Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pliskova Takes Wimbledon Girls Singles Championship, Stephens Reaches Doubles Final; Jenkins to Play for Rochester Futures Singles Title

Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic has added another junior slam title to the Australian Open championship won by her twin sister Karolina, defeating Sachie Ishizu of Japan 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 today in front of a capacity crowd on Court 1 at Wimbledon. (That is Exhibit A in how the British view of tennis differs from that of Americans). Pliskova was down 4-2 in the final set, but didn't panic, won both 30-40 points in Ishizu's next two service games and hit an ace on her second match point to claim the win. Guy McCrea, who did the play-by-play for Radio Wimbledon, was particularly impressed with Pliskova's lefty serve, which rarely deserted her on key points, although she was broken to end the second set.

After a nervous few games to open the match, Ishizu, seeded 10th, also acquitted herself well, and for a few games it looked as if we might have a repeat of last year's final, where the tall and powerful favorite (Kristina Mladenovic of France) would be outmaneuvered by the less physically imposing challenger (Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand) as the match wore on. But Roehampton champion Pliskova, the No. 9 seed, who now has a 12-match grass winning streak, showed the poise of a veteran in completing the victory, and she and her sister are now in the history books as the only sisters to win junior slams in the same year.

The ITF website is currently down, so I don't know if there will be quotes from Ishizu, but wimbledon.org has this story and a transcript of Pliskova's English language post-match press conference.

Special thanks to Susan Mullane of CameraworkUSA for providing me with the above photo.

In the junior doubles semifinals Saturday, No. 4 seeds Sloane Stephens and Timea Babos reached their second consecutive junior slam final as a team, beating No. 5 seeds Veronica Cepede Royg of Parguay and Cristina Dinu of Romania 6-1, 6-3. Stephens and Babos, the French doubles champions, will play top seeds Irina Khromacheva of Russia and Eline Svitolina of Ukraine in Sunday's final on Court 18. Khromacheva and Svitolina defeated No. 3 seeds Ons Jabeur of Tunisia and Monica Puig 6-4, 6-1.

The boys singles final between No. 13 seed Marton Fucsovics of Hungary and qualifier Ben Mitchell of Australia will be played on Court 1, as will the boys doubles final, which features two unseeded British teams. Lewis Burton and George Morgan denied German Kevin Krawietz a chance to defend the title he won last year, defeating Krawietz and partner Peter Heller, the No. 5 seeds, 6-3, 3-6, 15-13. Liam Broady and Tom Farquharson joined them with a 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-4 victory over the Russian pair of Mikhail Biryukov and Alexander Rumyantsev. There was no story on either girls doubles semifinal, but due to the British interest, there was one on each of the boys semifinals at wimbledon.org.

In the Pro Circuit Futures event in Rochester, NY, Virginia sophomore Jarmere Jenkins has reached Sunday's final by defeating former Florida All-American Greg Ouellette 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3. It was Jenkins' fourth consecutive three-set win. The unseeded Jenkins will meet No. 6 seed Daniel Yoo, who beat Chase Buchanan of Ohio State 7-5, 6-2. Buchanan is in the doubles final however, with former teammate Bryan Koniecko. The No. 4 seeds will play the No. 2 seeds Conor Pollock, formerly of Texas A & M and Cory Parr, formerly of Wake Forest.

For complete results, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.

The qualifying for the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships began today. Eric Quigley, the junior from Kentucky, was a wild card, and he lost to Dimtry Tursunov of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Jordan Cox had a very good win, beating No. 8 seed and 237th-ranked Giovanni Lapentti of Ecuador 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. Cox plays Richard Bloomfield of Great Britain on Sunday.

For the complete qualifying draw, see the ATP website.