By Jason Barron
Hailey Baptiste and Cori Gauff both posted wins in the ITF Pro Circuit Event in Osprey, Florida this week. The event is the clay court tournament, running from May 21st-May 27th where Cori lost in the round of 16 to 4th seeded Katherine Stewart 7-6, 6-3. However, Hailey was able to advance to the quarterfinals after defeating 8th seed Maria Mateas 6-3, 6-4 today.
Both players are top juniors, with Cori, 14 and Hailey, 16 who are accumulating Pro Circuit ITF points at young ages. This is a good template for them to test their skills. Tiafoe and other players have benefitted from playing on the ITF Pro Circuit and had success before playing on the Pro Tour. Cori has in the past stated that she wants to be the greatest of all time. If she can continue on her path then it is likely that she can achieve great things in her career.
Cori has already showed tremendous versatility in her game with having an advanced skill set that will allow her to be a consistent pro player. Cori has developed power on both sides (forehand and backhand) at this early stage in her career.
At this current ITF Event, Cori played 3 qualifying matches beating older players to make the main draw. In her first main draw win Gauff beat Moldovain player, Alexandra Perper, 6-2, 6-3. Perper is 26, 12 years Cori’s senior. It is pretty amazing for Cori to already be getting wins against older, more experienced players. Her game has advanced past her years, and she is really developing good habits from an early age.
Katerina Stewart, 20 – who recently advanced to the Semifinals of the Charleston ITF Event before losing to eventual champion, Taylor Townsend – was able to finally down Cori in two sets. It was a good test for Cori against an experienced pro and one of the better players in the tournament. Cori will need to continue to play matches at this level in order to gain experience and have more success.
Hailey is having a breakout tournament after winning 3 matches to qualify and subsequently defeating Amanda Rodgers, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Baptiste will next play 1st seed Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel in the quarterfinals. This should be a competitive match as Baptiste looks to build off of her previous round of 16 performance at an ITF Event in Tampa, Florida.
Hailey and Cori are both young players who have showed they belong on the ITF Pro Circuit and can continue to win matches at the professional level. Hailey is set to play their next matches on Friday, May 25th. Both Baptiste and Gauff have great potential and this ITF event is really showing what they are capable of; hopefully Hailey can ride this momentum into her first ITF title win.
Gauff gets first US Open win in mixed doubles
By Editorial Team
Cori Gauff was able to snag a win at the US Open in the main draw mixed doubles today as she and Chris Eubanks were able to hold off Schuurs and Middelkoop in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. With Chris’ big serve and Cori’s great all-around game, this paring is set to go the distance.
Teens, Osuigwe and Gauff among US Open wild cards
By Editorial Team
With the US Open tournament series in full swing this summer, there are a few juniors looking to make their mark in this year’s professional event. Whitney Osuigwe secured an automatic wild card into the main draw by winning the USTA National Championships in San Diego last week.
Whitney is sure to grow into a top WTA Tour player, however recent ITF Pro results suggest that there is still some work remaining in order to make a dent in a stacked grand slam pro event. However, anything is possible during a match so Whitney must come prepared to battle any opponent that is thrown her way.
Separately, Cori Gauff was able to earn a wild card into the qualifying draw after gaining the number one spot in the world junior rankings at age 14. The qualifying draw experience may prove best for the younger upstart as she navigates her way through professional tennis.
In the years to come it is inevitable that Cori will eventually get direct main draw acceptance into WTA grand slams, but for now she must play her way through the preliminary draw in order to compete in this year’s main draw event. Expect some big wins from Cori in this year’s US Open qualifying.
US Open Wild Card Listing:
Women: Main Draw
Australian Player (TBD)
Women: Qualifying Draw
Men: Main Draw
Men: Qualifying Draw
Gauff’s amazing comeback victory for French Open Jr. Title
By Editorial Team
Cori Gauff won her first junior grand slam title at Roland Garros in dramatic fashion today. After being down 1-6, 0-2, 0-3, Cori was able to dig deep and put off the bad memories of her 2017 US Open finals loss and somehow pull through to get the win in a third set tiebreaker.
Playing from behind is something new to Cori as she has traditionally destroyed opponents straight sets. Fighting spirit and the ability to make late-match adjustments can now be added to her arsenal of weapons. Caty McNally played a terrific match as she dominated throughout, but could not extend the rally on her backhand side which ultimately resulted in her loss.
Caty is a great singles and doubles player with a lot of variety and shot making ability, but Cori’s speed to the ball left her with too many unanswered questions.
The future is bright for Cori as she plans to transition into the WTA Tour over the next couple years. We look forward to seeing more of her play in the coming weeks as the grass court season kicks off in Europe. We had a chance to catch up with Cori after the match as a special guest on our podcast show.
Subscribers can catch our latest interview with Cori on our podcast page later today.
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