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A day of finals for Americans in Melbourne

January 24, 2014 10:10 AM
World No. 4 junior Stefan Kozlov won the USTA International Spring Championships and reached the final of the Orange Bowl in 2013.
Eric Butorac, shown with partner Raven Klaasen, hits hits a backhand volley during their semifinal victory over Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic.
David Wagner will be attempting to win the quad singles and doubles title in Melbourne Park for the second consecutive year.

By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com

It will be a busy Saturday for Americans around the grounds of Melbourne Park, with Eric Butorac, Stefan Kozlov and David Wagner all playing for Australian Open titles.

Kozlov, the No. 2 seed, will kick off the day’s play against world junior No. 1 Alexander Zverev of Germany in the boys’ singles championship match. On Friday, Kozlov advanced to the final with a 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory in the semifinals over No. 7 seed Quentin Halys of France. After winning the tiebreak to draw even, the 15-year-old who works out of the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., raced out to a 3-0 lead in the third set to put the match out of reach.

This will mark the first Grand Slam final for Kozlov, who knocked off Zverev en route to the final of the Orange Bowl and the quarterfinals at the Wimbledon juniors in 2013.

Butorac and partner Raven Klaasen of South Africa will close down the day’s play in the men’s doubles final against the No. 14-seeded pair of Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden. Butorac and Klaasen will be attempting to complete an improbable run to the title that has included wins over former US Open singles champions Lleyton Hewitt and Patrick Rafter; the most decorated doubles team in tennis history, Bob and Mike Bryan; as well as the No. 15 seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers; the No. 12 seeds Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot; and the No. 8 seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, who have paired to win three Grand Slam men’s doubles titles.

With a victory Saturday, Butorac and Klaasen would become just the third unseeded team in the Open era to win the men’s doubles title, joining Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek (2012) and Stefan Edberg and Petr Korda (1996).

Also Saturday, David Wagner will attempt to defend his Australian Open quad singles title when he takes on Lucas Sithole of South Africa in a rematch of the 2013 US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition final won by Sithole. Wagner defeated Sithole in round-robin play earlier in the week, 7-6, 7-6, and he also teamed with Great Britain’s Andrew Lapthorne to defeat Sithole and Australia’s Dylan Alcott, 6-4, 6-4, in the Australian Open quad doubles final.


For more coverage of Americans at the 2014 Australian Open, please also read:
Stephens ready for another second week charge
After loss, Serena will work like she's ranked No. 1,000
Older and wiser, Young is on the rise


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