Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy and Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine are two of the juniors who arrived in Paris having won tournaments the week before playing at Roland Garros.
The 17-year-old Quinzi won his first professional title - in his third professional tournament final - by defeating Lamine Ouahab 76 16 64 in the final of the Men’s $10,000 Futures in Casablanca, Morocco.
“It was amazing,” said Quinzi, of winning a pro event. “I was tight because I was little nervous in the final.”
The 16-year-old Kalinina captured her first Grade 1 junior title at the Astrid Bowl Charleroi tournament by beating Louisa Chirico of the USA 62 61.
“It was a very good tournament for me, but the weather was so cold,” said Kalinina of the Charleroi victory. “It was five degrees Centigrade.”
Those victories likely helped both players in their first round efforts at Roland Garros on Monday.
The 6th-seeded Quinzi struggled at the outset of his match, but walked off court with a 16 61 64 win over French wildcard recipient Alexandre Favrot.
The unseeded Kalinina, one of eight players on the ITF Junior Touring Team, scored an impressive 75 60 win over French wildcard recipient Carla Touly.
Quinzi didn’t hide the fact that he wasn’t in the right mindset at the beginning of his match against Favrot.
“It was hard today because it was my first match of French Open and I was tight,” Quinzi said. “And I was tired, too, because I played last week a lot of matches. I came here yesterday at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. “Today I did my best and I’m happy because I take my first round.”
Last year, Quinzi reached the round of 16 here, was a semifinalist at Wimbledon and quarterfinalist at the US Open. This year, in his first appearance in the Australian Open juniors Quinzi journeyed to the quarterfinals.
Quinzi, who hopes the next step in pro tournaments is winning a Challenger event, admits it is a little difficult to transition from a pro event to a junior Grand Slam.
“It’s hard to come here because you have pressure being one of the top seeds,” Quinzi said. “French Open, it’s difficult to play here and there’s a lot of people watching.”
Quinzi had trouble covering the court in the opening set, but his fight and experience eventually prevailed when at 4-4 in the third set he won the final two games of the match.
As for Kalinina, tennis came naturally to her as the daughter of two teaching pros. The family originally came from a small town in Ukraine, but now live in Kiev where she trains with her mother, Halyna, as her official coach.
Tennis, however, isn’t her sole focus. She likes to ice skate and sometimes takes skating lessons and is working on learning jumps, which she says “are very difficult.” She also takes English lessons a few times a week when she’s home, which is easy to tell since her command of the universal language of tennis is excellent.
Kalinina is here in Paris as part of the ITF/Grand Slam’s exclusive Touring Team, which is providing the eight talented juniors selected from around the world with first-class coaching for an eight tournament run this spring.
“It’s an amazing team and we have three coaches on the team,” Kalinina said. “The coaches are so good, so experienced. They give me the chance to be here and I have hospitality and get to communicate with players from other parts of the world.”
Kalinina had an opportunity to close down the first set at 5-4 but needed a second opportunity to do so at 6-5 in the first set. At 40-15 in the 12th game, Touly netted a forehand to forfeit the set. In the second set, Kalinina had no opposition from Touly, who never won a game.
“I was serving for the set at 5-4 but then she was playing much better than me and I lost that game,” Kalinina said. “Maybe in the second set I was more relaxed. This is my first Grand Slam, first match and I’m in Paris. In the second set I started to play more aggressive and didn’t give her a chance.”
Top-seeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia was sent packing in second round boys’ action by Karen Khachanov of Russia 62 67 63.
Young Seok Kim of Korea, who is also on the ITF/Grand Slam Touring Team, posted a second round upset over 14th-seeded Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal 75 63 in another boys’ match. Another boys’ upset came at the hands of Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, who defeated 10th-seeded Clement Geens of Belgium 62 61 in the first round.
In the girls’ draw, Louisa Chirico of USA upset ninth-seeded Camila Giancreco Capiz of Paraguay 62 26 62 in a first round match. Chiara Grimm of Switzerland upset 12th-seeded Christina Makarova of USA in a 61 63 first round match. Beatriz Haddad maia of Brazil upset 13th-seeded Barbora Krejcikova of Czech Republic 36 64 63 in a second round encounter. Ilka Csoregi of Romania posted a first round upset of 15th-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 64 76.
Boys seeds to advance are: second-seeded Nikola Milojevic of Serbia, who scored a 64 64 second round win over Naoki Nakagawa of Japan; third-seeded Laslo Djere of Serbia, who scored a 64 64 first round win over Pedro Cachin of Argentina; fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany posted a 26 63 13-11 second round win over Stefano Napolitano of Italy; fifth-seeded Kyle Edmund of Great Britain who defeated Bradley Mousley of Australia 61 57 63 in a second round match; seventh-seeded Filippo Baldi of Italy who beat Duck Hee Lee of Korea 76 63 in the first round; eighth-seeded Borna Coric of Croatia won a 63 63 second round match over Maximilian Marterer of Germany.
Girls seeds to advance are: top-seeded Ana Konjuh of Croatia, who won her opening match 62 64 over Katie Boulter of Great Britain; second-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland took her second round match with a 63 60 win over Fiona Ferro of France; fifth-seeded Antonia Lottner of Germany, who won a first round battle 46 61 75 over Alejandra Cisneros of Mexico; sixth-seeded Darya Kasatkina of Russia, who took a 75 62 second round win against Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan; 11th-seeded Taylor Townsend of USA won a second round match 64 62 over Jana Fett of Croatia; 14th-seeded Carol Zhao of Canada won a second round match 75 63 against Oceane Dodin of France;