Five US Men Reach Final Round of Wimbledon Qualifying, US Women Go 7-2 in First Round Action; Tiafoe and Arconada Win CitiOpen Qualifying Wild Cards; Pro Circuit Update
Tuesday was another good day for Americans at Wimbledon, with five US men winning to reach Thursday's final round of qualifying and seven US women winning their first round matches.
One American qualifier is certain, with No. 3 seed Tim Smyczek and No. 26 seed Alex Kuznetsov playing each other. Denis Kudla(9) will play No. 18 seed Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia (although he is switching nationalities to Great Britain soon), Ryan Harrison(22) plays No. 16 seed Daniel Brands of Germany and No. 31 seed Rajeev Ram play meets unseeded Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic.
Former Auburn All-American Tim Puetz of Germany also advanced to the final round of qualifying, and he will face 2010 boys champion Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, who is also unseeded. Australian Luke Saville, the 2011 boys champion and 2012 finalist, also needs to win just one more match to make his main draw Wimbledon debut.
The US women winning their opening matches today are: Madison Brengle, Melanie Oudin, Shelby Rogers, Nicole Gibbs, Grace Min(22) and Vicky Duval(15). Allie Kiick, beaten by Mayo Hibi, and Sachia Vickery were the only two American women to suffer losses today. Min and Rogers play each other Wednesday.
Other notable winners include Australian and US Open girls champion Ana Konjuh of Croatia, back from elbow surgery, and wild card Gabby Taylor, a 16-year-old wild card with no WTA ranking, who reached the Junior Orange Bowl 14s final back in 2012.
For more qualifying news, see the Wimbledon website. Wednesday's schedule is here. Qualifying draws are here.
The Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., staged a tournament to decide qualifying wild cards for next month's CitiOpen, the combined ATP/WTA event in Washington DC. All four finalists trained at the JTCC, with top seed Francis Tiafoe, 16, defeating unseeded Jordi Arconada, 17, 6-1, 7-6(3) in the men's final and Jordi's sister Usue, 15, downing former UCLA Bruin and No. 4 seed Skylar Morton 7-6(4), 7-5. Arconada, the No. 2 seed, has already won a qualifying match at the CitiOpen, defeating Argentina's Maria Irigoyen 7-5, 6-3 in the opening round last year.
For more on the match, see the JTCC blog. For links to the complete draws, see the CitiOpen website.
After no Pro Circuit tournaments at all in the US last week, there are three this week, two men's Futures and the $10,000 women's event in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Although qualifying was just completed today, with 14-year-old Nada Dimovska 15-year-old Maria Shishkina, 16-year-old Erica Oosterhout, 16-year-old Caroline Lampl and 17-year-old Alexandra Valenstein among those reaching the main draw, there has already been a major upset, with Florida recruit Josie Kuhlman defeating top seed Alexandra Mueller 6-0, 6-3 in the first round. Andie Daniell, Ingrid Neel, Julia Elbaba, Katerina Stewart and Caitlin Whoriskey also picked up first round wins today.
The men's events are a $10,000 Futures in Buffalo, NY and a $15,000 Futures in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
As usual, there are many current and former college players in the draws. Virginia's Ryan Shane won his first round match in Buffalo, with juniors Nicolas Podesta, Dan Kerznerman and Catalin Mateas among those who qualified. In Tulsa, 2013 Kalamazoo 18s winner Collin Altamirano and finalist Jared Donaldson both picked up victories in the first round, with Altamirano beating Martin Redlicki 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 and Donaldson beating Dane Webb, the Oklahoma All-American 6-4, 6-2. Ernesto Escobedo, who lost in the quarterfinals in Kalamazoo last year, defeated 2012 Kalamazoo 18s champion Dennis Novikov 6-3, 7-6(1) in the first round today.
Jarmere Jenkins, who elected to return from Europe without playing the Wimbledon qualifying, was required to qualify in Tulsa, and he is the No. 1 seed in the tournament now that he has.
It's worth noting that Altamirano, Donaldson and Escobedo will all probably need wild cards to compete in Kalamazoo this year.