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Friday, June 21, 2013

Ohio State Men's Home Winning Streak Enters Second Decade; Wimbledon Draws Revealed; US Girls, British Boys Take Junior Team Competition in Eastbourne

My weekly article for the Tennis Recruiting Network delves into the 172-match home winning streak the Ohio State men's tennis team has established, one that extends all the way back to April of 2003.  I did the interviews when I was at the NCAAs last month, then worked on the research this month, which took some time due to the sheer number of matches the streak encompasses.

The NCAA doesn't keep statistics for tennis (or for many other varsity sports--see this page for the list), so the responsibility for tracking them falls to the individual schools, and I owe a huge debt to Stanford's SID Brian Risso, who tracked and documented the Cardinal women's team streak from 1999 through its end in 2011.  Ohio State can break the record next year, although it's fair to note that the Stanford women's streak does include three NCAA Sweet 16s they hosted.  Stanford won two of them to keep the streak going in 2002 and 2006, but it ended in the finals of the NCAAs in 2011.  For more on their amazing streak, see this review.

The Wimbledon draws were released this morning, with all the attention centered around what quarter No. 5 seed Rafael Nadal would fall in. It turned out to be No. 3 seed  Federer's, who would have to beat No. 2 Andy Murray and No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals and finals (should they all advance to those matches, of course) to defend his title.

A total of 14 US women and 11 US men are competing in the singles main draw.  Qualifier Bobby Reynolds and wild card Steve Johnson are the only two American men playing each other, with the winner probably facing Djokovic in the second round.  The other nine US men and their first round opponents: Ryan Harrison v. No. 28 Jeremy Chardy(FRA); Wayne Odesnik v. Jimmy Wang(TPE); James Blake v. Thiemo De Bakker(NED); No. 21 Sam Querrey v. Bernard Tomic(AUS); Alex Kuznetsov v. Igor Sijsling(NED); Denis Kudla v. James Duckworth(AUS); Michael Russell v. Grega Semlja(SLO); No. 18 John Isner v. Evengy Donskoy(RUS) and Rajeev Ram v. Lukas Lacko(SVK).

Two matches in the women's main draw will be all-American affairs, with Alexa Glatch facing Christina McHale, and in the blockbuster first rounder, No. 17 seed Sloane Stephens playing Jamie Hampton.  Stephens hasn't played since reaching the fourth round of the French, while Hampton, who also reached the fourth round in Paris, is into her first WTA final Saturday in Eastbourne after a three-set victory over Caroline Wozniacki today.

The other ten US women and their first round opponents: No. 1 Serena Williams v. Mandy Minella(LUX); Alison Riske v. No. 31 Romina Oprandi(SUI); Mallory Burdette v. Urszula Radwanska(POL); Bethanie Mattek-Sands v. No. 7 Angelique Kerber(GER); Madison Keys v. Heather Watson(GBR); No. 26 Varvara Lepchenko v. Eva Birnerova(CZE); Lauren Davis v. No. 27 Lucie Safarova(CZE); Melanie Oudin v. Michelle Larcher de Brito(POR); CoCo Vandeweghe v. No. 7 Petra Kvitova(CZE) and Vania King, who did get in as a lucky loser, v. No. 29 Alize Cornet(FRA).

From what I gather, the bottom half of both draws will play Monday.

Complete draws can be found here.

The Maureen Connolly Trophy Challenge was won by the US girls, who beat Great Britain 8-4 after having a 5-1 lead going into today's matches.  The Great Britain boys won the LTA Junior Challenge trophy 7-3. I don't know why they didn't complete the final two doubles matches.  I don't have complete individual results, but information from the British Tennis twitter had Stefan Kozlov, Luca Corinteli and Jamie Loeb winning their singles matches, with Noah Rubin, Louisa Chirico and Taylor Townsend losing theirs.


Qualifying is complete for the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton, which begins on Sunday.  Dasha Ivanova and Katrine Steffensen of the US both qualified.  The draws and order of play for the tournament will be available on the LTA website under the Latest British Events section on the right of the home page.

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