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Monday, June 26, 2017

Ten US Men Advance to Second Round of Wimbledon Qualifying; 12 US Women Scheduled to Open Qualifying Tuesday; Norrie Claims First ATP Win; Life on the Pro Circuit

The first round of Wimbledon qualifying got off to a good start for American men today, with 10 of 13 advancing to Tuesday's second round.

Two of those three losses came in all-American matches, with Rajeev Ram taking out No. 17 seed and 2015 boys champion Reilly Opelka 7-6(6), 7-6(5) and No. 3 seed Tennys Sandgren eliminating Michael Mmoh 6-3, 7-5.  Mitchell Krueger was the only US man to lose to an international player, with the 23-year-old Texan falling to Mathias Bourgue of France 6-3, 6-4.

Other US winners today were Taylor Fritz[21], Tim Smyczek, Bradley Klahn, Mackenzie McDonald, Bjorn Fratangelo[22], Dennis Novikov, Stefan Kozlov[32] and Denis Kudla.

Kudla's win was the most dramatic, with the 24-year-old saving two match points in a 5-7, 7-5, 13-11 victory over Akira Santillan of Japan that took two hours and 45 minutes to complete.

Novikov and Kozlov will face off tomorrow assuring that at least one American will be in the final round of qualifying. In this Wimbledon article on the American men's success, which includes a long discussion with Fritz on his knee pain, training blocks and decision to skip clay, Kozlov is quoted as saying he suffered an injury during today's match and may not play.

The women begin play on Tuesday to determine who will fill the 12 main draw spots available to qualifiers. A dozen US women are in contention: Danielle Collins, Sachia Vickery, Asia Muhammad[17], Sonya Kenin, Kristie Ahn[6], Grace Min, Jamie Loeb, Louisa Chirico, Irina Falconi, Taylor Townsend[9], Kayla Day[10] and Jacqueline Cako. Loeb vs Chirico is the only all-US match in the first round. Day will face fellow 17-year-old Bianca Andreescu, with whom she already has quite a history.  Day and Andreescu have played five times in the past two years, with Andreescu leading the head-to-head 3-2.  Day won a big match in the semifinals of last year's US Open Junior Championships 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, but Andreescu won their last meeting, the final of February's $25,000 Rancho Santa Fe tournament, 6-4, 6-1.

I believe Watch ESPN is streaming all matches scheduled on Court 11 throughout qualifying. Replay of the four matches on that court today, including Kudla's win, is available here. For the complete order of play for Tuesday, see the Wimbledon website.

Cameron Norrie, who completed his third year of eligibility at TCU last month and turned pro, earned his first ATP main draw win today at Eastbourne. The 21-year-old British wild card also picked up his first ATP Top 50 win with his 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over No. 28 49 Horacio Zeballos of Argentina. Earlier this month Norrie had posted his first ATP Top 100 win by beating No. 71 Malek Jaziri of Tunisia at the Surbiton Challenger. Next up for Norrie, who was awarded a Wimbledon main draw wild card, is No. 2 seed Gael Monfils of France.

Norrie is undoubtedly hoping to move quickly into the main draw Challenger level, where the outlay and the income is more conducive to financial solvency.  In today's New York Times, David Waldstein looks at how two players at different stages of their pro careers--29-year-old Aleksandra Wozniack of Canada and 18-year-old Fanni Stollar of Hungary--cope with life on the lower levels of professional tennis.


Guest said...

Colette, recheck Zeballos' ranking. It's a great win for Norrie, but Zeballos' career high is 39. He's 49 this week.

Colette Lewis said...

Yes, you are right thanks. That was a typo. He was 48 before yesterday's new rankings, which is the number I meant to type.