Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Liu, Riffice Reach Roehampton Grade 1 Semifinals; Wimbledon Junior Qualifying Begins Thursday; Brengle Upsets Kvitova to Reach Wimbledon Third Round; Johnson, Querrey, Williams Also Move On

Claire Liu and Sam Riffice will play in both the singles and doubles semifinals Thursday at the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton, with Liu taking on Australian Open girls champion Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine and Riffice facing Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland.

The second-seeded Liu, who has yet to drop a set this week, beat British wild card Ali Collins 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, while No. 3 seed Kostyuk beat No. 5 seed Taylor Johnson 6-0, 6-0.  Both Liu and Kostyuk are former Junior Orange Bowl 14s champions. The semifinal in the top half will feature unseeded Kaja Juvan of Slovenia, the reigning Orange Bowl champion, against No. 14 seed En Shuo Laing of Taiwan.

Riffice is one of three unseeded boys in the semifinals after the 18-year-old beat No. 16 seed Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine of France 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3. The semifinal in the top half will feature Stanford incoming freshman Axel Geller of Argentina and No. 10 seed Yshai Oliel of Israel.  The unseeded Geller beat No. 5 seed Yuta Shimizu of Japan 6-2, 6-1 in today's quarterfinals and Oliel avenged his Australian Open boys final loss to Zsombor Piros of Hungary, defeating the No. 3 seed 6-2, 6-4.

Riffice and Duarte Vale of Portugal reached the doubles semifinals and will play Sebastian Korda and his partner Nicolas Mejia of Colombia. Riffice and Vale beat Blake Ellis of Australia and Matteo Martineau of France 6-7(6), 6-4, 10-5 and Korda and Mejia outlasted Vasil Kirkov and Danny Thomas 6-7(4), 6-3, 10-7.

Only one of the eight boys doubles teams in the quarterfinals was seeded, while the girls doubles semifinals will feature the top four seeds.  Top seeds Johnson and Liu, who beat Amina Anshba and Anastasia Kharitonova of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 10-5, will face No. 4 seeds Xin Yu Wang and Xiyu Wang of China.  No. 3 seeds Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe benefited from a walkover today and will face No. 2 seeds Kostyuk and Canada's Carson Branstine  in the semifinals.

photo courtesy Wimbledon media
The qualifying draws for the Wimbledon Junior Championships are out, with ten Americans returning to the Roehampton courts to begin their attempts to reach the main draw and the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Brian Cernoch is the top seed in the boys qualifying, with Sangeet Sridhar[15], Lukas Greif[10] and Andrew Fenty[11] the other US boys in the qualifying draw.

Six US girls are in the 32-player qualifying draw: Natasha Subhash[10], Victoria Flores[4], Alana Smith, Salma Ewing, Hurricane Tyra Black[7] and wild card Cori Gauff.

At Wimbledon today, Madison Brengle got her second career main draw win there, and it was a big one. The 27-year-old from Delaware, who now lives in Bradenton Florida, beat No. 11 seed and pre-tournament favorite Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.  Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, is still in the early stages of her comeback from a home invasion knife attack, but her recent title in Birmingham had shown how quickly she had returned to form. Kvitova spoke about the match in a press conference; unfortunately there are no comments that I can find from Brengle.

Venus Williams[10] beat Qiang Wang of China 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, but Jennifer Brady and Madison Keys[17] both lost, with Brady falling to No. 8 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Keys dropping a 6-4, 6-7(10), 6-1 decision to Camila Giorgi of Italy.

On the men's side, Sam Querrey[24] defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 and Steve Johnson[26] beat Radu Albot of Moldova 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Donald Young fell to No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.

Americans in Thursday's second round:  Jack Sock[17], Frances Tiafoe, John Isner[23], Jared Donaldson, Ryan Harrison, Shelby Rogers, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Christina McHale, Varvara Lepchenko, Alison Riske and CoCo Vandeweghe[24].


And Then There Were 3 said...

Querrey, Johnson, and Donaldson are the only American Men into the 3rd round of the Wimbledon Singles