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Monday, June 28, 2010

Nine US Juniors Advance to Second Round at Wimbledon Jr. Championships; USTA Announces Players Training in Boca for 2010-11 School Year

Another Roland Garros junior champion lost in first round action today at Wimbledon, with boys French champion Agustin Velotti, a wild card and the No. 2 seed, falling to fellow wild card and Roehampton winner James Marsalek of Great Britain 6-3, 6-2. With top seed Elina Svitolina's loss to Grace Min on Saturday, both boys and girls French champions are out in the first round.

Monday saw the first action for the qualifiers, and more than half of the eight boys and eight girls who got through qualifying also won their opening match today. Among them were Dane Webb and Krista Hardebeck of the U.S., who had straight set wins over unseeded opponents in the first round, but will face stiffer tests on Tuesday. Webb will play No. 3 seed and reigning Australian Open champion Tiago Fernandes of Brazil, while Hardebeck will take on No. 8 seed Laura Robson, the 2008 Wimbledon girls champion, who beat Riza Ozaki of Japan 6-0, 6-1 today. The Robson - Hardebeck match is scheduled second on court 12, after the Denis Kudla and Liam Broady contest, and those matches may be available on live streaming for those of you who have ESPN 3.

Qualifier Mikelis Libietis of Latvia took out No. 4 seed Duilio Beretta of Peru 6-3, 2-6, 15-13, but that wasn't the longest match of the day. That honor went to the match between No. 16 seed Kevin Krawietz of Germany and lucky loser Mitchell Krueger of the U.S. It was 16-14 in the final set before Krawietz escaped with a win over the 16-year-old Texan.

Krueger took the place of Victor Baluda of Russia, who was known to be having visa problems, and won the first set 6-3. Krawietz came back to take the second by the same score, with each set taking less than a half hour. Things changed in the third set, although when Krueger was broken serving at 7-7, it didn't look as if the ending would be all that unusual. But Krawietz never got to match point, with Krueger breaking back at 30-40 to make it 8-8. Krueger was in trouble his last four service games, needing to save a break point at 30-40 in all four of those games, and remarkably, doing so. But in the fourth, at 14-14, Krawietz got a second break point, which he had not done in the previous three service games of Krueger, and this time he converted. There would be no second miracle for Krueger, when Krawietz held to complete the 103-minute third set.

I want to make clear that I am NOT at Wimbledon, and all the above information comes from the live scoring on wimbledon.org. If I am at a tournament, you will see a byline with the name of the city that I'm in.

Sloane Stephens won her opening round match today, but Chanelle Van Nguyen was beaten by No. 4 seed and reigning Australian Open girls champion Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Junior Ore had two set points in the first set of his match with No. 13 seed Marton Fucsovics of Hungary but didn't seize that opportunity and lost 7-6(3), 6-4. In all there are nine U.S. players through to the second round.

In addition to the upsets of Velotti and Beretta, two other boys seeds were eliminated today. Ben Wagland of Australia beat No. 10 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria and Facundo Arguello of Argentina took out No. 15 seed Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador. Only two seeded girls lost today, with Roehampton finalist Tara Moore, a British wild card, beating No. 14 seed Sophia Kovalets of Ukraine and qualifier Clothilde De Bernardi of France defeating No. 13 seed Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay.

For more on Monday's action, see the ITF junior website and wimbledon.org.

The USTA has announced the names of the players who will be training at the National Center in Boca Raton for the 2010-11 school year. They are:

Jordan Belga
Luca Corinteli
Jake DeVine
Joseph DiGiulio
Jeremy Efferding
Alexios Halebian
Hunter Harrington
Daniel Kerznerman
Thai Kwiatkowski
Nikko Madregallego
Spencer Newman
Reilly Opelka
Spencer Papa
Konrad Zieba

Bridget Forster
Mia King
Ally Miller-Krasilnikov
Grace Min
Julia O’Loughlin
Taylor Townsend