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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Midwest Closed Winds Down; Andreescu Tops Day in First Round of Wimbledon Qualifying; Fritz, Novikov, Kudla Through to Final Round of Men's Qualifying; ESPN Feature on Osuigwe

I am in Indianapolis for the the 16s and 18s Midwest Closed, which I am covering for an article at the Tennis Recruiting Network early next week.

The weather's been great throughout the tournament, some of the best ever according to veteran officials and coaches, and I enjoyed my time today catching up with prominent Midwest development coaches Tom Walker, Mark Bey, and Jeff and Bryan Smith, who run their program at these North Central High School courts.  Bryan Smith, who traveled extensively with Rajeev Ram last year, is staying closer to home this summer, and he was overseeing a practice with Stanford's Sameer Kumar and North Carolina's Sara Daavettila this afternoon.

I also talked with Troy Hahn, who grew up nearby and learned to play on these same courts of North Central high school, which he attended. Hahn, who played at Florida, was an assistant at Purdue before becoming a USTA National coach, is back in his hometown now and will be coaching at the Indianapolis Community Tennis Program this summer after parting ways with Jack Sock after more than two years as his private coach.

While watching the semifinals today, I kept track of the Wimbledon qualifying, which resumed today after Tuesday's action was mostly washed out.  

Just three US men advanced to Thursday's final qualifying round after 13 had begun play on Monday. 2012 Kalamazoo champion Dennis Novikov defeated Stefan Kozlov[32] 7-5, 6-2 and will face Nicolas Jarry of Chile in an attempt to make the main draw of Wimbledon via qualifying for the second straight year.  After his prolonged victory in the first round over Akira Santillan of Japan, Denis Kudla had a much easier time of it today, beating Ricardo Bellotti of Italy 6-1, 6-1 in a mere 40 minutes.  Kudla, who received direct entry into the main draw last year at Wimbledon, will play Andrew Whittington of Australia for a place in the main draw for the fifth straight year.

Taylor Fritz[21] also had a quick second round win, beating Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 6-1, 6-3 in 45 minutes. Fritz meets unseeded Vincent Millot of France, who took out Tennys Sandgren[3] 6-2, 7-6(5).

On Tuesday, the US women split their four completed matches, with Kristie Ahn and Irina Falconi getting today off while the other eight American women completed this first round matches today.  Jamie Loeb, who was just a game away from victory Tuesday, closed out Louisa Chirico 6-7(11), 6-1, 6-2, while Asia Muhammad also picked up where she left off by beating Anastasiya Komardina of Russia 6-0 6-1. The fifth US woman to join Ahn, Falconi, Loeb and Muhammad in the second round of qualifying is Sachia Vickery, who outlasted Georgina Garcia Perez 6-3, 3-6, 9-7.

The marquee matchup between two of the world's top 17-year-olds went to Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who defeated Kayla Day[10] 6-3, 6-3. It's Andreescu's fourth win in six matches again Day and her second in a row.  Point-by-point coverage of the match is available via IBM Slamtracker here.

The men's qualifying draw is here; the women's qualifying draw is here.

ESPN.com has posted an article on French Open girls champion Whitney Osuigwe with a look at how the IMG Academy in Bradenton honored her for the title.  There is one implication in the article I think needs to be clarified however.  Although it is true that "When she turns 16 next April, she will no longer be limited to participating in 10 women's tournaments a year", it doesn't necessarily follow that she can play "regularly."  Depending on her junior ranking, Osuigwe will be given "merited increases" to the limits the WTA sets on the number of tournaments, but she is still subject to those rules until she turns 18. CiCi Bellis, for example, was constantly weighing her schedule with regard to those restrictions until this past April.

I spoke to Osuigwe after her title earlier this month for the Tennis Recruiting Network.


Equality said...

Odd to me that you didn't mention the American qualifiers at Wimbledon that lost today....McDonald, Ram, Klah, Sandgren, Smyczek, Fratangelo. Are you not supposed to bring attention to certain players that lose?

merit based said...

This is professional tennis not recreational. If you want attention you should win. And none of them were such heavy favorites that they were "upset." So I don't get what the problem is. Thank you Colette for doing a great and thorough daily run down, covering all levels of tennis, as usual.

Update from Wimbledon Qualifier said...

Taylor Fritz only American Male to get thru Wimbledon Qualifier

Update from Wimbledon Doubles Qualifying said...

USA Max Schnur, Columbia Alum, and doubles partner, CHENG-PENG HSIEH ,Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), won their final round of Wimbledon Doubles Qualifying to advance to the Doubles Main Draw of Wimbledon. Congrats! Go Lions!