Sunday, July 4, 2021

Fruhvirtova, Pinnington Jones Claim Roehampton J1 Titles, Brantmeier and Krueger Win Doubles; Eleven US Juniors in First Round Wimbledon Action Monday; ITF Junior and Pro Circuit Update

It was a good day for No. 8 seeds at the ITF Junior Circuit Roehampton J1, with Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic and Jack Pinnington Jones of Great Britain taking the titles in the only major junior grass tournament this year aside from Wimbledon.

Fruhvirtova defeated qualifier Linda Klimovicova, also of the Czech Republic, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in today's final. Klimovicova had beaten top seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra 6-3, 6-4 in Saturday's semifinals. This title moves Fruhvirtova to the top of the list of Wimbledon contenders, with seven of the last 10 girls singles champions at Roehampton going on to win Wimbledon the following week. 

Jack Pinnington Jones defeated No. 7 seed Daniel Rincon of Spain 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 to become the first British boy since Liam Broady to win the title at Roehampton. Unfortunately for Pinnington Jones, the Roehampton boys champion doesn't have the same success rate as the girls, with only one player going back-to-back in the past ten Roehampton/Wimbledon tournaments: Denis Shapovalov in 2016.

Rincon did earn a title today in boys doubles, partnering with Abedallah Shelbayh of Jordan, who will join the Florida Gators this fall. Rincon and Shelbayh defeated Samir Banerjee and his partner Max Westphal of France 4-6, 7-6(5), 12-10. 

Reese Brantmeier and Ashlyn Krueger won the girls doubles title, defeating Michaela Laki of Greece and Lola Radivojevic of Serbia 6-4, 6-2. Brantmeier and Krueger had beaten Clervie Ngounoue and Alexandra Yepifanova in Saturday's doubles semifinals 6-3, 4-6, 11-9.

None of the three Americans who reached the final round of the Wimbledon junior qualifying today at Roehampton advanced to the main draw. Ngounoue[12] lost to Mei Hasegawa[7] of Japan 3-6, 6-3, 10-4; Benjamin Kittay lost to Igor Kudriashov[7] of Russia 6-2, 6-4 and Braden Shick lost to wild card Patrick Brady of Great Britain 6-3, 7-6(6).

None of those who played in today's Roehampton finals will play on Monday, but that still means 11 of the 16 US juniors are in action. Elvina Kalieva and Aidan Mayo did not play Roehampton, but are scheduled to take the court Monday at Wimbledon.

First round matches for US juniors Monday:

Aidan Mayo v Matthew Donald(CZE)
Ozan Colak v Miguel Gomez(POR)
Victor Lilov v Hugo Coquelin[WC](GBR)
Dali Blanch[10] v Kalin Ivanovski(MKD)
Ethan Quinn v Adolfo Vallejo(PAR)
Bruno Kuzuhara[4] v William Jansen[WC](GBR)

Alexandra Yepifanova[7] v Alina Shcherbinina(RUS)
Valencia Xu v Nastasia Schunk(GER)
Alexis Blokhina v Matilde Paoletti(ITA)
Elvina Kalieva[10] v Isabelle Lacy(GBR)
Madison Sieg[9] v Ranah Stoiber[WC]

I will be previewing the Junior Championships for Wimbledon Radio at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time Monday. The link to listen live is on the Wimbledon home page.

Three Americans are on Monday's schedule in the men's and women's singles, with Sebastian Korda taking on No. 25 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia, Madison Keys[23] facing Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland and Coco Gauff[20] playing former champion and No. 25 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany.

Elsewhere on the ITF Junior Circuit, Cleo Hutchinson, 14-year-old from Santa Barbara, won her first ITF title at the J5 in Kenya, in her fourth career ITF junior tournament. Hutchinson, who was unseeded, defeated No. 5 seed Nicoline Sartz-Lunde of Norway 6-3, 6-3 in the final. She had beaten top seed Rufaro Magarira of Zimbabwe in the first round.

Brenda Fruhvirtova, the 14-year-old sister of Linda, also won a title today, taking the singles championship at the J2 in the Czech Republic. Fruhvirtova, the No. 7 seed, defeated unseeded Anca Todoni of Romania 6-3, 6-0 in the final for her second title at the Grade 2 level.

Elli Mandlik won a $15,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournament in Tunisia, her first title since 2019. The 20-year-old, seeded No. 4, defeated No. 8 seed Angelica Raggi of Italy 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 in today's final. 

Rain continues to be a problem at the $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in Weston Florida, but qualifier Liam Draxl of Canada and No. 5 seed Stefan Kozlov have advanced to the final. Draxl, the Kentucky sophomore, defeated No. 6 seed Gonzalo Villanueva of Argentina 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and Kozlov defeated Ryan Harrison 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal. The semifinals finished late this evening, so I don't know if the final will be played tonight or Monday.