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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Duval Reaches Quarterfinals at Wimbledon, Broady Outlasts Kern; Piric Named Men's Head Coach at Old Dominion

Vicky Duval is now the only American junior playing singles this weekend at Wimbledon, after the 16th seed beat Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2 today to advance to the girls quarterfinals. Kozlova, who received entry into the Wimbledon juniors based on her WTA ranking, which has been as high as 309, beat top seed Daria Gavrilova of Russia in the first round, but she trailed throughout her match with Duval. There was a stretch in the middle of the second set when Duval was tested on her service games, but she was broken only twice in the match, while Kozlova lost her serve six times.

Next up for Duval is Australian Ashleigh Barty, also 15, who was down 4-2 in the final set against Madison Keys before taking the final four games in a 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 victory. Keys had three break point chances to take a 5-2 lead in the final set and serve for the match, but the No. 12 seed turned them away, and seized the momentum in the next game by breaking Keys to make it 4-4. Barty again saved a break point serving at 4-4, and Keys again couldn't hold after that chance was lost.

Duval and Barty met in the final of the Grade 1 Astrid Bowl in Belgium in May, with Barty winning 6-2, 6-2 on the red clay. For more on Barty and her win over Keys, which avenged her loss at Roehampton, see Sandra Harwitt's article for the ITF junior website.

Krista Hardebeck, the third American girl to reach the round of 16, lost to No. 5 seed Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-3, 6-4. Unlike the boys draw, which has seen many upsets this week, the girls draw has gone primarily to form, with only Indy De Vroome reaching the quarterfinals unseeded. De Vroome, the 15-year-old from the Netherlands, is hardly a surprise however, as she won the Roehampton Grade 1 last week, and has yet to drop a set at Wimbledon. De Vroome will face No. 7 seed Yulia Putintseva of Russia, who beat Donna Vekic of Croatia 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 in today's round of 16. That will be a rematch of the Roehampton final, which De Vroome won 6-4, 6-4. Bouchard plays No. 3 seed Irina Khromacheva of Russia and in the other quarterfinal, No. 2 seed Caroline Garcia of France will face No. 6 seed Montserrat Gonzalez of Paraguay.

Two of today's boys quarterfinals went into overtime, and because one featured British junior Liam Broady I was able to watch most of it on ESPN3. It would be difficult to describe the brand of tennis Broady and German qualifier Robin Kern played as traditional grass court, as there wasn't much net play, but the serve was the dominant force, with only four total breaks of serve in the 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-11 victory for Broady. Broady, who won the boys doubles title at Wimbledon last year, served for the match at 5-3 in the third, reaching match point, but Kern saved it with a rare net approach and volley winner, and Broady was eventually broken. With Kern serving at 5-6, he got down 15-40, but four consecutive big first serves, including a 125 mph ace, got the 17-year-old German out of that tight spot. According to the BBC commentators, Kern was occasionally serving in the mid-120s, and according to the match stats, even hit 133 mph on one of them. Broady kept cool however, and when Kern threw in two double faults serving at 11-12, Broady had match point number 4. This time Kern didn't get a first serve in and Broady was able to pressure him into a miss to claim his spot in the semifinals. Broady will play unseeded Jason Kubler of Australia, who was the top seed at the Wimbledon juniors last year. Kubler beat Julien Cagnina of Belgium 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. For more on Broady's win, see wimbledon.com.

No. 8 seed Mate Pavic of Croatia fell to Kaichi Uchida of Japan 4-6, 7-6(7), 10-8 in another extended boys quarterfinal. Uchida will play No. 16 seed Luke Saville, who beat Joris De Loore of Belgium 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-2.

The boys singles final is scheduled for Saturday, with the girls final and both the doubles finals on Sunday. After today's second round loss by Mac Styslinger and Connor Farren to Broady and his partner Filip Horansky, there are no US boys remaining in singles or doubles. There are three US girls still vying for a Wimbledon doubles title: Lauren Herring, Madison Keys and Grace Min. The unseeded Herring and Keys beat No. 3 seeds Barbara Haas of Austria and Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-1, 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals, while Min and her partner Bouchard, the No. 2 seeds advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Klara Fabikova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

For complete draws, see wimbledon.com.

In college tennis news, former Georgia Tech assistant Aljosa Piric was named head men's coach at Old Dominion University. Piric, who was at Georgia Tech the past three years, replaces Darryl Cummings, who was head coach at the Norfolk Virginia school for 19 years. The complete release can be found at the Old Dominion website.