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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Korda Defeats De Minaur on Soggy Second Day at Wimbledon; Brantmeier Earns First Round Win over French Open Champion at Roehampton J1; Sign Up for Daily Email Updates

It was another day with a four-hour plus rain interruption, leaving the Wimbledon first round behind schedule and delaying the start of the doubles competition.

Sebastian Korda

Sebastian Korda did manage to complete his 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(5) win over No. 15 seed Alex De Minaur, but just barely, with play on all the other outside courts suspended, some for quite some time, while he and the Australian continued on Court 17.

De Minaur was one of the most in-form players on grass, going 8-2 in the last three weeks and winning the ATP 250 title at Eastbourne last week, but Korda, making his Wimbledon debut, outplayed him in the first two sets. The third and fourth sets were toss-ups, but Korda came through with a big forehand and a good second serve, the latter on his third match point, to claim the win, just as heavier rain began to fall.

"He's had some incredible results, two semis and he won last week, so he's been playing some really good tennis," said Korda, who stated that he and De Minaur agreed to the continue despite the rain, and were encountering no problems with slipping.  "I knew he wasn't going to be fresh, but yeah, I was playing some really good tennis, I started off really well, used my tactics and kept coming at him."

Korda said that his sister Nelly's first major championship last week at the LPGA in Atlanta was bound to inspire him this week at Wimbledon.

"I was watching with my dad in his room and it was super nerve-racking," Korda said. "Especially on the 15th hole, when she dumped it in the water. There was definitely some stress there. But she handled herself so well, especially to close it out, how she did with such a long putt, making par, it was super cool. Both me and my dad were super emotional and super happy for her. We always have this competitive edge and we're always inspiring each other, all three of us (Jessica Korda is also a LPGA star). Seeing Nelly achieve what she achieved, how emotional she was, how much hard work and how much passion she puts into it every day, it's super inspiring. Hopefully I can keep playing some good tennis and stay a little longer here."

Korda will face qualifier Antoine Hoang of France in the second round, scheduled for late Wednesday.

Coco Gauff, back on the Wimbledon courts for the first time since her breakout run as a 15-year-old qualifier in 2019, defeated British wild card Francesca Jones 7-5, 6-4. 

"I was really nervous going in, my first time back since everything happened in 2019," said Gauff, who closed out the match with three aces. "Francesca, she came out on the court, she came swinging and playing really well. She played well the whole match. Just a few points here and there that were lucky to go my way. But I think today, like, was a solid first-round performance for me."

Gauff went down often in her match, but she appeared to suffer no ill effects from the many slips. Serena Williams wasn't as fortunate, as she suffered an injury related to the Centre Court grass and retired at 3-3 in the first set against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

Claire Liu was one of two US women who had to go into extra innings to secure her first round win over Misaki Doi of Japan. Liu was unable to serve out the match at 5-4 when it resumed after being called for darkness on Monday, but she broke Doi serving at 7-7 and converted her third match point for a 2-6, 6-3, 9-7 victory.  Liu is now in the second round at Wimbledon for the second time in her career.

Christina McHale, who had had multiple match points in the third  set against Madison Brengle before their match was suspended Monday, served for the match again at 8-7 in the third, but it was Brengle who came out on top, winning the last three games for a 3-6, 7-5, 10-8 victory.

Matches are five deep on almost all courts Wednesday, with most of the first round matches going first but the two courts that are certain of matches being played, Centre Court and Court One, are all second round matches.

The tournament announced today that the men's doubles format would be best of three sets for the first two rounds, instead of the usual best of five sets when weather is not a consideration.

Tuesday's first round results of Americans:
Venus Williams[WC] d. Mihaela Buzarnescu(ROU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Jessica Pegula[22] d. Caroline Garcia(FRA) 6-3, 6-1
Nadia Podoroska(ARG) d. Ann Li 6-4, 7-6(1)
Tereza Martincova(CZE) d. Alison Riske[28] 6-2, 4-6, 6-1  
Shelby Rogers d. Samantha Stosur(AUS) 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 
Aliaksandra Sasnovich(BLR) d. Serena Williams[6] 3-3 ret. 
Coco Gauff[20] d. Francesca Jones[WC](GBR) 7-5, 6-4
Bernarda Pera v Nao Hibino(JPN) 1-6, 7-5 suspended

Tennys Sandgren d. Norbert Gombos(SVK) 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-3
Sebastian Korda d. Alex De Minaur[15](AUS) 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(5)

Wednesday's first round matches featuring Americans:
John Isner[28] v Yoshihito Nishioka(JPN)
Marcos Giron v Emil Ruusuvuori(FIN)
Steve Johnson v Dennis Novak(AUT)
Sam Querrey v Pablo Carreno Busta[11](ESP)
Taylor Fritz[31] v Brandon Nakashima[Q]

Amanda Anisimova v Magda Linette(POL)
Coco Vandeweghe v Olga Govortsova[Q](BLR)
Bernarda Pera v Nao Hibino(JPN) 1-6, 7-5

Wednesday's second round matches featuring Americans:
Venus Williams[WC] v Ons Jabeur[21](TUN)
Madison Brengle v Sofia Kenin[4]
Kristie Ahn[LL] v Sloane Stephens
Lauren Davis v Madison Keys[23]
Danielle Collins v Viktorija Golubic(SUI)
Claire Liu[Q] v Elena Rybakina[18](KAZ)
Jessica Pegula[22] v Liudmila Samsonova[WC](RUS)
Shelby Rogers v Maria Sakkari[15](GRE)

Denis Kudla[Q] v Andreas Seppi(ITA)
Frances Tiafoe v Vasek Pospisil
Sebastian Korda v Antoine Hoang[Q](FRA)

The J1 in Roehampton also fell way behind with today's rain, with only 10 of the 32 girls first round matches and 14 of the 32 boys first round matches completed. No second round matches are on the schedule for Wednesday, so two singles matches in one day will be necessary at some point; the first round of doubles is on Wednesday's schedule.

Reese Brantmeier defeated French Open girls champion Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic 7-6(3), 7-5, while No. 9 seed Madison Sieg advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Tijana Sretenovic of Serbia. Samir Banerjee is the only American boy of the four who completed their matches who won, beating Alvaro Guillen Meza of Ecuador 6-1, 6-4. No. 5 seed Bruno Kuzuhara lost to Gonzalo Bueno of Peru 6-4, 6-4. 

This is the last reference I'll make to this change, with my intention to shut off the Feedburner email service Wednesday night, with Google announcing they will no longer provide the service in July. If you are accustomed to getting my daily emails and have not signed up again in the box in the upper left-hand column, you will want to do so right away to continue getting an update, with the new email coming from Mailchimp every morning at 6 a.m. Those of you who have signed up for the new service recently should only get one email, from Mailchimp, beginning Thursday.