Australian Junior Davis Cup Team
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20:00 And the final wrap-up of today's action
Friday’s Finish Reveals Sunday’s Finalists
By Sandra Harwitt
It was a dreary, wet and chilly day in Barcelona, but in the end all the matches made it to the courts.
The USA was the top seeds in the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup finals by BNP Paribas held at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona this week. Both the girls and the boys teams found a path from the three days of round-robin play to Friday’s semifinal.
That, however, is where the similarities ended.
19:20 Check out this great video from yesterday's Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup action!
Copa Davis Junior - 27th September from Glassy Films on Vimeo.
16:01 Three of the No. 1 players currently on court for their country are into intense battles on the court.
Playing side-by-side, the USA -- top seeds in the boys' and girls' -- saw Taylor Townsend and Noah Rubin lose the first set. Townsend fell in a tiebreaker to Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil, but was looking more on form in the second set. Rubin was behind 4-1 at one point, but had some fight before losing the first set 6-3 to Thanasi Kokkinakis.
As mentioned in today's preview, Kokkinakis barely competes in the juniors -- this is his first event since 2011 -- and his stroke production and game strategy helped by captain Mark Woodforde, undoubtedly, seems to be more mature.
Italy's Gianluigi Quinzi is a top five junior, but he was looking vulnerable to Johan Sebastien Tatlot of France, who packs a great deal more power than his opponent. Tatlot also seems to have a bit of extra confidence, which is noticeable in how he conducts himself on the court.
Going into their matches, the USA Davis Cup squad had lost their opening match when Harry Bourchier beat Stefan Kozlov 16 63 75, the USA Fed Cup team was 1-0 ahead compliments of Louisa Chirico's 64 60 win over Carolina Meligeni Alves, and Italy's Davis Cup team had won the first match with Filippo Baldi taking a 62 64 win over Quentin Halys.
15:10 From a mom’s perspective (by Sandra Harwitt)
I ran into the mother of Italy’s No. 1 singles player Gianluigi Quinzi after her son won a tough 36 63 61 win over Johan Sebastien Tatlot of France. The 16-year-old Quinzi’s win gave second seeds Italy a 2-0 lead over fourth seeds France and moved them into the final to face third seeds Australia, who took a 2-0 victory over top seeds USA.
Mom Carlotta, who has been here all week, was smiling broadly that her son came through such a tough match.
Carlotta was a former skier on the Italian National team and at for seven years Gianluigi was an avid skier. He started playing tennis when he was three-years-old and eventually chose that as his main sport. They come from a very small town near the sea -- Porto San Giorgio -- and the coach at the local club that had three courts suggested Gianluigi start playing tennis.
Little Gianluigi excelled and eventually played the Little Mo tournament where Nick Bollettieri spotted him. From that point on, he would spend some months a year training at the IMG Bollettieri Academy.
At Wimbledon this year he reached the junior semifinals and at the recent U.S. Open was a quarterfinalist. From May to July he won four consecutive junior titles including the coveted Trofeo Bonfiglio tournament in Milan.
Mom, Carlotta, headed off after offering a tip to the wise: “He has a younger brother, Gianluca, he’s 11 years and he’s even better.”
14:40 The rain has gone away, the sun is out and the players are back on the courts at the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup in Barcelona.
It’s raining, it’s pouring, there’s no tennis happening at the moment.
Skies looked threatening since this morning and the rain finally came at about 12:35.
There’s not much places where people can take cover so the ITF offices have become the brand new players lounge. THe kids and there racket bags are piled in here and in an effort to make space we reconfigured our desks to offer more standing room.
Not all the players are in here, so others must have found other locales to take cover.