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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Six Americans Reach Wimbledon Third Round with Wins Wednesday; Giron Earns First Wimbledon Victory, Olympic Berth; Just Five American Juniors Advance to Second Round at ITF Roehampton J1

The rain that caused more than nine hours of down time Monday and Tuesday at Wimbledon did not make an appearance today, and as a result, the tournament is very close to being back on schedule. There are a couple of second round matches that couldn't finish before dark, but all the first round singles matches were completed, allowing first round doubles play to begin on Thursday.

Qualifier Denis Kudla, Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda are the US men who have reached the third round with wins today, while Madison Key, Madison Brengle and Sloane Stephens are the US women to advance, with all three beating fellow Americans. Shelby Rogers is one of the second round matches that was suspended for darkness, with Rogers leading No. 15 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5.

With the first round complete, American men went 8-4, with the women's record in opening round matches 13-8.  Former UCLA star Marcos Giron was one of the eight US men to advance, and his 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 win over Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland was his first at Wimbledon, although he has now won at least one match at four of his last five slam appearances.

That success helped Giron remain confident even after failing to win a game in the fourth set.

"It was a weird match," said the 27-year-old from Thousand Oaks California. "The first set, I had no looks on breaks until I broke him out of nowhere. Second set, I didn't have any looks. Third set, I was kind of able to get looks. After losing the fourth set 6-0, I still had a lot of games returning where I had break opportunities or deuce and nothing fell my way. So I still knew, fifth set, I'm in this match. Fourth set, it doesn't matter if you lose 7-6 or 6-0."

At 4-all in the fifth set, Ruusuvuori managed to save three break points, with three winners, but Giron took the fourth break point. The break was gratifying, but he knew serving out the match was not a given.

"I've played a lot of deciding sets in my career, two years ago I played like 45, 46 three-setters, and so I feel like in those moments I have a lot of experience I can tap into," said Giron, who didn't face a break point in the fifth set. "I happy to get the break and of course, one step closer, but I knew that I still needed to finish him off in the end."

Giron went up 40-15 with a good first serve and a third-shot forehand winner, but his first attempt to close out the match ended with a slice backhand sailing long. But he converted the second, with Ruusuvuori sending a forehand wide, setting up a second round meeting on Thursday with No. 14 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.

Giron's current ranking of 66 would not normally put him in the conversation for the US Olympic team, but the four top-ranked American men--John Isner, Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka and Sebastian Korda--have opted to skip the Olympics and have been announced as committed to the Truist Atlanta Open at the end of July. That leaves Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Giron and Tennys Sandgren as the next in line, and although Giron understands what might be missing from the experience, he is excited to have the opportunity.

"I'm stoked to go," said Giron. "It's definitely going to be a different Olympics than in years past, it's going to take away from it, but that being said, as an athlete, I have to go, at least once. So when I got the opportunity to go I absolutely jumped on it. Of course I hope this isn't my only experience, that next time around in four years I'm in contention for it and able to play. It is a little bit disruptive to the schedule having to go during the ATP events that are in the States, having to travel all the way to Tokyo. I completely understand [why the others aren't going], but I'm excited and stoked to be able to represent team USA."

Wednesday's second round matches featuring Americans:

Ons Jabeur[21](TUN) d. Venus Williams[WC] 7-5, 6-0
Madison Brengle d. Sofia Kenin[4] 6-2, 6-4
Sloane Stephens d. Kristie Ahn[LL] 7-5, 6-3
Madison Keys[23] d. Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-4
Viktorija Golubic(SUI) d. Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-0
Elena Rybakina[18](KAZ) d. Claire Liu[Q] 6-4, 6-4
Liudmila Samsonova[WC](RUS) d. Jessica Pegula[22] 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Shelby Rogers leads Maria Sakkari[15](GRE) 7-5 suspended darkness

Denis Kudla[Q] d. Andreas Seppi(ITA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
Frances Tiafoe d. Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Sebastian Korda d. Antoine Hoang[Q](FRA) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4

Wednesday's first round matches featuring Americans:

Yoshihito Nishioka(JPN) d. John Isner[28] 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4
Marcos Giron d. Emil Ruusuvuori(FIN) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
Steve Johnson d. Dennis Novak(AUT) 7-6(7), 6-2, 7-5
Sam Querrey d. Pablo Carreno Busta[11](ESP) 7-6(6), 6-4, 7-5
Taylor Fritz[31] d. Brandon Nakashima[Q] 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5

Magda Linette(POL) d. Amanda Anisimova 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
Coco Vandeweghe d. Olga Govortsova[Q](BLR) 6-4, 6-2
Nao Hibino(JPN) d. Bernarda Pera 6-1, 5-7, 6-3

Thursday's second round matches featuring Americans:

Tennys Sandgren v Alexander Zverev[4](GER)
Sam Querrey v James Duckworth(AUS)
Marcos Giron v Hubert Hurkacz[14](POL)
Taylor Fritz[31] v Steve Johnson

Coco Gauff v Elena Vesnina(RUS)
Coco Vandeweghe v Katerina Siniakova(CZE)
Shelby Rogers leads Maria Sakkari[15](GRE) 7-5

Doubles competition begins on Thursday; the men's draw is here and the women's draw is here. The mixed doubles draw was released today, but no matches are on Thursday's schedule.

While the first few days at Wimbledon have provided good results for Americans, the US juniors playing at Roehampton J1 have not gotten off to promising start of their grass season. Only five of the 17 Americans won their first round matches; Reese Brantmeier, Madison Sieg[9] and Samir Banerjee won on Tuesday, while Ashlyn Krueger and Dali Blanch[11] were the only Americans to post victories today.

The second round of singles will be played Thursday, with the first round of doubles not yet complete. Once those matches are finished the second round of doubles will be played. With the rain on Tuesday causing the first round of singles to spill over into a second day, two rounds of singles will need to be played soon, perhaps as early as Friday for the round of 16 and quarterfinals.