Stephens, Min, Puig and Kudla Reach Wimbledon Jrs. Third Round; Results of Southern California Sectional
This Wimbledon has been full of surprises for the past nine days, and the juniors are doing their part to keep the unexpected results coming. Fourteen-year-old wild card Eleanor Dean of Great Britain has leapt into the spotlight with wins over No. 7 seed Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada in the first round Saturday and impressive 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 win over Ksenia Kirillova of Russia today. Dean lost ten straight games, falling behind 4-0 in the final set, but doing her best Petra Kvitova impression, she won the final six games of the match. Not surprisingly, she received a feature story on wimbledon.org.
Another player making a name for herself at Wimbledon is qualifier Nigina Abduraimova of Uzbekistan, who turns 16 next week. Ranked inside the top 500 by the WTA, Aburaimova has played almost exclusively in her home country or in Asia, and Wimbledon is her first junior slam, but today she made it especially memorable, taking a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 decision from No. 4 seed and Australian Open girls champion Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.
No. 6 seed Nastja Kolar of Slovenia was also eliminated today, with Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic earning a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win.
Grace Min of the U.S. successfully followed up on her first round win over No. 1 Elina Svitolina by taking out Polina Pekhova of Belarus 7-5, 7-5. She is joined in the third round by Monica Puig, the No. 5 seed, who came back for the second time this tournament, recording a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over wild card Francesca Stephenson of Great Britain.
Sloane Stephens beat No. 16 seed Daria Gavrilova 6-0, 6-4 to set up an intriguing match against No. 3 seed and doubles partner Timea Babos of Hungary. Ester Goldfeld lost 6-4, 6-4 to Clothilde de Bernardi of France, the other qualifier in the last 16. Qualifier Krista Hardebeck lost to No. 8 seed Laura Robson 6-0, 6-4, despite leading 4-2 in the second set.
Denis Kudla, seeded seventh, is the sole U.S. boy remaining in singles. He defeated wild card Liam Broady of Great Britain 7-5, 6-2. (And despite the Kudla and Hardebeck matches being on Court 12, they were not on ESPN 3 as I had hoped.)
Mitchell Frank lost to No. 5 seed Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-7(9), 6-4; qualifier Dane Webb fell to No. 3 seed Tiago Fernandes of Brazil 6-3, 6-1, and Raymond Sarmiento was beaten by No. 8 seed James Duckworth of Australia 6-3, 7-5.
The Australian boys are one of the stories of the junior tournament so far, as four have reached the final 16. In addition to Duckworth, top seed Jason Kubler, qualifier Ben Mitchell and Ben Wagland won today. Wagland is Kudla's opponent in Wednesday's third round match.
The British are also pleased with their showing, having five players--two boys and three girls--in the third round. According to this story on the LTA website, it is the country's best performance at Wimbledon in ten years.
For more from today's action, see the ITF junior website article, which features comments from Sloane Stephens.
The Southern California sectionals were completed Monday and the results of the finals are:
(1) Taylor Fritz d. (2) Billy Rowe 6-3, 6-3
(8) Deiton Baughman d. Stefan Doehler 7-6, 6-7, 6-4
(2) Gage Brymer d. (3) Brendan McClain 7-6, 6-3
Dennis Mkrtchian d. (4) Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-1
(5) Jada Hart d. (1) Dominique Schaefer 7-5, 6-3
(1) Elizabeth Profit d. (2) Alexis Pereira 6-2, 6-0
(1) Alyssa Smith d. (2) Sivan Krems 6-3, 6-4
(5) Mayo Hibi d. (4) Lynda Xepoleas 6-2, 6-0
For more on the boys 18s final, see this story from Eric Boal at the Los Angeles Daily News. For a look at the girls 18s final match, see this article from the Daily Pilot.
For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.