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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fritz Wins First ATP Main Draw Match; US Women Collect Eight Wins in Wimbledon Qualifying; US Girls Fall to Australia in Eastbourne Competition

Taylor Fritz, the world's No. 1 junior, won his first ATP main draw match today at the ATP 250 tournament in Nottingham.  The Southern Californian defeated 66th-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-1, 6-4 to become the third 17-year-old this year to win a main draw match on the ATP tour (Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev). Fritz is the first American 17-year-old to win an ATP main draw match since Denis Kudla beat Santiago Ventura in the first round of the Hall of Fame tournament in 2010.

He didn't get much time to enjoy that milestone however. Due to rain on Monday, Fritz had to play his second round match today as well, and he was not able to threaten No. 3 seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain, ranked 16th on the ATP Tour, losing 6-3, 6-3 in under an hour. Lopez got 80 percent of his first serves in, while Fritz's first serve percentage was 51, and the Spaniard never faced a break point.

Fritz returns to the juniors later this week at the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton, which starts on Sunday, and then the Wimbledon Junior Championships, which starts on Saturday, July 4th. I will be providing live coverage of the Wimbledon Juniors again this year.

The juniors take over the Roehampton courts after the Wimbledon qualifying is complete, and unlike yesterday, no rain delayed the proceedings there Tuesday. A total of nine Americans picked up wins, eight of them women.

No. 3 seed Louisa Chirico, No. 4 seed Sachia Vickery, Melanie Oudin, Anna Tatishvili and Bethanie Mattek-Sands all picked up straight set victories, while Grace Min(24) and Maria Sanchez posted comebacks over British wild cards after dropping their opening sets. Jessica Pegula was leading 6-1, 4-3 when Julia Glushko of Israel retired.

Katerina Stewart lost 7-6(5), 7-5 to Eri Hozumi of Japan, and Allie Kiick was beaten by Ekaterina Bychkova of Russia 6-1, 6-4.  Tatishvili's win came over fellow American Alexa Glatch, by a 6-4, 6-4 score.

Another notable women's qualifying result was 16-year-old wild card Katie Swan's 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 9 seed and WTA 118 Kristina Kucova of Slovakia. The British teen, who trains in the United States and plays USTA and ITF events here, will play Tamira Paszek of Austria in the second round. For more on Swan's win, see this BBC article.

The only US man remaining in Wimbledon qualifying after the completion of the first round is No. 18 seed Bjorn Fratangelo, who defeated Amir Weintraub of Israel 6-4, 7-5, his first career victory on grass.  Ryan Harrison(24) lost his third set of a match carried over from Monday and No. 13 seed Austin Krajicek was beaten by Yannick Mertens of Belgium 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. Chase Buchanan, Jared Donaldson, Jarmere Jenkins and Dennis Novikov lost on Monday.

The order of play for Wednesday's second round is here.

The draws are here.

Another competition taking place on the British grass is a girls team event, which I believe is a new concept called the Grand Slam Nations Challenge. Great Britain, Australia, France and the United States are playing a round robin competition of four singles and two doubles matches at the site of the WTA Eastbourne tournament.  In the first day's results, Great Britain beat France 6-0, and Australia defeated the United States 5-1.  Complete results are below.