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Friday, June 20, 2014

Wimbledon Draws Released; Keys, Vandeweghe Reach WTA Finals; Teens Shine in Tulsa and Bethany Beach Futures

The Wimbledon draws for singles and doubles were released this morning, with 10 US men and 13 US women learning who they will play on the opening two days of competition next week.

There are only two all-American matchups, with Bradley Klahn playing Sam Querrey and top seed Serena Williams facing Anna Tatishvili, who recently changed her nationality from Georgia to the US.  Here are the other first round matchups involving US players:

Christina  McHale v Chanelle Scheepers(RSA)
Alison Riske v No. 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova(RUS)
Vicky Duva(Q)l v No. 29 Sorana Cirstea(ROU)
Taylor Townsend(WC) v No. 31 Klara Koukalova(CZE)
Madison Keys v Monica Puig(PUR)
CoCo Vandeweghe v No. 27 Garbine Muguruza(ESP)
Varvara Lepchenko v Tsvetana Pironkova(BUL)
No. 30 Venus Williams v Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor(ESP)
No. 18 Sloane Stephens v Maria Kirilenko(RUS)
Lauren Davis v Alisa Kleybanova(RUS)
Vania King v Yvonne Meusburger(AUT)

Steve Johnson v No. 27 Roberto Bautista Agut(ESP)
Alex Kuznetsov(Q) v No. 16 Fabio Fognini(ITA)
Ryan Harrison(Q) v No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov(BUL)
Donald Young v Benjamin Becker(GER)
Michael Russell v Julian Reister(GER)
No. 9 John Isner v Daniel Smethurst(GBR)(WC)
Jack Sock v Pierre-Hugues Herbert(FRA)(Q)
Denis Kudla(Q) v Marsel Ilhan(TUR)(Q)

The complete draws can be found at the Wimbledon website, with the doubles draws also posted.  The ITA has posted their update on former college players at Wimbledon, and that can be found here.

Both CoCo Vandweghe and Madison Keys have had great weeks warming up for Wimbledon.  Vandeweghe, who beat her Wimbledon opponent yesterday in the WTA tournament in the Netherlands, reached the finals with a 6-4, 6-2 win today over No. 8 seed Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic, who will be Townsend's Wimbledon opponent. Vandeweghe plays Zheng Jie of China in Saturday's final, the second WTA final of Vandeweghe's career.  The 19-year-old Keys, playing at the WTA event in England, reached her first WTA final, defeating Great Britain's Heather Watson 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals today.  Keys will play Angelique Kerber of Germany in the final.

Both Vandeweghe and Keys are tall, but this article in the New York Times offers a counter to the conventional wisdom that height is now a necessary requirement for tennis success. I've read Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, so I don't need convincing there is a place at the highest reaches of tennis for any size player, but I often do hear others insist that height matters.

At the USTA Pro Circuit events in Bethany Beach, Delaware and Tulsa, Oklahoma, seven of the eight semifinalists are American teenagers.  At the women's $10,000 event in Delaware, 18-year-old Jose Kuhlman, a Florida recruit, will take on wild card Ingrid Neel, the 16-year-old who just won the ITF Grade 4 Grass Courts title, in one semifinal.  The other semifinal will feature 16-year-old Katerina Stewart, the No. 7 seed, against 18-year-old Florida recruit Peggy Porter, the No. 6 seed.  Kuhlman defeated top seed Alexandra Mueller in the first round and hasn't lost a set yet, but neither have the other three teens.

At the $15,000 men's Futures in Tulsa, 19-year-old Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA) will face 17-year-old Jared Donaldson(7) in one semifinal, after McDonald defeated No 2 seed Dimitar Kutrovsky(Texas) and Donaldson downed No. 3 seed Sanam Singh(Virginia) in the quarterfinals today.  Seventeen-year-old Ernesto Escobedo defeated Raymond Sarmiento(USC) to set up a meeting with the only non-teen left, top seed Jarmere Jenkins(Virginia). Dennis Novikov(UCLA) and Eric Quigley(Kentucky) won the doubles title in Tulsa, with the top seeds defeating Donaldson and Farris Gosea(Illinois) 7-6(5), 6-3 in the final.

At the $10,000 Futures in Buffalo New York, no teens remain, but three of the four semifinalists have college ties. Unseeded wild card Nathan Pasha, a rising senior at Georgia, will play No. 3 seed Henrique Cunha, the former All-American at Duke in one semifinal.  No. 8 seed Daniel Nguyen(USC) will play No. 2 seed Ashley Hewitt of Great Britain in the other semifinal.