First Round of Wimbledon Juniors Complete; Eyewitness Report and Interviews from Guy McCrea at AELTC
As promised, Radio Wimbledon's Guy McCrea is providing coverage of the juniors direct from Wimbledon. He is obviously very handy with the voice recorder, and he has submitted four interviews in audio form for your listening pleasure. For photos of Monday's action, visit the ITF junior website, where Susan Mullane's pictures coincide with many of the players interviewed (click to enlarge them.) So, without further ado, here's Guy:
(NOTE: Quicktime, a media player available via a Free Download is required to hear the audio clips.)
Monday’s action at the All England Club saw the remainder of the boys and girls singles first round matches take to the lawns of the All England Club, as well as the start of the doubles event.
Let’s concentrate on some of the opening round highlights from the singles events. In the boys tourney, American qualifier Devin Britton went out in the first round to Japan’s Hiroyasu Ehara. It’s always pleasing to see serve and volleyers on the grass and many aspects of Britton’s game were also impressive – particularly his fighting spirit to take the second tie-break. It is easy to see why he has had success on this surface recently – not just in qualifying for Junior Wimbledon – but also in winning the US Grass Court title earlier this month. But he was ultimately edged out by an inspired opponent on court 8. Ehara served extremely well throughout the match and one break of serve proved enough for him to take the deciding set 6-4.
Elsewhere, Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia had to come from a set down to beatBritain’s James Marsalek. But there was better news for some of the other home players. On court 19, Marcus Willis was in excellent form against Italian 15-year-old Giacomo Miccini. After being sent home for ‘forgetting’ his tennis rackets at the Australian Open Juniors in January, Willis seems to have responded. He is a much improved player from this time last year – particularly in his use of the ‘leftie’ serve out wide, which troubled Miccini throughout. But the former junior world number 20 has an effective net game and this kept him in the match. Willis created the better chances in the deciding set though and finally broke through at the end to win it 11 games to 9 after almost two hours of battle. Willis’ fellow Brit Dan Smethurst is also into the second round. Last week’s Roehampton Grade 1 finalist beat Lorenzo Papasidero in straight sets.
FOR SMETHURST AUDIO CLICK HERE
In the girls singles, American wildcard Coco Vandeweghe followed Mallory Burdette out of the event with a straight sets defeat to Britain’s Jade Windley. Vandeweghe is certainly a clean striker of the ball off both wings and she also showed a keenness to approach the net. But her winners were cancelled out by an equally high unforced error count. Windley broke twice to win the first set 6-2 – her opponent’s anguished yell at the end of that rubber a clear demonstration of how unhappy she was with her game. It did improve for Vandeweghe in the second as she threatened in nearly all of Windley’s service games. But the Brit held out and went on to break Vandeweghe’s serve at the end of the set to win it and the match 7-5. A huge victory against an opponent ranked over 250 places above her in the ITF combined list.
FOR WINDLEY AUDIO CLICK HERE
American top seed Melanie Oudin joined Windley in the second round after an easy victory over Japan’s Sachie Ishizu. Oudin was dominant from the outset and barely broke a sweat in her 6-1, 6-2 win that took just under an hour. The top seed recorded an impressive 70 percent first serve percentage, and was typically aggressive from the baseline. Oudin was very pleased to build on last week’s victory at Roehampton.
FOR OUDIN AUDIO CLICK HERE
Oudin will now meet Britain’s Laura Robson in the second round. She dismissed American lucky loser Alexa Guarachi in straight sets 6-0, 6-4. The left-hander was happy with how the match went.
FOR ROBSON AUDIO CLICK HERE
Robson seems destined to be the Great British hope of the next few years. Just 14 years old and already ranked 59 in the world, she will be looking to avenge her defeat to Oudin in last week’s Roehampton final.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski surprisingly went out easily in straight sets to 12th seed Nikola Hofmanova of Austria, while sixth seed Jessica Moore of Australia did well to come back from a set down and reach the second round.