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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wimbledon Qualifying Gets Underway Monday with 11 American Men in Action; Chirico Wins Padova $25K; Top Seeds Take Grade 1 Titles in Germany

Qualifying for Wimbledon begins on Monday with the men, including 11 from the United States.   Among the 128 players competing for 16 qualifying places are: Rhyne Williams, Austin Krajicek, Tim Smyczek(3), Alex Kuznetsov(26), Wayne Odesnik, Bobby Reynolds, Denis Kudla(9), Dan Kosakowski, Chase Buchanan, Rajeev Ram(31) and Ryan Harrison.

Wimbledon also has doubles qualifying, and two teams from the US are also entered in that: Harrison and Kevin King and Kudla and Smyczek. 

The United States and France are tied for the most players in men's qualifying with 11; Germany has 10. Italy has seven, but unfortunately not Gianluigi Quinzi, the 2013 boys champion. He's won three straight Futures titles in May, so it's unfortunate he's not in Wimbledon qualifying.  The competition begins at 11 am in London Monday at Roehampton.  The schedule is here.  The draws are here.

Louisa Chirico picked up her first ITF Women's Circuit $25,000 title in Padova, Italy today, coming from 5-1 down in the final set to beat Paul Goncalves of Brazil 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(3).  The 18-year-old New Yorker has always been comfortable on clay; last year at this time she had just reached the semifinals at the French juniors.  Mitchell Krueger was unable to make it a US sweep in Italy. The 20-year-old from Texas, seeded second, lost in the final of the $15,000 Futures in Naples, to top seed Luca Vanni of Italy 6-3, 6-3. 

At the Grade 1 ITF tournament this week on red clay in Germany, top seeds Matias Zukas of Argentina and Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus took the titles.  Only two US girls were in the draw, with Abi Altick and Olivia Hauger losing in the second round.  Zukas beat fellow Argentine Francisco Bahamonde, the No. 5 seed, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the final.  Shymanovich, who reached the quarterfinals at the French juniors before losing to champion Darya Kasatkina of Russia in three sets, beat No. 15 seed Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 5-7, 7-6(2). 6-1 in the final.  

Unfortunately, the Grade 2 always held in Halle Germany this coming week was cancelled, so preparation for Wimbledon juniors will be confined to Roehampton's Grade 1, which begins next Sunday.