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.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009