Tag: katrina scott

WTA Miami Open 1000: Americans fall on day one as qualifiers continue hunt for main draw entry

WHILST qualifying rounds are still being complete, the WTA Tour Miami Open 1000 event has officially begun, with intriguing results pouring out already on the first day of competition.

The top ranked player of the day was Shelby Rogers, and the homegrown hope was the only United States talent to proceed to the second round as a whopping six compatriots fell. While the fall of Madison Brengle was down to Rogers’ 6-3 6-3 sweep, the most high profile loss went to three-time Miami champion Venus Williams who was disposed of by Kazakh Zarina Diyas 6-2 7-6(10), as 16-year-old Katrina Scott went down 6-2 6-2 in the quickest match of the day to Sorana Cirstea, with the Romanian needing just 60 minutes to collect the win. Losses to Lauren DavisRobin Montgomery and Christina McHale completed the United States’ day, with Russia also proving unlucky on day one as Anastasia Potapova and Anna Blinkova both fell.

Looking to successful performers on the opening day, and the likes of Paula Badosa were fortunate to remain in the draw, with the Spaniard winning through in strange circumstances as her Swiss opposition in Jil Teichmann retired despite leading the first set, whilst Barbora Krejcikova and Magda Linette completed the only three set wins of the day against Blinkova and Montgomery, respectively. Krejcikova’s victory was the only match to go over two hours at two hours and three minutes, though the 6-3 7-5 matchup between Laura Siegemund and McHale came close coming down to one hour and 58 minutes.

In the remaining matches, Arantxa RusWang Xinyu and Nadia Podoroska all reigned supreme in their respective outings, with all three straight sets sweeps completed well within 90 minutes.

MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 5-6 RET
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 7-5 6-0
Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated Madison Brengle (USA) 6-3 6-3
Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated Marie Bouzkova (CZE) 6-3 6-2
Kaia Kanepi (EST) defeated Lauren Davis (USA) 6-3 7-5
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) defeated Venus Williams (USA) 6-2 7-6
Wang Xinyu (CHN) defeated Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-2 6-2
Nadia Podoroska (ARG) Mayar Sherif (EGY) 6-3 6-1
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) defeated Katrina Scott (USA) 6-2 6-2
Magda Linette (POL) defeated Robin Mongomery (USA) 6-1 3-6 6-0
Laura Siegemund (GER) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 6-3 7-5
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-1 3-6 6-3

For the remainder of the men’s and women’s qualifiers, results went as unpredictable as ever with just one of the women’s top 10 seeds heading through to the main draw, as seventh seed Nina Stojanovic defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands, while Kirsten Flipkens (fourth seed), Tamara Zidansek (fifth) and Varvara Gracheva (sixth) all fell at the second hurdle. The men’s proceedings were just as interesting, with top two Mackenzie McDonald and Thiago Seyboth Wild both reigning supreme, while four top 10 seeds fell. Both wildcards in Mischa Zverev and Shintaro Mochizuki proceed to the main draw.

2021 ATP/WTA 1000 Miami Open preview: Federer and Nadal withdraw as Barty returns

THE 2021 Miami Open is set to begin this week, played from Monday, March 22 through to Sunday, April 4, with the 1000 event expected to showcase some high calibre encounters across both the ATP and WTA Tours. Whilst the men’s list is missing a couple of notable names within the top 20, the women’s draw will boast just about all of the big names in the biz as the season rolls on despite COVID-19 restrictions still impacting proceedings. Both the men’s and women’s reigning Australian Open champions are set to compete, highlighting the strength of the respective events.

On the ATP Tour, the clear omissions from the draw include Rafael NadalDominic Thiem and Roger Federer, with the trio’s absence making for a huge hole in the draw and a real opportunity for the developing players coming through the ranks to make their mark. Looking down the list, it’s safe to say Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are the clear frontrunners in as first and second seeds with one title apiece to start the year, whilst Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are well within their chances here given the glaring absences. 2021 title-winners Andrey Rublev (Rotterdam title, 13-2 in 2021), Diego Schwartzman (Buenos Aires, 8-3) and David Goffin (Montpellier, 9-5) also register high in the draw, with the likes of Matteo Berrettini, Denis ShapovalovGael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut rounding out the top 11 or so players, pending shuffling from this week’s results. Factor in the explosiveness of the likes of Nick Kyrgios, who is still yet to confirm attendance, and the wealth of Spanish talent currently residing within and around the top 50, and there is so much that could go against the grain here.

Given it is an ATP 1000 event, there is no shortage of talent as players flock to Miami. Even heading down the list to lower ranked players, there are plenty of quality names across the board with in-form and young talent looking to add valuable points to their rankings. Two-time Miami champion Andy Murray is the big name wildcard at the event, joined by teen Carlos Alcaraz, Michael Mmoh, Hugo Gaston and Jack Draper in the main draw.

Heading to the women’s draw, and whilst there is more consistent top talent in the draw, that does not make it any easier to predict with the relatively even WTA Tour boasting a number of players who consistently step up at this level. Australian world number one and reigning 2019 Miami champion Ash Barty is reportedly set to compete after spending an unprecedented year way from the international circuit in 2020, joined by the ever formidable Naomi OsakaSimona HalepSofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina to round out the top five seeds. Also featuring are eight-time champion Serena Williams, who can never be overlooked in an event of this calibre, and a number of developing talents with French Open champion Iga Swiatek (2020) and 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu both set to take the court here. Jennifer BradyKarolina Pliskova and Madison Keys are another few who cannot be dismissed, as are the ever exciting teens Coco Gauff and Amanda Anisimova.

Factor in the evenness and unpredictability of the women’s draw, with realistically any number of the top 20 – or upwards of that – capable of beating anyone on their day, and Miami will have a real battle on its hands. The women’s main draw wildcards include Anna Kalinskaya, Ana Konjuh, Storm Sanders, Katrina Scott, Mayar Sherif, Xiyu Wang and Xinyu Wang, with qualifiers for both the women’s and men’s events set to play out over March 22-23.

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 – Katrina Scott

WHEN it comes to young talent, it seems that the United States are almost bursting at the seams with on the WTA Tour. Another 16-year-old American who burst onto the international tennis scenes at a Grand Slam is Katrina Scott, with the youngster playing in not only her first Grand Slam tournament, but also her maiden WTA Tour appearance and first tournament of the year given the COVID-19 delays. While the talented youngster may have exited during the US Open second round, there is no doubt she made a splash with her impressive Round of 128 victory, and was unfortunate to draw seeded compatriot – and fellow teen – Amanda Anisimova in the second round, though certainly put Anisimova through her paces. 

Entered as a wildcard to the US Open following withdrawals due to Coronavirus concerns and ranked world number 637 prior to competing, Scott now sits just within the 450 zone and has aspirations to continue climbing.

“Once I want something I work as hard as I can to get it, and do anything possible to get it,” Scott said in an interview with the New York Times. “Anything in life, I’m super competitive in all aspects of life. Even off the court, I always want to win.”

The youngster’s delay starting 2020 was not just because of the global pandemic though, with Scott relocating from Los Angeles to Columbus, Ohio in 2019 and taking six months away from the Tour with coach David Kass to develop her skill – which quickly turned into nine months given the circumstances. 

“She’d been more of a defensive player throughout juniors, and in our opinion that needed to change in order to have a lot of success on the pro tour,” Kass said. “That’s a major change, in terms of attacking the ball and your court positioning.”

“Her forehand started over with a totally different swing… Learning a new swing is not the hardest thing to do over time, but unlearning a swing you’ve been doing for years is extremely hard.”

There is no doubt the changes benefited Scott, and while she has not competed since the US Open back in early September, she is certainly one to watch especially given the United States’ track record with developing young players, with 18 players within the top 100 and fellow teens Anisimova and Coco Gauff within the top 50. Add in the likes of Sofia Kenin, Madison Keys, Jennifer Brady, Bernarda Pera, Taylor Townsend and Ann Li, who are all age 25 and under, and the future of US tennis is bright.

Homegrown talent impresses at US Open

A COUPLE of intriguing winners will hit the court in the second round at the WTA Tour’s 2020 US Open after a huge second day of Round of 128 action. It was a stellar output from the United States homegrown talent, with nine American representatives skating through.

Serena Williams – who is hunting down an elusive 24th Grand Slam title – and youngster Katrina Scott who at only 16-years-old is a wildcard at her first major tournament – both made it through relatively unscathed to come out of the first round with convincing winz on the board. Williams’ opponent, compatriot Kristie Ahn had a solid start and rounded out the first set tiebreaker well, but fell at Williams’ impressive serve as the champion racked up 13 aces and an 85 per cent win rate off her first serve. For Scott, a huge 7-6 first set win gave her a wealth of confidence against her Russian opponent Natalia Vikhlyantseva, but will meet fellow American teenager and 22nd seed Amanda Anisimova in a huge second round after the now-19-year-old defeated Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova in two tight sets, 7-5 7-5.

All seeded Americans in Williams, Anisimova, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin were convincing on court with an average winning time of one hour and 13 minutes. Bernarda Pera and Casey McNally had dominant second sets to take out victory. With 15 American names in the draw, just a few of the USA talent were knocked from contention, including Venus Williams who was defeated by 20th seed Karolina Muchova, while the likes of Ahn and Taylor Townsend were unlucky to draw compatriots and sent home by Serena Williams and Sachia Vickery respectively. Lauren Davis forged an impressive second set comeback before being run down by in-form Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.

Western & Southern Open victor Victoria Azarenka continued where she left off, making it through unscathed on day two of the Grand Slam. Despite a strong start, former world number one Kim Clijsters was knocked aside by 21st seed Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova, while Elise Mertens and Johanna Konta were also too strong, though Konta had to surpass a tough start from British compatriot Heather Watson to head through to the second round in an hour and 48 minutes.

Australian Open runner up Garbine Muguruza similarly ran away winners in two sets, with just six matches for the day take to three sets and just two of the 16 seeds – Veronika Kudermetova and Saisai Zheng – going down to unseeded opposition in 18-year-old Iga Swiatek and Ysaline Bonaventure. Despite a tough effort from Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin, fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka outlasted her opposition in 90 minutes, as did Donna Vekic in a three set battle against Czech Kristyna Pliskova and 15th seed Maria Sakkari despite a second set comeback from Stefanie Voegele.

Joining the aforementioned players in the second round are Ons Jabeur, Margarita Gasparyan, Patricia Maria Tig, Tsvetana Pironkova, Olga Govortsova, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Sorana Cirstea, Kaia Kanepi, Leylah Fernandez, Anna Kalinskaya and Aliona Bolsova.