Webb and Hardebeck Qualify at Wimbledon Juniors, Robson and Velotti Accept Wild Cards; Illinois To Host 2013 Men's and Women's NCAA Championships
Qualifying for the Wimbledon Junior Championships is complete, and play begins on Saturday with Americans Dane Webb and Krista Hardebeck joining a dozen other Americans in the main draw. Lauren Herring also will be playing at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, gaining entry into the main draw as a lucky loser.
There are 33 junior matches on the Wimbledon schedule for Saturday, with nine of the 14 U.S. players in action. Raymond Sarmiento, Dennis Novikov, Mitchell Frank, Nick Chappell and Denis Kudla, the No. 7 seed, are the U.S. boys taking the court Saturday. Webb and Junior Ore will not play until Monday, with Sunday the traditional day off for everyone, pros and juniors alike.
The U.S. girls competing on Saturday are Herring, Ester Goldfeld, Grace Min and Monica Puig, the No. 5 seed. Hardebeck, Chanelle Van Nguyen and Sloane Stephens are not on Saturday's schedule.
The draws released late this afternoon contained a couple of big surprises, with Laura Robson of Great Britain and Agustin Velotti of Argentina receiving wild cards. Robson, who lost in the first round of women's singles, women's doubles and mixed was probably a last-minute decision; I'm not sure why Velotti would have been in need of a wild card. Perhaps, like Daniel Berta and Gianni Mina (neither of whom are in the draw at Wimbledon) in the Australian Juniors this year, he simply neglected to enter by the deadline. In any case, he is in and seeded No. 2, while Robson is the No. 8 seed. Velotti plays a fellow wild card in the first round Monday, but it can hardly be called a good draw, as he will face James Marsalek of Great Britain, who won Roehampton today. Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic was the girls singles winner. For more on the Roehampton finals, see the LTA website.
The ITF Junior website has this preview, and my preview for the New York Times Straight Sets blog can be found here.
The University of Illinois announced today that it has been selected to host the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's Division I Tennis Championships. For more, see the Illinois athletic site.