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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Top Seed Berta, Defending Champion Robson Go Out in Third Round at Wimbledon

Top seed and French Junior champion Daniel Berta was pushed aside by unseeded American Alex Domijan today in the third round of the Wimbledon junior championships. Defending girls champion Laura Robson failed to last as long as Andy Murray this year at the AELTC, as the 15-year-old left-hander was stunned by unseeded Quirine Lemoine of the Netherlands.

Domijan dominated today, taking out Berta 6-3, 6-3 and Guy McCrea, who provide a tweet on the match earlier, emailed me this observation: "Very clean (ball striking) and he can hit a heavy ball. He also seems very languid in his movement around the court, almost like he's not in a rush to get in position...The fact that he's got a tall, long-limbed build is obviously to his advantage on grass. Berta tried hard but he was having to work really hard to win his points, while Domijan got plenty of cheap ones."

Domijan's win sets up his second encounter in eight days with Devin Britton, who beat Tiago Fernandes of Brazil 7-5, 6-3. Britton was down a set point serving at 4-5 in the first, but he won three straight points to hold. The 16-year-old Brazilian then lost the first three points on his serve, won the next, but was broken at 15-40. In a matter of seven points, Britton had turned the match completely in his favor. Domijan and Britton met in the semifinals of Roehampton last Thursday, with Britton winning 6-4, 7-6(3). The third U.S. boy to reach the quarterfinals is qualifier Jordan Cox, who continued his stellar run with a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over Andre Vasilevski of Belarus. Cox will meet No. 4 seed Agustin Velotti of Argentina Thursday. Harry Fowler's tournament came to an end when he was beaten 6-0, 6-4 by Dino Marcan of Croatia. There are only three seeded players remaining in the quarterfinals: Velotti, No. 3 Bernard Tomic of Australia and No. 9 Dominik Schulz of Germany, the latter two taking on each other Thursday.

The lone U.S. girl remaining in singles is No. 7 seed Sloane Stephens. She defeated No. 10 seed Camila Silva of Chile 6-2, 7-6(1) to set up a rematch with top seed Kristinia Mladenovic of France. The two met in the semifinals at Roland Garros, with Mladenovic winning 7-5, 6-3 on her way to the title. Beatrice Capra was eliminated by Miyabi Inoue of Japan 6-2, 6-3.

The big news of the day in the girls draw was the loss of No. 2 seed Laura Robson. The 15-year-old was in it until the end, but fell to the 63rd ranked Lemoine 6-2, 4-6, 8-6. The story I read on the BBC website gave a great deal of play to Robson's trouble with her back, but McCrea doesn't feel it was as much of a factor as many British journalists are reporting. "Robson improved after the opening set and lost it at the end simply because Lemoine played better," was his assessment, and he did the commentary on the match for Wimbledon Radio. She did pull out of the doubles, however; Robson and Sloane Stephens were the top seeded team.

THere are five seeded girls remaining, and although Robson is out, last year's runner-up, Noppawarn Lertcheewakarn of Thailand, seeded fourth, is still in contention for the girls title. The only country with more than one girl in the final eight is Hungary, with No. 6 Timea Babos and unseeded Zsofia Susanyi.

For complete draws, including the doubles results, which are now completed through the first round, see wimbledon.org.


David said...

This is unrelated, but the entry lists for the Clay Court Championships are out, and the field for the boys' 18s is the weakest I can remember. Bangoura, Saba, and Sock would seem to be he favorites, but it wouldn't surprise me at all too see one of the young guys like Vinsant or Efferding go far.

The 16s field is a little more interesting.

michelle prentice said...

Sloane just lost 0 and 1. When I saw that I assumed she must have been beaten by a much older girl but it seems that Mladenovic is a couple of months younger.

clays said...

The 18s Clays is weak but not unbelievably so. I was going to say that the 16s field is the weakest I have seen at a tournament as big as Clays. The 93 year just isn't that good top to bottom it seems compared to 92 or 91.

TechGirl said...

Okay, so this year Lemoine turns 18 (but in December), Capra and Hendler turn 17, Stephens, Mladenovic and Babos turn 16, Robson turns 15. Which one is going to be the best, which one has the biggest up-side and can improve the most?

I dont see Capra having enough power like the other girls or the court smarts of a Vania King to compensate for that lack of power. Stephens is the best mover but she doesn't have as much pop as the others and lacks the serve of a Robson or Lemoine. Robson doesn't move really well but she is only 15 and could improve that, plus she could grow a bit more so it might be moot for a while longer. Lemoine is solid all around and her very good lefty serve could get better. Babos is kind of a finished product with baseline power and a pro attitude. Mladenovic seems the best of them all at this moment, but will it always be the case? Is she as good as she'll get? I also think that Eugenie Bouchard from Canada will be the surprise packet over the next few years.

Unknown said...

Great assessment TechGirl. I think Robson is not going to be what the British press predicted after last year. I just don't see the movement and athletic ability there. I would expect her to fall pack into the pack in the next few years.

Austin said...

Stinks our junior boys are all on the same side of the draw. Looks like they could have been 3 of the 4 semifinalists the way they all have been playing. At least were ensured to have a finalist.

David said...

I agree, Austin. It is really unforunate that Domijan ended up in Britton's half of the draw in each of the past two tournaments.

Cox has been a major surprise. I did not see this coming from him.

TechGirl said...

That isn't what I said at all. Robson is one of those players who DOES have a huge up-side. If you can wait for her to settle down physically then you'll have a good player to work with because she's got power and has the bonus of being a lefty. All of the top coaches like Bollettieri, Lansdorp and Sanchez say that its way easier to teach someone to control their naturally powerful shots than it is to teach someone how to add power to their game. Robson, Babos and Mladenovic have got that pop, same as CoCo Vandeweghe. Robson mightn't end up at #1 but there's no way she's going to fall back to the pack. Too much game to be anything less than WTA top 50.

Plus, you can't take the UK press seriously. That's just being dumb.