2015/03/01

David Ferrer and Timea Bacsinszky Win Acapulco Titles

Ferrer wins Qatar

(February 28, 2015) David Ferrer and Timea Bacsinszky took home Abierto Mexicano Telcel titles on Saturday in Acapulco.

 

Ferrer won an ATP best third tournament this year with the title and lifted his record to 18-1 with the 6-3, 7-5 win over top seed Kei Nishikori. For the 32-year-old Spaniard, it was his fourth title in Acapulco and his 24th career ATP crown. He won the previous three Acapulco titles on clay, this year’s event was played on hardcourt.

 

Just six days ago he captured the title in Rio de Janeiro and in January won the crown in Doha. The world No. 9 took home $343,000 in prize money.

 

Despite the loss, Nishikori, will reach career-high World No. 4 ranking on Monday.

Almost out of tennis, fifth seeded Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland won her second WTA Tour title, beating third seed Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-0. Dealing with multiple injuries from 2011-2013, she fell as low as 578 in the world. She said that she almost stopped playing the sport in 2013.

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Rafael Nadal Reaches Argentina Open Final

Rafael Nadal

(February 28, 2015) Rafael Nadal defeated Carlos Berlocq on Saturday 7-6 (7), 6-2 to reach the final of Argentina Open, where he’ll face Juan Monaco. Should Nadal win the title, he will tie Guillermo Vilas for the most Open era clay court titles with 46. This will be Nadal’s first final of 2015.

World No. 4 Nadal came close to losing the first set against the Argentine Carlos Berlocq, when the Spaniard fell behind 1-6 in the first set tiebreak. The 14-time major champion won eight of the next nine points to shut down the set.

“Evidently, when you recover five points (in a row) as well as playing well you have to have some luck, you can’t do it without luck. Carlos was playing bravely and serving well,” Nadal said to media.

“In the end I managed to be more dynamic and aggressive and place my shots well.”

Earlier in the week, Monaco was Nadal’s doubles partner and close friend, but on Sunday he will be his opponent for the title. The Argentine will be looking for his second title at the Argentina Open, he knocked out Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-4 in 2 hours and 28 minutes.

“I’m happy for Pico, who had long since reached a final,” said Nadal to media. “It’s a joy to play this decisive match against a friend and for me it is also very important to play my first final of the year here in Buenos Aires, a place where I feel the affection of the people.

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Semi-Finals
[1] R. Nadal (ESP) d C. Berlocq (ARG) 76(7) 62
J. Monaco (ARG) d N. Almagro (ESP) 63 67(6) 64

Doubles – Semi-Finals
J. Nieminen (FIN) / A. Sa (BRA) d [WC] F. Delbonis (ARG) / A. Molteni (ARG) 26 62 10-6
P. Andujar (ESP) / O. Marach (AUT) d C. Berlocq (ARG) / D. Schwartzman (ARG) 63 62

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, MARCH 1 2015

ESTADIO BILLOCH CARIDE start 12:00 noon
DOUBLES FINAL – J. Nieminen (FIN) / A. Sa (BRA) vs P. Andujar (ESP) / O. Marach (AUT)
Not Before 2:00 pm
SINGLES FINAL – [1] R. Nadal (ESP) vs J. Monaco (ARG)

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Roger Federer Beats Novak Djokovic to Retain Dubai Crown

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 28, 2015) DUBAI, UAEDefending champion Roger Federer beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-5 to win a seventh title at the Tennis Championships on Saturday and his second title of the year. The 17-time major champion has also notched seven title at Wimbledon and Halle.

 

“The seventh is quite unbelievable, what I hear people talking about that, announcing I’m the seven or six-time winner here in Dubai. Sounds pretty crazy,” he said. “I guess it definitely helps practicing in Dubai quite a bit. I know how the ball flies and the conditions here.”

 

The win for the Swiss marks his 84th career title. He also became only the fourth player since 1991 to hit 9000 aces in his career.

 

Reflecting on his first career ace, Federer said: “I think I remember which one it was even because I was even counting a little bit! I think it was one of the swinger wides maybe. I’m not sure. But I think it happened in the second set at some point. But clearly it is nice to get past that so now I don’t have to think about it ever again for the next 9,000 or so!”
It is the seventh straight year that either Federer or Djokovic has won the title. For 11 of the last 13 years one of the two has held up the winner’s trophy.

 

“I think the first set belonged to me, whereas the second set belonged to him more,” said Federer. “He created many more opportunities. I struggled to get into his service games more frequently. It seemed like the moment I wasn’t serving great he created chances for himself and put a lot of pressure on me.

 

“It was a huge game clearly at 5-All, 40-Love for him. I crawled my way back into the game and ended up breaking him. So that was big, but I think the break points saved were even bigger tonight.”

 

“I thought it was a good match,” said Djokovic. “I thought there wasn’t much difference, a few points decided a winner. I think in important moments maybe I could have been maybe a little bit more aggressive, but small margins, really.

 

“I thought he just was too good in the points where maybe I had a chance, break points. He served well. He aced. Then, you know, maybe a volley that hit the line. I congratulate him. He deserved it.

 

“I thought it was a good week overall. I played some terrific tennis. I’m happy with the result here and moving into now Davis Cup and, of course, the hard court season at Indian Wells, Miami, which is going to be tough obviously. But I look forward to it. I actually do feel good about how I played and how I feel physically, and I’m motivated. So I just hope I can continue to maintain that level of high performance throughout the season.”
Federer is now 20-17 lead over Djokovic in their head-to-head series.

 

The doubles title went to Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor, defeated Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Nenad Zimonjic 6-4 6-1. It is their second title of the season and their second together. It’s Nestor’s 87th career men’s doubles title.

 

“I think we played a really solid match,” said Bopanna. “I think we stuck to our strengths playing aggressive tennis and a high percentage of first serves, which I think was the key. Put a lot of pressure on them.”

“We have had a good start,” Nester commented. “We have beaten a lot of good teams, which is good. Obviously our goal is to win the Grand Slams. The next few weeks are big tournaments. We have to really be ready. But if we play like we are playing and stay positive and keep working hard, we should be all right.”

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Lucie Safarova Claims First Win over Victoria Azarenka to win Doha Title

Safarova

(February 28, 2015) Lucie Safarova beat Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-3 to win the Qatar Open on Saturday for her first Premier-level championship and sixth career WTA title, her first since Quebec City in 2013.

The victory snapped Azarenka’s 14-match winning streak in Doha, which included two titles. I was also the Czech’s first win against the Belarusian.

“I’m really excited and happy about it, because it took me quite a few years to get to this point,“ Safarova said. “I hope it’s not a finish point and I can still improve. I’m playing more consistently. My game improved a lot throughout the last couple of years. I think we did the great job together with my coach, Rob, on my game and it’s just hard work and also maturing a little bit.  I think it’s everything together.”

“There’s a lot of progress this week, a lot of good things happened. I played a lot of great matches, and that’s especially what I was looking for,“ Azarenka said. “Obviously I’m disappointed for today, but I just have to move on quickly. There is going to be another tournament in a week, so I have to prepare for that.  But I can be satisfied with the progress that I made.”

Safarova will move up to a career-high ranking of No.11 in the new rankings, while Azarenka is projected to return to the Top 40.

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Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to Face-off in Dubai Final Again

 

Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 27, 2015) DUBAI, UAE – In a rematch of last year’s final No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on defending champion No. 2 Roger Federer in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic defeated fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 while Federer had a much easier time with lucky loser 18-year-old Borna Coric 6-2, 6-1 in 56 minutes.

“Even after the first set that went as perfectly as possible and when I was break up I knew that the match is not over,” said Djokovic. “I just wanted to stay on that level, but it was hard.

“I started making some unforced errors, backed up a little bit, less first serves in. Then he stepped in. From that moment on it was an even match, a lot of unforced errors from my side. Just wasn’t feeling the ball great in the third but somehow managed to hang in there.”

“From that moment on it was an even match, a lot of unforced errors from my side. Just wasn’t feeling the ball great in the third but somehow managed to hang in there.”

“I don’t know his game very well. Maybe I was a bit tentative in the beginning,” Federer said of being broken early in the match, “But I was still able to get off to somewhat of a good start, not being broken early, then breaking him right away. I felt like after five games I knew more or less what to expect, and I realized what had worked until that point and what had not.”

“I can see why he has so far caused difficulties for some of the top guys and he still has a lot of room for improvement in his game,” said Federer. “He does a really good job for a big guy. It’s unbelievable how in the past 10 years we have seen so many big guys moving well from the baseline. I think he returns very well, especially off second serves, and that’s such a huge part of today’s game, I believe.”

“Yeah, I was. I was. I was nervous,” Coric said. “I knew that it’s going to be very tough, you know. But when you come on the court and actually feel the ball and feel the pressure which he’s making, it’s actually been tougher than when you’re watching it on the sofa in front of the TV.

“You know, he was just way too good for me. I was feeling so rushed. I didn’t have any time to play my game plan. I was just trying to hold in the rally as long as I can, and it was basically only thing what I could do.”

For the 33-year-old Federer, it will be his ninth final, he’s won the tournament six times. Djokovic is trying to win Dubai for the fifth time.

Between Djkokovic and Federer they have claimed the Dubai trophy in 10 of the last 12 years dating back to 2003, with only Rafael Nadal in 2006 and Andy Roddick in 2008.

“When you play Roger, it’s always a great challenge,” said Djokovic about the final against Federer. “If you want to win you have to play your best tennis, especially against Roger in the final of any event, but here particularly. Because I feel like this is the kind of a surface and conditions that it suits his game the best.”

Federer holds a 19-17 career edge over Djokovic. The final will be their fourth meeting in Dubai and second in the final.

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [4] T. Berdych (CZE) 60 57 64
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d [LL] B. Coric (CRO) 62 61

Doubles – Semi-finals
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 46 76(9) 11-9
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) 67(2) 64 11-9

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN)
Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

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Inaugural Taste of Tennis Miami to Take Place March 23

taste-of-tennis-miami

(February 25, 2015) MIAMI BEACH, FL – AYS has announced the inaugural Taste of Tennis Miami presented by Citi taking place on Monday, March 23rd poolside at W South Beach. For 15 years, Taste of Tennis has kicked off the US Open Tennis Championships in New York and it is widely considered the World’s Premier Food & Tennis Experience! The event brings together professional athletes, top chefs and luxury brands for an unforgettable evening of gourmet food, interactive sponsor experiences, signature cocktails and appearances by the world’s best tennis players. Tennis personalities and local celebrities will be paired with some of Miami’s best chefs to Serve Up a unique food tasting experience. Tennis’ most celebrated doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan, will be joined by a number of Miami’s finest chefs, including chefs from BLT Prime, Sushi Samba, Wild Fish Direct, Bocce, Khong River House and more to be announced.

 

“Taste of Tennis has such an amazing history in New York and we believe W South Beach provides the perfect backdrop for the inaugural Taste of Tennis Miami. We’re looking forward to celebrating our passions for crafted cocktails/cuisine and of course, to setting the scene here in South Beach. We couldn’t be more excited to host this one of a kind event,” said Rick Ueno, General Manager at W South Beach. AYS President Judi Lerner added, “We are thrilled to bring this event to Miami. Great food, music, signature cocktails and pro tennis players, poolside at the W South Beach, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the return of tennis to South Florida.”

 

A portion of the proceeds from the event benefits a local charity of choice. This year’s beneficiary, in addition to a full list of participating chefs and players, will be announced prior to the event. For more information and to purchase tickets to the 2015 Taste of Tennis Miami presented by Citi, please visit www.tasteoftennismiami.com. Major sponsors for the Innaugural Taste of Tennis Miami include Citi, W South Beach, Franciscan Estate, Mouton Cadet, Volkl, Head Penn, among others.

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Lucky Loser Borna Coric Stuns Andy Murray to Reach Dubai Semis

Borna Coric

Borna Coric

(February 26, 2015) DUBAI, UAECroatian teenager and lucky loser Borna Coric upset world No. 3 Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3 on Thursday to become the youngest player ever to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships semifinals.

The 18-year-old was beaten in the qualifying rounds, but received a place in the main draw when 2014 semifinalist Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to illness.

“I was just trying to maintain the level and stay in the rally as long as I can, which I was doing really good, you know. I was also running very good,” said Coric currently ranked No. 84.

“I think I was really lucky with Kohlschreiber pulling out. That’s the life. Sometimes you’re going to get lucky. Maybe next tournament I will have match point and I’m not going to take it. That’s tennis. One week you gonna play good, you gonna be lucky, and it’s those kind of days for you to take opportunities.”

Last year Coric stunned Rafael Nadal in Basel, and caught the eye of Novak Djokovic, who has since practised with him both in Australia and Dubai.

“I try to help him because I see, in a way, myself through him,” said Djokovic. “I’ve never felt that way when I practice with somebody as I felt with him. It’s like playing myself. Very similar game. Great fighting spirit, disciplined, focused, committed, confident, very young but confident, which is important.”

“He didn’t make many errors,” said Murray. “He played very solid and he moved well, made a lot of balls, made it tough. I made way too many mistakes from the beginning of the match right through to the end, early in rallies, rushing points. I don’t think I’m being wrong in saying that I made a lot of basic errors, especially early in the rallies. I don’t know exactly why that was the case.”

Murray made 55 errors with only 15 winners.

Novak Djokovic stopped Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan 6-1, 6-1.

“He lacks a little bit of experience and confidence on being in the big stadium. That’s where I used my opportunity from the start,” said Djokovic. “I made double break, and I felt like I was in control of the match. I didn’t allow him to get into the groove. So it was a good performance.”

Roger Federer was on court for only 20 minutes as Richard Gasquet retired with a back injury after losing the first set 6-1.

“I think I played well. I served well,” he said. “Then again, you know, the test was so short that it’s tough to judge on a 20-minute match. But I think I was hitting the ball well again like yesterday. I felt able to play aggressive and do what I was hoping to do, so I was very pleased, actually.”

Tomas Berdych was stretched to three sets winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Sergiy Stakhovsky.

“I think especially in the second set, end of the second set, he come up with some great shots,” said Berdych. “But that’s how it is. You know, you have to know how to deal with those situations. Again, it’s very good that I handled the third set how I did, two breaks.”

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2015

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) 61 61
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 ret. (lower back pain)
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d [3] A. Murray (GBR) 61 63
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 63 46 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) d [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 76(6) 26 10-8
[2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-7
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [Q] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 75
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Rosol (CZE) 61 62

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2015

CENTRE COURT start 2:30 pm
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) vs [2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [4] T. Berdych (CZE)
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)

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Venus Williams, Azarenka, Suarez Navarro and Safarova Reach Doha Semis

 

(February 26, 2015) Venus Williams stopped Agnieszka Radwanska for the second time this year 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to reach the Qatar Open semifinals. Williams knocked out the Pole in the round of 16 at the Australian Open last month.

Williams will face two-time Qatar champion, wild card Victoria Azarenka who defeated third seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 in her semifinal. Williams is a perfect 4-0 against Azarenka.

No 1 Petra Kvitova fell to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, for the second time in two weeks.The Spaniard also defeated the Czech in Dubai last week.

Lucie Safarova will challenge Suarez Navarro for a place in the final, after dispatching sixth seed Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-1.

QATAR TOTAL OPEN 2015 – DOHA, QATAR
$ 731,000.00
23-28 FEBRUARY 2015

RESULTS – FEBRUARY 26, 2015
Women’s
Singles – Quarterfinals

[9] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d [1] P. Kvitova (CZE) 36 60 63
[WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) d [3] [WC] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 63 61
[7] V. Williams (USA) d [4] A. Radwanska (POL) 64 16 63
L. Safarova (CZE) d [6] A. Petkovic (GER) 62 61

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

[1] S. Hsieh (TPE) / S. Mirza (IND) d M. Krajicek (NED) / B. Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 60 61
[4] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) / K. Flipkens (BEL) walkover
H. Chan (TPE) / C. Dellacqua (AUS) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Erakovic (NZL) 63 62

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2015
CENTRE COURT start 4:30 pm
[9] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs L. Safarova (CZE)
[7] V. Williams (USA) vs [WC] V. Azarenka (BLR)
[1] S. Hsieh (TPE) / S. Mirza (IND) vs H. Chan (TPE) / C. Dellacqua (AUS)

COURT 1 start 5:30 pm
[4] R. Kops-Jones (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

 

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John McEnroe, James Blake, Andy Roddick, and Jim Courier To Compete in Legends Event at Connecticut Open

John McEnroe
(Feb. 26, 2015) NEW HAVEN, Conn. – John McEnroe, James Blake, Andy Roddick, and Jim Courier, four of the best American tennis players of all time, will compete in the Legends Event at the 2015 Connecticut Open, to be held August 21-29, at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, it was announced today by Anne Worcester, tournament director.
For the second year, the tournament will bring together some of the game’s most well-known and talented legends for two entertaining evenings of tennis. On Thursday, August 27, Blake will play Roddick, and on Friday, August 28, McEnroe will battle Courier. Both matches will be the second match of the evening session, following the WTA quarterfinal and semifinal match, respectively. The Legends match will be best of three sets, with a super tiebreak for the third set.
McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles and nine-time Grand Slam doubles Champion, will be returning to New Haven for the first time since 1992. One of the most talented players in history, he accumulated more than 150 singles and doubles championships in his career, and in 1984, had one of the greatest seasons in the history of tennis winning two majors (Wimbledon, US Open), 13 of 15 singles tournaments, and compiled an 82-3 record for the year, which still stands as the best year-long winning percentage on the ATP World Tour. McEnroe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.
“I look forward to competing against Jim Courier in New Haven later this year.  Both Jim and I will be prepared to give our very best to make sure the fans get their money’s worth.  New Haven has a rich tennis history so it will be good to be a part of the Connecticut Open.”
Blake, a two-time Connecticut Open Champion with 10 singles tournaments and seven doubles titles to his name, Roddick, a former World No. 1 player and US Open Champion, and Courier, a former World No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam Champion, entertained the crowds over two nights in 2014, and the event drew rave reviews from fans.
“Our 2014 Legends Event was a huge success for the Connecticut Open, and we are expecting the 2015 event to be even better this year with the addition of legendary John McEnroe,” said Worcester. “James Blake, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier will again showcase how mixing humor, fun and great tennis can create a dynamic evening that enhances the overall fan experience at the tournament.”
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Cori “Coco” Gauff and Gabriella Price will Square-Off in Juniors match at BNP Paribas Showdown

bnpmsg

New York, NY (February 26, 2015) – Two talented junior players will once again be featured as part of the annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden. The match, presented by HEAD Penn Racquet Sports, will feature Cori “Coco” Gauff and Gabriella Price as part of World Tennis Day on March 10.

 

The match will take to the court prior to tennis legends Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini facing each other in a 25th anniversary rematch of their famed 1990 five-set WTA Championship final and Roger Federer taking on Grigor Dimitrov in the main event of the eighth annual BNP Paribas Showdown.

“One of the most rewarding parts of World Tennis Day is seeing the juniors participate in clinics and matches,” said Jerry Solomon, President, StarGames Inc.  “Sloane Stephens and Dennis Kudla, among others have played at the BNP Paribas Showdown before launching their professional careers and we hope others will follow in their footsteps. Maybe one day one of our juniors will be back to play in the main event!”

 

At 10 years old, Cori “Coco” Gauff is a young tennis champion on the rise. Coco started playing tennis just short of her seventh birthday. Her love and dedication to the sport has resulted in a number of championship titles including the 2014 USTA girls 12 Clay Court Super National Singles where she was the youngest winner in USTA history at the young age of 10. There are many more wins for Coco on the horizon, so continue to be on the lookout for this up and comer!

 

Gabriella started playing tennis when she only four years old. Since then, Gabby has grown leaps and bounds in her tennis skills, along with her love of the game. Currently, Gabby is 11 years old and ranked #3 in the nation in Girl’s 12 and under and top 90 in Girl’s USTA 14 and under. Her heart, will and spirit to compete have helped her endure tough challenges along the way and has increased her chances for success at a young age. Gabby wants to be the best she can be and dreams about winning many Grand Slams when she is older.

 

This will be the fifth time juniors have been included in the BNP Paribas Showdown. The previous junior matches featured:

2008: Denis Kudla (15 years old) vs Junior Ore (15)

2009: Sloane Stephens (15) vs Gail Brodsky (17)

2010: Nicole Gibbs (16) vs Sachia Vickery (14)

2015: Francis Taifoe (16) vs Reilly Opelka (16)

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