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From Hard Courts To Clay, September Aces Emerge

From the end of summer at the U.S. Open to the onset of autumn at the re-scheduled French Open, September’s transition from hard courts to clay has required many adjustments from players trying to navigate the second month of tennis’s restart. Those teens and former collegians highlighted below managed to keep their mind on the task at hand to post impressive results in an unprecedented year.

Ziva Falkner
The 18-year-old from Slovenia earned her first ITF World Tennis Tour title last month at a $15,000 tournament in her home country. Using a junior exemption for entry, the University of Georgia recruit defeated the top seed in the second round and the No. 6 seed in the quarterfinals, both from a set down. In her first pro final, she defeated fellow Slovenian teen Tina Cvetkovic, a wild card, 6-0, 7-6(6). Falkner, No. 44 in the ITF junior rankings, is scheduled to compete at the French Open Junior Championships next week.
Matilda Mutavdzic
Another first-time winner who used a junior exemption to enter the main draw, Mutavdzic claimed the title in the third ITF World Tennis Tour tournament of her career at a $15,000 event in Spain. The 16-year-old from Great Britain defeated two seeds, as well as ITF Junior No. 1 Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, en route to the final, where she downed No. 3 seed Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers of Spain 6-2, 7-5. Mutavdzic, who is also scheduled to play the French Open Junior Championships, is 28 in the ITF Junior rankings. (Photo credit: Paul Ballard)

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Page updated on Saturday, August 28, 2021
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