unfortunately fell short in the second round to Russian 17-year-old, Oksana Selekhmeteva.

 “It is always special to play a Junior Grand Slam. I remember my first, and last, where I had an amazing run to the semi-finals of the US Open [in 2018] and I am just so grateful to be at a Grand Slam again.”

“I have been focusing more on professional tournaments but it is nice to be back in this atmosphere and I am appreciating the present.”

Currently ranked 355th in the world after peaking at world number 216 in June 2019 following her ITF success, the Ukrainian 17-year-old still has a long way to go but has proven she has the ability to go far and really push her case to break back into the 200s, and certainly has the determination to really create a challenging prospect on the WTA Tour with her winning mentality.

WTA Teenage Stars – Coco Gauff

Australian Open: Qualifying Rounds 2/3 – Former Wimbledon Junior runner-up and ATP Top 10 pick advance to main draw

THE first of the main draw qualifiers are through to the Australian Open starting Monday after a number of men’s and women’s finals were played yesterday. The remainder of the finals will be played today, with 32 qualifiers all-up – 16 men and 16 women – making it through to the final 128 players who will contest the 2020 Australian Open.

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Leading the charge for the main draw was former top 10 pick, Ernests Gulbis with the Latvian no doubt causing a few main draw opponents some headaches before he is assigned his place in the 128-man field. Gulbis defeated 17th seed, India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets, 7-6 6-2. He joined Australian Max Purcell in booking a spot in the first round after the local hope downed 26th seed Slovakian, Jozef Kovalik 6-4 6-2. Also into the next round was 16th seed German, Peter Gojowczyk who will not be an easy opponent for anyone in the main draw, winning 6-2 6-3 over Frenchman Constant Lestienne. Slovakia’s 10th seed Norbert Gombos, Spain’s Pedro Martinez – who downed Czech Lukas Rosol – and Belarusian Ilya Ivashka all advanced through to the main draw in straight sets win.

From the Round 2 winners, top seed Dennis Novak continued his run to the final 32 with a straight sets win over Slovakia’s Filip Horansky, 6-1 6-4. In a day where seeds fell like flies, sixth seed Evgeny Donskoy was the other to survive the minefield, winning 6-3 3-6 6-3 over the qualifying draw’s late inclusion Croatia’s Viktor Galovic. It was bad news for ATP Cup doubles-winning player Viktor Troicki with the Serbian having to retire a set up and 1-2 down in the second set and forfeit his match to American Christopher Eubanks. Belgian, Kimmer Coppejans kept his hopes of a main draw spot alive with an upset win over third seed Canadian, Brayden Schnur, while Frances’ Elliot Benchetrit downed fourth seed Fin, Emil Ruusuvuori in an epic encounter. Netherland’s Tallon Griekspoor ended Australian wildcard, Rinky Hijikata‘s chances with a straight sets win, while Egypt’s Mohamed Safwat moved through to a final match after a 7-5 7-5 win over Alexandre Muller.

Men’s Finals:

I. Ivashka (BLR) defeated Z. Li (CHN) 6-4 6-3
[10] N. Gombos (SVK) defeated P. Krstin (SRB) 6-3 6-3
P. Martinez (ESP) defeated L. Rosol (CZE) 6-4 6-2
M. Purcell (AUS) defeated [26] J. Kovalik (SVK) 6-4 6-2
E. Gulbis (LAT) defeated [17] P. Gunneswaran (IND) 7-6 6-2
[16] P. Gojowczyk (GER) defeated C. Lestienne (FRA) 6-2 6-3

Round 2:

[1] D. Novak (AUT) defeated F. Horansky (SVK) 6-1 6-4
H. Moriya (JPN) defeated [23] S. Diez (CAN) 6-4 7-5
T. Griekspoor (NED) defeated [WC] R. Hijikata (AUS) 7-5 7-5
[WC] L. Musetti (ITA) defeated M. Copil (ROU) 6-7 6-4 7-5
K. Coppejans (BEL) defeated [3] B. Schnur (CAN) 7-6 6-3
C. Eubaks (USA) defeated V. Troicki (SRB) 4-6 2-1 RET
E. Benchetrit (FRA) defeated [4] E. Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6-4 0-6 7-6
D. Popko (KAZ) defeated E. Couacaud (FRA) 6-3 3-6 6-3
M. Bourgue (FRA) defeated [5] A. Martin (SVK) 4-6 7-6 7-5
M. Vilella Martinez (ESP) defeated [24] F. Bagnis (ARG) 7-6 0-6 6-4
[6] E. Donskoy (RUS) defeated V. Galovic (CRO) 6-3 3-6 6-3
M. Safwat (EGT) defeated A. Muller (FRA) 7-5 7-5
N. Milojevic (SRB) defeated E. Escobedo (USA) 6-4 7-6
Q. Halys (FRA) defeated D. Lee (KOR) 6-3 6-4
M. Trungelliti (ARG) defeated J. Wolf (USA) 0-6 7-6 7-5
L. Giustino (ITA) defeated [18] Y. Maden (GER) 6-7 6-2 6-4

Six players are officially through to the main draw of the 2020 Australian Open women’s draw after the first of 16 women’s finals were played yesterday. The upset of the day was 31st seed and young gun American, Ann Li toppling top seed and top 100 Romanian, Ana Bogdan, 5-7 7-6 6-2. The Wimbledon Junior Final runner-up booked a spot in the main draw and undoubtedly has a bright future ahead. She was joined in the main draw by fellow American, Shelby Rogers who downed compatriot, Caroline Dolehide 6-4 6-4. A big surprise was the straight sets exit of former top 10 player, Eugenie Bouchard with the Canadian bowing out to Italian Martina Trevisan who won 6-4 6-3. Also into the main draw was 20th seed and former top 30 player, Monica Niculescu with the Romanian getting up over 11th seed Swiss player, Stefanie Voegele in three sets, 6-2 3-6 6-4. Liudmila Samsonova was the highest seed to officially make the main draw thus far, downing 24th seed, Xiyu Wang 6-4 2-6 7-5, while Great Britain’s Heather Dart booked a spot in the main draw thanks to a win over Italian Giulia Gatto-Monticone, 6-1 6-3.

From Round 2 results that will see the remaining 20 player battling for 10 spots, second seed Nao Hibino is the highest player ranked played remaining in the draw, while third seed Varvara Gracheva will have a tough task against former top 50 player, Johanna Larsson of Sweden after the 31-year-old Swede made light work of 29th seed, Netherland’s Mandy Minella, 6-2 6-3. The North American presence at Australian Open should be strong with a number of Americans moving through to the final round with Sachia Vickery defeating fourth seed Ukrainian, Katarina Zavatska in three tight sets, while 10th seed compatriot, Catherine McNally also advanced with an easy straight sets win over Ukrainian Daria Lopatetska. Other seeds to book a spot in the next round were fifth seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia, Belgium’s 13th seed Greet Minnen, 18th seed Kaja Juvan – who knocked out Australian wildcard Storm Sanders in three sets – 19th seed Barbora Krejcikova who stunned former top 20 player, Varvora Lepchenko in straight sets, and 32nd seed, Barbara Haas from Austria.

Women’s Finals:

[31] A. Li (USA) defeated [1] A. Bogdan (ROU) 5-7 7-6 6-2
S. Rogers (USA) defeated [30] C. Dolehide (USA) 6-4 6-4
M. Trevisan (ITA) defeated E. Bouchard (CAN) 6-4 6-3
[20] M. Niculescu (ROU) defeated [11] S. Voegele (SUI) 6-2 3-6 6-4
[12] L. Samsonova (RUS) defeated [24] X. Wang (CHN) 6-4 2-6 7-5
H. Dart (GBR) defeated G. Gatto-Monticone (ITA) 6-1 6-3

Round 2:

[2] N. Hibino (JPN) defeated Y. Yuan (CHN) 3-6 6-1 6-1
L. Arruabarrena (ESP) defeated Y. Naito (JPN) 6-3 6-4
[3] V. Gracheva (RUS) defeated O. Danilovic (SRB) 6-2 4-6 6-1
J. Larsson (SWE) defeated [29] M. Minella (NED) 6-2 6-3
S. Vickery (USA) defeated [4] K. Zavatska (UKR) 6-4 5-7 6-4
[19] B. Krejcikova (CZE) defeated V. Lepchecnko (USA) 6-4 6-4
[5] A. Kalinskaya (RUS) defeated L. Paar (ROU)
X. Wang (CHN) defeated [28] A. Kiick (USA) 6-0 6-1
[6] N. Vikhlyantseva (RUS) defeated I. Shinikova (BLR) 6-2 6-3
[18] K. Juvan (SLO) defeated [WC] S. Sanders (AUS) 6-0 2-6 6-3
L. Fernandez (CAN) defeated M. Hibi (JPN) 6-4 6-4
D. Lao (USA) defeated [27] K. Nara (JPN) 7-5 6-7 6-3
[10] C. McNally (USA) defeated D. Lopatetska (UKR) 6-2 6-3
E. Ruse (ROU) defeated N. Parrizas Diaz (ESP) 6-3 7-5
[13] G. Minnen (BEL) defeated F. Xun (CHN) 6-3 6-1
[32] B. Haas (AUT) defeated L. Pattinama Kerkhove (NED) 6-4 4-6 6-1