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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wimbledon Girls Top Seeds Jorovic and Bellis Ousted Tuesday; Three US Boys Reach Round of 16

Maia Lumsden upsets No. 2 seed CiCi Bellis Tuesday
©Colette Lewis 2014--

The rain stopped Tuesday, allowing the completion of the first round of singles at the Wimbledon Junior Championships, but the surprises continued, particularly in the girls draw, with top seed Ivana Jorovic and No. 2 seed CiCi Bellis both upset victims.

Bellis, who has been in Europe for over seven weeks and compiled a stellar record, led wild card Maia Lumsden of Great Britain 4-2 in the final set of their first round match Tuesday afternoon on Court 19.  But Lumsden, a 16-year-old No. 85 in the ITF junior rankings took advantage of some uncharacteristic unforced errors from Bellis late in the match, winning the final four games of the match to post a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4 victory.

"I've obviously seen her great results this year," said Lumsden, who served for the first set twice, at 5-4 and 6-5 before losing the tiebreaker. "I don't think she's lost many junior matches, so I knew it was going to be a very difficult match when I saw the draw.  But I just tried to believe that I had a chance."

Lumsden received a wild card into Wimbledon last year, but other than that precious experience, she didn't feel much of an advantage on the surface, although she did admit to being inspired by Andy Murray.

"I don't really train on grass either, so it's not much of an advantage," said Lumsden, who is also from Scotland, and has trained with Judy Murray, Andy's mother. "Just watching Andy, how well he deals with pressure, especially last year, I suppose that helps. It shows it's possible."

Jorovic was playing her second round match Tuesday evening, having defeated Kaitlyn McCarthy in three sets on Monday, and she knew she would be in for a battle against Paula Badosa Gibert of Spain. Badosa Gibert had beaten Jorovic, the ITF's top-ranked junior, when they played in and ITF women's circuit event a few months ago, on clay, but the surface change didn't bother the 17-year-old Spaniard, and she eliminated the French Open finalist 6-2, 7-5.

The other girls seeds to lose today, all in the first round, were No. 6 seed Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus, No. 14 seed Naiktha Bains of Australia, No. 15 seed Anna Bondar of Hungary and No. 14 seed Sandra Samir of Egypt.

Michaela Gordon beats No. 14 seed Sandra Samir

Samir was beaten 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 by 14-year-old qualifier Michaela Gordon of the United States, who lost in the French Open qualifying, and did not play the Roehampton Grade 1, instead returning to her home in Northern California to play, and win, the US Open National Playoff qualifying tournament before arriving last week in England.

"Since I had played on clay I wanted to play a tournament on hard courts for my confidence," said Gordon, who was allowed only one more ITF junior tournament before she turns 15 next month, due to the ITF's age restrictions. "I thought grass would be a really good surface for me, and I think it fits my game really well.  Even in my first qualifying match, I played really well, and I've really been liking the surface."

Against Samir, Gordon didn't want to get into any long rallies and multiple-deuce games.

"In the first set, I played like I did in the third set, pretty aggressive," said Gordon. "In the second set, all the games went to 30-all, deuce, and she won the important points. So in the third set, I didn't want the games to be 30-all or deuce, I wanted to focus on every point and play super, super aggressive, really focused.  I didn't show any emotion at all in the third set, I was, I don't know, completely focused."

Gordon plays another Scottish player, Isabelle Wallace, in the second round Wednesday, but she isn't worried about the British fans supporting her opponent.

"The crowd will probably be on her side, but I like it more when they're on their side," Gordon said. "It gets me more fired up for every point. I don't think it will make too much of a difference."

Taylor Fritz was certain his game would translate well to grass
Taylor Fritz took on a British opponent in his first round match Tuesday, overpowering wild card Julian Cash 6-4, 6-2 on Court 4.  Fritz lost only one point on serve in his first three service games, and had only one difficult game, saving two break points to secure a 5-3 lead in the first set.

"He started staying in the point longer," said Fritz, who reached the semifinals at Roehampton last week. "And he started hitting some bigger forehands in that game, and also, I felt pretty relaxed in the game. I started to just put it in, and that's when he started ripping shots. I think I got a little too tentative on my shots."

Fritz broke Cash in the first game of the second set, and when he got a second break, with Cash double faulting at 0-40 to make it 4-1, the suspense was gone.   Fritz did need to save a break point serving for the match at 5-2, but Cash helped him out by netting a forehand and missed his next two forehands as well, giving Fritz his second win in a junior slam, on a surface he was convinced would be his best.

"I'd never played on grass before, but I always knew I was going to really like it," said the 16-year-old, whose mother Kathy May and father Guy Fritz had competed in the main draw at Wimbledon during their playing careers. "I told everyone it was going to be my best surface, that it's going to be perfect for me. I'm usually so dependent on my serving, holding serve. It's really all I focus on and I feel grass exaggerates that, so I always felt it would be my best surface."

Francis Tiafoe finally finished his first round match on Tuesday
Other US boys to advance to the second round were No. 6 seed Stefan Kozlov, who beat qualifier Rafael Matos of Brazil 6-4, 6-1, Michael Mmoh, who came back to defeat big-serving German Jan Choinski 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-1, and Francis Tiafoe, who finished his match with Martin Blasko of Slovakia, delayed by rain late Monday. Tiafoe came out leading 5-4 in the first set, and held for the lead, but dropped the second set 6-3.  In the third set, the 16-year-old Orange Bowl champion struggled to hold serve, while Blasko was breezing through his service games, until the eighth game, when Tiafoe got his first break point opportunity at 30-40 and converted it, serving out the 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 decision.

"It's not easy to return on grass," Tiafoe said. "His serve was a little tough for me to read, it was kind of weird. He had a money(serve) slice wide on the deuce side and that was getting me a lot, and the T on the ad was getting me a lot. He was serving well, and I wasn't making too many first serves."

But after waiting since Saturday to play the match, Tiafoe was just glad the match finally concluded.

"I was just happy we got to play each other, Tiafoe said. "All these days. We were joking about it a lot. Happy that we got on the court, played a good match, and I was happy to get through this."

Three US boys played their second round matches on Tuesday, and all three won in straight sets.

Noah Rubin defeated No. 12 seed Kamil Majchrzak of Poland 6-3, 7-5, while Alex Rybakov and Logan Smith were among the last matches completed as the sun set at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.  Smith barely missed a ball in dismantling Petar Conkic of Serbia 7-6(0), 6-3, and Rybakov was equally impressive, defeating Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus 6-4, 6-3.  That trio will not play singles on Wednesday, as the other four American boys--Fritz, Kozlov, Tiafoe and Mmoh--catch up with them Tuesday.

Sofia Kenin won her first round match over Leticia Garcia Vidal of Brazil 6-4, 6-2 and will join No. 3 seed Tornado Alicia Black and Gordon in the second round.  Dasha Ivanova, who won her first round match Saturday, lost in the second round 6-1, 6-2 to No. 9 seed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine. Dennis Uspensky lost his main draw junior slam debut Tuesday evening to lucky loser Pedro Iamachikine of Peru 7-6(4), 6-3.

Doubles begin on Wednesday, with all 32 first round matches scheduled after the completion of the second round of singles.

For complete draws and the order of play, see the Wimbledon website.


Victor B said...

You mentioned Cece Bellis was in Europe 7 weeks!! Who subsidizes her? What about school? All for junior tourneys? Seems a bit weird

She's doing just fine said...

As #2 in the world in ITF juniors and having just turned 15 she should be getting plenty of help from USTA although they certainly don't need it. Cici is very articulate, the family obviously makes sure her education is covered, but traditional school is not and should not be an option for someone at her level. That would be weird.