Team USA produced seven quarterfinalists–including five players seeded outside of the top eight–and a number of early round upsets during the first two days of the 2020 Dunlop British Junior Open, January 2-3, in Birmingham.
2020 marks the sixth annual Team USA trip to the BJO with fifty-three top-ranked U.S. players competing against the world’s best in ten divisions: boys’ and girls’ U11, U13, U15, U17 and U19.
After the first two days, sixteen Americans have exceeded their seeding and twenty-six have fulfilled it. In addition to the seven quarterfinalists, seventeen Americans reached the last sixteen and twenty-one reached the round of thirty-two.
The U.S. stole the headlines after the first day of match play with a slate of early round upsets, many of which came in the BU19 division. Myles McIntyre pulled off the first major upset of the tournament with a five-game comeback against England’s 3/4 seed Lewis Anderson. Shortly after, 33/64 seed Nicholas Spizzirri pulled off another shock result over in five games over Egyptian 9/16 seed Mohamed Elshamy. Brian Leonard, Dylan Huang and Thomas Rosini joined them in the third round shortly after. The BU19 boys then made history for Team USA as Spizzirri, Leonard, Huang and Rosini all progressed to the last sixteen on Friday. Spizzirri, Leonard and Huang all exited the main draw Friday night against higher-seeded opponents. Rosini, the reigning U.S. junior champion and a 9/16 seed, then clinched a major result Friday night with a 3-0 win against Egyptian 5/8 seed Ibrahim Mohamed Ibrahim to reach his first BJO quarterfinals. Rosini will face India’s 3/4 seed Veer Chotrani on the glass court Saturday at 5:10pm local time, 12:10pm EST.
Marina Stefanoni, who became the first American BJO champion since 2007 last year in the GU17 division, remains on track to fulfill her 3/4 seeding in the GU19 division. Stefanoni faces Malaysian 5/8 seed Ainaa Ampandi on the glass court Saturday at 4:30pm local time, 11:30am EST, and could set up a Sunday semifinal match up against Egyptian top seed Jana Shiha. Elsewhere in the GU19 division, Americans Serena Daniel and Katherine Glaser fulfilled their seeding of 9/16 and 17/32, respectively.
The most unexpected and widespread U.S. success came in the GU15 division, where Caroline Fouts, Emma Trauber and Caroline Eielson all reached the quarterfinals. Fouts, a 5/8 seed, bounced back from winning a second round five gamer to reach the quarters in a decisive 3-0 win. Trauber, a 17/32 seed, pulled off one of Friday’s biggest results with a five-game upset over Egypt’s 3/4 seed Noor Megahed. Eielson, a 9/16 seed, joined her two U.S. teammates in the quarters with a 3-0 win over Malaysian 5/8 seed Goh Zhi Xuan. Elsewhere in the GU15, 17/32 seed Khushi Kukadia pulled off yet another upset in three games against a 5/8 seed before exiting in the last sixteen.
Team USA produced two more quarterfinalists in the GU11 division in the form of Kaitlyn Vahlsing and Layla Gupta. Gupta, who entered the draw unseeded, knocked out a 5/8 and 9/16 seeds–both in three games–to reach the quarters. Vahlsing, a 9/16 seed, defeated a 5/8 seed to set up a quarterfinal encounter against Egypt’s top seed Jana Mohamed.