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Monday, July 1, 2013

Townsend, Kozlov Advance to Second Round at Wimbledon Juniors; Tennis Recruiting Calendar for 2013-14

Stefan Kozlov at the 2013 International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif.

Fifteen-year-old Stefan Kozlov defeated wild card Joshua Sapwell of Great Britain in first round action at the Wimbledon junior championships today, avoiding a shutout of American boys, three of whom lost in the first round on Saturday.  Kozlov was down 2-0 to open the match, but got the break back immediately and won the final four games of the opening set.

In the second set, Kozlov got the only break of the match with Sapwell serving at 3-4, although he did have to save a break point in the final game of the match to secure the victory. Kozlov, who won his first round match at Wimbledon last year, will be looking to exceed that on Tuesday when he takes on unseeded Lucas Gomez of Mexico.  Gomez took out No. 14 seed Guillermo Nunez of Chile 6-4, 7-5. 

The top two seeds in the boys draw--Nick Kyrgios of Australia and Nikola Milojevic of Serbia--won in straight sets, but two lower seeds joined Nunez on the sidelines.  No. 13 seed Clement Geens of Belgium lost to Huge Di Feo of Canada 6-3, 5-7, 9-7, one of three boys matches that went to extra games in the third set.  No. 15 seed Frederico Silva of Portugal lost to Enzo Couacaud of France, but the top 10 seeds all have advanced to the second round. Five of the eight boys qualifiers also reached the second round: Daniel Windahl of Sweden, Jonny O'Mara of Great Britain, Julian Cash of Great Britain, Johannes Haertes of Germany and Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul of Thailand.

No. 5 seed Taylor Townsend was the only US girl to win today, and she needed over two hours to do so, beating iryna Shymanovich of Belarus 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5.  Townsend led 2-0 in both the second and third sets, but lost those advantages almost immediately. She forced a third set with a late break with Shymanovich serving at 4-5, and in the final set, saved two break points serving at 5-5. Down 15-40 in that game, Townsend won the next seven points to earn three match points and she converted the second to beat the Roehampton finalist in a very tough first round match. Townsend will play Sandra Samir of Egypt in the second round Tuesday.  No. 15 seed Louisa Chirico will play the 2012 European 18s champion Petra Uberalova of Slovakia Tuesday, and Jamie Loeb will play No. 10 seed Camila Giangreco Campiz of Paraguay.

Johnnise Renaud lost to Anastasia Komardina of Russia 6-4, 6-2 Monday, and Dasha Ivanova lost to fellow qualifier Kyoka Okamura of Japan 6-2, 7-6(3). 

Only three qualifiers made it through to the second round in the girls draw, with two of those guaranteed. In addition to Okamura, Greetji Minnen of Belgium beat another qualifier. Jana Fett of Croatia is the third qualifier advancing.

Top seed Belinda Bencic, who needed a wild card because she forgot to enter, collected her 30th straight win (there's some confusion about a walkover Bencic got in Milan, but the ITF now says it does count as a win) with a 47-minute cruise past wild card Freya Christie of Great Britain. Bencic now plays qualifier Minnen in the second round. No. 2 seed Ana Konjuh of Croatia won her first round match on Saturday.

For more on Monday's action, see Simon Cambers' article at the ITF junior website.  It sounds as if Kyle Edmund will not be playing the US Open juniors when he says, "It’s my last junior tournament so it’s nice to have it here."

The first round of junior doubles is also on the schedule for Tuesday. See the tournament website for the full schedule.

In the women's draw, German Sabine Lisicki's shocking win over top seed Serena Williams leaves Sloane Stephens as the last American in either the men's or women's singles draws.  Stephens, the No. 17 seed, got through a tough spot late in the second set to defeat Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, and she will play No. 15 seed Marion Bartoli of France in Tuesday's quarterfinal. For more on Stephens' win, see this article from Ben Rothenberg for the New York Times.

Today at the Tennis Recruiting Network, Dede Allen provides a thorough explanation of the current recruiting terms and calendar, which serves as a starting point for anyone interested in playing college tennis.  She also provides links to other resources.  The USTA also has a section of their website devoted to college tennis recruiting.

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