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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Six US Women Join Five US Men in Final Round of Wimbledon Qualifying; ITF Roehampton Grade 1 Qualifying Begins Thursday; Loeb, Giron Named ITA Players of the Year

The grass courts of Roehampton have proven hospitable to US players attempting to qualify for Wimbledon, with five US men and six US men reaching Thursday's final round of qualifying.

The men had the day off from singles, with the US women suffering only one defeat, one that was preordained when Shelby Rogers and Grace Min(22) advanced to the second round. It was Rogers who came through, beating Min 6-3, 6-3, joining Nicole Gibbs, Vicky Duval(15), Irina Falconi, Melanie Oudin and Madison Brengle in earning straight-set wins.  Gibbs and Duval will play each other in the final round of qualifying, with Gibbs having won their previous meeting at the 2012 Vancouver Challenger 7-5, 7-6(4).  Duval may not be 100 percent however, according to the article on the Wimbledon website about her 6-2, 6-2 win today over Misa Eguchi of Japan. Duval received treatment for a back injury and according to the article was in visible pain in the second set.

Another interesting match on grass between two young Americans has Lauren Davis meeting Madison Keys in the quarterfinals of the WTA tournament in Eastbourne.  The last time the two met, at the Sony in 2013, Davis beat her Evert Academy training partner 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(7).

Back at Roehampton, Brengle will be attempting to reach her first main draw in a slam via qualifying, with that quest proving to be a frustrating hurdle for her. According to Jonathan Kelley (who has a new blog on American tennis called On the Rise), Brengle is 0-3 in the final round of qualifying for majors and is 0-26 in overall attempts.

Kevin King, the former Georgia Tech All-American, will be playing in the main draw of his first major next week, after he and Ryan Harrison qualified in men's doubles at Wimbledon by defeating Konstantin Kravchuk of Russia and Germany's Tim Puetz, the No. 8 seeds, 6-3, 7-5 today.

For the complete draws, see the Wimbledon website.

While the "seniors" are in the final stage of determining the fields at Wimbledon, the juniors will begin their qualifying for their tournament at Roehampton, which starts Thursday.  The qualifying for the Grade 1 is at Surbiton, with the main draw moving over to Roehampton on Sunday.  The only US player in Roehampton qualifying idraw s Raquel Pedraza, who is the No. 3 seed; Argentina's Jordi Arconada, who lives and trains in the US and just played in the CitiOpen pre-qualifying tournament final on Tuesday, is also in Roehampton qualifying.  Links to the order of play and draws can be found on the LTA website on the bottom right of the home page.

The ITA announced its Players of the Year today, and there were no surprises, with top-ranked Marcos Giron of UCLA and Jamie Loeb of North Carolina receiving the awards.  NCAA doubles champions Hunter Reese and Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee and Erin Routliffe and Maya Jansen of Alabama were named the doubles teams of the year. They will be honored next month during the International Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend in Newport, Rhode Island.  The ITA's release can be found here.