Top Seeds, Four US Juniors March into Wimbledon Round of 16; Charges Against Novikov Dropped; Santos Takes Pitt Job, Other College Coaching News
The upsets and surprises in the men's and women's draws during the past ten days at Wimbledon haven't extended to the junior championships, which are usually much less predictable than the ladies' and gentlemen's tournaments. Not so this year, with 12 of the remaining 16 players seeded in the girls draw, and the 1-10 seeds advancing to the third round in the boys draw.
One of the six unseeded boys advancing is Stefan Kozlov, who reached the third round at the US Open junior last year as a 14-year-old, his best showing in a junior slam. Kozlov matched that by beating unseeded Lucas Gomez of Mexico 6-2, 6-3 at Wimbledon today, despite a long wait as one of the last singles matches on, as well as a rain delay.
Getting to the quarterfinals will be a major challenge, as Kozlov's next opponent is Alexander Zverev of Germany, the No. 3 seed, who has since risen to No. 2 in the ITF rankings based on his finalist showing at last week's Roehampton Grade 1. Zverev defeated qualifier Julian Cash of Great Britain 6-4, 7-6(7).
Of the seeded boys, No. 4 Laslo Djere of Serbia had the closest call, defeating Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3. Khachanov had beaten World No. 1 Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the second round at Roland Garros, so he was obviously a threat to Djere. Kyrgios won his match with Lucas Miedler of Austria 6-2, 6-4 and will play unseeded Hyeon Chung of Korea on Wednesday.
The only qualifier remaining in either draw is Great Britain's Jonny O'Mara, who needed a wild card to get into qualifying. O'Mara defeated No. 11 seed Pedro Cachin of Argentina 7-6(3), 6-2 to advance to a meeting with countryman Kyle Edmund, the No. 5 seed, who had no trouble with Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.
All three US girls won their second round matches today, with Jamie Loeb and No. 5 seed Taylor Townsend getting through in straight sets. Loeb's opponent, No. 10 seed Camila Giangreco Campiz of Paraguay, served for the first set at 6-5, but Loeb broke back to force a tiebreaker, which she dominated. The second set wasn't as close, and once Loeb got a break in the fifth game she cruised to a 7-6(1), 6-2 victory. Loeb will take on unseeded Alice Matteucci of Italy in Wednesday's third round, after Matteucci won the most dramatic girls match of the day, beating unseeded Ioana Ducu of Romania 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5. Ducu saved match points in the second set, then fought back from 3-0 down in the third, but Matteucci finally prevailed in the two-hour and forty-minute match.
After her difficult three-set win on Monday, Townsend earned a straightforward 6-2, 6-4 win over Sandra Samir of Egypt, saving all three break points against her in the match, and getting 70% of her first serves in. Townsend will play No. 11 seed Karin Kennel of Switzerland, who beat fellow wild card Lana Rush of Great Britain 7-6(2), 7-5.
No. 15 seed Louisa Chirico fought back against current European 18s champion Petra Uberalova of Slovakia, earning a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory. Uberalova's serve percentage dropped dramatically in the last two sets, but Chirico still had difficulty putting her away. Serving up 4-1 in the third set, Chirico was broken, and was unable to serve it out up 5-2, but she took her second chance to serve it out to advance to a meeting with No. 3 seed Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.
Top seeds Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and Ana Konjuh of Croatia earned straight set wins to set up intriguing third round matches. Bencic will play No. 13 seed and US Open girls finalist Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, while Konjuh gets unseeded but dangerous Beatriz Hadad Maia of Brazil, whose WTA ranking is 328. For more on today's action at Wimbledon, see the ITF junior website.
The doubles schedule was disrupted by long matches and rain, with many of the first round matches cancelled, but Loeb, with partner Ayaka Okuno of Japan, and Noah Rubin, with partner Clement Geens of Belgium, did advance to the second round.
For the junior draws, see the Wimbledon website.
UCLA's Dennis Novikov, who was arrested prior to the NCAA tournament for shooting a BB gun, and served a suspension at the time of his arrest in Santa Barbara, has had the charges against him dismissed.
Quite a few announcements regarding college coaching moves have been made in the past few days, with Pittsburgh's hiring of Miami's Alex Santos the most notable. Santos, who worked under women's head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews for four years, was recently named ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. He will be coaching against his former boss now that Pittsburgh has joined the ACC.
At Loyola Marymount, former Arizona assistant Tom Lloyd has been named the new men's head coach.
Adam Schaechterle, the former Northwestern men's assistant who was head coach at the University of North Florida for two years, will return to the midwest as assistant to men's head coach Ryan Sachire at Notre Dame.
Ryan Young will leave his position as men's assistant at Michigan State for the same position at South Carolina.
Worth Richardson is taking the men's assistant position at William and Mary.
Marisa Lambropoulos has been named the women's assistant at Princeton.