US Open Juniors | Tseng wins as Junior matches suspended in New York
The World’s No 1 junior is Chun Hsin Tseng, a 17-year old from Taiwan, who shares the same birthday as Roger Federer, 4 August.
Both have held the top spot and won the boys’ single title at Wimbledon, but Tseng is looking to go one further by winning the US Open boys’ singles title in New York this week and he is now through to the third round after dropping just 10 games in his first two matches, adding to what has already been an incredible season for him.
Tseng reached the boys’ singles final at the Australian Open, then prevailed at Roland Garros and Wimbledon to clinch the No 1 junior ranking, and is aiming to become the first boy since Gael Monfils (2004) to win three junior Grand Slams in one year, and the first boy since Felip Peliwo (2012) to reach the final at all four majors in one year.
My favourite idol is Kei Nishikori because I think he’s the best. I think I play similar to him, so I want to be the same as him, Because of [Nishikori and coach Michael Chang’s] results, they can help the Asian players have more confidence and motivation Chun Hsin Tseng
Tennis runs in Tseng’s family. His father, who juggled work as a part-time coach and vendor at a local market, introduced him to the sport and coached him to considerable success. He is now coached by Patrick Mouratoglou at his academy.
“My favourite idol is Kei Nishikori because I think he’s the best. I think I play similar to him, so I want to be the same as him,” said Tseng. “Because of [Nishikori and coach Michael Chang’s] results, they can help the Asian players have more confidence and motivation.”
He has his eyes set on the pros and intends to stop playing junior events at the end of the season.
He has already enjoyed success in the minor leagues of pro tennis, winning 3 ITF Futures singles titles and becoming the first player born in 2001 to win a pro event, putting himself inside the Top 500 of the ATP rankings.
He also made his Davis Cup debut this year for Chinese Taipei, scoring a double bagel victory against Michel Saade of Lebanon.
On Tuesday, when junior play was suspended by tournament officials for several hours due to the heat, Tseng struggled early, dropping the first set, but recovered to advance against South Africa’s Philip Henning, storming back to win, 5-7 6-1 6-0.
Despite the scoreline, Tseng was made to work in the second set, facing break points in nearly every one of his service games.
Argentine Sebastian Baez, the 2018 French Open finalist in boys’ singles and the No 2 seed here, was not so fortunate, losing his second round match to Poland’s Daniel Michalski, 6-4 6-4.
American Jenson Brooksby, a17-year-old from Carmichael, California, took out current European Junior Champion Jonas Forejtek, 6-1 6-2, while Northport, New York’s Cannon Kingsley, who beat No 9 seed Gilbert Soares Klier Junior in the first round, advanced to Round 3 with a hard-fought, 6-1 6-7(6) 6-4 victory over Arnaud Bovy of Belgium.
Thirty-eight American juniors began the year’s final Grand Slam, 20 girls and 18 boys, but only 14 reached the second round, the lowest number since 2006 when only 11 made it out of the opening round.
That contingent included Donald Young and Madison Brengle, both of whom played in the main draw of this year’s US Open, 12 years later, both losing in the first round, as well as future Top 200 player Lauren Albanese.
Play of all junior matches was suspended shortly after one o’clock in the afternoon due to extreme heat conditions.
Under the rules for juniors, player welfare requirements dictate that play is suspended by when the Web-Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT – a measure taking into account various factors such as heat, humidity and sun angle) on court meets or exceeds 90 degrees F (32.2 C).
The entire northeast portion of the United States has sweltered under a heat wave for the past week, although temperatures had eased over the weekend with cloudy skies.
On Tuesday, the sun and heat reappeared with a vengeance, baking the asphalt and concrete complex that sits in the middle of a city park.
Measures to combat this, such as the Extreme Heat rule were put into effect for all matches, men and women as well as juniors, early on in the tournament.
For men’s singles matches, the rule means a 10-minute break would be allowed between the third and fourth sets if either player requests such a break.
For women’s singles as well as junior singles, a 10-minute break would be permitted between the second and third sets if either player requests the break.
The measurement stayed about the threshold until just after 3:30 p.m., with the official delay clocking in at 2 hours and 29 minutes.
Players who were comfortably ahead or mounting a comeback were not thrilled to be pulled off the court, and having to wait an unspecified time for the resumption.
Cannon Kingsley, was leading Arnaud Bovy of Belgium 5-1 when the match was suspended.
“It was very hot today,” said Kingsley, who went on to beat Bovy. “I don’t think it was necessary to have that three-hour break. Going up 5-1 serving, then having to stop. I think I dealt with the heat pretty well, better than my opponent.
In other boys matches on Tuesday, Henry Von Der Schulenburg of Switzerland beat America’s Trey Hilderbrand 6-4 6-4 and Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia defeated another American Hailey Baptiste 7-6(1) 6-4.
In girls’ singles, No 1 seed and last year’s finalist American Cori Gauff dismissed her second round opponent, Romania’s Selma Cadar, 6-2 6-2, in 63 tidy minutes before play was suspended.
The 14-year-old dropped a 120 mph serve en route to her win and plays Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia next.
China’s Xiyu Wang, the No 3 seed, also advanced before play was called, as did the No 4 seed from Colombia, Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, who only needed 59 minutes to take out Adrienn Nagy of Hungary, 6-4 6-2, and American Lea Ma got past Lenka Stara, 7-5 6-0, to join Gauff in the third round. She takes on Wang next.
Another American, Lea Ma was in a battle, leading 5-4 in the first set of her second-round match against Slovakian Lenka Stara, when she noticed the huge screen above the court.
Ma, who trains in Florida, didn’t view the heat as much of a challenge, but playing on the Grandstand, even with no more than a couple of dozen fans watching, was nerve-racking.
“There was no one in there, but it was still cool,” said Ma, who admitted to going 0-2 on her Hawkeye challenges. “I was so tight. In the first set I was missing backhands that I normally wouldn’t.
“It was weird, I was serving, and then on the [Jumbotron] I could see myself serving and I was like oh my god.”
The American recovered quickly, however, and eventually defeated Stara 7-5 6-0 to grab a spot in the third round at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Despite the straight-set victory, Ma wasn’t that pleased with her game on Tuesday: “I didn’t play that great,” she said.
Eighth seed Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez also progressed against Mylene Halemai of France, 6-2 6-2.
British interest in the form of Aidan McHugh and Emma Raducanu resumes on Wednesday when both play their second round singles matches.