US Open Juniors | Seyboth Wild upsets top-seeded Tseng
Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild caused what was considered an upset of the US Open Junior Boys Singles in putting out the top-seeded Chun Hsin Tseng, 6-2 6-4, in 76 minutes in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Playing on Court 17 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Tseng was the top seed for the title and Seyboth Wild was seeded five spots lower, but the Brazilian actually holds a higher ATP Ranking than his 17-year-old opponent, No 464 compared to No 483.
The 18-year-old has largely competed on the ITF Pro Circuit in 2018, winning a Futures event in April.
“It’s the intensity that you have to play, the focus you’ve got to have during the match. Playing juniors and playing pros, they’re older, they’re men, they’re not juniors,” Seyboth Wild said.
“It just makes juniors look easy for you—not ‘easy’ easy—but it just makes everything easier to focus and keep a solid game and keep your strategy going.”
I just came on the court knowing exactly what I had to do. I just had a really solid match, “I've been having a really great week. I honestly don’t know what’s happening to my serve. I haven’t served this well in, like, forever. Thiago Seyboth Wild
Tseng was just two matches away from winning his third consecutive boys’ singles Grand Slam championship in 2018, but the Brazilian, who on Friday dispatched Britain’s Aidan McHugh in the third round, halted the Chinese Taipei’s run.
“I just came on the court knowing exactly what I had to do. I just had a really solid match,” Seyboth Wild said.
“I’ve been having a really great week. I honestly don’t know what’s happening to my serve. I haven’t served this well in, like, forever.”
The No 6 seed was the aggressor from the baseline, striking 25 winners to Tseng’s 6, and unafraid to use his drop shot to draw his opponent in to put away shots at net.
Tseng played far beyond the baseline, a fact that Seyboth Wild exploited, using his backhand slice to control the court.
Yet one game in the match remains vivid in his memory: “At 3-2 I lost my serve although I had four or five aces,” he said.
This will be Seyboth Wild’s first Grand Slam final in his last junior event, but it is not a surprise to him.
“I think everyone in the main draw expects to be in the final, they all want to win the tournament,” Seyboth Wild said.
“I just came here to play my tennis, have some fun and enjoy my last junior tournament.”
Seyboth Wild was a semi-finalist in both singles and doubles at Roland Garros this year, also reaching the semi-finals in doubles at the US Open last year, and playing the Australian Open Juniors in January.
He now plans to return to the pro tour after this week.
Playing against him for the US Open Junior Boys’ title on Sunday is another surprise winner, Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti, who eliminated Jenson Brooksby, 6-3 6-3 in 85 minutes, the last American left standing in either the boys’ or girls’ draw.
“I cannot describe the feeling because it is the first time I’m in a Grand Slam final,” said the16-year-old Italian, who is playing his first US Open. “This is the biggest result of my career.
“[It] was a surprise for me. I’m so happy now I’m in the finals.”
His best previous Grand Slam result was at Wimbledon this summer when he reached the quarter-finals.
“Physically it was very tough to break him,” Musetti said. “He’s a very good flat player, so I had to change my game. … When I was playing flat and strong, he was playing better. So I had to change. I worked hard for this.
“I cannot describe the feeling, because it’s the first time. It’s amazing and I couldn’t believe I was in the final,” Musetti added.
“Now I have to try to get the trophy. I hope [I will], but I will enjoy the final tomorrow, for sure.”
One year ago, Musetti lost in the second round of qualifying in New York, and now he is into the championship match in Flushing Meadows.
Before the rain came, but under cloudy skies and much cooler than the heat and humidity that swathed the area through most of the tournament, Americans Emilio Nava & Axel Nefve won their Boys’ doubles semi-final, outlasting Jesper De Jong of the Netherlands & Switzerland’s Damien Wenger, 3-6 6-4 [12-10].
The other semifinal also went to a match tiebreak, with Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria & Anton Matusevich of Great Britain defeating Musetti and fellow Italian Giulio Zeppieri, 4-6 7-5 [10-6].
The Girls’ final will pit 11th-seeded Clara Burel of France against 3rd-seeded Xiyu Wang of China.
In a tight three-setter, Burel overcame 4th-seeded Maria Camilia Osorio Serrano of Colombia, 7-5 1-6 76(3).
While the French 17-year-old couldn’t convert three match points at 5-4 in the third set, she found a way to battle past the Colombian.
“I was just so tired, so stressed. It was very close. I knew she wouldn’t give me the match, so I was very nervous,” Burel said. “But I tried to put the ball in the court, go to net when I could and I did my best.”
Burel will look to go one step further than she did in the Australian Open final, where she lost in straight sets.
“I know the feeling when you go to the court and it’s a Grand Slam final. It’s special, so I have the experience. I want to win this one, so I’ll do my best,” Burel said.
“I will try to be ready from the first point and fight to do my best… I’m a fighter and I will never give up.”
She will have to give all she’s got in the final against Wang, who finished her 6-1 5-7 6-3 semi-final victory against Dasha Lopatetskaya indoors, just a stone’s throw away from the new Louis Armstrong stadium, as for the second straight day, rain interrupted play.
The 17-year-old left-hander, who reached the girls semi-finals at Wimbledon and won the doubles title there, breezed through the first set in under 30 minutes, with Wang’s pace too much for Lopatetskaya to handle.
In the second set, Lopatetskaya began to adjust, and with Wang’s power game misfiring just often enough, Lopatetskaya was able to earn a 2-0 lead.
That didn’t last, with the score 2-2 in the second set when play was moved indoors.
The change of venue actually benefitted Wang: “I think no, because the court is different,” she said.
“It’s more slower, and outdoor I was playing very fast, she cannot defence very well. When we moved to the indoors, the points not so fast and she has time to hit against me, so we have more rallies. The second set was tough.”
After getting broken at 5-6 to lose the second set, Wang didn’t change her strategy, and her big hitting earned her a break in the first game of the third set.
Wang gave that break back, but Lopatetskaya, who had played seven matches since last Saturday, couldn’t hold in either of her next two service games.
She broke Wang serving for the match, but not enough first serves in the final game gave Wang the chance to tee off on second serves and control the points with Wang breaking for the win.
“Normal, I just play my game, so not really excited,” Wang said. “I just try to stay consistent, do my game, play my best.”
Wang’s first pro title last month, at a $25,000 ITF Women’s Circuit event in Thailand, has given her confidence.
“That helped very much,” Wang said. “I think I have more experience to help me to play the final.”
This will be Burel’s second Grand Slam final of the year, after making it to the same stage in Melbourne.
The last French player to make two finals at the highest level in one year was Kristina Mladenovic in 2009, while Wang will be hoping to emulate the success of her compatriot Yibing Wu, who won the boys’ event here last year.
Sunday’s Girls’ doubles final will be an all-American affair with Cori Gauff & Caty McNally, the No 1seeds, taking on Hailey Baptiste & Dalayna Hewitt.
Gauff and McNally advanced by defeating Joanna Garland of Chinese Taipei & Moyuka Uchijima of Japan 6-2 6-2, while the team of Baptiste & Hewitt won their semifinal 6-4 6-3 over fellow Americans Chloe Beck and Emma Navarro.