Photo: Susan MullaneChing-Wen Hsu (TPE)
OSAKA, JAPAN: This week’s Grade A Osaka Mayor’s Cup - World Super Junior Tennis Championships is beginning to take shape after a busy day on the outdoor hardcourts of the Utsubo Tennis Center in Osaka saw the third round of both the boys’ and girls’ singles events completed.
The inclement weather which dogged the tournament on Tuesday failed to dish out any more disruption on Wednesday, which saw most of the bigger names in the draw progress safely into the last 16 of the 64-draw tournament, as well as a few notable upsets along the way. In the girls’ event, local player Erina Hayashi scored arguably the most impressive of those surprise wins she beat 10th seed Georgiana Ruhrig 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to set up a third round meeting with British fifth seed Katy Dunne.
Jil-Belen Teichmann of Switzerland proved too strong for Hong Kong’s Katherine Ip, despite Ip being 15th seed at what is traditionally one of the stronger tournaments on the ITF Junior Circuit. Teichmann’s next task will be even tougher - at least on paper - for she is up against second seed Ching-Wen Hsu of Chinese Tapei.
Elsewhere in the girls’ draw, another Swiss, Karin Kennel (seeded fourth) will face Japan’s Yuriko Miyazaki in the third round. Kennel proved too strong for Minami Shuto during her 6-1, 6-3 win, while Miyazaki upset 13th seed Danielle Wagland of Australia to earn her third round spot.
In the boys’ competition, USA’s Michael Mmoh took a notable scalp when he knocked out 11th-seeded Cheng-Yu Yu of Chinese Tapei with a 6-4, 6-4 victory and will now face unseeded Australian Omar Jasika in the third round. Australian Jay Andrijic, meanwhile, caused one of the day’s other surprises when he beat New Zealand’s Cameron Norrie, seeded 8th, with a 7-6(2), 6-4 scoreline.
Ken Onishi, part of the strong contingent of Japanese players in the boys’ and girls’ draw in Osaka, ended the hopes of fifth seed Ku-Keon Kang when he beat the Korean 6-2, 7-6(6). His next opponent, Maxime Janvier of France, took out 12th seed Cem Irkel of Turkey in the second round.
There were no such concerns for the top four seeds in the boys’ singles draw, however, with top seed Nick Kyrgios (AUS), second seed Kaichi Uchida (JPN), third seed Nikola Milojevic (SRB) and Croatian fourth seed Borna Coric all scoring wins. While all will need to be on their guard against lively opposition in the last sixteen, of the four it is Coric who appears to have the toughest task in the third round. He takes on 13th seed Jurence Zosimo Mendoza of the Philippines for a place in the last eight.
Other notable third round clashes to look forward to on the boys’ side include Johan Sebastien Tatlot (FRA) against Anton Desyatnik of Russia, with the winner to play either Kyrgios or his third round opponent, Japanese wildcard Yusuke Takahashi.