Wimbledon Opening Day; Six US Juniors into Third Round at Roehampton; Buchanan Wins Futures; DeHeart Joins Alabama, Keckley Named Princeton Assistant
An even dozen Americans took the courts today for first round matches at Wimbledon, with only five managing to advance to the second round. Although she wasn't seeded, Venus Williams' loss to Elena Vesnina of Russia was probably the biggest surprise, because even though she hasn't been a factor since being diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, Williams has always been a threat at the All England Club. John Isner, the No. 11 seed, had a match point in the fourth set tiebreaker with Colombia's Alejandro Falla but wound up losing 6-4, 6-7(7), 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-5. James Blake lost to Baylor's 2004 NCAA champion Benjamin Becker of Germany and Donald Young lost to No. 26 seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. For an interesting take on that match, see Howard Bryant's piece for espn.com.
Qualifiers Michael Russell and Ryan Sweeting picked up wins, as did Ryan Harrison, who will face defending champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the second round.
Melanie Oudin lost to Timea Babos of Hungary and Vania King went quietly against No. 23 seed Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic, but Sloane Stephens and Jamie Hampton advanced. Stephens had no trouble with qualifier Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in their second meeting, posting a 6-2, 6-2 win. At the 2010 US Open Junior Championships, Stephens beat Pliskova 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Hampton took out No. 27 seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-4, 7-6(1) and will next play wild card Heather Watson of Great Britain. Christina McHale, the No. 28 seed, twice served for the match against British wild card Joanna Konta, but couldn't convert either time and their match was suspended due to darkness at 7-7 in the third set.
Tuesday has ten Americans playing their first round matches: Irina Falconi, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams, Jesse Levine, Wayne Odesnik, Mardy Fish, Brian Baker, Varvara Lepchenko, Sam Querrey and CoCo Vandeweghe.
For the schedule and draws, see the Wimbledon website.
At the Grade 1 ITF in Roehampton today, the unfinished first round and the second round were completed, with six US juniors surviving into the third round. Top seed Taylor Townsend is the only American girl in the top half, but in the bottom half, Allie Kiick(8), Sachia Vickery(4) and Kyle McPhillips are still alive. In the boys draw, the two remaining Americans are Mitchell Krueger(7), in the top half, and Noah Rubin(13), in the bottom half.
For complete results, see the LTA website.
With all the havoc caused by tropical storm Debby, it was this evening before the result of the Indian Harbour Beach Futures final was known. Chase Buchanan defeated Alex Domijan 6-3, 6-4 to win his first Futures since Vero Beach in 2008. Ruben Gonzales and Darian King won the doubles over Georgia Tech's Juan Spir and Kevin King 6-2, 3-6, 10-4.
Torrential rain has caused problems on the other side of the state as well, where the Innisbrook Futures qualifying is taking place. This has left two final round qualifying matches unfinished, but those and some main draw matches are on the schedule for Tuesday.
For results, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.
There were a couple of assistant announcements today, with Ryan Keckley, who has been the men's assistant coach at the University of San Diego for the past three years, joining Billy Pate at Princeton in the same capacity, and Ryler DeHeart, an all-American at Illinois, taking the assistant position for new Alabama coach George Husack.
The Princeton announcement is here and the Alabama announcement is here.