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Monday, June 24, 2019

Seven US Men Advance at Wimbledon Qualifying; 17 US Women Start Wimbledon Qualifying Tuesday; Grishuk, Blanch Win ITF Junior Circuit Titles

The US men had an excellent day at Wimbledon qualifying Monday at Roehampton with 7 of the 9 players in the draw advancing to the second round, the highest number possible with two of the first round matches today between Americans.

In a battle between former Kalamazoo champions, 2014 winner Noah Rubin(Wake Forest) defeated 2016 champion Michael Mmoh 6-3, 6-4 and in the other all-US first round match, Tim Smyczek beat Mitchell Krueger 7-5, 6-4.  The seven other results are below:

Bjorn Fratangelo[27] d. Alexey Vatutin(RUS) 6-4, 6-4
Christopher Eubanks d. Lucca Vanni(ITA) 7-6(9), 3-6, 6-3
Tommy Paul[30] d. Chun-Hsin Tseng(TPE) 6-3, 6-3
Marcos Giron d. Arthur DeGreef(BEL) 6-2, 6-3
Donald Young d. Egor Gerasimov(BLR) 6-4, 7-6(3)

The Wimbledon women's qualifying begins Tuesday, with 17 Americans looking to advance to the main draw. Fifteen-year-old wild card Coco Gauff has draw No. 1 qualifying seed Aliona Bolsova(Florida Atlantic) of Spain in the first round. In addition to Gauff, the American women playing their first round matches Tuesday are: Caroline Dolehide, Lauren Davis[3], Francesa Di Lorenzo(Ohio State), Kristie Ahn(Stanford), Robin Anderson(UCLA), Asia Muhammad, Danielle Lao(USC), Sachia Vickery[25], Claire Liu, Christina McHale[6], Ann Li, Caty McNally, Whitney Osuigwe[9], Allie Kiick[18], Jamie Loeb(UNC) and Varvara Lepchenko[15].

Although the US men in qualifying numbered only 9, two matches were all-USA; none of the American women have drawn another American in the first round, but the two halves are quite unbalanced, with 13 US women in the top half and only four in the bottom half (the last four listed above).

Two Americans claimed titles last week on the ITF Junior Circuit with Skyler Grishuk winning the Grade 3 in the Netherlands and Dali Blanch taking the doubles title at the Grade 1 in Berlin.

The 16-year-old Grishuk, seeded No. 1, defeated No. 2 seed Melissa Boyden of the Netherlands 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in the singles final. It's Grishuk's fourth ITF Junior Circuit title, and her first in Europe, having won a Grade 4 in New Zealand, a Grade 3 in Japan and a Grade 2 in Bolivia. Grishuk also reached the semifinals in doubles this week.

Blanch, who lost in the third round in Germany, won the doubles title with Admir Kalender of Croatia. The top seeds defeated the unseeded Italian team of Luca Nardi and Lorenzo Rottoli 6-3, 6-3 in the final.

This week's ITF Junior Circuit Grade 1 moves to grass, with a new tournament in Nottingham. Perhaps because it is new to the schedule, the draw is not strong, with many of those competing at Wimbledon in two weeks opting to warm up as usual at Roehampton. Only seven Americans are playing in Nottingham: Eliot Spizzirri[8], Andres Martin, Blanch and qualifier Will Grant on the boys side, with the girls No. 2 seed Hurricane Tyra Black, Katrina Scott and qualifier Alexandra Yepifanova.  The top seeds are Natsumi Kawaguchi of Japan and Thiago Tirante of Argentina.

The only ITF Junior Circuit in the United States on grass is also on the schedule for this week with a Grade 4 at the Merion Cricket Club in Pennsylvania. Benjamin Kittay is the top boys seed, with Sandra Alonso of Spain the top girls seed.