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American Roundup: Kozlov picks up Australian Open main-draw ticket
The 23-year-old won the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge and secured his third Challenger title of 2021 last week.
Published Nov 23, 2021
Every week, American players from the ATP and WTA tours step up to the plate around the world. Here are the top American movers and shakers that shone brightest this week:
1. Stefan Kozlov
Champion, Champaign ATP Challenger
To end his season, Kozlov went out with a bang. The American won his third Challenger title of the year in Champaign. In the final, Kozlov took out Aleksandar Vukic after losing the first set. The former junior world No. 2's strong performances throughout the year certainly paid off in a major way as he won the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge, which is a part of the USTA and Tennis Australia's reciprocal agreement.
Kozlov will be headed to Melbourne where he will play in his first Grand Slam main draw to kick off the 2022 season.
2. Rajeev Ram
Doubles Finalist, ATP Finals
For Ram, the 2021 season has been full of success. After winning the US Open doubles and Australian Open mixed doubles titles, the American capped the year with a final-round appearance at the ATP Finals. This is the second time Ram has reached the final round of the year-end tournament, previously reaching the final in 2016. Ram and his partner, Joe Salisbury, lost in this year's final to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
3. Alexa Graham
Semifinalist, Naples ITF W25
Graham, the six-time All-American from the University of North Carolina, reached the semifinals in Naples, Florida. As the No.13. seed, she moved past other seeded players, including Elizabeth Mandlik and Fernanda Contreras Gomez. Graham was stopped by the No. 4 seed, Jang Su-jeong, despite winning the opening set 6-2.
4. Zachary Svajda
Champion, Austin ITF M25
Zvajda managed to sneak in the first title of his career before the end of 2021. Svajda inched past fellow American Eduardo Nava, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in the Austin final. Having turned pro in 2019 and at 18-years-old, the San Diego native is just getting started.