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Thursday, July 5, 2018

McNally and Gauff Meet Again in Roehampton G1 Final, Nakashima Rolls On; Wimbledon Junior Draws Released; US Women Winless on Day 4 at Wimbledon


A rematch of last month's French Open girls final will be played at the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton Friday, with No. 12 seed Caty McNally taking on No. 3 seed Coco Gauff.  McNally defeated top seed and doubles partner Whitney Osuigwe 7-6(4), 6-3 in today's semifinal, while Gauff avenged her January loss to No. 2 seed En-Shuo Liang of Taiwan with a 7-6(4), 7-5 victory.  Gauff defeated McNally 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(1) in Paris, their only previous ITF junior circuit meeting.

Brandon Nakashima continued his impressive debut on grass, defeating No. 7 seed Naoki Tajima of Japan 6-3, 6-4. In his five wins this week, the unseeded 16-year-old from San Diego has not lost more than four games in any set.  He will face Arnaud Bovy of Belgium, who defeated Jack Draper of Great Britain 7-6(4), 6-1.

McNally and Osuigwe have reached the doubles final, with the No. 2 seeds defeating No. 5 seeds Yuki Naito and Naho Sato of Japan 6-4 ,6-3. They will face top seeds Clara Tauson of Denmark and Xinyu Wang of China, who beat Natasha Subhash and Katie Volynets 6-2, 7-6(5).

The boys doubles final will also feature the top two seeds, with No. 1 Aidan McHugh of Great Britain and Timofei Skatov of Kazakhstan meeting No. 2 Hugo Gaston and Clement Tabur of France, the 2018 Australian Open boys doubles champions.

The first round of the Wimbledon Junior Championships qualifying was completed today, with three Americans still in the running for a place in the main draw.  No. 6 seed Govind Nanda defeated Joao Ferreira of Brazil 6-3, 6-1 and No. 13 seed Keenan Mayo defeated Lleyton Cronje of South Africa 7-5, 6-4 to reach the final round of qualifying. William Woodall, the other American boy in qualifying, lost to No. 11 seed Simon Ivanov of Bulgaria 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. 

Peyton Stearns, the No. 2 seed, is through to the final round of girls qualifying with a 7-5, 6-3 win over British wild card Amelia Bissett. Chloe Beck, the No. 10 seed, lost to Joanne Zuger of Switzerland 6-2, 6-4.

The junior draws, without the qualifiers of course, have been released, with Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan and Osuigwe the top seeds.  Osuigwe has been given a tough first round opponent in Iga Swiatek of Poland, who received entry based on her WTA ranking of 347 and reached the semifinals at the French Open junior tournament this year, losing to McNally.  Three US boys are seeded: No. 3 Sebastian Korda, No. 11 Tristan Boyer and No. 15 Drew Baird. Four US girls are seeded: Osuigwe, No. 5 Alexa Noel, No. 3 Gauff and No. 13 McNally (who are in the same half).  Great Britain's Emma Raducanu, who was announced as a wild card recipient on Tuesday, did not need her wild card.

I am on way to London this evening, and my live coverage of the first round of the Wimbledon Junior Championships will begin on Saturday.

Thursday proved to be a disaster at Wimbledon for US women, who went 0-6 on the day, leaving just the Williams sisters and Madison Keys in the singles draw.  The most painful loss was suffered by Allison Riske who had four match points in the second set, but was eliminated by 2013 junior champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 1-6, 7-6(10), 6-2.  Qualifier Claire Liu acquitted herself well against former Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber, but fell in three sets.

Thursday's second round singles matches featuring Americans:

Women: 0-6
Angelique Kerber[11](GER) def. Claire Liu[Q] 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
Elise Mertens[15](BEL) def. Sachia Vickery 6-1, 6-3
Belinda Bencic(SUI) def. Alison Riske 1-6, 7-6(10), 6-2
Aliaksandra Sasnovich(BLR) def. Taylor Townsend 6-0, 6-4
Vitalia Diatchenko[Q] (RUS) def. Sonya Kenin 6-4, 6-1
Anett Kontaveit[28](EST) def. Jennifer Brady 6-2, 7-6(4)

The men had a bit more success, with John Isner squeaking out a win and Frances Tiafoe earning his first third round appearance with a victory over French veteran Julien Benneteau. Taylor Fritz was up 2 sets to 1 on No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany when play was called due to darkness.

Men: 2-2
John Isner[9] def. Ruben Bemelmans(BEL) 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-7(3), 7-5
Stefanos Tsitsipas[31](GRE) def. Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3
Kyle Edmund[21](GBR) def. Bradley Klahn[Q] 6-4, 7-6(0), 6-2
Taylor Fritz v Alexander Zverev[4](GER) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(0), susp.
Frances Tiafoe def. Julien Benneteau(FRA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Friday’s third round singles matches featuring Americans:

Sam Querrey[11] v Gael Monfils(FRA)
John Isner[9] v Radu Albot(MDA)
Mackenzie McDonald v Guido Pella(ARG)
Taylor Fritz v Alexander Zverev[4](GER) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(0), susp.
Serena Williams[25] v Kristina Mladenovic(FRA)
Venus Williams[9] v Kiki Bertens[20](NED)
Madison Keys[10] v Evgeniya Rodina(RUS)

The order of play for Friday is here.

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