Croatia's Coric and Konjuh Sweep US Open Junior Singles Titles
by Colette Lewis
, 13 September 2013
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Competitors from 37 countries began a quest for the US Open boys and girls singles titles, yet when the final point of the tournament was played last Sunday, one country, Croatia, had captured them both.
No. 2 seed Ana Konjuh
and No. 4 seed Borna Coric
both staged comebacks to defeat unseeded opponents in the finals, with Konjuh squeezing past wild card Tornado Alicia Black
of the United States 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6) and Coric downing Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis
3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Rain delayed the completion of the first round until Tuesday, but surprises were few until Black announced her presence with a 7-5, 7-5 second round victory over No. 4 seed and European champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic.
Black was joined in the round of 16 by two members of the ITF World Junior Tennis 14-and-under team who won the team championship for the United States in August: CiCi Bellis and Michaela Gordon. Bellis would fall to Konjuh, and Gordon to compatriot and No. 10 seed Louisa Chirico, but it was an impressive junior slam debut for both 14-year-olds.
Four US boys also reached the final 16, all of them unseeded: Martin Redlicki, Gage Brymer, Mackenzie McDonald and Kalamazoo champion Collin Altamirano. Altamirano, who beat McDonald 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a nationally televised match on Louis Armstrong Stadium, was the only US boys quarterfinalist, and he was eliminated 6-4, 6-4 by top seed Alexander Zverev of Germany.
The top four boys seeds all reached the quarterfinals, but No. 2 seed and Wimbledon boys champion Gianluigi Quinzi lost to fellow 17-year-old Kokkinakis there, while in the girls quarterfinals, the reigning French and Wimbledon girls champion, Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, saw her junior slam winning streak end at the hands of No. 7 seed Antonia Lottner of Germany.
Black picked up another signature win in the semifinals, defeating French Open girls finalist Lottner 7-5, 6-3, while Konjuh, the Australian Open girls champion, downed California resident Mayo Hibi of Japan 6-3, 6-3.