Seven US Juniors Begin Wimbledon Qualifying Thursday; Blanch Advances to Roehampton Grade 1 Semifinals as Top Seed Tsitsipas Falls
The draws for the Wimbledon Junior Championships qualifying have been posted, with one US girl and six US boys attempting to win the two matches required to make the journey from the Roehampton courts to those at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Chiara Lommer is the sole US girl in qualifying. Lommer was still an alternate as of yesterday, but did get in. Michaela Gordon, who was two out of the main draw yesterday, is not in the qualifying draw, so I assume she's in the main draw, joining 10 other US girls.
The US boys in Wimbledon qualifying are Oliver Crawford(12), Gianni Ross(3), Alafia Ayeni, Nathan Ponwith(10), William Blumberg and Trent Bryde(9). Ayeni was eight spots out of qualifying yesterday, but he did sign in and get in. Vasil Kirkov was two out of the main draw yesterday and is not in the qualifying draw, so it appears he will be in the main draw with the four other US boys who received direct acceptance.
It was a cold, wet, gloomy day in London from what I gather (it's been beautiful here in Germany), but the quarterfinals of the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton were completed. Six US boys and girls made the final eight of their respective draws, but only one, No. 2 seed Ulises Blanch, advanced to the semifinals.
All four of the US girls lost to their international opponents. Top seed Olesya Pervushina of Russia defeated Michaela Gordon 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and will play Jodie Burrage of Great Britain, who beat Taylor Johnson 6-1, 6-2. No. 7 seed Sonya Kenin lost to No. 4 seed Anastasia Potapova of Russia 6-3, 6-1, and Maria Mateas was beaten by No. 9 seed Olga Danilovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-3. Potapova defeated Danilovic 6-2, 6-1 in the first round of the Australian Open junior championships this year.
Gordon and Claire Liu have reached the doubles semifinals with a 6-7(1), 6-0, 10-5 victory over Kenin and Monika Kilnarova of the Czech Republic, who were seeded fifth. Taylor Johnson and Kayla Day, the No. 6 seeds, did not finish their doubles quarterfinal match with top seeds Pervushina and Potapova.
In boys singles, No. 14 seed John McNally lost to No. 6 seed Alex De Minaur of Australia 6-0, 6-1. De Minaur will face No. 5 seed Yosuke Watanuki of Japan who surprised top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. De Minaur defeated Watanuki in three sets last year in the first round at Roehampton.
The only US junior to survive in singles, No. 2 seed Ulises Blanch, had a tough match with Alastair Gray of Great Britain, but outlasted him 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Blanch will play No. 4 seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada, who defeated Kenneth Raisma of Estonia 6-3, 6-1. Shapovalov and Blanch met last year in the second round of the US Open Juniors, the Canadian taking a 6-2, 6-2 decision.
The unseeded doubles team of Blanch and Kirkov have advanced to the boys doubles semifinals, beating No. 4 seeds Louis Wessels of Germany and Benjamin Sigouin of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 10-8. The American pair will play the top seeds and reigning US Open boys doubles champions Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.