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Friday, July 6, 2018

June Aces; Gauff, Nakashima Win Grade 1 Roehampton Titles; Nanda, Mayo and Stearns Qualify for Wimbledon Junior Championships; McDonald and Isner into Wimbledon's Second Week

The French Open Junior Championships seem a long time ago, with the grass now the surface on everybody's TV screens, but last month's all-American girls final in Paris leads the list of 16 top performances in June in my monthly column for the Tennis Recruiting Network.

It was a busy day at Roehampton Friday, with Americans claiming three of the four titles at the ITF Grade 1, and three other Americans earning spots in the Wimbledon Junior Championships main draw.


Fourteen-year-old Coco Gauff, the No. 3 seed, defeated No. 12 seed Caty McNally 6-2, 6-3, a much less dramatic score than the third set tiebreaker Gauff won in the French Open girls final last month. It's the the first Grade 1 title for Gauff, who has only played four since making her ITF debut last year at Roehampton.

Unseeded Brandon Nakashima dropped his first set of the tournament today to Arnaud Bovy of Belgium, also unseeded, but the 16-year-old Californian recovered to earn a 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 win and his second Grade 1 title since April.  Roehampton is the first grass court tournament Nakashima has played. 

McNally and Whitney Osuigwe won the doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds beating top seeds Clara Tauson of Denmark and Xinyu Wang of China 7-6(4), 7-6(7) in the final. McNally and Osuigwe didn't drop a set in their five wins and after reaching the finals at Wimbledon last year, they are the favorites this year.

The No. 2 seeds also won the boys doubles title, with Australian Open champions Hugo Gaston and Clement Tabur of France defeating top seeds Aidan McHugh of Great Britain and Timofei Skatov of Kazakhstan 5-7, 6-3, 11-9 in the final. 

In the Wimbledon Juniors final round of qualifying, all the Americans who won their first round matches won their second today and will make their Wimbledon debuts on Monday.  Govind Nanda, the No. 6 seed, defeated No. 9 seed Alexandr Binda of Russia 6-4, 6-2 and Keenan Mayo, the No. 13 seed, defeated No. 7 seed Pavel Shumeiko of Ukraine 7-6(8), 6-3.  No. 2 seed Peyton Stearns advanced to the main draw with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over No. 14 seed Paula Arias Manjon of Spain. 

Although qualifiers and Roehampton finalists do not play tomorrow, there are 30 junior singles matches on Saturday's schedule, including eight featuring Americans. I will be on site covering the tournament beginning tomorrow.

Junior Wimbledon first round singles matches featuring Americans Saturday:

Sebastian Korda[3] v Otto Virtanen(FIN)
Tyler Zink v Jiri Lehecka(CZE)
Trey Hilderbrand v Naoki Tajima[8](JPN)
Tristan Boyer[11] v Jonas Forejtek(CZE)
Cannon Kinglsey v Carolos Lopez Montagud[12](ESP)
Natasha Subhash v Eleonora Molinaro[7](LUX)
Lea Ma v Victoria Allen[WC](GBR)
Katie Volynets v Viktoryia Kanapatskaya(BLR)

The complete order of play for Saturday's Wimbledon Junior Championships is here.

It was another disappointing day for Americans in the mens' and women's draw, with John Isner[9] and Mackenzie McDonald the only Americans not named Serena Williams in the second week in singles. Frances Tiafoe will try to join that trio with a win Saturday. Isner had no difficulty beating Radu Albot of Moldova 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to make his first Wimbledon fourth round in ten attempts.  McDonald, playing in  his first Wimbledon main draw, defeated Guido Pella of Argentina, who had beaten Marin Cilic, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(6).  The 2016 NCAA singles and doubles champion has moved into the ATP Top 80 for the first time with his performance this week. For more on McDonald's win, see the ATP website.

Friday’s third round singles matches featuring Americans:
Gael Monfils(FRA) def. Sam Querrey[11] 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
John Isner[9] def.  Radu Albot(MDA) 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
Mackenzie McDonald def. Guido Pella(ARG) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(6)
Alexander Zverev[4](GER) def. Taylor Fritz 6-4, 5-7, 6-7(0), 6-1, 6-2
Serena Williams[25] v Kristina Mladenovic(FRA) 7-5, 7-6(2)
Kiki Bertens[20](NED) def. Venus Williams[9] 6-2, 6-7(5), 8-6
Evgeniya Rodina[Q](RUS) def. Madison Keys[10]  7-5, 5-7, 6-4

Saturday's third round singles match featuring an American:
Frances Tiafoe v Karen Khachanov (RUS)

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