Junior Wimbledon Qualifying Draws; ITF to Offer Legal Advice to Juniors; Townsend Faces Bencic in Roehampton Semifinals
The craziness began with John Isner retiring after two games this morning, and Wimbledon just got wackier by the minute after that. Before it was over, seven former No. 1 players lost their second round matches (Victoria Azarenka didn't take the court in hers), including former champion Maria Sharapova and defending champion Roger Federer.
Lleyton Hewitt lost to qualifier Dustin Brown, Jelena Jankovic lost to Vesna Dolonc, Caroline Wozniacki lost to qualifier Petra Cetkovska, Sharapova fell to qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito, Federer lost to Sergiy Stakhovsky and Ana Ivanovic lost to Eugenie Bouchard.
|Eugenie Bouchard after her 2012 victory in Wimbledon girls final|
Due to Azarenka's walkover, Bouchard and Ivanovic were moved to Centre Court, but that didn't faze the 2012 girls Wimbledon champion at all. The 19-year-old Canadian was the more consistent and focused of the two and she posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory over the No. 12 seed.
Bouchard gave some of the credit for her composure to her experience on Court 1 in last year's junior final, where a large crowd saw her play outstanding tennis to defeat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.
"Yeah, it was my first time, so I was really excited. It was kind of a big deal to me. I played Court 1 in the junior final last year. I think that helped a little bit. Yeah, Centre Court was really cool."
Bouchard said the good memories from last year started when she was led out to Centre Court.
"I was with the same lady who walked me out. We went on the same stairs and everything as I did last year. I was like, Oh, my God, you know, memories from last year. Reminded me of how well I played last year, and I think it inspired me to play well."
Bouchard's next opponent is No. 19 seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
Two other young up-and-comers made it through to the third round, with 19-year-old Monica Puig defeating Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 and 20-year-old Sloane Stephens(17) squeezing past wild card Andrea Petkovic of Germany 7-6(2), 2-6, 8-6. And, although she's been a professional for six years now, Larcher de Brito is still only 20.
For more on all Wednesday's shocking results and injury retirements, see the Wimbledon website.
The qualifying for the Wimbledon junior championships begin tomorrow at Roehampton, with one US boy and four US girls competing for a place in the main draw. Martin Redlicki, who it looks like was again the last player out of the main draw, just as he was at the French, is the No. 3 seed, and he will play Chih-Chun Tang of Taiwan. All six of the wild cards into qualifying are British players.
The US girls in qualifying are Dasha Ivanova, Katrine Steffensen, Tornado Alicia Black and Mira Ruder-Hook. Ruder-Hook was 14th on the alternate list with her 201 ranking at the time of the acceptance cutoff, and she appears to have been the last player in. Five of the wild cards went to girls from Great Britain, with South Africa's Ilze Hattingh getting the sixth.
Black will still need to qualify despite being in the doubles semifinals on Thursday with Jamie Loeb at the Grade 1 in Roehampton. Apparently the special exemptions are not used when a player has only a doubles match, I assume because the matches are at the same site. But Black is third on in singles qualifying and fourth on in the doubles semifinals, so it looks as if one tournament director failed to consult with the other.
Noah Rubin also reached the doubles semifinals with Belgian Clement Geens. Rubin and Geens, the No. 6 seeds, defeated unseeded Luca Corinteli and Adrian Ortiz of Mexico 6-2, 3-6, 11-9 in today's quarterfinals.
Taylor Townsend is into the singles semifinals after a 6-4, 7-6(1) win over Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, with top seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland next up. Townsend and Bencic had a great quarterfinal match earlier this month at Roland Garros, with Bencic taking it 2-6, 6-2, 9-7, so another meeting, on a different surface, is full of promise. The other semifinal features two unseeded players: Great Britain's Harriet Dart and Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus.
The boys semifinals have No. 1 seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia against unseeded Enzo Couacaud of France and No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany against No. 15 seed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.
Draws and orders of play for both Roehampton and Wimbledon qualifying are available at the LTA home page.
Included on the order of play for the Wimbledon junior qualifying is the agenda for the ITF school being held in Roehampton Thursday. One of the speakers will discuss the new program the ITF will offer, providing the top juniors with consultation over sponsorship and representation agreements. For more on that, see this article from the ITF junior website. I don't know if the ITF has provided this before in previous forums, but another speaker will explore the topic of "Scholarships at American Tennis Universities."