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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Seven US Men Advance to Final Round of Wimbledon Qualifying, Only Four US Women Make Second Round; Notable Junior Withdrawals; Pro Circuit Update

A dozen US men began Wimbledon qualifying on Monday and seven still remain in the hunt for the 16 spots in the main draw after Tuesday's second round. No. 4 seed Michael Russell defeated Austria Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-3, 6-4; No. 5 seed Jesse Levine got past Japan's Hiroki Moriya 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-0; No. 8 seed Rajeev Ram downed Carlos Salamanca of Columbia 7-6(6), 6-4; No. 11 Brian Baker beat German Denis Gremelmayr 6-2, 6-4; No. 20 Wayne Odesnik defeated Peter Polansky of Canada 7-6(5), 6-3 and No. 21 Ryan Sweeting beat Stephane Robert of France 6-4, 6-2.

Denis Kudla is the only American unseeded in qualifying who still remains alive; he defeated Simone Vagnozzi of Italy 6-2, 6-4. The 19-year-old from Virginia has already succeeded in qualifying for a slam in Australia this year, but he lost in the second round of qualifying at the French and didn't have great results in the two grass court tournaments he played the past two weeks. He lost in the first round of the first Nottingham challenger as an alternate, and then in qualifying for the ATP event at Queen's Club, he won one match in a third-set tiebreaker, then lost his next one the same way. On Wednesday he will play No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland for a place in the Wimbledon main draw.

With so many Americans, it's odd that more didn't play each other, with Sweeting and Alex Kuznetsov's meeting the only such contest. There's another on Wednesday however, as Levine and Odesnik will play for the main draw.

Junior Kyle Edmund lost in three sets today to Marcel Felder of Uruguay, and after Chris Eaton's loss earlier in the day, that meant no British men reached the third round of qualifying. One of the young qualifying wild cards, 17-year-old Luke Bambridge, who lost in Monday's first round, is the subject of this extensive profile by BBC Sport.

The US women, who were a big story in the early going at the French, were less impressive in the opening round of the Wimbledon qualifying today. Four of the ten who started made it through, including 17-year-old Madison Keys, who defeated Marta Domachowska of Poland 6-1, 6-3. She is joined by CoCo Vandeweghe(14), Alison Riske and Alexa Glatch.  Grace Min was up a break in the final set against No. 8 seed Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland before falling  6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

In addition to Keys, two other juniors advanced to the second round of qualifying: French Open girls champion Annika Beck of Germany and China's Saisai Zheng.

For complete draws, see the Wimbledon website.

In the other professional grass tournaments today, Christina McHale beat former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki again (for more on all the upsets at that WTA Eastbourne event, see this account at tennis. com) and 2010 World Junior champion Daria Gavrilova of Russia, still just 18, got her first Top 100 WTA win. Gavrilova, a qualifier, beat No. 35 Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-1, 6-2 at the Den Bosch WTA tournament. Gavrilova will play another Belgian, Kirsten Flipkens, also a qualifier, who upset top seed Samantha Stosur of Australia in the first round.

In junior Wimbledon news, two prominent players have withdrawn: Czech Adam Pavlasek, who reached the semifinals of the previous two junior slams this year, and Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia, who was in the girls final earlier this month at Roland Garros.

Here's quick recap of last week's Pro Circuit events and a look at this week's. At the $10,000 in Bethany Beach, Delaware, qualifier Vojislava Lukic of Serbia beat Sanaz Marand of the US 6-2, 7-5 in the final. Marand and Jacqueline Cako won the doubles title, beating top seeds Anastasia Kharchenko of Ukraine and Nika Kukharchuk of Russia 6-1, 6-2.

At the $15,000 Futures in Chico, Calif., unseeded Phillip Simmonds beat No. 3 seed Michael McClune 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 for his first Pro Circuit singles title of 2012. No. 2 seeds Devin Britton and Jordan Cox won the doubles, defeating top seeds Daniel King-Turner of New Zealand and Nima Roshan of Australia in a  6-7(6), 7-6(8), 10-7 thriller.  It is Britton's sixth doubles title on the Futures circuit this year, with four different partners.

This week the men are back on clay at a $10,000 tournament in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. It is the first tournament for the USTA's Collegiate team, and in today's first round, two of them met, with Mitchell Frank defeating Dennis Nevolo 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. This was a rematch of the final of the 2011 USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, also won by Frank.

The tournament is weak from a ranking standpoint, with top seed Greg Ouellette dropping out and No. 2 seed Roman Recarte of Venezuela losing today, so it will be interesting to see who can take advantage of the circumstances.

The women are in Williamsburg, Va. for a $10,000 clay event of their own, and qualifying was completed today, as well as a few first round matches. Alexis King is the top seed again this week and Nadia Echeverria Alam is the No. 8 seed, despite a ranking of 872. Jacqueline Cako is in the draw, but she is the only member of the USTA women's summer collegiate team there.


Andy M. said...

It's probably not his dream scenario but it seems like Britton might have a shot on the main tour as a doubles specialist. I know he won a singles title recently but he wins all the time in doubles.

pro tennis said...

Same with Jordan Cox as a team, both trained at Bollitteria and long time friends