Saturday, July 8, 2006

Wozniacki and De Bakker Win Singles Titles; Damico and Schnugg Reach Doubles Finals



Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands have given their countries their first Wimbledon junior champions.

The fourth seeded Wozniacki, who will turn 16 on Tuesday, won the 2005 Orange Bowl and was a finalist in Australia this year, but on Saturday she got her biggest win ever, defeating sixth seed Magdalena Rybarikova of the Slovak Republic 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. In Friday's semifinal win over unseeded Urszula Radwanska, Wozniacki saved three match points, and in Eleanor Preston's account on the ITF junior website, she admitted that the experience she's gained playing in high level junior events was a key factor in her comebacks the past two days. Now represented by SFX, the sports management agency, Wozniacki says she'll be playing the U.S. Open Juniors before setting her sights on the pro tour. I'm sure SFX is hoping the attractive and personable Dane, who speaks excellent English, makes her way through what promises to be a very competitive girls draw.

De Bakker has been the top seed at all three of the junior Slams this year, but today's match marked his first final. Playing unseeded Polish qualifier Marcin Gawron, de Bakker, 17, prevailed 6-2, 7-6 (4), becoming the first seeded boy to win a Grand Slam singles title since Donald Young's 2005 Australian victory. Wimbledon.org has the details here. De Bakker is an impressive 41-3 this year and will most certainly be the top seed at the U. S. Open junior championships. It's a notable accomplishment to earn the no. 1 seed in all four slams, but he'll be challenged in New York, that's for sure.

In a switch from most junior Slams, Wimbledon plays the singles finals before the doubles, and on Sunday, while the world is watching Federer and Nadal, Kellen Damico and Nate Schnugg will be playing for the boys' doubles title. Unseeded, Damico and Schnugg-- finalists in Australia this year-- took their fourth straight three-set victory Saturday to earn a chance at the Slovakian team of Martin Klizan and Andrei Martin, the second seeds.

If Damico and Schnugg win, it will be the third straight year that U.S. junior boys have earned the title. Brendan Evans and Scott Oudsema won in 2004 and Jesse Levine and Michael Shabaz were the 2005 champions.

1 comments:

Rich said...

Congratulations to Kellen Damico and Nate Schnugg on keeping the U.S. winning streak for the Junior Wimbledon Doubles Championships!
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