Five US Women Advance to Wimbledon's Final Round of Qualifying, Men Shut Out; US Girls Win Maureen Connolly Challenge; Houston Hires Steinbock; Team USA Forum Available for Download
Five of the eight US women in the second round of Wimbledon qualifying today advanced to Thursday's final round of qualifying, but for the first time in the Open era, no US man reached the final round of qualifying.
Bjorn Fratangelo, the only American of the seven entered to reach the second round, lost today to former Tennessee star JP Smith of Australia 7-6(5), 6-4.
No. 3 seed Louisa Chirico defeated Ekaterina Bychkova of Russia 7-6(1), 6-3 and will play Yi-Fan Xu of China for a place in the main draw. Xu is one of six Chinese women to reach the final round of qualifying, out of seven who made the qualifying draw.
No. 4 seed Sachia Vickery defeated Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 and will play Jessica Pegula in the final round. Pegula advanced when Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal retired at 1-6, 7-6(7), 5-4. No. 18 seed Anna Tatishivili defeated Nao Hibino of Japan 6-3, 6-3 and will face No. 8 seed Ying-Ying Duan of China. Bethanie Mattek-Sands beat Stephanie Foretz of France 6-4, 7-5 and will play No. 11 seed Shahar Peer of Israel in search of her eighth appearance in the Wimbledon women's main draw.
The order of play for Thursday is here.
After losing 5-1 to Australia yesterday in the Grand Slam Nations Challenges, the US junior girls took on Great Britain in the annual competition between the two countries, the Maureen Connolly Challenge. It could hardly have been much closer. The US won the top three singles, Great Britain won No. 4 singles and both doubles matches, so a tiebreaker shootout was needed to decide the winner. Claire Liu won hers at No. 1 singles, but Sonya Kenin lost hers at No. 2 singles, so the doubles would decide it. Kayla Day and Caroline Dolehide defeated Great Britain's Anna Brogan and Jodie Burrage 10-4 to clinch the win for the US.
Australia shut out France 6-0 today and is now 2-0 in the competition. They will play Great Britain on Thursday while the US takes on France in the final day of competition.
The University of Houston announced it had hired former Oklahoma State assistant Courtney Steinbock as its women's head coach, replacing Patrick Sullivan, who stepped down last month. Steinbock, who played at Kansas, served as assistant coach at Mississippi State for three years prior to her two years Oklahoma State. The complete release is here.
Last night the USTA held a Team USA forum, the first under Martin Blackman, who took over from Patrick McEnroe as Player Development General Manager on June 1. I will have an interview with Blackman on the Tennis Recruiting Network Friday.
The focus of the Team USA forum last night was a Player Pathway study, which attempts to track routes to the Top 100, Top 50, Top 10 by age and also provides background on junior rankings, number of matches at various levels and other data points. I'm not yet clear on how the information will be used by the USTA, and with the entire study yet to be released, I don't even know what information will ultimately be available, but I think it's safe to say there's data to support multiple ways to reach the goal of being a self-supporting tennis player.
If you are interested in viewing the forum, it is available here.