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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Payne, Thorat Win USTA Clay Court 12s Titles, Finals Sunday for 14s, 16, 18s; Mayo and Evans Claim ITF Grade 3 Titles in Dominican Republic; McNally and Rybakov Meet for Iowa City $25K Title

The USTA Clay Court Championships for the 12s wrapped up today in Florida, with Bella Payne winning the girls title in Boca Raton and Abhishek Thorat, this year's Easter Bowl 12s champion, claiming the boys title in Orlando.

G12s singles final:
Bella Payne[2] d. Emily Deming[1] 6-4, 6-2

G12s doubles final: Claire An and Caitlin Bui[3] d. Alyssa Ahn and Emily Deming[4] 6-3, 6-4

B12s singles final:
Abhishek Thorat[3] d. Maximus Dussault[12] 6-4, 7-5

B12s doubles final: Maxwell Exsted and Cooper Woestendick[1] d. Abhinav and Parthinav Chunduru[2] 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-1

The finals are set for the other three age divisions, and in the 18s, US Open Junior wild cards are on the line, with none of the finalists qualifying for entry based on their ITF rankings. The girls 18s singles champion will receive a main draw wild card into the next spring's WTA Volvo Open in Charleston South Carolina. It's good to see Nishesh Basavareddy back in the mix after over a year out with injury.

G14s:
Semifinals:
Stephanie Yakoff[1] d. Daniela Livson[17] 6-1, 6-3
Lara Smejkal[15] d. Alexis Blokhina[3] 6-2, 3-6, 6-4

G16s:
Semifinals:
Aubrey Nisbet[13] d. Qavia Lopez[8] 6-2, 6-2
Carrie Beckman[3] d. Grace Levelston[33] walkover, inj.

G18s:
Semifinals:
Karina Miller[7] d. Hadley Doyle[6] 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
Gabby Price[17] d. Jaedan Brown[17] 6-3, 7-5

B14s:
Semifinals:
Dylan Tsoi[6] d. Nicholas Godsick[4] 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Nishesh Basavareddy d. Learner Tien[3] 6-2, 6-3

B16s:
Semifinals:
Samir Banerjee[1] d. Jack Anthrop[7] 6-3, ret. inj.
Luke Casper[2] d. Braden Shick[9] 6-3, 6-0

B18s:
Semifinals:
Leighton Allen[1] d. Aryan Chaudhary[15] 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Logan Zapp[2] d. Evin McDonald[3] 6-0, 6-2

Sixteen-year-old Americans swept the singles titles at this week's ITF Grade 3 in the Dominican Republic, with wins by Aidan Mayo and Kailey Evans.

For Evans, the No. 2 seed, it was a third ITF singles title; she won a Grade 4 title in May and a Grade 3 title last year, both in Costa Rica. Evans defeated unseeded 14-year-old Lan Mi of China 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(2) in the final. Mi, who trains in the US, also plays USTA events and reached the final of the 18s Level 2 earlier this month in Chattanooga.
Mayo, seeded No. 15 this week, claimed his first ITF singles title when last week's Vancouver Grade 3 champion Micah Braswell, the No. 14 seed, retired in the final trailing 4-6, 6-1, 4-0. 

The other ITF Junior Circuit title for an American came at the Grade 5 in Colombia, where Thomas Navarro won the doubles title. Navarro and his partner William Ribero Duarte of Colombia, the No. 3 seeds, defeated top seeds Valentino De Pellegrin and Victorio Marquiselli of Argentina 7-5, 6-7(4), 10-4 in the final.

At the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Iowa City, 20-year-old John McNally, a rising Ohio State junior, will face 22-year-old Alex Rybakov, a recent TCU graduate, with the winner getting his first title at that level. Rybakov, the No. 3 seed, defeated No. 5 seed Aziz Dougaz(Florida State) of Tunisia 7-6(4), 6-3 in the semifinals and No. 4 seed McNally, who was playing in his first Pro Circuit semifinal, defeated Stanford rising junior Axel Geller of Argentina, the No. 6 seed, 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2.

Top seeds Lloyd Glasspool(Texas) of Great Britain and Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia won the doubles title, beating unseeded Jack Findel-Hawkins(North Florida) and Mark Whitehouse of Great Britain 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

Sebastian Korda advanced to the final of the ATP 110 Challenger in Kazakhstan, defeating No. 14 seed Aleks Vukic(Illinois) 7-6(3), 6-3 in today's semifinal. The 19-year-old Floridian will face top seed Evgeny Donskoy of Russia for the title, and will move up to around 270 in the ATP rankings should he win Sunday. He'll still be at a career-high just outside the Top 300 if he loses.

Friday, July 19, 2019

My Wimbledon Juniors Recap; USC's Peter Smith Resigns; Semis Set in Iowa City, Berkeley Pro Circuit Events; USTA Clay Courts Results

My recap of the Wimbledon Junior Championships is available today at the Tennis Recruiting Network, with coverage of all four finals, including Shintaro Mochizuki's run to the boys singles title, a first for a Japanese boy at a junior slam. The US has had a girls doubles team in the final for four consecutive years now, with unseeded Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes winning the second title for Americans in that span. Unseeded Daria Snigur of Ukraine added the girls singles title to her championship the previous week in Roehampton, beating American Alexa Noel in the final. The only top seeds to win a title were the Czech pairing of Jiri Lehecka and Jonas Forejtek, who beat American Govind Nanda and Canadian Liam Draxl in the boys doubles final.

The big news in college tennis today is the shocking announcement that University of Southern California's Peter Smith is resigning after leading the men's program for 17 years. Smith, who won five NCAA titles, including four in a row from 2009-2012, is resigning August 1, "to pursue opportunities outside of college coaching," according to the release sent out by USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone. The timing and bare-bones nature of the release are unusual for a coach of Smith's stature; but I don't know what other factors, if any, are behind his resignation. Associate coach Kris Kwinta will take over as interim head coach while a national search is conducted. USC had a Top 10 recruiting class this year, with Stefan Dostanic, Ryder Jackson and Smith's son Colter set to join the team this fall.

The semifinals are set at the two USTA Pro Circuit events this week, with two current collegians and two recent collegians making the final four at the men's $25,000 tournament in Iowa City and three Americans reaching the semifinals at the women's $60,000 tournament in Berkeley.

No. 5 seed Aziz Dougaz of Tunisia, a senior this past season at Florida State, will take on recent TCU graduate Alex Rybakov, the No. 3 seed, in one semifinal. In the other, Stanford rising junior Axel Geller[6] of Argentina will face Ohio State rising junior John McNally[4].

In California, top seeds Madison Brengle and Sachia Vickery are through to the semifinals, with Brengle taking on No. 6 seed Kristie Ahn(Stanford) and Vickery playing unseeded Mayo Hibi of Japan.

At the ATP Challenger 110 in Kazakhstan, 2018 Australian Open boys champion Sebastian Korda has advanced to his first Challenger semifinal, where he'll play former Illinois star Aleks Vukic of Australia. The unseeded 19-year-old, currently 385 in the ATP rankings, defeated No. 2 seed Lorenzo Giustino of Italy in the second round and No. 10 seed Matteo Viola of Italy in the quarterfinals today.

The results of the quarterfinal matches at the USTA Clay Courts are below; the girls 12s final Saturday will feature the No. 1 seed versus the No. 2 seed. Reigning Eddie Herr 12s champion Maximus Dussault has advanced to the boys 12s final, but there is no result posted from the other 12s semifinal (updated now, as of 8:30 am Saturday). Click on the headings to go to the TennisLink sites, where all draws and results are posted.

B18s:
Leighton Allen[1] d. Theo Winegar[17] 6-2, 6-2
Aryan Chaudhary[15] d. Welsh Hotard[9] 6-7, 6-4, 7-6
Evin McDonald[3] d. Alejandro Quiles[10] 6-1, 7-5
Logan Zapp[2] d. Jacob Bickersteth[17] 6-4, 6-0

B16s:
Samir Banerjee[1] d, Louis Cloud[5] 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
Jack Anthrop[7] d. Adit Sinha[12] 6-1, 6-2
Braden Shick[9] d. Ben Shelton[4] 6-7, 6-3, 6-1
Luke Casper[2] d. Ozan Colak[17] 6-3, 6-2

B14s:
Nishesh Basavareddy d. Yannik Rahman[1] 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Learner Tien[3] d. Kaylan Bigun[34] 6-3, 7-5
Nicolas Godsick[4] d. Payton Young[24] 7-5, 6-3
Dylan Tsoi[6] d. Cooper Williams[2] 6-4, 4-6, 7-5

B12s:
Semifinals:
Maximus Dussault[12] d. Abhinav Chunduru[4] 6-2, 6-1
Abhishek Thorat[3] d. Roman Sancilio[8] 6-0, 6-3

G18s:
Jaedan Brown[17] d. Vivian Ovrootsky[33] 6-2, 6-1
Gabby Price[17] d. Emma Charney 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
Hadley Doyle[6] d. Sarah Hamner[12] 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2
Karina Miller[7] d. Gianna Pielet[10] 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

G16s:
Grace Levelston[33] d. Kida Ferrari[17] 6-1, 7-5
Carrie Beckman[3] d. McKenna Schaefbauer[17] 6-2, 6-3
Qavia Lopez[8] d. Clervie Ngounoue[17] 7-6(5), 6-3
Aubrey Nisbet[13] d. Katie Codd[17] 6-2, 3-6, 6-4

G14s
Stephanie Yakoff[1] d. Brooke Schafer[17] 6-3, 6-3
Daniela Livson[17] d. Susanna Maltby[14] 7-5, 6-1
Alexis Blokhina[3] d. Natalie Block[11] 6-4, 4-6, 6-0
Lara Smejkal[15] d. Kate Kim[17] 6-0, 4-6, 6-4

G12s: 
Semifinals:
Emily Deming[1] d. Eva Oxford[3] 6-0, 6-2
Bella Payne[2] d. Brooke Wrigley[7] 6-3, 7-5

Thursday, July 18, 2019

2018 Kalamazoo 18s Champion Brooksby, Finalist Nakashima Return for 2019; USTA Clay Courts Semifinals for 12s, Quarterfinals for 14s, 16s and 18 Set for Friday

The acceptances are out for the 2019 USTA Nationals, with both finalists in last year's 18s division returning to Kalamazoo. Champion Jenson Brooksby, who turns 19 in October and is therefore eligible for Kalamazoo but not for ITF Junior Circuit events, won a $25,000 Pro Circuit event in March and two rounds at the $100,000 Sarasota Challenger in April, but has not played since then. Finalist Brandon Nakashima, who will turn 18 during this year's tournament, spent a semester at the University of Virginia, but played both the French and Wimbledon Junior Championships, losing in the third round of both. Nakashima has not yet made a decision about returning to school, with his results this summer part of what he'll weigh in making that choice.

French Open finalist Toby Kodat will make his Kalamazoo debut, and his frequent doubles partner Martin Damm, the 2018 16s champion, is also entered in the 18s. Australian Open finalist Emilio Nava withdrew from Wimbledon with an injury, so it remains to be seen whether he will be healthy for Kalamazoo, but he is listed in the initial acceptances.
Last year's 16s finalist Zane Khan, who also suffered an injury last month while in Europe, has not entered.

Notable names in the 16s include Easter Bowl champion Samir Banerjee, Winter National champion Luke Casper, Alex Bernard and Aidan Mayo.

Wild cards have not yet been awarded, but should be announced next week.

The complete list of accepted players is available at ustaboys.com.

The acceptances for the girls 18s and 16s Nationals in San Diego include French Open finalist and Wimbledon semifinalist Emma Navarro, Wimbledon finalist Alexa Noel, Wimbledon doubles champions Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes, and other ITF Top 50 players Elli Mandlik, Chloe Beck and Robin Montgomery. Natasha Subhash, who has won two $15Ks the past two months, will be among the favorites, along with Katie Volynets and Connie Ma.  Hurricane Tyra Black is not listed among the competitors, nor is Hailey Baptiste.

Some of the top names in the 16s division are Easter Bowl champion Vivian Ovrootsky, Reese Brantmeier, Eleana Yu and Ava Catanzarite.

Click here for the acceptances for the boys 12s and 14s in Mobile, the girls 12s in Alpharetta and the girls 14s in Rome.

The semifinals are set in the 12s divisions of the USTA Clay Court Championships, which have smaller draws than the other divisions, which will play their quarterfinals Friday. Below are the matchups; click on the header to go to the TennisLink site. Keep in mind that the winners of the 18s Clay Courts receive a main draw wild card into the upcoming US Open Junior Championships.

B12s:
Semifinals:
Maximus Dussault[12] v Abhinav Chunduru[4]
Abhishek Thorat[3] v Roman Sancilio[8]

G12s:
Semifinals:
Emily Deming[1] v Eva Oxford[3]
Brooke Wrigley[7] v Bella Payne[2]

Quarterfinals:
Leighton Allen[1] v Theo Winegar[17]
Welsh Hotard[9] v Aryan Chaudhary[15]
Alejandro Quiles[10] v Evin McDonald[3]
Jacob Bickersteth[17] v Logan Zapp[2]

Quarterfinals:
Samir Banerjee[1] v Louis Cloud[5]
Adit Sinha[12] v Jack Anthrop[7]
Braden Shick[9] v Ben Shelton[4]
Ozan Colak[17] v Luke Casper[2]

Yannik Rahman[1] v Nishesh Basavareddy
Learner Tien[3] v Kaylan Bigun[34]
Payton Young[24] v Nicolas Godsick[4]
Dylan Tsoi[6] v Cooper Williams[2]

Quarterfinals:
Jaedan Brown[17] v Vivian Ovrootsky[33]
Emma Charney v Gabby Price[17]
Hadley Doyle[6] v Sarah Hamner[12]
Karina Miller[7] v Gianna Pielet[10]

Quarterfinals:
Grace Levelston[33] v Kida Ferrari[17]
Carrie Beckman[3] v McKenna Schaefbauer[17]
Qavia Lopez[8] v Clervie Ngounoue[17]
Katie Codd[17] v Aubrey Nisbet[13]

Quarterfinals:
Stephanie Yakoff[1] v Brooke Schafer[17]
Susanna Maltby[14] v Daniela Livson[17]
Natalie Block[11] v Alexis Blokhina[3]
Kate Kim[17] v Lara Smejkal[15]

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

JJ Wolf Signs with Topnotch Management; US Open Acceptances Include Nine US Men and 15 US Women; ITF Announces World Tennis Number Project

The question as to whether JJ Wolf would return for his senior year of collegiate competition at Ohio State was answered today, when Topnotch Management announced that Wolf has signed a global representation agreement with the Cleveland based company.

The 20-year-old Wolf, currently 272 in the ATP rankings, won the Columbus Challenger in January and has a 12-6 record on the Challenger level this year. Topnotch, headed by Sam Duvall, has been the agency most prominently associated with college players, with John Isner, Steve Johnson and Cameron Norrie among their clients.

Perhaps related to that announcement, Ohio State released the news that it has signed Justin Boulais of Canada, who will be joining the Buckeyes this fall. Boulais, 17, is the younger brother of Isabelle Boulais, who was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season for the Buckeyes.

The US Open men's and women's acceptances were released today, with the cutoff 98 for the men and 102 for the women. The difference is due to the number of men who are using a protected ranking to enter.  The US men in the draw are John Isner, Taylor Fritz, Sam Querrey, Frances Tiafoe, Reilly Opelka, Steve Johnson, Tennys Sandgren, Bradley Klahn and Mackenzie McDonald. The US women number 15, including two using protected rankings: CiCi Bellis and CoCo Vandeweghe. The others are Sloane Stephens, Serena Williams, Madison Keys, Amanda Anisimova, Sonya Kenin, Danielle Collins, Alison Riske, Venus Williams, Lauren Davis, Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula, Madison Brengle and Bernarda Pera.

While I was at Wimbledon, the ITF revealed their long-rumored plan to come up with a rating system similar to Universal Tennis Rating. The ITF announcement is here, and the Frequently Asked Questions are here. I'm sure there are political and economic reasons for the ITF undertaking this project, but if you look up reinventing the wheel in the dictionary, you'll see this as the definition.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

USTA Clay Court Championships Underway; Braswell and Grishuk Win Grade 3 Titles; Bernard and Catanzarite Earn Second ITF Grade 4 Titles This Month; Kuzuhara Claims Grade 5 Title in Brazil

The USTA Clay Court Championships are going on this week and below are the top 8 seeds in each tournament (if they have already lost, it is noted). Links to the TennisLink sites are in the headers.

Boys 18s (Delray Beach)
1. Leighton Allen
2. Logan Zapp
3. Evin McDonald
4. Ron Hohmann
5. Luke Vandecasteele
6. Benjamin Koch
7. Zachery Lim
8. Andrew Dale(out 3rd rd)

Boys 16s (Delray Beach)
1. Samir Banerjee
2. Luke Casper
3. Gabrielius Guzauskas
4. Ben Shelton
5. Louis Cloud
6. Daniel Schmelka (out 2nd rd)
7. Jack Anthrop
8. Alexander Chang

Boys 14s (Ft. Lauderdale)
1. Yannik Rahman
2. Cooper Williams
3. Learner Tien
4. Nicolas Godsick
5. Garen Spicka (out 2nd rd)
6. Dylan Tsoi
7. Carson Baker
8. Dylan Charlap (out 2nd rd)

Boys 12s (Orlando)
1. Cooper Woestendick
2. Maxwell Exsted
3. Abhishek Thorat
4. Abhinav Chunduru
5. A Filer
6. Cassius Chinlund
7. Jagger Leach
8. Roman Sancilio

Girls 18s (Charleston SC)
1. Valencia Xu (out 3rd rd)
2. Zoe Howard (out 3rd rd)
3. Fiona Crawley
4. Reily Tran (out 3rd rd)
5. Carly Briggs(out 3rd rd)
6. Hadley Doyle
7. Karina Miller
8. Neha Velaga (out 3rd rd)

Girls 16s (Huntsville Alabama)
1. Nadejda Maslova
2. Jennifer Riester
3. Carrie Beckman
4. Sonia Maheshwari
5. Amelia Honer
6. Sophia Strugnell (out 3rd rd)
7. Ria Bhakta
8. Qavia Lopez

Girls 14s (Plantation Florida)
1. Stephanie Yakoff
2. Valeria Ray
3. Alexis Blokhina
4. Amber Yin (out 3rd rd)
5. Theadora Rabman
6. Carla Pacot (out 3rd rd)
7. Victoria Zhao (out 3rd rd)
8. Natalia Perez

Girls 12s (Boca Raton Florida)
1. Emily Deming
2. Bella Payne
3. Eva Oxford
4. Claire An
5. Alexis Nguyen
6. Kinley Vanpelt
7. Brooke Wrigley
8. Sasha Kilgour

Wimbledon was the major event on the ITF Junior Circuit last week, but there were 21 other tournaments across the globe, including four Grade 3 events. Americans won two of the eight singles titles in those tournaments, and three others at the Grade 4 and 5 levels.

Unseeded Micah Braswell won the boys title at the ITF Grade 3 in Vancouver Canada, beating No. 3 seed Joshua Lapadat of Canada 6-0, 7-5 in the final. The 17-year-old Braswell, whose first ITF singles title came this spring at the Grade 4 in Irvine California, didn't drop a set in his five victories. Keshav Chopra and Lapadat won the boys doubles title, with the top seeds beating No. 4 seeds Jeffrey Fradkin and Canadian Luka Vukovic 6-3, 6-4 in the final. The girls doubles championship went to two Americans: No. 3 seeds Elizabeth Stevens and Katja Wiersholm, who beat unseeded Marina Stakusic and Annabelle Xu of Canada 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

Sixteen-year-old Skyler Grishuk won her third Grade 3 singles title of the year last week in Germany, beating Elvina Kalieva 7-6(4), 6-3 in a rare all-US final in Europe. With the title Grishuk is up to a career-high of 67 in the ITF World Junior rankings.

The two champions at the Grade 4 in Jamaica last week were the same two champions from the Grade 4 in the Bahamas two weeks ago: Alex Bernard and Ava Catanzarite.  The second-seeded Bernard, 15, beat top seed Blaise Bicknell 6-2, 6-1 in the final, running his singles winning streak to 16, dating back to his title at May's ITF Grade 4 in Plantation.  The 16-year-old Catanzarite, who won two Grade 5 titles in April, was the No. 3 seed this week. She defeated unseeded 13-year-old Brooklyn Olson 6-1, 6-3 in the singles final and partnered with Ava Krug for the doubles title. Catanzarite and Krug, the top seeds, defeated No. 2 seeds Nevena Carton and Slovakia's Anika Jaskova 6-1, 6-0 in the final. Connor and Jake Krug, the No. 2 seeds, won the all-US boys doubles final, beating unseeded Jakub Ostajewski and Matthew Robinson 7-5, 6-1 for the title.

The fifth American junior singles title this week went to 15-year-old Bruno Kuzuhara, who won the Grade 5 in Brazil. Kuzuhara, seeded No. 4, defeated No. 6 seed Joaquim De Almeida of Brazil 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 for his third ITF Grade 5 singles title. Kuzuhara also reached the doubles final with Joao Pedro de Favari Engel of Brazil.

At the Grade 5 in Great Britain, Billy Suarez took the doubles title, with Daniel Webb of Great Britain. The top seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Matias Montanes Tutzo and Alejandro Sanchez Gonzalez of Spain 7-6(7), 4-6, 10-7 in the final.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Iowa City's Old Capitol $25,000 Men's Tournament Begins Main Draw Play Tuesday; Klahn Sweeps Winnetka Challenger Titles; Arconada Wins Honolulu $60K

I spent the day traveling home from Wimbledon, and it's way past my London bedtime, so I'm going to keep this short. I'll have a recap Tuesday of the American results on the ITF Junior Circuit last week, with the results from the USTA Pro Circuit events in the United States covered today. Below is the press release preview of this week's $25,000 men's tournament in Iowa City, which is now in its second year. Tournaments like this one are vital to providing a pathway to a successful pro career, so if you have a chance to attend one, please consider it. You'll get a perspective on just how accomplished the players are and how challenging it is to actually make a living playing the sport.  The first round of qualifying is complete, with the final round on Tuesday, as well as four first round matches.


Old Capitol Tennis Championships Set For A
2nd Edition In Iowa City

IOWA CITY, IA – July 15, 2019 – Play is set to begin at the second annual Old Capitol Tennis Championships. Competition kicks off with first-round qualifying at the USTA Pro Circuit Tournament. The $25,000 prize money event is being played this week at the University of Iowa’s Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.

The field features ten players in the ATP top 700 led by American Sekou Bangoura at 380 in the world. Qualifying matches begin on Monday, July 15 at 10:00am, featuring 32 singles competitors vying for one of eight places in the main draw. Main draw play begins at 10:00am on Tuesday July 16, as 32 singles competitors and 16 doubles teams begin their quest for prize money and world ranking points.

The tournament hosts not only professional players, but former and current college players from universities across the country. One program that will be prominently represented is the University of Iowa. Kareem Allaf, Oliver Okonkwo, Will Davis are among some of the current Hawkeye Men’s Tennis athletes who are featured on this years entry list. Allaf who is entering his senior year was awarded a main draw wildcard in 2018 and reached the quarterfinals, having beaten the No. 8 seed in his 2nd round match.

In addition to the University of Iowa, more than 30 players past and present will represent college tennis, where over 20 schools across the country will be shown for. TCU’s Alex Rybakov and Ohio State’s John McNally lead the way for the college hopefuls and will begin their quest for the Old Capitol Tennis Championships title in main draw this week. The Qualifying draw features 26 players with past and/or present college ties, and represent 20 different schools.

The Old Capitol Tennis Championships is organized by the University of Iowa’s Sport and Recreation program and boasts a team of 20 students who are developing and executing tournament operations. The tournament provides students experiential learning opportunities on the Iowa City campus while exposing the Corridor to professional tennis. Iowa City and the University of Iowa are excited to bring a tournament of this magnitude to the city and to showcase the epicenter of Hawkeye Pride.

To follow all the action, go to the tournament website: oldcapitoltennis.com, Facebook: Old Capitol Tennis Championships and Twitter/Instagram: @oldcaptennis. Follow the USTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @USTA (#USTAPro Circuit).

Prize Money/Points - $25,000 Men
SINGLES: Prize Money Points
Winner $3,600 150
Runner-up $2,120 90
Semifinalist $1,255 45
Quarterfinalist $730 18
Round of 16 $430 6
Round of 32 $260 0

DOUBLES: Prize Money (per team) Points
Winner $1,550 150
Runner-up $900 90
Semifinalist $540 45
Quarterfinalist $320 18
Round of 16 $180 0

###

Set on the West side of Iowa City, the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex boasts 12 outdoor courts, 8 indoor courts, versatile fitness center, 2 turf fields, 2 conference rooms, tennis, soccer and field hockey locker rooms and an athletic training room. Come see why visitors and locals alike enjoy the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex as the states premier tennis facility. HTRC is located at 2820 Prairie Meadow Dr. in Iowa City. It is open Mondays through Fridays, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays/Sundays 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and can be contacted at 319-384-1215, recserv.uiowa.edu/facilities/hawkeye-tennis-recreation-complex. Information about the tournament: oldcapitoltennis.com

For further information please contact:

Alex Voss Tournament Director – 319-335-9179; alex-voss@uiowa.edu

At the ATP 80 Challenger in Winnetka Illinois, top seed Bradley Klahn won the singles title, beating No. 12 seed Jason Kubler of Australia 6-2, 7-5 in the final. Klahn didn't drop a set all week. Stanford's 2010 NCAA singles champion also won the doubles title with JC Aragone(Virginia). The unseeded pair defeated Christopher Eubanks(Georgia Tech) and Thai Kwiatkowski(Virginia), also unseeded, 7-5, 6-4 in the final.

The women's title at the $60,000 women's tournament in Honolulu Hawaii went to No. 5 seed Usue Arconada, who defeated No. 2 seed Nicole Gibbs 6-0, 6-2 in the final. Gibbs was making her return to competition after having cancer surgery in May.  It was the biggest title of the 20-year-old Arconada's career, and her third title of the year, all since June; she has now broken into the Top 200 for the first time, at 183.

Former University of North Carolina teammates Jamie Loeb and Hayley Carter won the doubles title, with the unseeded pair defeating top seeds Arconada and Caroline Dolehide 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Great Britain's Mark Whitehouse won the singles and doubles titles at the $15,000 men's tournament in Norman Oklahoma, with No. 2 seed Whitehouse defeating Illinois rising senior Zeke Clark, the No. 6 seed, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the final. Clark was playing in his first Pro Circuit final after reaching his first semifinal last month at a $25K in Tulsa. No. 2 seeds Whitehouse and David Fox(Denver), also of Great Britain, won the doubles title, beating top seeds Alexander Cozbinov(UNLV) of Moldova and Ricardo Rodriguez of Venezuela 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 in the final.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Mochizuki Earns Historic Win in Boys Wimbledon Final; Broadus and Forbes Claim Girls Doubles Title; Top-Seeded Czech Boys Capture Doubles Crown

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Wimbledon--

Sixteen-year-old Shintaro Mochizuki describes himself as shy, yet he brought his best tennis to the most important match of his life Sunday on Wimbledon's legendary Court 1, becoming the first Japanese boy to win a junior slam singles title with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2 victory over unseeded Carlos Gimeno Valero of Spain.

Mochizuki, seeded eighth, was unsure what to expect when he stepped out on the famous court, with thousands of fans applauding the finalists entrance on a cool and cloudy afternoon at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

"I'm shy, so I was like, why do I have to do that?," said Mochizuki, who trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida. "So many people were there. Yeah, I was a little bit nervous. But it was fun, yeah."

Although he was up a break at 2-1 and 3-2, Mochizuki didn't assert himself until he broke Gimeno Valero at 3-3 and held for a 5-3 lead. With his dangerous backhand beginning to find its range, the speedy Mochizuki forced Gimeno Valero into errors and broke him for the fourth time to close out the 25-minute first set.

After a quick hold to open the second set, Mochizuki won the next three points on Gimeno Valero's serve, but the 18-year-old from Alicante saved those three break points and a fourth to hold for 1-1.
The next game proved pivotal, with Mochizuki recovering from 15-40 down and saving a third break point in the five-deuce game to hold, with Gimeno Valero just missing a backhand passing shot, which Hawkeye confirmed was out.

"I wanted to hold my service game a lot," said Mochizuki, who had saved a match point in his 6-1, 0-6, 10-8 semifinal win over No. 4 seed Martin Damm of the United States. "It was good. I played really tough; he had some break points, but I just tried my best to hold my service game. Yes, it was really important game for me."

Gimeno Valero agreed that he missed an opportunity to turn the match around in that game.

"In second set I have chance with three break points after winning my serve, having break points in the next game," said Gimeno Valero, who was playing in his first grass court tournament this week. "He play better these important points and after, he breaks me."

After getting that break for 3-1 Mochizuki held, and Gimeno Valero had another opportunity, which turned out to be his last, with Mochizuki serving at 4-2. A good return at 30-all gave the Spaniard a break point, but Mochizuki, looking supremely confident, hammered a forehand winner to save it and after two deuces, crushed a backhand to hold.

Gimeno Valero went down 0-40 with Mochizuki hitting two forehands and an overhead for winners, but Gimeno Valero saved all three to get to deuce, but a forehand error off a good return gave Mochizuki his fourth match point and he converted, hitting a patented down the line backhand to record his historic win.

Mochizuki, who had 20 winners and only eight unforced errors in the second set, was willing to approach the net when he got the opportunity, a style he has always favored.

"My coach Natsuo (Yamanaka), he taught me," said Mochizuki, who is not only the first Japanese boy to win a junior slam singles title, but will also the first to be No. 1 when Monday's rankings are released, according to the ITF. "I like coming to the net and my coach taught me I'm good at that. I just practiced a lot and improved with all matches. Yeah, I like coming into the net a lot."

And despite his description of himself as shy, he displayed more than a little showmanship when he began to sense the finish line, including a jumping smash.

"It was a big chance to do that, so I just did it for fun," Mochizuki said. "It was an easy ball. I just wanted to make people like, having fun watching me."
The girls doubles final was the only junior championship match to go the distance this year, with unseeded Americans Abigail Forbes and Savannah Broadus capturing the title with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 win over the unseeded team of Kamilla Bartone of Latvia and Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia.

Broadus and Forbes had lost to Bartone and Selkhmeteva twice already this year, in the second round at the French and the second round last week in Roehampton. But the pair learned valuable lessons from those two losses.

"We learned specific plays that we can run," said Broadus,  a 16-year-old from Carrollton Texas. "Going to Kamilla's forehand, because it's her weaker side and Oksana has really good hands, so keeping it away from her."

"Personally for me, we need to keep our first serve percentage up, setting up Savannah for poaches at the net, moving forward," said Forbes, an 18-year-old from Raleigh North Carolina. "I think it was crucial for us to hold serve today, and we did a really good job with that."

Broadus and Forbes got the only break of the first set, with Selekhmeteva serving at 5-6, but the Latvian and Russian broke Broadus at 5-all and Selekhmeteva evened the match by holding serve.

Broadus and Forbes took an early lead 3-0 lead in the third set and never had a break point against them, as they kept their lead and broke Selekhmeteva for the title.

Broadus and Forbes had an idea that they had a chance at the title after their first match.

"We played really well in our first match," said Broadus, "and we thought to ourselves, we can really do this."

"We had confidence in each of our games, but I think why we did so well is that we didn't get ahead of ourselves," UCLA rising freshman Forbes added. "We played like we were coming up from behind on every point and I think we were always fighting and fighting and we never gave up."

Forbes and Broadus are not playing together at the upcoming USTA National 18s Championships in San Diego, but they are expected to compete as a team at the College Park Grade 1 and the US Open Junior Championships.

But first, they have an even more important date, to Sunday night's Champions dinner.

"We are really looking forward to getting all dressed up," Broadus said. "A lot of people have proms they get all dressed up for, but I'm home schooled, so I've never gotten dressed up like this before; that's just exciting."

"I've done prom twice now," Forbes said. "She's going to help me pick out my dress because I don't what I'm doing," Broadus said. "They take us to a place, they have dresses upon dresses, people who do our hair and makeup. They have shoes and everything for us."

"That's what they explained, so we're just going to go there and pick it out," Forbes said.

Although selecting the right dress might take some time, both Broadus and Forbes were quick to come up with names of the players they most wanted to see.

"Definitely Fed and Serena," Broadus said. "Fed, and Serena, those are my two," Forbes said."
All of the Wimbledon junior champions are first-time slam winners, with the exception of Jonas Forejtek of the Czech Republic, who added a Wimbledon championship to the doubles title he won with a different partner in Australia.

Forejtek took the title in Melbourne with another Czech, Dalibor Svrcina, but after a first round loss at the French Open last month, the long-time partners went their separate ways, and Forejtek turned to Jiri Lehecka, also from the Czech Republic. Although they lost in the second round at Roehampton, they quickly found their form on the grass, with the top seeds taking the boys title with a 7-5, 6-4 win over No. 7 seeds Govind Nanda of the United States and Liam Draxl of Canada.

"I was playing more men's tournaments and I didn't play juniors, didn't play doubles much," Forejtek said. "When Dalibor and I lost in first round there, we didn't play well, so we decided we should switch partners. I switched to him, and it was pretty good change, I think."

With Forejtek seeded No. 2 in singles and losing in the first round, and Lehecka seeded No. 5 and losing in the second round, the Czech pair could see their doubles as a chance for redemption.

"We didn't do well in singles, we were not happy with our singles, so we were still like, let's go for the doubles," Forejtek said. "We were pumped," Lehecka agreed.

In the opening set of the final, the Czech team got an early break, but Forejtek was broken serving at 4-3. Although they missed their share of volleys, the Czech team continued their commitment to aggressive net play, and they capitalized when they broke Draxl at 5-all. Forejtek needed to save a break point serving at 6-5, but they converted their second set point, with Lehecka securing it with a forehand volley winner.

"We got broken at 5-all, but we still had chances at 5-6," said Nanda, who played a semester of college tennis at UCLA this year. "We missed a lot of opportunities."

"They were the first team that was serving that big and hitting that big off the ground," said Draxl, a rising freshman at Kentucky. "Me and Govind hit a bunch of good returns, but they hit it almost as hard right back and deep. It was tough to be on the offense side of the point."

Lehecka and Forejtek, who got the only break of the second set at 4-all, with Lehecka serving out the title, said the surface was definitely a factor in their playing style.

"The grass is different in so many ways," the 17-year-old Lehecka said. "We tried to play what is best to play on grass and I think we did our best."

"We were focusing on our serves, which I think is a lot important on grass," said the 18-year-old Forejtek. "We didn't lose many serves in the tournament and when we got chances on break, we took them."

Both said it may be Sunday evening before they fully grasp that they are Wimbledon champions, and after that they will consider their schedule for the last few months of their junior careers. They said they will probably team up again at the US Open Junior Championships.

Draxl and Nanda are planning to play the US Open Junior Championships in singles, but are not certain if they will play doubles together.

Sunday's junior championship final results:

Boys singles:
Shintaro Mochizuki(JPN)[8] d. Carlos Gimeno Valero(ESP) 6-3, 6-2.

Girls doubles:
Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes(USA) d. Kamilla Bartone(LAT) and Oksana Selekhmeteva(RUS) 7-5, 5-7, 6-2

Boys doubles:
Jonas Forejtek and Jiri Lehecka(CZE)[1] d. Govind Nanda(USA) and Liam Draxl(CAN)[7] 7-5, 6-4.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Snigur Defeats Noel for Wimbledon Girls Title; Broadus and Forbes, Nanda Reach Doubles Finals; Boys Championship Match Between Mochizuki and Gimeno Valero Set for Sunday

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Wimbledon--

Although she loves the grass, Daria Snigur acknowledged her nervousness when she stepped out on Court 1 for the Wimbledon girls final on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club.

The 17-year-old Ukrainian certainly looked less comfortable than she had throughout the week, falling behind No. 10 seed Alexa Noel 4-1 in the opening set, as double faults and unforced errors allowed the 16-year-old American the space she needed to use her eclectic game. But Snigur adjusted, eliminating her errors and coming up big on key points to claim a 6-4, 6-4 victory, joining Kateryna Bondarenko as her country's only Wimbledon girls champions.

Snigur, who had defeated Noel 6-1, 6-2 last Friday in the final of the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton, saved three break points at 3-4 in the first set to pull even, then broke Noel and served out the set.  The pattern repeated in the second set, with Snigur momentarily reverting to her form early in the first set, with unforced errors giving Noel a 2-0 lead. But as quickly as her game evaporated, it returned, with a love hold cutting Noel's lead to 3-1. A net cord winner and two unforced errors got Snigur the break back, and although Noel took a 4-3 lead, Snigur dug back in, holding, then breaking at love to go up 5-4.

Serving for the match, Snigur had no trouble holding, converting her first match point with a backhand winner, then falling to her knees. The crowd, which continued to fill the stands throughout the match and probably numbered eight or nine thousand, applauded warmly for both players, although they might have been wishing for a third set. After shaking hands, Snigur sprinted to the players box to embrace her father before collecting her winner's trophy.

Snigur said she was not interested in getting into a slicing battle with Noel, admitting that she does not like to play the American.

"It's a very hard game for me, because I don't like when she play all time slices," Snigur said. "But I must to play, because it's finals, Wimbledon, I don't have my choice. I tried to push the ball, I don't want to play slice on slice. I must push the ball."

By push, Snigur meant drive, and Noel explained why Snigur is so good on grass in particular.

"She's a very good player," Noel said. "She's super deceiving and she loves her backhand. She can hit her backhand from anywhere on the court. She was even running to the deuce side to get backhands. She kind of acts, in my opinion, she's not super high energy, not crazy intense, and she doesn't look like she moves, but when she gets on court when we're playing, she does."

And while Noel's varied and slice-heavy game is a nightmare for most players, Noel feels the same way about Snigur's style.

"That's not a normal thing to play against," Noel said. "It's hard to face. She's quick and she's there to win as everyone else is."

That said, Noel was ambivalent about her own performance in the final, especially when contrasted with her 6-2, 6-1 win over No. 4 seed Diane Parry in the semifinals.

"I definitely didn't play as well as I did yesterday," Noel said. "It was just mental, everything, the entire match, going into it, how nervous one was going to into it," said Noel, who is coached by David Span. "I had my chances, even not playing awesome, but she just dealt with it a little bit better. In my opinion, I had the match, and I guess it just happens."

For Snigur, who is not expecting to play any other junior events save the ITF Junior Masters this fall, the title was a perfect way to end her junior career.

"It's a very good feeling," said Snigur, who is coached by Larisa Savchenko, who reached the women's quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 1994. "Very good for me, for my career, I think. Because I won 15(K), 25(K) women's tournaments, but I want to win grand slam of course. It was my dream."

While Snigur now is setting out to build her WTA ranking, now at 423, Noel will be playing the USTA National 18s Championships in San Diego next month and the US Open Junior Championships in September. But first they will get an opportunity to mingle with others who excelled on the grass of the All England Club during the fortnight, when they attend Sunday's Champions Dinner (formerly Ball).

"I've been so excited about that," Noel said. "I just got told about that. I'm so excited."

Three other Americans will join Noel there, after winning their doubles semifinal matches on Saturday.  Govind Nanda, playing with Canadian Liam Draxl, will take on top seeds Jonas Forejtek and Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic in the boys doubles final. The No. 7 seeds defeated the British wild card team of Arthur Fery and Toby Samuel 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals, while Forejtek and Lehecka outlasted No. 3 seeds Martin Damm and Toby Kodat 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes played a near-perfect semifinal Saturday morning, beating Aubane Droguet and Selena Janicijevic of France 6-1, 6-1 in 43 minutes.  Broadus and Forbes will face Kamilla Bartone of Latvia and Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia in the girls final.

The boys final is scheduled for Sunday, with No. 8 seed Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan facing unseeded Carlos Gimeno Valero of Spain. See my post from Friday for how they advanced to the final.

Saturday's results:

Boys doubles:
Govind Nanda(USA) and Liam Draxl(CAN)[7] d. Arthur Fery and Toby Samuel(GBR)[WC] 6-4, 6-3
Jonas Forejtek and Jiri Lehecka(CZE)[1] d. Martin Damm and Toby Kodat(USA)[4] 6-2, 3-6, 6-3

Girls doubles:
Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes(USA) d. Aubane Droguet and Selena Janicijevic(FRA) 6-1, 6-1
Kamilla Bartone(LAT) and Oksana Selekhmeteva(RUS) d. Polina Kudermetova(RUS) and Giulia Morlet(FRA) 7-6(6), 7-5

Girls singles final:

Daria Snigur(UKR) d. Alexa Noel(USA)[10] 6-4, 6-4

Women's singles final:
Simona Halep(ROU)[7] d. Serena Williams(USA)[11] 6-2, 6-2

Friday, July 12, 2019

Noel's Impressive Performance Leads to Saturday's Girls Wimbledon Final Against Snigur; Mochizuki and Gimeno Valero Reach Sunday's Boys Final; My Q and A with Doubles Semifinalist Govind Nanda

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Wimbledon--

A repeat of of last week's ITF Grade 1 Roehampton final is on tap for Saturday's girls Wimbledon final, with unseeded Daria Snigur of Ukraine aiming for an even dozen wins in the past two weeks when she faces No. 10 seed Alexa Noel of the United States.

Both earned surprisingly routine victories in Friday's semifinals, with Noel beating No. 4 seed Diane Parry of France 6-2, 6-1 and Snigur eliminating top seed Emma Navarro 6-3, 6-0.

Noel and Parry's match was close for the first four games, but the American took control and experienced no dips in her level after that.

"I think I never let up," said the 16-year-old from New Jersey, who has yet to drop a set on the All England Lawn Tennis Club courts this week. "Once I got the break in that first set at 2-all, I realized what I needed to do and that gave me more confidence to keep hitting through the ball...certainly in the first four games it was close, she almost broke me in my first service game, but I just think I played very well. I played super well."

Although Parry and Noel had split their first two meetings, with Parry winning their most recent match at the Youth Olympic Games last October, Noel has shown her versatility this week, now in the Wimbledon final after claiming the Grade A title in Milan.

"From [Milan] I had a lot of confidence in myself and my game, so yeah it was pretty special. It's super cool that I'm able to adapt," said Noel, who is now at 14 in the ITF Junior rankings after peaking at 5 a year ago. "That's what you have to do to beat a good player. All the top players, everyone's able to adapt, everyone's good."

Unlike Noel, Snigur doesn't care for clay, and is not shy about proclaiming her love of grass.

"I have a very good forehand, a very good backhand and I want to attack all balls," said the 17-year-old, who beat Noel 6-1, 6-2 a week ago in the Roehampton final. "I like grass, grass is my favorite surface."

Snigur said she was very nervous to start the match, because she had lost to Navarro last month in the quarterfinals of the French Open Junior Championships.

"I play it game by game, see if the Queen of the Clay knows grass," said Snigur, the fifth Ukrainian girl to reach the Wimbledon girls final. "I know she plays very well on clay, [but] not on hard, not on grass."

Navarro, who had lost the first set in her previous three victories, admitted that she was concerned after dropping the first set to Snigur, not because she had played badly, but because she had played well.

"The first set, I played a really good set," said the 18-year-old from Charleston South Carolina. "I don't know if I could have done that much different. I played really well and she answered that. Every point, she played really well, played out of corners. Her game is definitely suited for grass, which was tough. She returned well, did everything well, and in the second set I got a little discouraged that I had played a really good set and lost 6-3, she was really tough."

"I think my game is better suited for clay, and her game is better suited for grass, but on any given day, anything can happen on any surface."

Navarro will not be playing next week's USTA Clay Courts, which she won last year, a title that earned her a main draw wild card into this spring's WTA Volvo Open in her home town. But she is planning to play the USTA National Hard Courts in San Diego next month and the week prior to that, the $60K ITF World Tennis Tour event in Kentucky.

After playing their semifinal matches on Court 5, which has only bench seating and no Hawkeye, the girls will move several steps up in atmosphere when they play on Court 1 Saturday afternoon. Noel says she enjoys playing in front of large crowds, while Snigur is less enthusiastic about the prospect.

"Yes, it's a very big court, and yes, I'm nervous of course, because it's too much people," said Snigur. "I'm very nervous when there is much people around me. I don't like big courts."
Although the two girls semifinals were virtually drama-free, the boys matches on Show Court 18 proved more exciting, although the anticipated semifinal between IMG friends and training partners Shintaro Mochizuki and Martin Damm was slow in getting on track before the 16-year-old from Japan saved a match point in his 6-1, 0-6, 10-8 victory.

Damm, the No. 4 seed, played poorly in the opening set, making 19 unforced errors and hitting only two winners, while make only one of every 3 first serves. The eighth-seeded Mochizuki, much more consistent in the opening set, lost his equilibrium in the second set, while Damm made only five unforced errors. The first two sets took only a total of 40 minutes to complete, and when Mochizuki jumped off to a 3-0 lead in the third set, it looked as if he had the match under control. But Damm indicated his willingness to battle in the sixth game, when he saved five break points in the nine-deuce game, and even when Mochizuki held easily to go up 5-2, the result appeared in doubt, not just to spectators, but to Mochizuki himself.

"I had some chances, up 5-2 in the third set, but I was so nervous," Mochizuki said.

Those nerves were especially evident in his next service game, when he went up 40-15, but hit a wild forehand and a double fault. Two points later, Damm was back on serve and he held at 40-30 to bring it back to 5-all. But the 15-year-old from Florida was not pleased with how he played the next game, with Mochizuki holding at love to take a 6-5 lead.

"I think at 5-all I played a really loose game, a couple of missed returns and I think that cost me a lot," Damm said. "I had the momentum with me and I missed four balls."

At 7-all, Mochizuki missed a backhand at 30-all, and another on break point, giving Damm a chance to serve out the match. He went up 30-0, but double faulted, then missed a volley to make it 30-all. A 131-mph ace gave Damm his first match point, but he sent a backhand crosscourt wide from a winning position at the net, and Mochizuki had new life.

"I hit a bomb serve and he got it back and he got it like a foot beyond the net," Damm said. "I don't know if I was nervous, or my legs were just heavy, but I got up to the ball too late and missed the ball wide. Obviously there a lot of things I could have done better, hit a drop shot, maybe went line, maybe if I went up there faster I would have hit a winner."

Mochizuki admitted that he was lucky to win the point, but also gave himself some credit for returning the serve.

"I thought I was lucky," said Mochizuki, "because he was near to the net and I was like, oh my god. But first of all I was happy to make the return, that's the important thing."

After going down 0-30 serving at 8-8, Mochizuki came up with two winners, and Damm chipped in with two unforced errors, and when it came time to hold serve to stay in the match, Damm couldn't get the momentum back, with Mochizuki breaking at 15-40, securing the victory on his fifth match point.

Mochizuki is the first Japanese boy to reach a junior slam final, and he was in demand with the large Japanese media contingent at the Championships, but it's not a milestone he considers particularly significant.

"They (Japanese media) told me," said Mochizuki. "It's weird. I'm a person, I don't really care if I'm Japanese or whatever. I just play tennis and I want to win the finals."

French Open semifinalist Mochizuki, playing in his first Wimbledon, won the Grade 1 in Nottingham two weeks ago, his first tournament on grass, but his opponent in Sunday's final, unseeded Carlos Gimeno Valero of Spain, has had even less experience on the surface and in big matches. The 18-year-old, who warmed up with Roberto Bautista Agut prior to his men's semifinal with Novak Djokovic, is playing not only his first grass court event, but his first junior slam.

In his 7-6(5), 6-4 semifinal win over No. 17 seed Harold Mayot of France, Gimeno Valero didn't get a look at a break point until he was down 4-1 in the second set, but once he broke through, he went on to win the final five games of the match.

"I played very aggressive with my forehand and I served really well in the first set," said Gimeno Valero, just the third Spanish boy to reach the Wimbledon singles final. "I played good on the break points and that gave me the confidence to win the match on my serve."

Gimeno Valero is still processing the fact that he's reached the Wimbledon boys final.

"It's incredible, to share the moment with Federer, Novak, Rafa," Gimeno Valero said. "To be in the final is unbelievable."

Both the boys and girls doubles semifinals are on tap for Saturday, with five Americans still in the hunt for the title. All the seeded teams are gone from the girls draw, with Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes defeating No. 2 seeds Alina Charaeva(RUS) and Anastasia Tikhonova of Russia today 6-7(3), 6-3, 9-7. They will play Aubane Droguet and Selena Janicijevic of France, who beat No. 4 seeds Joanna Garland of Taiwan and Sohyun Park of Korea 6-2, 6-3.

No. 3 seeds Damm and Toby Kodat defeated the unseeded British wild card team of Jacob Fearnley and Connor Thomson 6-3, 7-5 and will face top seeds Jonas Forejtek and Jiri Lechecka of the Czech Republic Saturday. No. 7 seeds Govind Nanda and Canadian Liam Draxl beat No. 2 seeds Mochizuki and Holger Rune of Denmark 6-3, 7-5 and will play the wild card team of Arthur Fery and Toby Samuel of Great Britain in Saturday's semifinals.

Earlier in the tournament, I spoke to Nanda about his first semester at UCLA and his decision to keep playing junior tournaments, as well as pro tournaments, for this article at the Tennis Recruiting Network.

Friday’s junior singles semifinal results:
Daria Snigur(UKR) d. Emma Navarro[1] 6-3, 6-0
Alexa Noel[10] d. Diane Parry(FRA)[4] 6-2, 6-1

Shintaro Mochizuki(JPN)[8] d. Martin Damm[4] 6-1, 0-6, 10-8
Carlos Gimeno Valero(ESP) d. Harold Mayot(FRA)[17] 7-6(5), 6-4

Friday’s doubles quarterfinals featuring Americans:
Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes d. Alina Charaeva(RUS) and Anastasia Tikhonova(RUS)[2] 6-7(3), 6-3, 9-7
Kamilla Bartone(LAT) and Oksana Selekhmeteva(RUS) d. Chloe Beck and Emma Navarro[7] 6-4, 6-3

Arthur Fery(GBR) and Toby Samuel(GBR) d. Brandon Nakashima and Valentin Royer(FRA) 6-3, 6-2
Martin Damm and Toby Kodat[3] d. Connor Thomson(GBR) and Jacob Fearnley(GBR)[WC] 6-3, 7-5
Govind Nanda and Liam Draxl(CAN)[7] d. Shintaro Mochizuki(JPN) and Holger Rune(DEN) 6-3, 7-5

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Americans Noel, Navarro and Damm Advance to Wimbledon Junior Semifinals; Williams Reaches Fourth Wimbledon Women's Final in Past Five Years

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Wimbledon--

For Martin Damm and Emma Navarro, reaching the semifinals of a junior slam is nothing new, with both earning wins today to equal what they accomplished at the French Open Junior Championships last month. But for 16-year-old Alexa Noel, her performance at this year's Wimbledon Junior Championships constitutes a breakthrough.

"It's great," said the 16-year-old from New Jersey. "I've played all the slams and hadn't got past the third round, so making the semis is amazing."

Noel has yet to lose a set this week, and in today's quarterfinals defeated unseeded Priska Nugroho of Indonesia 7-6(4), 6-2, making the most of her unconventional game.

"It's for sure different," Noel said. "You don't see as much slice, trying to come to the net. At least everyone that I play just tries to hit through the court, and I don't try to do that."

Noel understands that power does have its place, but she considers others adapting to her game style, rather than vice versa give her the upper hand.

"I know there are shots, of course, you step in and rip, but not a lot of people are used to my game, so it's an advantage for me," Noel said. "Me being able to change the pace, go a little faster if I need to, that's good for me, because it's my choice."

Noel says the biggest change in her game from last year, when she lost in the second round, is in her attitude.

"I think I'm a lot mentally stronger," said Noel, who is now training in Kansas City with David Span. "Obviously my game has improved, but I trust myself a lot more now. I just think I'm better at dealing with difficult situations--when it's close, when I'm nervous, when the score's tight, when the girl's playing well--I think I deal with it a little bit better."

Noel will face her first seed in Friday's semifinal, No. 4 Diane Parry of France, who beat compatriot Elsa Jacquemot 6-1, 6-4. Noel and Parry have split their previous two meetings, both on clay, with Parry winning at last year's Youth Olympic Games and Noel winning at the Grade 1 Yucatan Cup in 2017.

"Both were pretty close matches," said Noel, who feels an affinity with the game style of World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty. "I'm just going to try play my game and embrace that I'm in the semis of Wimbledon."
Navarro's 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over No. 6 seed Natsumi Kawaguchi followed a familiar pattern, with the top seed dropping the first set for the third consecutive match.

"I think it's a combination of me being a little slow and them coming out firing," said Navarro, who lost the first set to Katrina Scott 6-0 on Wednesday before again finishing with two 6-1 sets in her favor. "It's kind of a bad habit of mine to work my way into matches, to come out and see what they are going to do, and against good players, they'll come out swinging like she did, playing big, and if I'm not ready for that and completely committed to what I'm doing, they'll take control of every point."

With Navarro's success on the pro tour this spring and her run to the French Open girls final, the 18-year-old Duke recruit has seen plenty of big hitting, and she ranks the 17-year-old left-hander's power in that top category.

"It's similar," said Navarro. "On every shot she's going big and she's either going to make it or miss it. It depends on my ability to be able to push back against her pace and neutralize it, because most girls can't hit four or five shots like that in a row."

While Kawaguchi managed to do that in the first set, Navarro began to make her hit more shots as the match wore on and the unforced errors came in bunches, with Kawaguchi committing 60 in total.

Navarro will play unseeded Daria Snigur of Ukraine for a place in her second consecutive slam final, after Snigur defeated qualifier Polina Kudermetova of Russia 6-2, 6-4. Snigur, who won the Roehampton Grade 1 last week, and Navarro are meeting for the third consecutive junior slam, with Snigur winning in the third round in Australia 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 and Navarro winning 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.

"She's a very good player," said Navarro, who also beat Snigur on clay last year. "She has unconventional strokes and looking at her, it's frustrating to play against. She doesn't look as good as the other girls, look like she's moving as good as other girls, but she hits big and flat and low and it'll be tough on grass."

As with the girls quarterfinals, the boys produced only one three-setter, with Carlos Gimeno Valero of Spain defeating Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Gimeno Valero will face No. 17 seed Harold Mayot of France, who beat unseeded Illya Beloborodko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-4.

In the top half, No. 4 seed Damm will take on IMG friend and training partner Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan, the No. 8 seed, after both scored straight set victories Thursday.

Mochizuki, who, like Damm, reached the French Open semifinals last month, took out the last British junior in singles, beating Anton Matusevich 6-3, 6-3. Damm was at the top of his game in the first set of his 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 10 seed Carlos Alcaraz Garfia of Spain, but went down 4-1 in the second set before rebounding to win the last five games of the match.

Damm double faulted twice at deuce in his first service game of the second set, but did not show his frustration. That equanimity has not always been evident in the emotional 15-year-old's past, but he was determined not to lose control with so much on the line.

"That game was tough, and it cost me a lot of energy, but thankfully it didn't cost me the set," the 6-foot-6-inch left-hander said. "I had a game point, missed a forehand approach then two double faults. Obviously I was fuming inside, but I knew I had to forget about it real quick to get that break back. Even though I didn't get it that game, I stayed pretty positive, held at 0-3 and was able to break at 2-4."

Damm's serve is among the best in junior tennis, and he hit one that read 131 mph on the Court 12 display, but Damm avoided the temptation to attach outsized importance to his service speed.

"I've had it [access to a serve speed display] a couple of times, but I think this was the most legit one," Damm said. "But I didn't really pay any attention to it. If I hit a good, clean serve, I looked at it like three times the whole match, but it doesn't say much to me. Not every serve do I hit as hard as I can, less spin, more spin, sometimes slower on purpose. Obviously, when I hit an ace T as hard as I can, I'll have a look."

Although Damm and Mochizuki have met only once in ITF Junior Circuit play, with Mochizuki winning the Grade 1 final in Costa Rica over Damm this year, they are intimately familiar with each other's games from many years of training together at the IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida.

"We're really good friends," Damm said. "It's me Toby(Kodat) and Shintaro. We're always together at IMG, we do fitness together every day, we're around each other five, six hours every single day. We practice a lot, obviously. I'm very happy we're both in the semis. He got the better of me in the beginning of the year, but I'm feeling pretty confident and we have a good game plan, and hopefully I can play well again tomorrow."

Damm and Navarro have also reached the quarterfinals in doubles, so will be playing two matches on Friday.  They are among the eight Americans still alive in the doubles draw.

Damm and Kodat, the No. 3 seeds, beat Andrew Paulson of the Czech Republic and Eric Vanshelboim of Ukraine 6-3, 6-4. Brandon Nakashima and his partner Valentin Royer of France reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Flavio Cobolli of Italy and Dominic Stricker of Switzerland. No. 7 seeds Liam Draxl of Canada and Govind Nanda advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Baptiste Anselmo and Loris Pourroy of France.

Navarro and Chloe Beck, the No. 7 seeds, defeated the British wild card team of Holly Fischer and Matilda Mutavdzic 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. Unseeded Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Waronika Baszak and Martyna Kubka of Poland.

Thursday’s junior singles quarterfinal results featuring Americans:

Emma Navarro[1] d. Natsumi Kawaguchi(JPN)[6] 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
Alexa Noel[10] d. Priska Nugroho(INA) 7-6(4), 6-2
Martin Damm[4] d. Carlos Alcaraz Garfia(ESP)[10] 6-1, 6-4

Friday’s junior singles semifinals:

Emma Navarro[1] v Daria Snigur(UKR)
Alexa Noel[10] v. Diane Parry(FRA)[4]

Martin Damm[4] v. Shintaro Mochizuki(JPN)[8]
Carlos Gimeno Valero(ESP) v. Harold Mayot(FRA)[17]

Serena Williams defeated unseeded Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 in today's semifinal and will face Simona Halep of Romania in the final on Saturday. Williams, who has reached the Wimbledon final every year she's played it since 2015 (she missed 2017 while pregnant), goes for her 24th major singles title. See this article from Liz Clarke at the Washington Post for more on today's women's semifinals.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Americans Navarro, Noel and Damm Reach Wimbledon Junior Quarterfinals; Great Britain's Matusevich Ends Rune's Quest for Second Junior Slam

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Wimbledon--

Martin Damm has a comfort level at Wimbledon very few can claim, a feeling that stems from his trips there dating to before he was old enough to form memories. After his 6-2, 6-3 win over unseeded Taha Baadi of Canada to reach the Junior Championships quarterfinals, he recalled the trips to the All England Club with his father Martin Damm, an ATP professional.

"Yesterday we actually visited creche, the daycare that's here, and we were always there," said the 15-year-old left-hander. "I saw a picture from when I was like 10 months old, the first time I was here, and basically every year I've been coming here since, until the last four years, when my dad stopped playing. This is the tournament I came to the most, and I have the best memories, not just because my dad was playing here, but all the memories I made in that daycare, all the players I met when I was a little kid; it's pretty special here."

Damm played his first junior slam last summer at the US Open, but has already reached the French Open boys semifinal and he is the No. 4 seed this week. Damm, the youngest Kalamazoo 16s champion in the tournament's long history, credits the work he's done with Dr. Larry Lauer's USTA Mental Skills staff for his success this year on the ITF Junior Circuit.

"It's for sure mental," said Damm, "though obviously tennis-wise as well. Before Kalamazoo, I had a couple tough tournaments, so we sat down with the USTA coaches, my agent, my dad. I've put in a lot of work on the mental side, and to be honest, that's the biggest key to my success lately. All the routines, what we've set up in practices, in our talks, I think a lot of the matches I've won against the older guys, it's more the mental side than the physical."

Damm had beaten Baadi, a rising freshman at Wake Forest, at the Grade A in Italy back in May."I had confidence, I beat him in Milan, so it was just about executing, doing the things we worked on after my [second round] match," said Damm, who hit eight aces in the 53-minute match. "And I think I served very well and that helped a lot on grass."

Damm's opponent in Thursday's quarterfinal is No. 10 seed Carlos Alcaraz Garfia of Spain, who squeezed past lucky loser Will Grant 6-4, 5-7, 8-6. Alcaraz Garfia served for the match three times, but didn't have a match point on his own serve until he led 7-6. Grant saved four match points serving at 3-5 in the third set, and buoyed by that comeback, attacked the Alcaraz Garfia serve aggressively, but the 16-year-old Spaniard finally ended Grant's impressive tournament on his third attempt.

Damm and Alcaraz Garfia met in the semifinals of the Grade A in Brazil back in February, with Damm winning 6-4, 6-4.
Great Britain's Anton Matusevich  has now reached the Wimbledon boys quarterfinals for the second straight year, taking out French Open champion and No. 1 seed Holger Rune of Denmark 6-4, 7-5.

Matusevich, who had lost to Rune 6-3, 6-2 last week in the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton, said he was buoyed by the support of the crowd and from a group of friends who he had lured to the match with free ground passes.

"They were supporting me and it gets you fired up especially," said the 18-year-old, who completed his A level exams just a few weeks ago will now devote himself to tennis full time. "I got them grounds passes, my two best friends, and I said guys, bring the support tomorrow. It was a very good atmosphere out there. Obviously, the crowd will be behind me, but I sometimes block out the crowd and like to focus on each point."

Matusevich, who said he didn't think the quality of the match particularly high, got the only break of the first set, and had no trouble closing it out, but he failed to capitalize on his four match points serving at 5-4 in the second, leading to a tense few minutes for his mates and the rest of the crowd. Rune played a poor game to get broken again, although Matusevich did come up with an excellent lob winner to end it, and in the next game he made no mistake, hitting a good serve to earn his fifth match point and closing it out with an ace.

"I was playing very smart today, I think," said Matusevich, the 2018 US Open Junior doubles champion. "I wasn't hitting my forehand unbelievably well; I wasn't killing it. I was just making the return, slicing a lot...no rhythm, just win, find a way against this guy, so I was really happy."

Matusevich will face No. 8 seed Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan, who defeated wild card Arthur Fery of Great Britain 6-3, 6-3. Matusevich beat Mochizuki last week in the round of 16 at Roehampton 6-1, 6-4.

In the bottom half of the boys draw, the only seed remaining is No. 17 Harold Mayot of France, who beat No. 6 seed Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-4. Mayot will face Illya Beloborodko of Ukraine, who beat Nicolas Alvarez Varona of Spain 7-6(3), 6-4.  Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic will play Carlos Valero Gimeno of Spain in the other bottom half quarterfinal.

In the girls draw, top seed Emma Navarro lost the first set to 15-year-old qualifier Katrina Scott 6-0, but she took control of the match early in the second set and went on to take the next two sets 6-1, 6-1. Navarro had to save two break points to open the second set, but the match really turned when Scott went up 40-0 in the set's second game, but could not secure it, with Navarro finding her form and rolling from there.

The first set featured outstanding grass court tennis from Scott, who had ten winners, many of them coming via her drop shots, and only four unforced errors. Navarro made a rash of uncharacteristic errors, 14 to be exact, with only three winners, but she turned that around, and Scott, her right thigh heavily taped, was unable to sustain the level she had displayed in the first set. Scott, who played all three grass events, went 10-3 in that stretch, which included qualifying for Wimbledon.

Navarro will play No. 6 seed Natsumi Kawaguchi of Japan, who advanced when Elli Mandlik retired with an ab injury after dropping the second set 6-4, having won the first set 6-3. The other quarterfinal in the top half features 16-year-old qualifier Polina Kudermetova of Russia against Roehampton champion Daria Snigur of Ukraine. Kudermetova beat No. 3 seed Qinwen Zheng of China 6-2, 6-1, while Snigur took out Robin Montgomery 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-2.

There is an all-French quarterfinal coming Thursday after No. 4 seed Diane Parry defeated Hong Yi Cody Wong of Hong Kong 6-2, 6-3, and unseeded Elsa Jacquemot beat Mai Nirundorn of Thailand 7-5, 6-0.  No. 10 seed Alexa Noel advanced to her first junior slam quarterfinal, beating 15-year-old British wild card Matilda Mutavdzic 6-4, 6-4.

Noel was playing on one of the larger outside courts, Court 5, and with a British player competing on it, Mutavdzic had plenty of support from those waiting to get into Court 3 next door or exiting Show Courts 2 or 12. After a while, Noel begin to put her hands over her ears whenever Mutavdzic won a point, anticipating the coming roar.

"It was hard," said Noel, who turns 17 in September. "I love crowds, and obviously she's at home, but it was difficult for me just because she hit a few shots, I hit a few unforced errors, but the crowd was still going crazy. But it's something you have to deal with."

Despite all the crowd support, Mutavdzic was eventually worn down by the slicing and drop shots that Noel alternated with big serves and forehands. Down 5-2 in the second set, Mutavdzic saved three match points and broke Noel, then held to put the pressure back on the American, but some excellent serving delivered the win for Noel.

"I think I went for way too much," Noel said of failing to close out the match in that eighth game. "I could have easily just kicked a serve and play the point, hit a forehand, but for some reason I was like, hit an ace. And I didn't do that at all."

Noel will face Priska Nugroho of Indonesia in the quarterfinals. For the third consecutive match, Nugroho came from a set down to win, beating 14-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

All of the four girls quarterfinal matchups are a first ITF Junior Circuit meeting.

In the completion today of the first round of doubles, top seeds Parry and Zheng were defeated by Kamilla Bartone of Latvia and Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia 7-5, 6-4.  Navarro and Chloe Beck, the No. 7 seeds, won their first round match over Nirundorn and Pia Lovric of Slovenia 7-6(3), 6-3.

In boys doubles, top seeds Jonas Forejek and Jiri Lehecka defeated Andrew Dale and Andres Martin 6-4, 6-4. No. 3 seeds Damm and Toby Kodat beat Roman Burruchaga of Argentina and Natan Rodrigues of Brazil 7-6(7), 6-4. Eliot Spizzirri and Tyler Zink advanced to the second round with a 7-6(1), 6-1 win over Alejo Lingua Lavallen of Argentina and Mayot. Govind Nanda and his Canadian partner Liam Draxl, seeded No. 7, beat Nicholas David Ionel of Romania and Wojciech Marek of Poland 7-6(4), 7-6(5).

Sam Querrey lost to Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in the men's quarterfinals today, leaving Serena Williams as the only American still in singles save for Damm, Noel and Navarro. For more on Nadal's win today over Querrey, see this article from the Wimbledon website.

Wednesday's third round singles results for Americans:

Alexa Noel[10] d. Matilda Mutavdzic(GBR)[WC] 6-4, 6-4
Emma Navarro[1] d. Katrina Scott[Q] 0-6, 6-1, 6-1
Natsumi Kawaguchi(JPN)[6] d. Elli Mandlik  3-6, 6-4, ret.
Daria Snigur(UKR) d. Robin Montgomery 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-2

Martin Damm[4] d. Taha Baadi(CAN) 6-2, 6-3
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia(ESP)[10] d. Will Grant[LL] 6-4, 5-7, 8-6
Harold Mayot(FRA)[17] d. Brandon Nakashima[6] 6-4, 6-4

Thursday's quarterfinal singles matches featuring Americans:

Emma Navarro [1] v Natsumi Kawaguchi(JPN)[6]
Alexa Noel[10] v Priska Nugroho(INA)
Martin Damm[4] v Carlos Alcaraz Garfia(ESP)[10]

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Lucky Loser Grant Advances to Third Round at Wimbledon Junior Championships; Fourteen-Year-Old Fruhvirtova Ousts Second Seed Osoro Serrano

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Wimbledon--

Eight Americans have advanced to Wednesday's third round of the Wimbledon Junior Championships, and none of them feel half as fortunate as Will Grant.

Grant, the only player in either singles draw to get in as a lucky loser after losing in the final round of qualifying, defeated No. 5 seed Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-6(6) to earn just his second win at the junior slam level.

"If you would have told me I would have been here, it's like nah, it's crazy," said Grant, who lost in the first round at the Grade 1 in Nottingham and failed to qualify at Roehampton in the two previous grass court tournaments. "If you would have asked me [if I liked grass] that two weeks ago, I would have definitely said no. Losing in qualies in Roehampton, it wasn't pretty, I was really struggling on the grass....honestly I was in such a bad place mentally, I wanted to go home, I'm so done with the grass. But luckily my parents and coaches pushed me, kept me in a good place, and now I'm here."

Despite picking up his first junior slam win Monday against friend Nini Dica, who had drawn Grant's number in the lucky loser procedure, Grant was less than confident going into the match with Lehecka, who has a Top 500 ATP ranking and had beaten him 6-4, 6-1 in the final of a Grade 2 on the clay in April.

"Honestly, going into the match, obviously you think you can win and be positive," Grant said. "But in the back of my mind, I really didn't feel I could win. He beat me pretty easily a few weeks ago, pretty routine. I don't think he played his best today, but I had a part in that."

Grant also made good use of his challenges, with the Hawkeye system available on Court 16.

"I got one wrong, second game, it was way in, and I got three right towards the end, and it was pretty big points, and all were in," Grant said. "After the first or second I got right, I could sort of tell that the ref wasn't having a good day."

Grant didn't need any help from Hawkeye when he saved a set point with Lehecka serving for the second set at 6-5. Lehecka had come back from 0-40 down, taking four straight points, but Grant connected with a nifty cross court passing shot to save it and two consecutive Lehecka backhand errors sent the set to a tiebreaker. Lehecka led 5-4 and had two serves, but his backhand again let him down and Grant found himself serving at 6-5. Lehecka connected on a forehand winner to save the first match point, but he hit another errant backhand to give Grant a second chance, then double faulted to end the match.

"Honestly, in that second set, I got lucky," said Grant, who will be joining the Florida Gators this fall. "I probably should still be out there in the third, but it just went my way today, and I'm really proud."

Grant will play No. 10 seed Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, one of three Spanish boys remaining in the draw, in the third round. Alcaraz Garfia powered past Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida of Brazil 6-1, 6-2 Tuesday.

No. 4 seed Martin Damm defeated qualifier Ryoma Matsushita of Japan 6-4, 6-4 and will face Taha Baadi of Canada on Wednesday. No. 6 seed Brandon Nakashima is the third American boy in the round of 16, after he defeated Nicholas David Ionel of Romania 7-6(4), 6-2. Nakashima will take on No. 17 seed Harold Mayot of France Wednesday in the only boys third round match featuring two seeds.

"I thought he came out playing pretty well in the first set," said the 17-year-old Nakashima, who completed his first semester of college at the University of Virginia before returning this summer to the ITF Junior Circuit for the French Open. "I just tried to stay consistent with him, stay patient and wait for my moment. Luckily I closed it out in a tight first set and then got a little confidence, started playing a little better in the second, got some more returns in play and started serving a lot better."
Only five seeds remain in the girls draw, with 14-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic, pulling off the biggest upset of the girls tournament by defeating No. 2 seed Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia 6-4, 6-3.  Fruhvirtova, the youngest competitor at Wimbledon this year, looked in control throughout the match, despite having just won her first junior slam match on Saturday.

"I'm really happy with my win today," said Fruhvirtova, the reigning Les Petis As champion. "I feel like I played really, really well. Of course there were some mistakes, but I played consistent. There weren't many downs in my game, I kept playing well first set, second set and I was focused."

A little more than a year younger than this year's Wimbledon sensation Coco Gauff, Fruhvirtova views the American prodigy as an inspiration, but does not see herself making the second week of the women's tournament by this time next year.

"I think I can get there, but I don't think I can do it like in one year," said Fruhvirtova, who faces the same age restrictions as Gauff, which both must continue to navigate in the coming years. "It's really tough. I can't get so many wild card, I'm limited in count of tournaments, but I think what she achieved here is amazing, great results. I think I can do it, some day."

While Osorio Serrano was not able to hold off her younger opponent, top seed Emma Navarro did, just barely, beating 16-year-old Selena Janicijevic of France 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. Up 4-1 and serving in the first set, Navarro lost five straight games, then went down a break in the second set at 3-1, but fought back. The 18-year-old from South Carolina took a 4-2 lead in the third set, lost it, served for the match at 5-4, didn't get to match point, but never allowed any frustration to disrupt her focus. Janicijevic showed off some exquisite volleys in high pressure situations, but Navarro was still able to find spots for well-executed passing shots, including one stunning forehand from eight feet behind the baseline as she was tumbling to the grass.

Navarro got another chance to serve for the match after breaking Janicijevic with a forehand winner at 30-40, but she needed three match points to finally end the challenge from Janicijevic, who played outstanding tennis to save the first two match points. After forcing a forehand error for a third match point, Navarro got a good first serve in and Janicijevic netted her backhand return, ending a match the spectators crowding around court 10 were delighted to have witnessed. Navarro ended with 38 winners and just 23 unforced errors, while Janicijevic hit 37 winners with 35 unforced errors.

Navarro will face 15-year-old qualifier Katrina Scott, who added to her impressive grass court resume with a 6-1, 6-4 win over British wild card Sonay Kartal.

A day after going 11-9 in the third set, Elli Mandlik beat Elina Avanesyan of Russia 6-0, 6-0. Robin Montgomery and No. 10 seed Alexa Noel also advanced to the third round with straight-sets wins.

Half of the first round of doubles matches were completed today, with the only girls seeded team to fall No. 6 Sada Nahimana of Burundi and Liubov Kostenko of Ukraine losing to Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes 6-1, 6-4.  Thailand's Thasaporn Naklo was forced to retire in her doubles match after being hit in the eye with a ball late in the third set. Naklo and her partner Mananchaya Sawangkaew were coming back from 5-1 down against Fruhvirtova and Kristyna Lavickova when the unfortunate accident occurred.

The wild card team of Jacob Fearnley and Connor Thomson of Great Britain beat No. 8 seed Sergey Fomin of Uzbekistan and Gauthier Onclin of Belgium 6-2, 6-4, and Nakashima and Valentin Royer of France beat No. 4 seeds Pucinelli de Almeida and Argentina's Thiago Tirante 6-3, 6-2 in first round boys doubles action Tuesday.

In the women's quarterfinals, No. 11 seed Serena Williams defeated Alison Riske 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and will face unseeded Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in Thursday's semifinals. See this Wimbledon website article for more on that all-American quarterfinal.

Tuesday’s second round junior singles results featuring Americans:

Arthur Fery(GBR)[WC] d. Cannon Kingsley 6-4, 6-4
Anton Matusevich(GBR) d. Govind Nanda 6-3, 6-3
Brandon Nakashima[6] d. Nicholas David Ionel(ROU) 7-6(4), 6-2
Martin Damm[4] d. Ryoma Matsushita(JPN) 6-4, 6-4
Carlos Gimeno Valero(ESP) d. Andrew Dale[Q] 6-1, 6-3
Will Grant[LL] d. Jiri Lehecka(CZE)[5] 6-4, 7-6(6)

Katrina Scott[Q] d. Sonay Kartal(GBR)[WC] 6-1, 6-4
Elli Mandlik d. Elina Avanesyan(RUS) 6-0, 6-0
Alexa Noel[10] d. Charlotte Owensby[Q] 6-2, 6-1
Diane Parry(FRA)[4] d. Abigail Forbes 7-6(5), 6-4
Emma Navarro[1] d. Selena Janicijevic(FRA) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Robin Montgomery d. Funa Kozaki(JPN)[Q] 7-6(1), 6-2

Wednesday's third round singles matches featuring Americans:

Alexa Noel[10] v Matilda Mutavdzic(GBR)[WC]
Emma Navarro[1] v Katrina Scott[Q]
Elli Mandlik v Natsumi Kawaguchi(JPN)[6]
Robin Montgomery v Daria Snigur(UKR)

Martin Damm[4] v Taha Baadi(CAN)
Will Grant[LL] v Carlos Alcaraz Garfia(ESP)[10]
Brandon Nakashima[6] v Harold Mayot(FRA)[17]