US Open Juniors | Raducanu fells second seeded Noel
British juniors Aidan McHugh and Emma Raducanu, 16, both reached the third round of their respective singles US Open competitions with impressive wins over Jesper De Jong from the Netherlands and America’s Alexa Noel.
Raducanu’s win caused a major upset of the No 2 seed, and the manner in which she conducted it sent a significant message to the remaining survivors in the girl’s draw, losing just one game.
McHugh’s 6-4 6-1 win was a tighter affair but convincing in its second set romp.
Raducanu reached the last eight at Wimbledon while McHugh, a protege of Andy Murray, was a semi-finalist at the Australian Open.
Conditions on Wednesday, Day 10 of the US Open, were once again brutally hot and both played first on at 11am when the temperatures were already soaring towards the 30s.
Noel delighted US Open fans on Court 5 on Monday when she staged a big comeback and saved a match point en route to winning an almost three-hour contest with France’s Yasmine Mansouri in the first round.
Perhaps still feeling the effects of that previous match, and the heat, the 15-year-old succumbed to Raducanu in just 56 minutes, winning only two points on her second serve.
With the exception of Noel, most of the other seeds advanced, although Clara Tauson, the No 6 seed from Denmark, fell in three to Ukraine’s Dasha Lopatetskaya, 1-6 6-2 7-5, after convincingly winning the first set.
Hurricane Tyra Black, another American, also fell in her second round match, to the No 14 seed from China, Qinwen Zheng, 6-4 3-6 7-5, who next faces Raducanu in round three.
No 5 seed Caty McNally held the edge in experience when facing qualifier Emma Jackson, with the American raising her game at the critical junctures of each set to post a 6-3 6-4 victory.
“Honestly I think she played really well,” McNally said of the 15-year-old from Illinois, who received a wild card into the qualifying and was making her junior slam debut.
“She just went for pretty much everything, which I think was smart on her side. I was down 3-1 in the first set, but then I just went straight to work and I was able to continue to play my game and that’s just a big advantage, I think.”
McNally got the only break of the second set at 4-all, with Jackson unable to convert either of her game points, while McNally hit a forehand winner on her second break point, then served out the match to love.
“In the second set, at 4-all, I just started to make her move, and I started to get more errors off of that,” McNally said.
McNally, a 16-year-old from Cincinnati, struggled with illness in her first round match in Monday’s heat, but thought conditions were less oppressive today.
“I actually thought it was fine today,” McNally said. “I was sweating a decent amount, but I didn’t think it was that bad today.”
Sure of her future, McNally is following in the footsteps of her mother and playing the Pro tour.
“Ever since I was young I wanted to be a professional player,” she said. “If I’m on my game, I can go really far.”
McNally will face No 9 seed Naho Sato of Japan Thursday after Sato came back to defeat Georgia Drummy, the sole representative of Ireland, 4-6 6-4 6-2.
“I live now in Florida,” said Drummy, who made history here by becoming the first Irish girl to win a main draw match in New York since Karen Nugent in 1993.
Elli Mandlik, daughter of Hana Mandlikova, joins McNally, top seed Coco Gauff and No 16 seed Lea Ma in the third round, beating Diane Parry of France, one of the rare junior girls with a one-handed backhand, 6-3 7-6(1).
Players from 43 countries began the hard-court battle for the coveted junior titles, including from countries not usually known as tennis powers such as Burundi, Malta, Ireland, Turkey, Hong Kong, Guatemala, Luxembourg, Finland and Papua New Guinea.
A number of the juniors participating in the US Open are recipients of funds from the Grand Slam Development Fund, which was established in 1986 as a way to develop competitive tennis opportunities worldwide.
Past beneficiaries of the GSDF include Victoria Azarenka, Jelena Ostapenko and Grigor Dimitrov, a Junior champion here ten years ago.
On the Boys’ side, French third seed Hugo Gaston continued his progress through the draw with a 6-2 6-1 dismissal of Argentinian Juan Manuel Cerundolo in just 49 minutes.
This summer, Nick Hardt became the first player from the Dominican Republic to reach a junior Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros.
If he wins his next match in New York, against Giulio Zeppieri of Italy, he could repeat that feat here.
Zeppieri upset 5th-seeded Timofei Skatov of Kazakhstan 6-0 6-1 in the first result of the day on Wednesday.
Hardt took up the sport when his father bought a tennis club and is the first Dominican to win a Grand Slam junior match since Joelle Schad in 1991, as well as being the first Dominican to win a match at more than one major.
The 17-year-old said of the heat:. “I’m used to it,” he said, noting his opponent had three medical timeouts because of the weather.
No 14 seed Brandon Nakashima breezed into the third round with a 6-3 6-4 win over Finland’s Otto Virtanen.
The American played a tidy match, firing 14 winners to just 10 unforced errors, and capitalising on three of four break points.