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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Wimbledon Junior Acceptances, Tiebreakers to Decide All Sets There This Year; Seven Americans Through to French Open Third Round; Draxl and Perez-Somarriba Top Final ITA Singles Rankings

The acceptances for the 2021 Wimbledon Junior Championships were released today, with eight US boys and eight US girls receiving entry to the main draw. Unlike the past two French Open Junior Championships, which did not have qualifying, a 32-player tournament for eight spots in the main draw will be played at the usual site of Wimbledon qualifying in Roehampton. 

Most of the same Americans who are preparing to play the French Open Junior beginning Sunday are also playing Wimbledon. Two notable exceptions are Robin Montgomery, who is competing in Paris but did not enter Wimbledon, and Alexandra Yepifanova, who entered Wimbledon, but not the French Open.

The American boys who are in the Wimbledon main draw as of today: Bruno Kuzuhara, Dali Blanch, Alexander Bernard, Samir Banerjee, Jack Anthrop, Ozan Colak, Ethan Quinn and Aidan Mayo. Victor Lilov, two out of the main draw, is in qualifying, as are Aidan Kim, Branden Shick and Benjamin Kittay. The boys cutoff was 51, with Philip Sekulic of Australia, ranked 62, getting in due to the geographical representation clause for Grade As, which gives entry to the highest ranked player from certain regions, in Sekulic's case Oceania, as long as they are in the Top 80. 

In addition to Yepifanova, the US girls receiving main draw acceptance to the Wimbledon Junior Championships are Madison Sieg, Elivina Kalieva, Ellie Coleman, Ashlyn Krueger, Reese Brantmeier, Alexis Blokhina and Valencia Xu. There are no US girls in qualifying, with Clervie Ngounoue one out. The girls main draw cutoff was 53; two players received entry into qualifying with ITF exemptions, Yasmine Kabbaj of Morocco is in due to the geographic representation (with Top 150 that criteria) and Maria Timofeeva received a qualifying entry due to her WTA ranking of 469.

As in the upcoming French Open, Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra at No. 2 and Juncheng "Jerry" Shang of China at No. 3 are the highest ranked players at the time of acceptances.

The big news from this year's fact sheet is the elimination of the third-set advantage set for juniors. This year, all three sets will be decided in tiebreakers. In 2019, the juniors played the advantage set in both singles and doubles; this year, the third set in doubles will be decided by a match tiebreaker.

Seven Americans won their second round matches today at the French Open, three of them former NCAA singles champions. Two-time NCAA winner Danielle Collins, who has been out since Miami after surgery for endometriosis, was in great form against qualifier Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, needing just over an hour to post a 6-0, 6-2 victory. The former University of Virginia star will face Serena Williams in the third round, who defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 today. Williams and Collins played earlier this year in one of the Australian Open warmups, with Williams winning in the third-set match tiebreaker instituted to make sure the tournament was completed before the slam began.

Marcos Giron, the 2014 NCAA singles champion, has reached his first slam third round, with the former UCLA Bruin beating Guido Pella of Argentina 7-6(2), 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4 today. Cristian Garin, his next opponent, saved two match points in the third set tiebreaker, preventing an all-UCLA NCAA champion third round match with a 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3, 8-6 win over 2016 singles champion Mackenzie McDonald. McDonald and Garin played for over four hours, with McDonald saving a match point himself at 5-6 in the fifth.

Steve Johnson, who won NCAA titles in 2011 and 2012, is through to the third round with a 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3 win over Thiago Monteiro of Brazil, in a match that took nearly four hours and finished until the lights after 10:30 p.m. Paris time.

The other collegian to advance to the third round, 2005 NCAA doubles champion and 2007 singles finalist John Isner, had less difficulty, beating Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 7-6(6), 6-1, 7-6(5) in two hours and 15 minutes.

Wednesday's second round results of Americans:

Serena Williams[7] d. Mihaela Buzarnescu(ROU) 6-3, 5-7, 6-1
Madison Keys[23] d. Leylah Fernandez(CAN) 6-1, 7-5
Tamara Zidansek(SLO) d. Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-1
Danielle Collins d. Anhelina Kalinina[Q](UKR) 6-0, 6-2
Daniil Medvedev[2](RUS) d. Tommy Paul 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3
John Isner[31] d. Filip Krajinovic(SRB) 7-6(6), 6-1, 7-6(5)
Reilly Opelka[32] d. Jaume Munar(ESP) 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
Steve Johnson d. Thiago Monteiro(BRA) 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3
Marcos Giron d. Guido Pella(ARG) 7-6(2), 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4
Cristian Garin[22](CHI) d. Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3, 8-6

Thursday's second round matches featuring Americans:

Sloane Stephens v Karolina Pliskova[9](CZE)
Ann Li v Elina Svitolina[5](UKR)
Jennifer Brady[13] v Fiona Ferro(FRA)
Varvara Lepchenko[Q] v Karolina Muchova[18](CZE)
Taylor Fritz[31] v Dominik Koepfer(GER)
Coco Gauff[24] v Qiang Wang(CHN)
Jessica Pegula[28] v Tereza Martincova(CZE)
Sofia Kenin[4] v Hailey Baptiste[Q]

The ITA released its final individual rankings for 2020-21 today, with Kentucky's Liam Draxl and Miami's Estela Perez-Somarriba finishing at No. 1 and receiving the Player of the Year designation. Unlike the team rankings, in which the NCAA champion is automatically awarded the top spot at year-end, that does not happen with singles and doubles. Below are the Top 10 in men's and women's singles and the Top 5 in men's and women's doubles. Click on the heading to see the full list.  For the final Division I team rankings, click here for the women and click here for the men.

1. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami
2. Emma Navarro, Virginia*
3. Sara Daavettila, North Carolina
4. Abigail Forbes, UCLA
5. Katarina Jokic, Georgia
6. Janice Tjen, Oregon
7. Kenya Jones, Georgia Tech
8. McCartney Kessler, Florida
9. Anna Rogers, NC State
10. Alexa Graham, North Carolina

1. Liam Draxl, Kentucky
2. Sam Riffice, Florida*
3. Daniel Rodrigues, South Carolina
4. Valentin Vacherot, Texas A&M
5. Duarte Vale, Florida
6. Hady Habib, Texas A&M
7. Gabriel Decamps, Central Florida
8. Adam Walton, Tennessee
9. Johannus Monday, Tennessee
10. Matias Soto, Baylor

1. Makenna Jones and Elizabeth Scotty, North Carolina*
2. Victoria Flores and Kenya Jones, Georgia Tech
3. Sara Daavettila and Cameron Morra, North Carolina
4. Ariana Arsenault and Katarina Jokic, Georgia
5. Kylie Collins and Lulu Sun, Texas

1. Tim Sandkaulen and Finn Reynolds, Mississippi
2. Alastair Gray and Luc Fomba, TCU
3. Adam Walton and Pat Harper, Tennessee*
4. William Blumberg and Brian Cernoch, North Carolina
5. Sven Lah and Constantin Frantzen, Baylor

*NCAA champions


College Fan said...

How Navarro is not #1 is incredulous. She lost 1 match all year & avenged that loss in the final. Miami’s Perez-Somarriba had a great year, but lost 3 times: to GT’s Jones, UNC’s Daavettila and Navarro. Navarro beat both Jones and Daavettila in the Semis.

Navarro lost to Perez Somarriba in Miami and then beat her in the NCAA finals.

How does one make the logical case for ESM to be ranked ahead of Navarro?

If there was ever a time to override the computer.

College Fan said...

A follow up to the Navarro ranking. She beat the 5 top 10 players and the #1 and #2 seeds in the tournament. Navarro also beat #7 Jones GT, #9 Rogers NCSU and #10 Graham (UNC). Again, she was 1-1 against the Perez Somarriba. Seems like a 6-3, 6-1 victory in the NCAA finals would weigh more than a 3 set loss on EPS’s Miami home court. Perez Somarriba lost 3 times, but was undefeated since early March. That’s an incredible run.

In the bigger picture, it doesn’t really matter. But in this year, how do you say with a straight face that EPS should rank above Emma

fan said...

Maybe NCAA singles tournament itself mattered? EPS had a harder path to the semis(Ewing, Stearns, Graham, Forbes), and since Tjen defeated Jokic..

Had Navarro defeated Daavettila and Jokic during dual play(forced to stop)..she was leading Daavettila(Dual season) but was trailing to Jokic(NCAA Team).