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Friday, June 26, 2009

Britton Wins Singles and Doubles at Roehampton, Among 14 Americans Seeking Wimbledon Junior Title

2009 NCAA Champion Devin Britton came from a set down, winning a third set tiebreaker to capture the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton today. The unseeded Britton, who last year won the International Grass Courts in Philadelphia, beat No. 10 seed Facundo Arguello of Argentina 5-7 6-2 7-6(7). He and Jordan Cox then returned to the courts for the doubles championship and it was another U.S. victory with the pair taking a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France and Stanislav Poplavskyy of Ukraine. Both teams were unseeded. Britton and Cox, who were quarterfinalists at the Roland Garros Junior Championships, dominated in Roehampton, never needing a match tiebreaker in any of their four wins (they had one walkover). French Junior champion Kristina Mladenovic of France took the girls title; the top seed defeated No. 4 Olivia Rogowska of Australia 7-6(4), 6-2 and did not drop a set in her six victories. Magda Linette of Poland and Heather Watson of Great Britain captured the girls doubles with a 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 win over top seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Alja Tomljanovic of Croatia. For complete draws, see the LTA website.

The attention now shifts to SW 19 and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, where the first round of the Junior Championships begins Saturday morning. Fourteen Americans-- nine boys and five girls--are in the main draw, three of them qualifiers. Although the qualifying results haven't been updated yet, an examination of the Wimbledon boys and girls draws reveals that Sachia Vickery, Jordan Cox and Bob van Overbeek have made it through today's final round of qualifying. Those playing today at Roehampton, whether in the Grade 1 or in the qualifying, traditionally don't play until Monday (Sunday is an off day for everyone at Wimbledon), but there will be plenty of Americans competing Saturday.

Mitchell Frank and three other U.S. boys, all of them seeded, are on the schedule. Frank plays unseeded Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia; twelfth seed Denis Kudla, who I spotted courtside at the Querrey-Cilic match, plays Japan's Hiroyasu Ehara; fifteenth seed Tennys Sandgren faces Adrien Puget of France; sixteenth seed Evan King plays Arthur De Greef of Belgium.

The U.S. girls playing Saturday are Nicole Gibbs, who takes on No. 11 seed Silvia Njiric of Croatia and No. 9 seed Christina McHale, who faces Yana Buchina of Russia. Sloane Stephens, seeded No. 7, Beatrice Capra and Vickery are not on Saturday's schedule. The other U.S. boys who will likely play Monday are van Overbeek, Cox, Britton, Alex Domijan and Harry Fowler. For the person who commented on whether Britton might be seeded, the ITF events are always, in my experience, seeded strictly by ITF junior rankings (with juniors having ATP/WTA rankings of 500/350 and above being inserted into draws and seeded according to explicit rules). A grass formula or a committee's discretion doesn't enter the picture at Junior Slams. Defending champion Laura Robson of Great Britain, for example, is seeded No. 2. She spoke about playing the juniors in this Guardian article. Two of the players she might be talking about to whom she's lost this year and are in the junior draw are American Sloane Stephens and Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands.

For complete junior singles draws, click here. For Saturday's order of play, click here.

The ITF junior website has this Wimbledon preview, but unfortunately, nothing on Roehampton.


question said...

I was on juniortennis.com and they said that Mladenovic hit a serve 209 kph (about 130 mph) during the French Open? Is that true? Because if so, that is a mighty big serve.

Colette Lewis said...

I read something about that, but don't know for sure.