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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Osuigwe, McNally, Gauff and Nakashima Reach Semifinals at Roehampton Grade 1; Junior Wimbledon Qualifying Begins Thursday; Five Americans Advance to Third Round at Wimbledon; Wichita Futures First Round Complete

Happy Fourth of July!

It was a good holiday for American girls at the Roehampton Grade 1, with three of the four in the quarterfinals advancing to Thursday's semifinals. Top seed Whitney Osuigwe defeated No. 6 seed Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia 6-1, 6-4 and will play friend and doubles partner Caty McNally, the No. 12 seed, in the semifinals. McNally defeated No. 4 seed Xinyu Wang of China 6-3, 6-3. McNally and Osuigwe have played just once on the ITF Junior Circuit, with Osuigwe beating McNally in the quarterfinals of the French Open Junior Championships she won last year.  No. 3 seed Coco Gauff, the reigning French Open girls champion, defeated No. 8 seed Yuki Naito of Japan 6-2, 6-3 and will face Australian Open girls champion and No. 2 seed En Shuo Liang of Taiwan, who beat No. 5 seed Alexa Noel 6-0, 6-1.  Liang and Gauff have played twice since last August, with Gauff winning at the Grade 1 International Hard Court last year and Liang winning at the Grade 1 in Traralgon Australia in January.

McNally and Osuigwe, the No. 2 seeds in doubles, have advanced to the girls doubles final, beating No. 6 seeds Noel and Georgia Drummy of Ireland 7-5, 6-3.  Unseeded Katie Volynets and Natasha Subhash have advanced in the top half after defeating No. 4 seeds Liang and Joanna Garland of Taiwan 5-7, 7-5, 10-8.

Californian Brandon Nakashima is playing his first grass court tournament this week in Roehampton and the surface appears to be to his liking, with the unseeded 16-year-old into the semifinals without the loss of a set. Nakashima defeated unseeded Titouan Droguet of France 6-2, 6-3 and will face the only seed left in the boys draw, No. 7 Naoki Tajima of Japan, who took out No. 2 seed Sebastian Korda 6-4, 7-5. Tajima and Nakashima have not played previously. The top half semifinal will feature Jack Draper of Great Britain and Arnaud Bovy of Belgium.

Trey Hilderbrand and Govind Nanda, the only Americans left in the boys doubles, lost their quarterfinal match today 7-6(7), 6-4  to No. 2 seeds Hugo Gaston and Clement Tabur of France.

While the semifinals are going on at Roehampton, the Wimbledon junior qualifying will begin at the same site, with five Americans looking to earn entry into the main draw.  Emilio Nava and Hurricane Tyra Black, who were initially in qualifying, have moved into the main draw, and William Woodall moved into qualifying. Joining Woodall will be Govind Nanda, the No. 6 seed, and Keenan Mayo, the No. 13 seed.  The two US girls in qualifying are Chloe Beck, the No. 10 seed and Peyton Stearns, the No. 2 seed. I'm told by the ITF that Wimbledon will not be using the new no-lets on serve rule, which has been used in all ITF junior events, including both the Australian Open and French Open junior championships, this year.  For more on how players, coaches and officials feel about this new rule, read my article from this spring at Tennis Recruiting Network.

Rain cut short the third day at Wimbledon, but five Americans completed their matches to move into the third round, including 2016 NCAA champion Mackenzie McDonald, who advanced past the second round for the first time in a major. It wasn't easy, with McDonald coming from 2 sets to 1 down before taking an extended fifth set 11-9. McDonald will play the winner of the Marin Cilic[3]-Guido Pella match, which did not finish due to the rain.

Wednesday's results for singles matches featuring Americans:

Women: 3-1
Serena Williams[25] def. Viktoriya Tomova(BUL) 6-1, 6-4
Venus Williams[9] def. Alexandra Dulgheru(ROU) 4-6, 6-0, 6-1
Madison Keys[10] def. Luksika Kumkhum(THA) 6-4, 6-3
Camila Giorgi(ITA) def. Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-4

Men: 2-1
Sam Querrey[11] def. Sergiy Stakhovsky(UKR) 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3
John Isner[9] v. Ruben Bemelmans(BEL) 6-1,6-4, 6-7(6), 6-7(3), 3-4 susp.
Jared Donaldson v. Stefanos Tsitsipas[31](GRE) 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 4-3 susp.
Mackenzie McDonald def. Nicolas Jarry(CHI) 7-6(5), 5-7, 3-6, 6-2, 11-9
Adrian Mannarino[22](FRA) def. Ryan Harrison 7-5, 7-5, 7-6(4)

Thursday's second round singles matches featuring Americans:
John Isner[9] v. Ruben Bemelmans(BEL) 6-1,6-4, 6-7(6), 6-7(3), 3-4 susp.
Jared Donaldson v. Stefanos Tsitsipas[31](GRE) 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 4-3 susp.
Bradley Klahn[Q] v. Kyle Edmund[21](GBR)
Taylor Fritz v Alexander Zverev[4](GER)
Frances Tiafoe v Julien Benneteau(FRA)

Claire Liu[Q] v Angelique Kerber[11](GER)
Sachia Vickery v Elise Mertens[15](BEL)
Alison Riske v Belinda Bencic(SUI)
Taylor Townsend v Aliaksandra Sasnovich(BLR)
Sonya Kenin v Vitalia Diatchenko(RUS)
Jennifer Brady v Anett Kontaveit[28](EST)

Thursday's schedule is available here. Happy to see qualifier 2010 NCAA singles champion Bradley Klahn, who has had more than his share of injuries over the years, get a Centre Court assignment.

The only USTA Pro Circuit event this week is a $25,000 Men's Futures in Wichita Kansas.  Evgeny Karlovskiy of Russia is the top seed, with former Oklahoma star Andrew Harris of Australia the No. 2 seed. As always this time of year, the draw is full of current and former collegians. Although he lost 6-4, 6-4 today to Karlovskiy, it's good to see former UCLA Bruin star Nick Meister back on the court after a long layoff due to injury. His appearance last week in Tulsa was his first tournament since November of 2016.

Quite a few collegians are also taking part in the $25,000 Men's Futures in Saskatoon Canada, where Lucas Miedler of Austria is the top seed. 

The USTA Pro Circuit hasn't had any women's events in the past two weeks, but a big one gets underway next week, a $60,000 tournament in Honolulu, which begins the USTA's US Open Wild Card Challenge. The ATP Challenger Circuit returns to the United States with the $75,000 event in Winnetka Illinois. That tournament kicks off the men's USO Wild Card Challenge in the US.