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Thursday, July 2, 2009

June Aces; Britton and Cox to Decide U.S. Wimbledon Jr. Finalist; WTT Buzz Need Backups

My article this week for The Tennis Recruiting Network is the First Thursday standby of the notable players and performances of the previous month. There are several repeats from May's aces, and one of them is Devin Britton, who has followed up his NCAA win with ITF Junior Grade 1 titles in singles and doubles on the grass of Roehampton. Britton's success has continued this week at Wimbledon, and today he outlasted Alex Domijan 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals.

Guy McCrea tweeted about the match earlier today, after covering it for Radio Wimbledon, and he spoke to Britton afterward in the interview below. (I'm trying a new method of posting the interviews via YouTube, although using still photographs, not video).

The massive game that McCrea was referring to came right after Britton had broken Domijan to take a 3-2 lead in the third set. There were no breaks in the opening set, and only one in the second, so getting that break seemed tantamount to securing a win for Britton. But serving at 3-2, Britton had to fight off four break points in the five-deuce game; once he held there, he had no more difficulty on serve, finishing with two love holds.

Next up for Britton is his doubles partner, Jordan Cox, who has been the tournament's biggest surprise. The 17-year-old qualifier from Georgia defeated No. 4 seed Agustin Velotti of Argentina 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in just over two hours Thursday, grabbing a precious break in the fourth game of the final set. (In the opening set, he saved two set points serving at 4-5.) Cox took care of his own serve the rest of the way, and served it out at love to earn a shot at Britton.

The other boys semifinal will feature No. 3 seed Bernard Tomic of Australia against unseeded Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia.

There are no U.S. girls remaining in the singles draws with Sloane Stephens's 6-1, 6-0 loss to top seed Kristina Mladenovic of France. Mladenovic plays unseeded Miyabi Inoue of Japan in one semifinal, while 2008 finalist and No. 4 seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand meets No. 6 seed Timea Babos of Hungary.

Stephens spoke to McCrea about her match, her professional plans and her upcoming stint with the New York Buzz. (For more on Stephens's match with Mladenovic, see the New York Times Straight Sets blog.)

Due to the Wimbledon success of all four of the World Team Tennis players on that team, the USTA needed to find amateur substitutes for the opener tomorrow. This story from the Albany Times Union focuses on Matt Kandath, who is from the area and will be filling in for Evan King, who is still in doubles at Wimbledon. Jarmere Jenkins will help out while Alex Domijan prepares to return to the U.S. after his loss today; Christina McHale is still in doubles, so Lauren Embree and Allie Will are playing for McHale and Stephens, who is hoping to be ready for the match on Sunday.

In addition to McHale, who is playing with Isabella Holland of Australia, Beatrice Capra has also reached the quarterfinals of doubles, with Martina Trevisan of Italy.

King and Denis Kudla, as well as Britton and Cox, have reached the boys doubles quarterfinals.

For complete draws, visit wimbledon.org.


tennismom said...

Colette... you are without a doubt the very best... and everyone here knows it. Keep up the good work, as always.

tennisforlife said...

Off Topic-
Does anyone find it unbelievable that there is no live coverage of the Roddick-Murray match on the West Coast. In fact there has been almost no live coverage of the 2nd week of Wimbledon on the West Coast. How will we ever get kids into the game if they cant see the last American in the tournament. I say boycott NBC!

Colette Lewis said...

NBC is not showing the match anywhere live. To complain, please email NBC Sports' Dick Ebersol:

tennisforlife said...

Thanks Colette - I will and encourage all the readers to do the same so we don't have to go through this next year.

the old pro said...

The top 92s received an email encouraging them to play Kalamazoo 16s last summer as it was going to serve as the de facto qualifier for Junior Davis Cup team selection. Colette, do you recall why Jordan Cox did not play for the Davis Cup team despite winning Kalamazoo 16s? Especially since either Jordan or Ryan Harrison is also the best doubles player among the 92s. At first glance, it appears an egregious oversight. Or perhaps he was asked and declined. Or perhaps they only wanted one blond on the team and they already had Dennis Kudla. Thanks in advance for clarifying.

Colette Lewis said...

The ITF required the all National Federations to select their teams prior to Kalamazoo

the old pro said...

Thanks Colette. Do you also know why they wouldn't have selected the three best players before Kalamazoo, when they needed to submit the team?

Colette Lewis said...

I know it was a very tough decision for the USTA, and who the three best players are at any given time is a moving target.

the old pro said...

Thanks again Colette. Totally agree! Whether you used ITF rankings, USTA rankings, ATP rankings, or perhaps current form from Clay Courts, any three of the four semifinalists at Kalamazoo would have been good choices. And, obviously, Ryan Harrison would have topped the list if he had opted to play. Thanks again.

UKTENNIS said...

What is telling last year the USTA sent 2 coaches for 3 players to jr. wimbledon and only Klahn made it to the RD of 16. This year the US did not send a team, sent Mike Sell to help out with 9 players and 4 made it to the rd of 16(none of them are with the USTA program, 3 w/ Bollitteria), 3 to the quarters, 2 to the semis and now one to the finals. The USTA got it wrong again.

Stephen said...

With all of the handringing about the downfall of American tennis, we've got an American in the men's final, two Americans in the women's final, an American team in the men's doubles final, an American team in the women's doubles final, and an American junior in the boy's singles final.

The era of the USA dominating tennis is long over, but obviously we can still complete pretty well. The truly transcendant players like Borg, Lendl, Edberg, Becker, Federer, and Nadal seem to come from all over, but the US has had their share, too.

markus said...

Way to go Roddick! Few days ago Patrick McEnroe was asked for predictions, and said on national TV that despite his involvement with Davis Cup he picks Murray over Roddick - that was pretty bad thing to say for the US Davis team captain (even if he though that he should've never said it)! Some expert he is....Go Roddick!!!

rtg0041 said...

FYI, the entire Britton-Domjian QF match was posted on nbcsports.com's streaming coverage of Wimbledon on the Internet (http://wimbledonlive.nbcsports.com/player.html?r=&j=2_03_321). Click on the "full match replay" tab for July 2nd, and you'll see the thumbnail for their match video.

Austin said...

I despise NBC being allowed to show grand slam tennis, have for years. They wouldnt even allow ESPN to show afternoon coverage on the west coast this week when they were in other time zones, its pathetic.

Unfortuantely nothing is going to change.

Great match by Roddick today.

Why are they playing the womens doubles final tomorrow? Couldnt they have moved it to sunday since the singles finalists have to play in it? Doesnt make a ton of sense.

Also, Blake/Fish should have won yesterday. Cant blow a two sets to love lead.

Roddick over Federer in four sets.