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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Britton, Harrison Named Davis Cup Practice Partners; U.S. Roehampton Survivors Down to Two, Levine and Oudin Produce Upsets At Wimbledon

The USTA announced this afternoon that 18-year-old Devin Britton and 17-year-old Ryan Harrison have been named practice partners for the upcoming Davis Cup tie in Croatia next month. The U.S. Davis Cup team has not yet been announced, and although it would be a shock if it didn't include Andy Roddick and the Bryan twins, I expect Patrick McEnroe is contemplating naming someone other than James Blake to the team, given Blake's recent slump, Interesting that one of tomorrow's second round Centre Court matches pits Croatian Marin Cilic against Sam Querrey in a possible preview of one of that tie's singles matches. The surface Croatia has chosen is indoor clay, so it may not be a barometer, but I'm guessing McEnroe will be a very interested observer at that one. The full release is available at usta.com.

Britton and Alex Domijan, who served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team in March against Switzerland, are hoping to face each other in the semifinals of Roehampton, as both advanced to the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Junior warm-up event there today. Domijan beat Radim Urbanek of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-6(0) today, and will face Sebastian Lavie of New Zealand in Wednesday's quarterfinals. Britton eased past British qualifier James Chaudry 6-3, 6-2 to set up a meeting with Italian Alessandro Bega, who beat Bob van Overbeek in today's round of 16. Denis Kudla, the No. 8 seed, lost to No. 10 seed Facundo Arguello of Argentina 7-5, 6-4. Nicole Gibbs, the only U.S. girl remaining in the singles draw, lost to No. 3 seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand 6-4, 6-2. Britton and Jordan Cox are still in doubles, as is Tennys Sandgren, who is playing with Japan's Yasutaka Uchiyama. Beatrice Capra and Alexandra Cercone have reached the quarterfinals in the girls doubles. For complete draws, see the LTA website's news page.

Although I saw not a point of either match, (I watched ESPN 2 most of the morning, but not in the afternoon), I'm happy to report that Melanie Oudin and Jesse Levine pulled off upsets today at Wimbledon. Oudin won her first main draw match at a Grand Slam with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over No. 29 seed Sybille Bammer of Austria and John Martin of the New York Times Straight Sets blog, has a brief post on it here. Another U.S. qualifier, Jesse Levine, shocked 2008 semifinalist and No. 14 seed Marat Safin of Russia 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. The former Florida Gator is less of a story as the winner than Safin is as the loser, but wimbledon.org has this article about the match.


Mr. Wimbledon said...

surprised to see John Roddick pick Oklahoma with the two other big coaching jobs available- Maryland and the one in the big ten Purdue...should be interesting to see who jumps on those opportunities...that is a great result for the young american!

Austin said...

Oklahoma is better than both those schools because none of them really have much of a tennis history, but OU has better facilities. I heard they just got a new tennis facility. He already has a nice base in that part of the country and can convince the kids from Texas to make their way up. He has no ties to the midwest or east coast either. He was born and raised in Nebraska and Texas, then in Miami for a bit, went to college in Georgia and then back to Texas, so it just makes more sense and he also can play outside in Norman in the spring.

Levine over Safin wasnt that big of a shock. Grass is Jesse's best surface and Safin has been awful this year.

Phil said...

Purdue has a new facility as well and I would bet it is nicer than Oklahomas. John Roddick has a nice base in every part of the country. His academey had juniors from all over the nation and he could recruit from anywhere. I'm glad you have such a great background of John Roddick though. Also the Safin upset was a huge win for the young American Levine, don't try and down play it.

iluvtennis said...

I remember talking to Roddick at a junior tournament over a year ago and he told me he had no interest in college tennis, was really surprised he took that position. I think he's a really good coach but I wonder if he's going to stick around long enough to build that program. He has a tendency to move around a bit so I hope he doesnt get bored with the situation.....if he doesnt I say Baylor and Texas are in trouble.
Not sure about Purdue but Maryland could be a really good job for someone. It's a really nice school and the ACC is getting better and better in tennis, if they make the right hire it's going to make the conference really tough.

Austin said...

I didnt say it wasnt a huge win for Levine, I said it wasnt shocking. If they had it as an option on ESPN's Streak For The Cash I would have taken Levine. He just came through qualies and Safin has been a mental mess lately. The writing was on the wall.

Enthusiast said...


Where's your Davis Cup wrap-up column?