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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Qualifier Kim Shocks Roland Garros Champion to Reach Junior Wimbledon Third Round; Tien, Zheng and Gorzny Also Advance; Norrie Moves into Men's Semifinals

©Colette Lewis 2022--
Wimbledon--


Last Friday, Aidan Kim was in at 9-all in a match tiebreaker that would determine whether he would qualify for the main draw at the Wimbledon Junior Championships. He won the next two points from South Africa's Devin Badenhorst to earn his place in the main draw, and in Tuesday's second round defeated top seed and Roland Garros champion Gabriel Debru of France 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in front of a large crowd on Show Court 12.

"Every point in that tiebreak I'm still remembering in my head," said Kim, who turns 18 in November, so will not be able to compete in the ITF junior events next year. "It was very intense. But I really feel like anyone in the top 100 is neck and neck, especially on grass courts. Anyone can win on grass; I feel as juniors, we're not as used to playing on grass as much as some pros who have been playing for years."

Although Kim liked his chances against Debru, he acknowledged the boost he got from the fans, many of whom were waiting to take their seats for the quarterfinal matches on Court One and Centre Court.

"The crowd was definitely a factor in helping me today," said Kim, who is from Milford Michigan. "It's by far the most fans that have ever watched me play. It was a great feeling and a great atmosphere. In these past few tournaments I've been considered the underdog and it's nice to have fans supporting."

Kim said he needed to work through his nerves in the first set, but he began to find his form in the second, breaking Debru at 3-4 and holding to even the match. Kim went up an early break in the third, was immediately broken for 2-2, and then got several gifts from Debru serving at 2-3, with three double faults significantly damaging his confidence in that shot. Kim held easily for 4-2 and 5-3 leads, then broke for a third time in the set, with the match ending on Debru's ninth double fault.

Kim will play Michael Zheng Wednesday in the third round, in the only round of 16 singles match between players from the same country.

The 18-year-old New Jersey resident defeated Martin Vergara Del Puerto of Paraguay 7-5, 6-0, looking exceptionally confident in the second set and unfazed by Vergara Del Puerto's lengthy medical timeout before he served to stay in the match at 0-5.

Zheng and Kim played in the first round of qualifying at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Orange Park Florida back in April, with Zheng winning 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-8 and going on to reach the final.

Debru was hardly the only seed to exit in the second round, with four of the top five seeds eliminated Tuesday.

No. 2 seed Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic was beaten by Duke rising freshman Pedro Rodenas of Spain, No. 5 seed Nishesh Basavareddy lost to Peter Privara of Slovakia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and No. 4 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru was ousted by Learner Tien.

Tien, a resident of Irvine California, had no experience on grass before playing the Roehampton J1, and had no practice there prior to his first match due to what he termed "luggage issues."

"I actually wasn't able to hit on the grass at all until the warmup before my first match, so that was my first time playing on grass," said the 16-year-old left-hander, who went on to win that math and reach the third round. 

Tien had been told that his game should work well on the surface, but he wasn't convinced.

"I heard that a lot from various people, telling me my game would suit it pretty well," Tien said. "But I really didn't have any expectations coming in, despite what I had heard. I was a bit skeptical on how it would go because I had no experience playing on it. But it turned out ok once I started getting used to it."

Against Bueno, who has had his best results on clay, Tien struggled to close out his service games in the first set, but as the points got longer in the second and third sets, he began to take control.

"I was making early mistakes, not really overplaying, but making loose errors and giving him free points, without him having to do much," Tien said. "So I just tried making him play more, not giving him as many errors or free points and making him earn as many points as I could."

Tien broke Bueno to go up 5-2 in the third, but wasn't able to serve it out. Having already broken Bueno three times in four service games, Tien didn't doubt he could do it again in the final game.

"I played that return game with not too much pressure on me, because I knew I was still going to serve for it at 5-4," said Tien, who was unable to play the Roland Garros junior qualifying when he came down with Covid after playing the Grade A in Milan. "I had a pretty good mindset in that game and I was confident in my ability to break him there."

Tien will face the big serving No. 15 seed Martyn Pawelski of Poland Wednesday's third round.

The fourth American boy in the round of 16 is Sebastian Gorzny, who came back to defeat 15-year-old Joao Fonseca of Brazil 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Gorzny was aware of the talk around Fonseca, who has improved his ITF junior ranking from 327 in January to 55 now. 

"I know he's 15 and he's playing great, is one of the youngest people in the tournament," said the 18-year-old Gorzny, who grew up in Southern California, but trains now in Florida. "He had a great couple of results at the French Open, so I knew he was playing well. He has a big serve, a big forehand, so he was dictating all the points, but I managed to pull through."

Gorzny found a way to avoid Fonseca's forehand and used his skills around the net to keep Fonseca off balance. 

At 4-4 in the third, Fonseca made an unforced error on his forehand at 30-40 to give Gorzny the only break of the set, and he served it out, with a significant assist from the Hawkeye Challenge system, which was available for juniors on Court 15 today.

At 30-15, Gorzny's serve was called out, but he challenged it and Hawkeye showed it had caught the line, giving him two match points. Fonseca's backhand forced an error from Gorzny on the first but the Brazilian's forehand found the net on the second.

Gorzny, as with nearly all the American juniors here, had little experience on grass courts.

"I was very nervous going into Roehampton, but grass is a lot of fun and I wanted to play," said Gorzny, who defeated three seeds before losing to eventual champion Martin Landaluce of Spain in the singles semifinals and winning the doubles title there.

Gorzny thought his serve and willingness to move forward could be an asset.

"I knew it would be tough to break me, and I like coming into the net, like volleying, so I thought those two parts would help me out," Gorzny said. "Everything else is still a work in progress, but I'm going to keep trying to be aggressive and it helps."

Gorzny's opponent Wednesday is the only top 5 seed remaining, No. 3 seed Milli Poljicak of Croatia, one of the seeds Gorzny knocked off in Roehampton.

"I played pretty well," Gorzny said. "He's one of the top guys in the tournament so it's going to be a challenge, but I'm looking forward it."

Ozan Colak lost to No. 8 seed Edas Butvilas of Lithuania 6-3, 6-3, and Alex Frusina saw his comeback fall just short against No. 14 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia. Trailing 5-1, with Artnak serving, Frusina won four straight games before Artnak stopped his run by holding from 15-30 down to go up 6-5 and breaking Frusina on the fourth match point in the final game for a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory.

Kim, Zheng, Tien and Gorzny, along with girls top seed Liv Hovde, play Wednesday, with all but Hovde playing in the second round of doubles after singles.

Hovde's partner Qavia Lopez was unable to play singles Monday after injuring her ankle late in her first round win Sunday, and couldn't play the first round of doubles today.

American girls who advanced to Wednesday's second round of doubles are Mia Slama and her partner Lucia Peyre of Argentina and Sonya Macavei and her partner Julie Struplova of the Czech Republic.

Slama and Peyre defeated the British wild card team of Given Roach and Millie Skelton 6-4, 7-6(6) and Macavei and Struplova beat No. 5 seeds Alexis Blokhina and Luca Udvardy  5-7, 6-3, 10-2.

Former TCU star Cameron Norrie has reached the semifinals of his home slam after coming from two sets to one down to beat David Goffin of Belgium 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. Norrie is just the fourth British man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon semifinals (Roger Taylor, Tim Henman, Andy Murray) and is the third former collegian in a slam semifinal this century (John Isner, Kevin Anderson). For more on Norrie's win, see this article from the Wimbledon website.

Norrie will face top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who came back to beat No. 10 seed Jannik Sinner of Italy 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Taylor Fritz[11] plays Rafael Nadal[2] of Spain in Wednesday's men's quarterfinals, with Cristian Garin of Chile and Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the other men's quarterfinal.

Amanda Anisimova[20] faces Simona Halep[16] of Romania in one of the two women's quarterfinals, with Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan[17] and Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia in the other women's quarterfinal. 

Monday, July 4, 2022

Disappointing Fourth of July for US Girls, with only Hovde Advancing to Third Round; Qualifiers Take Out No. 4 and No. 6 Seeds in Girls Draw; Fritz and Anisimova Advance to Quarterfinals

©Colette Lewis 2022--
Wimbledon--

There were no Independence Day fireworks for two of the three American girls playing in the second round Monday at Wimbledon, with No. 8 seed Qavia Lopez withdrawing with an injury prior to the start of her match with Hayu Kinoshita of Japan and Alexis Blokhina losing the final five games in her 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 loss to No. 7 seed Luca Udvardy of Hungary. Top seed Liv Hovde will now shoulder the hopes for an American girls singles champion, as she defeated Anastasyia Lopata of Ukraine 6-1, 6-0 in 55 minutes.

Lopez had rolled her ankle just a few points from the completion of her 6-1, 7-5 first round win over Denislava Glushkova of Bulgaria on Sunday. She had hoped to be able to play singles today, but was advised against it after consulting medical professionals. Lopez and Hovde, the No. 2 seeds, are scheduled to play their first round doubles match on Tuesday and again Lopez will wait until the day of her match to decide whether to play.

Although Udvardy played well in the final set, particularly after Blokhina could not convert her two game points serving at 3-1, Blokhina was disappointed in her own mental state as the momentum shifted.

"I kept checking out in big moments and that's not usually what I do, and there were a couple of line calls that threw me off," said the 17-year-old from Plantation Florida. 

In the first round of junior singles Saturday and Sunday the juniors had the same access to Hawkeye and its challenge system as the pros, but once the pro players were no longer were assigned to those courts, the cameras were turned off for the girls second round of singles today.

"Yesterday I could at least know mentally that I hit the ball out," said Blokhina. "In the third set, there were like two or three that I was really certain about and it would have made major changes, with 4-3 me or 4-3 down is a big difference, obviously. She played well, but I didn't play the way I needed to play, I didn't play the smartest tennis."

After winning the Easter Bowl in early April, Blokhina played two $25,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournaments in Florida, beating both Carol Zhao(Stanford) and Catherine Harrison(UCLA), both of whom just completed outstanding weeks on the pro tour. Zhao won the $100,000 tournament in Charleston last week and Harrison qualified for Wimbledon and made the second round. 

Blokhina still has doubles here, partnering with Udvardy for the second straight week. Their first round match is on Tuesday, but before she sets her sights on the USTA Nationals 18s in San Diego, Blokhina will be competing in Israel next week at the Maccabiah Games.

"It's the Jewish Olympic Games," said Blokhina, who starts her college career at Stanford in September. "I'm going to Israel right after this."

Olivia Lincer would have been the fourth American girl in action today, but earlier this spring she switched from representing the United States to playing under the Polish flag. 

"I grew up in Polish household with Polish traditions," said the 17-year-old, whose father Magic was born in Poland and now owns an academy in Connecticut. "I'm just really proud of my nationality, and even though I don't live there, I feel really close and connected to Poland. Most of my dad's family still lives there. So I think it was more just a personal decision."

Lincer doesn't have a formal relationship with the Polish federation as of yet, but she did catch the attention of former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska and her husband Dawid Celt, the coach of Poland's Billie Jean King Cup team, who were watching her beat No. 11 seed Johanne Svendsen of Denmark 7-6(0), 7-5.

Svendsen, who reached the Roehampton J1 final last week, served for the first set at 5-3, but her game began to crumble in tiebreaker, with Lincer able to just wait for errors. Lincer was up a break in the second set, failed to serve it out at 5-4, but able to break and hold for the win.

Lincer knew that Svendsen has difficulty staying positive when things don't go her way, but she didn't dwell on what was happening on her opponent's side of the net.

"I've seen her acting a little bit negative in past matches," said Lincer, who has a WTA ranking of 859. "It is an advantage, knowing that she's getting down on herself, but I try to just focus on myself during the match, not think about what's in my opponent's head, because that can get confusing."

Two qualifiers advanced to the third round,: Yu Yun Li of Taiwan defeated No. 6 seed Taylah Preston of Australia, the J1 Nottingham champion, 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-3, and Isabella Kruger of South Africa ousted No. 4 seed Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-2. The 17-year-old Kruger received her entry into qualifying based on her WTA ranking of 454, as she hasn't played a junior event since she was 14.

In Wednesday's third round, Lincer will face No. 5 seed Victoria Mboko of Canada, who defeated British wild card Ella McDonald 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 today. They played in the first round of the Grade 1 in College Park last August, with Mboko earning a 6-1, 7-5 win.

The first round of boys doubles saw only one seeded team eliminated, with No. 3 seeds Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico and Nishesh Basavareddy losing to two-time junior slam doubles champion Coleman Wong of Hong Kong. Wong and his partner Michael Zheng defeated Pacheco Mendez and Basavareddy 6-3, 6-2.

The all-US teams advancing to Wednesday's second round are Aidan Kim and Cooper Williams, Learner Tien and Ozan Colak, and Roehampton champions Alex Michelsen and Sebastian Gorzny. Nicholas Godsick, playing with Switzerland's Mika Brunold, also advanced. 

Tuesday's schedule features the second round of boys singles and the first round of girls doubles.

Monday's second round results of American juniors:

Luca Udvardy[7](HUN) d. Alexis Blokhina 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
Liv Hovde[1] d. Anastasiya Lopata(UKR) 6-1, 6-0
Hayu Kinoshita(JPN) d. Qavia Lopez[8] walkover

Tuesday's second round matches featuring American juniors:

Aidan Kim[Q] v Gabriel Debru[1](FRA)
Michael Zheng v Martin Vergara Del Puerto(PAR)
Alexander Frusina v Bor Artnak[14](SLO)
Ozan Colak v Edas Butvilas[8](LTU)
Learner Tien v Gonzalo Bueno[4](PER)
Nishesh Basavareddy[5] v Peter Privara(SVK)
Sebastian Gorzny v Joao Fonseca(BRA)

Two of the three Americans in men's and women's singles advanced, with Amanda Anisimova and Taylor Fritz reaching their first Wimbledon quarterfinals. No. 20 seed Anisimova, a semifinalist at Roland Garros in 2019 at age 17, ended the run of France's Harmony Tan 6-2, 6-3 and will play No. 16 seed and 2019 champion Simona Halep of Romania on Wednesday.

No. 11 seed Fritz stopped Australian qualifier Jason Kubler's win streak at six, taking a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 decision. This is the first time the 24-year-old has been past the round of 16 at a major. On Wednesday, Fritz will face No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, whom he defeated in the Indian Wells final this spring for his first Masters title.

Twenty-year-old Brandon Nakashima battled Nick Kyrgios of Australia to a draw in the first four sets of their Centre Court match, but Kyrgios came out on top 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) 3-6, 6-2.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Hovde Adds to Grass Winning Streak with First Round Wimbledon Victory, Qualifier Kim Among Seven US Boys in Second Round; Norrie Beats Paul to Reach Men's Quarterfinal; Scott, Cayetano and Svajda Claim Pro Circuit Titles

©Colette Lewis 2022--
Wimbledon--

Wimbledon's Middle Sunday, traditionally a day off, was abandoned by the All England Law Tennis Club this year, with the aim of providing access to tennis entertainment on a prime day for leisure. But it will be a special memory for ten Americans in action on a picture-perfect day in southwest London for another reason, as they all claimed their first victories at the Junior Championships.

Top seed Liv Hovde came in with an undefeated record on English lawns, having won last week's J1 in Roehampton, but the 16-year-old from Texas was able to appreciate the upgrade in the atmosphere.

"It's just amazing, everything's beautiful here," said Hovde, who defeated lucky loser Ana Candiotto of Brazil 6-4, 6-1 on show court 18. "They have a bunch of flowers here."

Hovde's opponent changed at the last minute, when Great Britain's Ranah Stoiber withdrew with a back injury, but Hovde  leaves the scouting to her mother and coach, and while agreeing their efforts were for naught, it didn't faze her.

"It's just another player I have to play, so I didn't think much of it," said Hovde, who is coached by former Australian great Phil Dent.

With Dent not traveling to tournaments with Hovde, he thought it important that she have a hitting partner on this trip, a role filled by Alejandro (Alex) Garcia Cenzano of Spain. But Dent has been encouraging Hovde from his academy back in Keller Texas.

"He told me (winning Roehampton) was a good start for the grass season and to just keep going."

Hovde struggled a bit on serve in the opening set, unable to close it out serving at 5-3. Candiotto had three game points to level the set at 5, but Hovde kept the pressure on and broke to take it. With her serve clicking when it mattered, Hovde saved a break point in the first game of the second set and rolled from there, with her ability to hit winners, 16-5 in her favor, the major difference.

Hovde will face Anastasiya Lopata of Ukraine, who recently signed with Georgia, in the second round Monday.

Two other American girls advanced, with Alexis Blokhina and No. 8 seed Qavia Lopez getting their first victories at Wimbledon. 

Aidan Kim did play Wimbledon junior qualifying last year at Roehampton, but the 17-year-old from Michigan lost in the first round, so his 6-4, 6-3 victory over fellow qualifier Hayato Matsuoka of Japan was gratifying.

"It's beautiful," said Kim, who has now won a match at all four slams after picking up wins at the US Open, Australian Open and Roland Garros the last ten months. "Historic people walking in and out of the places I've been. It's exciting."

Kim played the Grade 1 in Nottingham two weeks ago, getting some grass repetitions there, but a communications mixup and some ill-timed rain kept him out of Roehampton.

Kim would have been eligible for a special exemption into the main draw as a doubles finalist in Nottingham, but he was told he should sign into qualifying at Roehampton after his match so that he would be eligible. 

"There was a rain delay in Nottingham, so apparently, I finished my match after 6 p.m. and that was when sign in for qualifying ended. They automatically pulled me out, because I finished past 6 p.m."

Kim took that disappointment in stride, spending the week practicing, but he will not improve his ITF junior ranking, with no points being given at Wimbledon, while Roehampton did award points.

"It's a little unfortunate, but the prestige is still the same," said Kim, a rising senior who said he is waiting to decide on college or pro tennis after this summer's tournaments. "It's a tournament you don't want to miss. I feel everyone knows how prestigious it is to be here, and how few people are able to come."

Kim faces top seed and Roland Garros champion Gabriel Debru of France in the second round. Debru breezed past British wild card Louis Bowden 6-0, 6-1

Kim was one of five US boys to advance to the second round with victories today, with Learner Tien, Michael Zheng, Sebastian Gorzny and Alexander Frusina earning their first Wimbledon wins in their first attempts. They join Nishesh Basavareddy[5] and Ozan Colak in Tuesday's second round, after they picked up wins yesterday.

One of the five Americans who lost was Roehampton singles finalist and doubles champion Alex Michelsen, who dropped a 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-1 decision to Australian qualifier Edward Winter.

The boys play their first round doubles matches Monday, with the girls second round of singles also on the schedule. The boys second round of singles and the girls first round of doubles will be played Tuesday.

Sunday's first round results of American juniors:

Liv Hovde[1] v Ana Candiotto[LL](BRA) 6-4, 6-1Isabella Kruger[Q](RSA) d. Sonya Macavei 7-5, 5-7, 6-2
Johanne Svendsen[11](DEN) d. Mia Slama 6-3, 6-3
Alexis Blokhina d. Sandugash Kenzibayeva[Q](KAZ) 6-3, 6-3
Qavia Lopez[8] d. Denislava Glushkova(BUL) 6-1, 7-5
Hayu Kinoshita(JPN) d. Kaitlin Quevedo[Q] 6-3, 7-6(3)

Aidan Kim[Q] d. Hayato Matsuoka[Q](JPN) 6-4, 6-3
Michael Zheng d. Hayden Jones[Q](AUS) 6-3, 6-4
Coleman Wong(HKG) d. Jonah Braswell[Q] 7-6(4), 6-2
Learner Tien d. Jack Loutit[Q](NZL) 6-4, 6-0
Edward Winter[Q] d. Alex Michelsen 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-1
Gilles Bailly[7](BEL) d. Nicholas Godsick 6-2, 6-0
Kilian Feldbausch[6](SUI) d. Leanid Boika[Q] 6-1, 6-4
Ignacio Buse[12}(PER) d. Cooper Williams 6-2, 6-4
Sebastian Gorzny d. Viktor Frydrych[WC](GBR) 6-3, 6-4
Alex Frusina d. Lennon Jones[Q](JPN) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

Monday's second round matches featuring American juniors:

Alexis Blokhina v Luca Udvardy[7](HUN)
Liv Hovde[1] v Anastasiya Lopata(UKR)
Qavia Lopez[8] v Hayu Kinoshita(JPN)

In men's singles, both Americans in action lost, with No. 30 seed Tommy Paul losing to No. 9 seed Cam Norrie of Great Britain 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Despite his success on the ATP Tour, the former TCU star had failed to advance past the third round in his first 18 majors, but he is now into the quarterfinals, and with Heather Watson's loss today, is the last British player still alive in singles.

No. 23 seed Frances Tiafoe lost to David Goffin of Belgium 7-6(3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in a four-and-a-half hour marathon on Court 2.

That leaves Taylor Fritz[11] and Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) as the only two US men in singles, with Amanda Anisimova the only American woman remaining.

Monday's fourth round matches featuring Americans:

Brandon Nakashima v Nick Kyrgios(AUS)
Taylor Fritz[11] v Jason Kubler(AUS)
Amanda Anisimova[20] v Harmony Tan(FRA)

Americans captured three of the five singles titles at the USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week.

Eighteen-year-old Katrina Scott, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 4 seed Peyton Stearns(Texas) 7-5, 6-3 at the $25,000 tournament in Columbus Ohio, her second Pro Circuit title.

Wild card Eryn Cayetano, a rising senior at USC, won her first Pro Circuit title today at the $15,000 SoCal Pro Circuit tournament in Los Angeles, defeating 14-year-old wild card Iva Jovic 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the final. Cayetano and teammate Salma Ewing also won the doubles title as wild cards, beating No. 3 seeds Bunyawi Thamchiwat(Pepperdine) of Thailand and Ya Yi Yang of Taiwan 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 in the final. 

Two-time Kalamazoo 18s National champion Zachary Svajda won the men's $15,000 tournament in Los Angeles, with the No. 2 seed beating former USC All-American and top seed Brandon Holt 7-5, 6-4 for his second career Pro Circuit singles title.

Eighteen-year-olds Ethan Quinn and Daniel Vallejo(Paraguay) won the men's doubles title, with the unseeded pair defeating brothers Keenan and Aidan Mayo, also unseeded, 7-5, 6-4 in the final.

For a recap on the Los Angeles tournaments, see this article from press aide Steve Pratt.

2015 NCAA finalist Carol Zhao(Stanford) of Canada won the $100,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Charleston South Carolina, defeating Himeno Sakatsume of Japan 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, with both players unseeded. Zhao now has four ITF Pro Circuit titles, two in 2017 and two this year.

Alycia Parks and Sachia Vickery won the doubles title, with the unseeded pair beating No. 2 seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 6-4, 5-7, 10-5 in today's final.

At the $25,000 Men's USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Dallas, No. 3 seed Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan defeated unseeded Adrian Boitan(Baylor) of Romania 7-5, 6-3 in the singles final.

Unseeded Tyler Zink(Oklahoma State) and Govind Nanda(UCLA) won the doubles titles, beating top seeds Hsu and Dane Sweeny of Australia 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Basavareddy Picks Up First Junior Slam Victory, Colak Advances to Second Round at Wimbledon Juniors; Nakashima, Fritz Reach Wimbledon Men's Round of 16; 14-year-old Jovic Makes Los Angeles $15K Final

©Colette Lewis--
Wimbledon 2022--

With only two of the 18 Americans competing in the main draw of the Wimbledon Junior Championships on Saturday's schedule, and neither of the No. 1 seeds in action, there was still plenty of interest in the younger set as big crowds thronged to the outer courts on a pleasant summer day at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.


No. 5 seed Nishesh Basavareddy posted his first victory at a junior slam, defeating  Dylan Dietrich of Switzerland 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

The 17-year-old from Indiana had never been inside the gates at AELTC until this morning, when the juniors were first allowed access, and he found it to be all he had expected.

"As soon as you walk in, you can feel the history and understand why people say that it's their favorite slam," Basavareddy said. "The surroundings are amazing, the fans are amazing; it feels really good playing in front of a lot people."

Basavareddy was down 3-0 in the second set, got it back to to 4-all, but wasn't able to finish it in straight sets, with several crucial calls in his 4-5 service game going against him, after three Hawkeye challenges resulted in points for Dietrich.

"It was probably like a millimeter," Basavareddy said of one of the calls. "I was really frustrated, because I thought I was playing a little better, but I just reset in the third, started out playing pretty well and took it from there."

Although he got 81 percent of his first serves in the third set, Basavareddy did have to save a break point at 2-3 and went down 15-30 at 3-4, but that's when he managed some of his best serving.

"I think my first serve percentage in the first two and a half sets wasn't that high, but at the end I was finding a little more, especially on the bigger points, which is nice," said Basavareddy, who won the final ten points of the match.

After losing in the first round in his last two tournaments--Roland Garros and at last week's Grade 1 warmup in Roehampton--Basavareddy was happy to end that streak.

"To get through the first round, get back in the groove, it's nice to get through this and I hope I can play better and better each round as the matches get tougher."

Unlike Basavareddy, Ozan Colak had experience to draw on as he took the court today against Olaf Pieczkowski of Poland. The 18-year-old from Michigan started a little slowly, but found his form at the end of the second set and rolled to a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

"Last year everything was new," said Colak, who reached the round of 16 here in 2021. "Even walking to the courts, I didn't know the way. This year I feel much more comfortable; I knew what to expect: the balls, the conditions. I just think it's a big advantage mentally more than anything, because I know there's going to be tough times, but you know the place, and it's a lot easier to do it then."

Colak did start slowly, falling behind 3-1 in the first set, but was not troubled by those opening games.

"It was more about establishing my game, and what I wanted to do," said Colak, who will begin his college career at Michigan State this fall. "I was sure that once I started feeling it, I would be in the right position. I calmed myself down, and I was able to lock in my serve, and once I got that going, everything fell into place."

Colak was able to use his slice, both forehand and backhand, to his advantage throughout the match.

"Unfortunately it's sometimes a disadvantage on other surfaces, because I tend to rely on it, because I know I have that skill," Colak said. "But on the grass, it works very well for me, so it's more finding my game and mixing that in as well, because on grass, it's very effective."

Although No. 1 seeds Gabriel Debru of France and Liv Hovde do not play until Sunday, both No. 2 seeds advanced, with Celine Naef of Switzerland defeating British wild card Sarah Tatu 6-1, 6-3 and No. 2 seed Jakub Mensik beating British wild card Henry Searle 6-4, 7-6(4).

With the new schedule this year, which includes play on middle Sunday for the first time, the 16 boys who won today won't play singles again until Tuesday. Doubles begin on Monday for the boys, Tuesday for the girls. Naef and Nikola Bartunkova of the Czech Republic are the top seeds in the girls draw. Roland Garros  champions Mili Poljicak of Croatia and Edas Butvilas of Lithuania are No. 1 seeds in the boys draw. Butvilas won the boys doubles title last year at Wimbledon with Alejandro Manzanera Pertusa of Spain. 

Four of the final 16 men remaining in singles are Americans, after Taylor Fritz and Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) joined Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round. Amanda Anisimova is the only American woman remaining in women's singles.

Third round results of American men and women Saturday July 1:

Amanda Anisimova[20] d. Coco Gauff[11] 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1
Petra Martic(CRO) d. Jessica Pegula[8] 6-2, 7-6(5)

Cristian Garin(CHI) d. Jenson Brooksby[29] 6-2, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
Taylor Fritz[11] d. Alex Molcan(SVK) 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3)
Brandon Nakashima d. Daniel Elahi Galan(COL) 6-4, 6-4, 6-1
Jason Kubler(AUS) d. Jack Sock[Q] 6-2, 4-6, 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3 

Fourth round matches featuring Americans Sunday July 3
Tommy Paul[30] v Cameron Norrie[9](GBR)
Frances Tiafoe[23] v David Goffin(BEL)

First round results for American juniors Saturday:
Nishesh Basavareddy[5] d. Dylan Dietrich(SUI) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Ozan Colak d. Olaf Pieczkowski(POL) 7-5, 6-1

First round singles matches featuring American juniors Sunday:

Liv Hovde[1] v Ranah Stoiber(GBR)
Sonya Macavei v Isabella Kruger[Q](RSA)
Mia Slama v Johanne Svendsen[11](DEN)
Alexis Blokhina v Sandugash Kenzibayeva[Q](KAZ)
Qavia Lopez[8] v Denislava Glushkova(BUL)
Kaitlin Quevedo[Q] v Hayu Kinoshita(JPN)

Aidan Kim[Q] v Hayato Matsuoka(JPN)
Michael Zheng v Hayden Jones[Q](AUS)
Jonah Braswell[Q] Coleman Wong(HKG)
Learner Tien v Jack Loutit[Q](NZL)
Alex Michelsen v Edward Winter[Q]
Nicholas Godsick v Gilles Bailly[7](BEL)
Leanid Boika[Q] v Kilian Feldbausch[6](SUI)
Cooper Williams v Ignacio Buse[12](PER)
Sebastian Gorzny v Viktor Frydrych[WC](GBR)
Alex Frusina v Lennon Jones[Q](JPN)

Fourteen-year-old Iva Jovic, who received a wild card into her first pro tournament this week at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event at her home club in Los Angeles, is through to the final, after defeating No. 6 seed Kimmi Hance(UCLA) 7-5, 6-3 in today's semifinal. She will face another wild card, USC All-American Eryn Cayetano, who beat top seed Ya Yi Yang of Taiwain 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

At the $25,000 women's USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Columbus, NCAA champion Peyton Stearns(Texas), the No. 4 seed, defeated top seed Katherine Sebov of Canada 7-5, 6-0, and will face No. 2 seed Katrina Scott in the final. The 18-year-old Scott defeated Taylor Ng(Dartmouth) by the same score, with just one minute's difference in the duration of the match.

The doubles final was between two Ohio State wild cards, with Irina Cantos Siemers of Germany and Sydni Ratliff defeating Madeline Atway and recent USC transfer Danielle Willson 6-2, 5-7, 10-4.

Friday, July 1, 2022

June Aces; Hovde Claims ITF J1 Title in Roehampton, Gorzny and Michelsen Take Boys Doubles Championship; Four Americans Qualify for Wimbledon Junior Championships Starting Saturday; Tiafoe and Paul Through to Wimbledon Round of 16

I've arrived in London and am eager to see what will unfold at the third junior slam of the year, but before that begins on Saturday, it's time to look back at the top performances of June.

Roland Garros seems like a long time ago, yet in my monthly column for Tennis Recruiting Network I made sure that the five juniors or former collegians that left Paris as champions weren't forgotten as we turn our attention to the grass season. The USTA Pro Circuit is also back in full swing and current and former collegians have been taking advantage of their opportunities to improve their ATP and WTA rankings.

Liv Hovde won the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton today, defeating No. 9 seed Johanne Svendsen of Denmark 6-2, 6-3. As this Wimbledon Junior championships preview article from the ITF suggests, that is often an indication of success at Wimbledon, with six of the last nine girls Wimbledon champions having won Roehampton the week before. It didn't turn out that way last year however, with Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic falling in the semifinals. 

Sixteen-year-old Martin Landaluce of Spain is having himself quite a first grass season, winning his second consecutive J1 title today at Roehampton with a 7-6(5), 7-5 victory over unseeded Alex Michelsen. Landaluce also has had an tremendous season on clay, more in line with expectations for a Spanish player. He is now a eye-popping 44-6, with one of those rare losses in the first round of the Roland Garros Junior Championships.

Michelsen also fell just short in the all-USA boys doubles final, with partner Sebastian Gorzny. They lost to Learner Tien and Cooper Williams, also unseeded, 6-1, 3-6, 10-5. (CORRECTION: winner was entered incorrectly on ITF junior website. Score is correct but winning team is wrong).

No. 3 seeds Kayla Cross and Victoria Mboko of Canada won the girls doubles title, beating No. 7 seeds Carolina Kuhl of Germany and Tereza Valentova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1.

The final round of qualifying for the Wimbledon Junior Championships sent four more Americans to the main draw, joining the 14 who received direct entry.

Kaitlin Quevedo[8] defeated British wild card Given Roach 6-3, 6-2 to bring the total of US girls in the main draw to six. 

Aidan Kim[4], Leanid Boika[6] and Jonah Braswell[9] qualified to make an even dozen Americans in the Wimbledon Junior Championships main draw. 

Kim defeated Devin Badenhorst of South Africa 7-6(3), 3-6, 11-9; Boika beat No. 12 seed Togan Tokac of Turkey 6-2, 6-4 and Braswell squeezed past alternate Jelani Sarr 7-6(3), 4-6, 10-7. Braswell, a rising freshman at Florida, will be making his slam debut Sunday.

Only two Americans are on the junior schedule for Saturday, which seems way out of whack until when there are 18 US competitors and half of the first round singles matches are on Saturday's schedule. Although it is still unbalanced, part of the explanation is the necessity of giving the day off to the five Americans who were in the Roehampton finals and the four qualifiers, who are traditionally not scheduled the day after the qualifying concludes.

Third round results of US men and women Friday July 1:

Cameron Norrie[9](GBR) d. Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-1, 6-0
Frances Tiafoe[23] d. Alexander Bublik(KAZ) 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(3), 6-4
Jannik Sinner[10](ITA) d. John Isner[20] 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3
Jack Sock[Q] d. Maxime Cressy 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(1)
Tommy Paul[30] d. Jiri Vesely(CZE) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Marie Bouzkova(CZE) d. Alison Riske[28] 6-2, 6-3
 
Third round matches featuring American men and women Saturday July 2:

Coco Gauff[11] v Amanda Anisimova[20]
Jessica Pegula[8] v Petra Martic(CRO)

Jenson Brooksby[29]
v Cristian Garin(CHI)
Taylor Fritz[11] v Alex Molcan(SVK)
Brandon Nakashima v Daniel Elahi Galan(COL)
Jack Sock[Q] v Jason Kubler(AUS)

American juniors in action Saturday:
Nishesh Basavareddy[5] v Dylan Dietrich(SUI)
Ozan Colak v Olaf Pieczkowski(POL)

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Wimbledon Junior Draws Released with Hovde, Debru Top Seeds; Hovde, Michelsen Reach ITF Roehampton J1 Finals; Eight US Men Reach Third Round at Wimbledon

Qualifying for the Wimbledon Junior Championships doesn't conclude until Friday, but the main draws have been released, with at least five US girls and nine US boys contending for the singles titles.

Liv Hovde is the top seed, with Qavia Lopez seeded No. 8. The other three American girls in the draw, as of now, are Sonya Macavei, Alexis Blokhina and Mia Slama.

The American boys in the draw, as of now, are Nishesh Basavareddy[5], Michael Zheng, Learner Tien, Alex Michelsen, Nicholas Godsick, Cooper Williams, Sebastian Gorzny, Ozan Colak and Alexander Frusina.

Roland Garros champion Gabriel Debru of France is the top seed in the boys draw.

The girls draw is here. The boys draw is here.

Eight Americans are through to the final round of qualifying, with at least one more American guaranteed to advance to the main draw. Jelani Sarr got into qualifying as an alternate after the draws were posted, and he will play Jonah Braswell for a place in the main draw. Sarr defeated British wild card Hugo Coquelin 7-6(3), 6-2 and Braswell, the No. 9 seed, beat Federico Bondioli of Italy 7-5, 2-6, 10-5. Yannik Rahman[13] defeated British wild card Henry Jefferson 3-6, 6-3, 10-3; Aidan Kim[4] beat British wild card Zach Stephens 7-5, 6-3; Leanid Boika[6] got by Daniele Minighini of Italy 6-3, 7-6(3).

Theadora Rabman[12] defeated Ellie Blackford of Great Britain 6-4, 6-3 and Kaitlin Quevedo[8] beat Denise Valente of Italy 6-4, 2-6, 10-6.

All sixteen final round qualifying matches are scheduled for 10:30 a.m at Roehampton.

Also at Roehampton Friday will be the finals of the ITF Grade 1, with Liv Hovde and Alex Michelsen both playing for singles titles, and Michelsen also in the boys doubles final.

Hovde defeated No. 12 seed Lucija Ciric Bagaric of Croatia 6-3, 6-3 to make her fourth Grade 1 final since last March. Hovde will play No. 9 seed Johanne Svendsen of Denmark, who beat unseeded Sayaka Ishii of Japan 6-4, 6-1.

The unseeded Michelsen edged No. 15 seed Coleman Wong of Hong Kong 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4) and will face No. 13 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain, who ended Sebastian Gorzny's run with a 6-3, 6-1 victory. Landaluce will be going for his second straight J1 title, having won last week's tournament in Nottingham.

Gorzny and Michelsen, the reigning Easter Bowl doubles champions, will face another unseeded American team for the title: Cooper Williams and Learner Tien. 

Gorzny and Michelsen defeated Mihai Alexandru Coman of Romania and Matej Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 6-3 in today's semifinals, while Williams and Tien eliminated the last seeded team, No. 7 Landaluce and Pedro Rodenas of Spain, 6-4, 7-6(1). The girls doubles final will feature No. 3 seeds Kayla Cross and Victoria Mboko of Canada, who beat top seeds Hovde and Qavia Lopez 6-2, 6-4. Cross and Mboko will play No. 7 seeds Carolina Kuhl of Germany and Tereza Valentova of the Czech Republic, who advanced via a walkover from No. 2 seeds Ciric Bagaric an d Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia.

As a reminder, the two J1 tournaments this month are awarding ITF junior points, but, like the professionals, there will be no points earned at Wimbledon.

With one second round Wimbledon singles match involving American men still not complete, a quarter of the third round participants in men's singles will be Americans, the most at a slam since the 1996 US Open. The winner of the Maxime Cressy/Jack Sock match will be No. 8, joining Steve Johnson, Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, Brandon Nakashima and Jenson Brooksby. Nakashima was particularly impressive today, taking out last year's Wimbledon semifinalist Denis Shapovalov of Canada.

Thursday second round results of Americans:

Coco Gauff[11] d. Mihaela Buzarnescu(ROU) 6-2, 6-3
Jessica Pegula[8] d. Harriet Dart(GBR) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Amanada Anisimova[20] d. Lauren Davis 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Alize Cornet(FRA) d. Claire Liu 6-3, 6-3
Ajla Tomljanovic(AUS) d. Catherine Harrison[Q] 6-2, 6-2

Taylor Fritz[11] d. Alastair Gray[WC](GBR) 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-3
Brandon Nakashima d. Denis Shapovalov[13](CAN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(6)
Jack Sock[Q] v Maxime Cressy 6-4, 6-4
Alex Molcan(SVK) d. Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Richard Gasquet(FRA) d. Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Jenson Brooksby[29] d. Benjamin Bonzi(FRA) 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-3

Friday's third round matches featuring Americans:

Steve Johnson v Cameron Norrie[9](GBR)
Frances Tiafoe[23] v Alexander Bublik(KAZ)
John Isner[20] v Jannik Sinner[10](ITA)
Jack Sock[Q] v Maxime Cressy 6-4, 6-4, postponed from Thursday
Tommy Paul[30] v Jiri Vesely(CZE)

Alison Riske[28] v Marie Bouzkova(CZE)

Friday's order of play is here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wimbledon Junior Qualifying Begins Friday with Six Americans Competing; Hovde, Michelsen and Gorzny Reach Roehamption J1 Semifinals; Isner Among Five US Players to Reach Wimbledon Third Round; Geoff Young Named Head Coach at Purdue

Qualifying begins Friday at Roehampton for the Wimbledon Junior Championships, with four US boys and two US girls hoping to win the two matches required to reach the main draw. The Americans boys are Aidan Kim[4], who did not get to play this week's J1 in Roehampton, but did play Nottingham last week; Leanid Boika[6], Jonah Braswell[9] and Yannik Rahman[13]. The American girls are Kaitlin Quevedo[8] and Theodora Rabman[12].

The boys draw is here; the girls draw is here. The order of play for Friday is here.

While most of the Roehampton courts will be given over to the Wimbledon qualifying, four are reserved for the semifinals in singles and doubles at the J1 that always precedes Wimbledon

All three Americans who advanced to the quarterfinals won their matches today: top seed Liv Hovde, unseeded Alex Michelsen and unseeded Sebastian Gorzny. 

Hovde defeated No. 7 Annabelle Xu of Canada, a rising freshman at Virginia, 6-2, 6-3 and will play No. 12 seed Lucija Ciric Bargaric of Croatia in the semifinal. The other girls semifinal will feature No. 9 seed Johanne Svendsen of Denmark and unseeded Sayaka Ishii of Japan. 

After Michelsen defeated top seed Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic yesterday, Gorzny took out No. 2 seed Mili Poljicak of Croatia 7-5, 7-6(2). The rising TCU freshman, who has now beaten three seeds, will get another in the semifinals: No. 13 Martin Landaluce of Spain, the Nottingham J1 champion. Michelsen, who defeated unseeded William Jansen of Great Britain 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the quarterfinals today, will face No. 15 seed Coleman Wong of Hong Kong. Michelsen beat Wong at the Eddie Herr late last year.

Michelsen and Gorzny are also through to the semifinals in doubles, as are Cooper Williams and Learner Tien. Hovde and Qavia Lopez, the No. 1 seeds, have advanced to the girls doubles semifinals.

Four US men advanced to the Wimbledon third round today with John Isner getting one of his most significant victories at the All England Club when he defeated Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4 on Centre Court. Isner did reach the semifinals in 2018, but taking on Murray, who had beaten him all eight previous times they had played, on his home court was certainly a highlight. It goes without saying that the former Georgia All-American served well, but he also came forward, finished well at the net and was never rattled by the obviously pro-Murray crowd.

"That was an amazing moment for me out there at 37," Isner said in his press conference. "I think that's, to my knowledge, only the third match I played on Centre Court, one of which was at the Olympics in 2012. So I haven't had many opportunities on that court.

"To be able to get a win on Centre against Andy Murray is something I'll certainly I think remember forever. This is why I still play, it's why I still work hard. So I'm still eager to get up in the morning and work out and get my body feeling right, is to have moments like that.

"At 37, it was much easier 10 years ago for sure, but I work my ass off to try to give myself opportunities like that. It kind of makes it all worth it, for sure."

Joining Isner in round three of men's singles are Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe and Steve Johnson(USC).

Wednesday's results for Americans:

First round:
Jessica Pegula[8] d. Donna Vekic(CRO) 6-3, 7-6(2)

Second round:
John Isner[20] d. Andy Murray(GBR) 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4
Tommy Paul[30] d. Adrian Mannarino(FRA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-1
Tim Van Rijthoven d. Reilly Opelka[15] 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(7), 7-6(4)
Frances Tiafoe[23] d. Maximilian Marterer(GER) 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3)
Oscar Otte[32](GER) d. Christian Harrison[Q] 3-1, ret.

Alison Riske[28] d. Maja Chwalinska[Q](POL) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
Marie Bouzkova(CZE) d. Ann Li 6-0, 6-3

Thursday's second round matches featuring Americans:

Coco Gauff[11] v Mihaela Buzarnescu(ROU)
Jessica Pegula[8] v Harriet Dart(GBR)
Lauren Davis v Amanda Anisimova[20]
Claire Liu v Alize Cornet(FRA)
Catherine Harrison[Q] v Ajla Tomljanovic(AUS)

Taylor Fritz[11] v Alastair Gray[WC](GBR)
Brandon Nakashima v Denis Shapovalov[13](CAN)
Maxime Cressy v Jack Sock[Q]
Marcos Giron v Alex Molcan(SVK)
Mackenzie McDonald v Richard Gasquet(FRA)
Jenson Brooksby[29] v Benjamin Bonzi(FRA)

The final Power Five conference head coaching position still vacant was filled today, with former Minnesota men's head coach Geoff Young hired at Purdue. Young, who the associate head coach at UCF this past season, was available when Minnesota dropped men's tennis in 2021.

For a detailed look at Young's background and accomplishments, see this release on his hiring from the Purdue website.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Great Day for US Men, UCLA Alums at Wimbledon; Michelsen Beats Top Seed at Roehampton J1; Five USTA Pro Circuit Events This Week Include $100K in Charleston

US men picked up three victories Monday on Day One of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships and today they added 10 more; the 13 American men in the second round is the most since 1995, when 16 won their first round matches.

The most impressive victory came courtesy of former UCLA Bruin Maxime Cressy, who ousted No. 6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(9), 7-6(5). Cressy, who reached the final at Eastbourne last week, did not qualify for Wimbledon last year, falling in the final round of qualifying to former teammate Mackenzie McDonald, so this was his first main draw appearance at Wimbledon. Grass should be his best surface, given his relentless serve and volley game style, but as a late bloomer and the pandemic, the 25-year-old hasn't had too many opportunities to play on the surface.

Cressy, the 2019 NCAA doubles champion, was one of three former UCLA men to advance today, with 2016 NCAA champion McDonald and 2014 NCAA champion Marcos Giron also picking up victories.

The fourth former Bruin to make the second round in singles is qualifier Catherine Harrison, who defeated Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-4 for her first slam main draw victory in her first main draw slam appearance.

While the US men had impressive results in the first round, going 13-3, the US women did not. No. 8 seed Jessica Pegula's match with Croatia's Donna Vekic was postponed until Wednesday, so the first round is not yet complete, but American women are 7-10 pending that result.

Tuesday's first round results of Americans:
Harmony Tan(FRA) d. Serena Williams[WC] 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(7)
Coco Gauff[11] d. Elena-Gabriela Ruse(ROU) 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
Paula Badosa[4](ESP) d. Louisa Chirico[Q] 6-2 6-1
Claire Liu d. Nuria Parrizas Diaz(ESP) 7-5, 6-3
Petra Martic(CRO) d. Shelby Rogers[30] 6-2, 7-6(5)
Amanda Anisimova[20] d. Yue Yuan[LL](CHN) 6-3 6-4
Lauren Davis d. Madison Brengle 6-2, 7-5
Sara Sorribes Tormo[32](ESP) d. Christina McHale[Q] 6-2, 6-1
Elena Rybakina[17](KAZ) d. Coco Vandeweghe[LL] 7-6(2), 7-5 
Bianca Andreescu(CAN) d, Emina Bektas[Q] 6-1, 6-3
Qinwen Zheng(CHN) d. Sloane Stephens 7-6(1), 7-5
Catherine Harrison[Q] d. Arantxa Rus(NED) 6-1, 6-4

Steve Johnson d. Grigor Dimitrov([18](BUL) (moved from Monday) 4-6, 5-2 ret.
Maxime Cressy d. Felix Auger-Aliassime[6](CAN) 
Taylor Fritz[11] d. Lorenzo Musetti(ITA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-3
Christian Harrison[Q] d. Jay Clarke[WC](GBR) 7-6(3), 6-1, 7-6(6) (held over from Monday)
Diego Schwartzman[12](ARG) d. Stefan Kozlov[LL] 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Reilly Opelka[15] d. Carlos Taberner(ESP) 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 (held over from Monday)
Ricardas Berankis(LTU) d. Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-3
Brandon Nakashima d. Nicola Kuhn[Q](GER) 6-3, 6-6(1). 6-3, 6-2
Jenson Brooksby[29] d. Mikhail Kukushkin[Q](KAZ) 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
Lorenzo Sonego[27](ITA) d. Denis Kudla 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
Mackenzie McDonald d. Nuno Borges[LL](POR) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(3)
Jack Sock[Q] d. Bernabe Zapata Miralles[Q](ESP) 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4
Marcos Giron d. Holger Rune[[24](DEN) 6-3, 7-5, 6-4

Wednesday's matches featuring Americans:

First round:
Jessica Pegula[8] v Donna Vekic(CRO)

Second round:
John Isner[20] v. Andy Murray(GBR)
Steve Johnson v Ryan Peniston[WC](GBR)
Tommy Paul[30] v Adrian Mannarino(FRA)
Reilly Opelka[15] v Tim Van Rijthoven(NED)
Frances Tiafoe[23] v Maximilian Marterer(GER)
Christian Harrison[Q] v Oscar Otte[32](GER)

Alison Riske[28] v Maja Chwalinska[Q](POL)
Ann Li v Marie Bouzkova(CZE)


The quarterfinals are set at the ITF J1 in Roehampton, with three Americans advancing with wins today. 

Alex Michelsen defeated top seed Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, the second win over Mensik Michelsen has had this year, and will play William Jansen of Great Britain, who beat Michael Zheng 6-3, 6-1 in the third round today.

Sebastian Gorzny beat Roland Garros finalist Gilles Bailly of Belgium, the No. 6 seed, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2. The TCU rising freshman will play No. 2 seed Mili Poljicak of Croatia, who beat No. 16 seed Ozan Colak 6-4, 6-3.

Liv Hovde is the only US girl in the quarterfinals, with the top seed defeating Nottingham J1 champion Taylah Preston of Australia 7-6(5), 6-2. She will face No. 7 seed Annabelle Xu of Canada Wednesday.

Two rounds of doubles were played today, with top seeds Hovde and Qavia Lopez advancing to the girls quarterfinals, as did No. 4 seeds Alexis Blokhina and partner Luca Udvardy of Hungary, and Sonya Macavei and partner Julie Struplova of the Czech Republic. 

Michelsen and Gorzny have reached the boys doubles quarterfinals, as have Learner Tien and Cooper Williams. Jonah Braswell and his partner Lorenzo Ferri of Italy, who received entry as alternates, are also through to the quarterfinals.

There are five USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week in the United States, but because I'll be covering the Junior Championships at Wimbledon onsite this year, I won't be able to keep up with the results as I normally would.

The biggest of the five is the $100,000 tournament in Charleston South Carolina, with qualifying just now finishing.  Americans through to the main draw are:  Christina Rosca(Vanderbilt), Maegan Manasse(Cal), Chanelle Van Nguyen(UCLA), Erica Oosterhout(Harvard) and Rasheeda McAdoo(Georgia Tech). 

Wild cards were awarded to Jessie Aney(North Carolina), Katarina Jokic(Georgia) and Dalayna Hewitt.

The top seed is Alycia Parks, with Despina Papamichail of Greece the No. 2 seed, and Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic seeded No. 3. (Linda and younger sister Brenda, who is not playing Charleston, both were late withdrawals from the Wimbledon Junior Championships). Virginia's Emma Navarro, who turned pro prior to this event, is the No. 7 seed.

Qualifying is complete at the $25,000 USTA women's event in Columbus Ohio, with six Americans advancing to the main draw:
Kyle McPhillips(UCLA), Carmen Corley(Oklahoma), Sara Daavettila(North Carolina), 15-year-old Akasha Urhobo, Kari Miller(Michigan) and Ava Catanzarite(UCLA).

Wild cards were given to three Ohio State players: Isabelle Boulais, Irina Cantos Siemers and Sydney Ratliff, as well as Eleana Yu. Katherine Sebov of Canada is the top seed, with Katrina Scott the No. 2 seed. NCAA champion Peyton Stearns, the No. 4 seed, won her first round match today.

At the $25,000 USTA men's tournament in Dallas, the American qualifiers are Keshav Chopra(Georgia Tech), Ron Hohmann(LSU), Chad Kissell(Valparaiso), Arman Sharma(Cornell), Jibril Nettles and Jacob Brumm(Cal, Baylor).

Wild cards went to Tyler Zink(Oklahoma State), Adam Neff(SMU), Liam Krall(SMU) and Antonio Muniz Hidalgo(SMU). They all played each other in the first round today, with Zink defeating Neff and Muniz beating Krall.

Li Tu of Australia is the No. 1 seed, with Yibing Wu of China the No. 2 seed. Tu plays Martin Damm in the first round Wednesday.

The SoCal Pro Circuit is back after a week off, with both men and women at the $15,000 tournaments in Los Angeles. 

Women's qualifiers from the United States are Makenna Jones(North Carolina), Princeton recruit Katherine Hui and Maxine Murphy(Washington State). 

Wild cards were given to USC's Salma Ewing and Erin Cayetano, UCLA's Kimmi Hance, and 14-year-old Iva Jovic.

Ya Yi Yang of Taiwan is the No. 1 seed, with USC's Snow Han of China the No. 2 seed.

Men's qualifiers from the US are Keenan Mayo(Illinois), Austin Ansari(Clemson), Eric Hadigian(Pepperdine), Bryce Nakashima, Perry Gregg(Holy Cross).

Wild cards were given to Hudson Rivera, Masato Perera(Harvard), Alex Petrov(Illinois) and Jacob Bullard(Arizona State).

Southern Californians Brandon Holt and Zachary Svajda are the top two seeds.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Five Americans Through to Wimbledon Second Round, 27 in Action Tuesday; Eight US Juniors Reach Third Round at ITF J1 in Roehampton; Fakih Wins First ITF Junior Circuit Title; How Todd Wojtkowski Built Case Western into D-III Powerhouse

photo credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

The first day of Wimbledon 2022 did not go as scheduled, with two separate rain delays leading to cancelled matches and others that had to be stopped for darkness. Only ten of the 34 Americans in the draw were on Monday's schedule, and even then, three of the men either did not start, or were unable to finish.

All four of the US women on the scheduled did get their matches in, with wins for Alison Riske and Ann Li and losses for Danielle Collins(Virginia) and Bernarda Pera.

Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and John Isner(Georgia) earned victories, while Christian Harrison and Reilly Opelka held two-set leads when their matches were suspended. Steve Johnson(USC) had his match with Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria postponed until Tuesday. 

Monday's first round results of Americans:

John Isner[20] d. Enzo Couacaud[Q](FRA) 6-7(6) 7-6(3) 4-6 6-3 7-5
Tommy Paul[30] d. Fernando Verdasco(ESP) 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(4)
Frances Tiafoe[23] d. Andrea Vavassori[Q](ITA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Anett Kontaveit[2](EST) d. Bernarda Pera 7-5, 6-1 
Marie Bouzkova(CZE) d. Danielle Collins[7] 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
Ann Li d. Lucia Bronzetti(ITA) 6-1, 6-4
Alison Riske[28] d. Ylena In-Albon(SUI) 6-2, 6-4

Tuesday's first round matches featuring Americans:
Serena Williams[WC] v Harmony Tan(FRA)
Coco Gauff[11] v Elena-Gabriela Ruse(ROU)
Louisa Chirico[Q] v Paula Badosa[4](ESP)
Claire Liu v Nuria Parrizas Diaz(ESP)
Shelby Rogers[30] v Petra Martic(CRO)
Amanda Anisimova[20] v Xinyu Wang(CHN)
Madison Brengle v Lauren Davis
Christina McHale[Q] v Sara Sorribes Tormo[32](ESP)
Coco Vandeweghe[LL] v Elena Rybakina[17](KAZ)
Emina Bektas[Q] v Bianca Andreescu(CAN)
Sloane Stephens v Qinwen Zheng(CHN)
Catherine Harrison[Q] v Arantxa Rus(NED)
Jessica Pegula[8] v Donna Vekic(CRO)

Steve Johnson v Grigor Dimitrov([18](BUL) (moved from Monday)
Maxime Cressy v Felix Auger-Aliassime[6](CAN)
Taylor Fritz[11] v Lorenzo Musetti(ITA)
Christian Harrison v Jay Clarke[WC](GBR) 7-6(3), 6-1, 5-5 (held over from Monday)
Stefan Kozlov[LL] v Diego Schwartzman[12](ARG)
Reilly Opelka[15] v Carlos Taberner(ESP) 7-6(5), 6-4, 1-2 (held over from Monday)
Sam Querrey v Ricardas Berankis(LTU)
Brandon Nakashima v Nicola Kuhn[Q](GER)
Jenson Brooksby[29] v Mikhail Kukushkin[Q](KAZ)
Denis Kudla v Lorenzo Sonego[27](ITA)
Mackenzie McDonald v Nuno Borges[LL](POR)
Jack Sock[Q] v Bernabe Zapata Miralles[Q](ESP)
Marcos Giron v Holger Rune[[24](DEN)

The rain showers also disrupted the ITF J1 in Roehampton, leading to the cancellation of today's first round of doubles, but the second round of singles were completed. Eight of the nine US juniors in action today won their matches, with qualifier Kaitlin Quevedo the only one who didn't, losing to Texas A&M incoming freshman Mia Kupres of Canada 6-2, 6-1. 

Top seed Liv Hovde defeated Michaela Laki of Greece 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 and will play No. 13 seed and Nottingham J1 champion Taylah Preston of Australia Tuesday. No. 6 seed Qavia Lopez beat Lucciana Perez Alarcon of Peru 6-0, 6-1 and Alexis Blokhina downed lucky loser Mathilde Ngijol Carre of France 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. No. 2 seed Celine Naef of Switzerland lost to 14-year-old British wild card Mingge Xu 6-1, 4-6, 6-0.

Ozan Colak[16] defeated qualifier Jack Loutit of New Zealand 6-3, 6-3 and will play No. 2 seed Mili Poljicak of Croatia, who he beat at the Australian Open this year. Alex Michelsen, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Dylan Dietrich of Switzerland, will face top seed Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic. Michelsen defeated Mensik at the J1 in Traralgon Australia in January. 

Sebastian Gorzny defeated No. 9 seed Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico 6-1, 6-4 and will play Roland Garros finalist Gilles Bailly of Belgium, the No. 6 seed.  Learner Tien advanced when lucky loser Massimo Giunta of Italy retired trailing 4-2 in the first set and will take on British wild card Patrick Brady in the third round.

Live scoring is available via the Tennis Ticker app.

There were three titles for Americans on the ITF Junior Circuit last week, with 15-year-old Californian Kate Fakih earning her first title at the J4 in Leon Mexico. Unseeded, Fakih had to play six matches in the 48-draw, but never lost more than three games in any of them, and a total of just 15. She beat four seeds
to reach the final, where she defeated unseeded Ximena Garzon Martinez of Mexico 6-0, 6-3.

Sixteen-year-old Jose Murariu won his first ITF Junior Circuit title in doubles, with parnter Yi Zhou of China. The top seeds defeated American twins Abhinav and Prathinav Chunduru, the No. 3 seeds, 6-1, 6-1 in the final. 

At the J3 in Calgary Canada, top seeds Duncan Chen of Canada and John Kim won the doubles title, beating unseeded Emmett Potter and Tyler Waddock of Canada 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Chen then went on to defeat Kim in the boys singles final, with No. 1 seed Chen getting the 7-5, 6-4 win over No. 2 seed Kim.

Every program building story is interesting, as it's always fascinating to try to isolate the reasons some tennis programs are outstanding for decades, while others struggle to sustain any success they may have. This cleveland.com article about Case Western Reserve men's head coach Todd Wojtkowski provides a detailed look at the unlikely trail he's blazed to build a top program, one that has reached the NCAA Division III final the past two years.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Navarro Turns Pro; Ten Seeds Ousted in First Round at Roehampton J1; Monday and Nanda Take Pro Circuit Titles; Ten Americans in Action Monday at Wimbledon

After two years at the University of Virginia, Emma Navarro will not return, with the 2021 NCAA champion's first tournament as a professional next week at the $100,000 ITF tournament in her home town of Charleston South Carolina

Navarro, currently 240 in the WTA rankings, was 51-3 in her two seasons at Virginia, losing to Estela Perez-Somarriba of Miami last year and Eden Richardson of Miami this year, with both those losses in regular season dual matches. Her final collegiate match was the third loss, when North Carolina State's Abigail Rencheli defeated Navarro 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the third round of the NCAAs in Champaign. There was speculation that Navarro might return this year, even though she had been dominating the competition in college, because her younger sister Meggie is set to join the Cavaliers this fall. But I don't think anyone would question the 21-year-old's decision to devote herself to professional tennis full time now after proving herself on the collegiate level.

For comments from Navarro and Virginia head coach Sara O'Leary, see this article from VirginiaSports.com.

As an aside, Linda Fruhvirtova is still on the acceptance list for the $100K in South Carolina, while also still appearing on the acceptance list for the Junior championships at Wimbledon. I thought there was an automatic withdrawal feature to prevent this, but perhaps, even though it begins Saturday, the Wimbledon Junior tournament is considered as being held the following week. 

The first day of the J1 at Roehampton was not a good one for seeded players, with ten seeds, including both No. 3 seeds, eliminated.

Texas A&M rising freshman Mia Kupres of Canada defeated No. 3 seed Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-4 and Joao Fonseca of Brazil beat No. 3 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru 6-3, 7-5.  

No. 4 seed Nishesh Basavareddy lost to Connor Henry Van Schalkwyk of Namibia 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, while Michael Zheng defeated No. 8 seed and Roland Garros boys semifinalist Dino Prizmic of Croatia 6-1, 1-6, 7-5. The other four American boys to advance to the second round are Ozan Colak[16], Learner Tien, Sebastian Gorzny and Alex Michelsen. Michelsen defeated another Roland Garros semifinalist, No. 14 seed Martyn Pawelski of Poland, 6-3, 6-1.

Top seed Liv Hovde survived in three sets, as did No. 6 seed Qavia Lopez. Alexa Blokhina defeated No. 11 seed Kayla Cross of Canada 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 and qualifier Kaitlin Quevedo also won her opening match, over British wild card Isabelle Lacy.  

The other top 8 seed to lose in the girls draw was No. 8 Luciana Moyano of Argentina who went out to Andrea Obradovic of Serbia 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. 

The two Nottingham champions had no day of rest between their finals Saturday and their first round matches today, but both Martin Landaluce of Spain[13] and Taylah Preston[13] of Australia did manage to post wins today.

Live scoring for the Roehampton Grade 1 is available on the TennisTicker app.

Tennessee rising junior Johannes Monday won his first title on the professional circuit today in South Bend, with the 20-year-old left-hander from Great Britain defeating No. 5 seed Sekou Bangoura(Florida) 6-3, 7-5. Monday, playing in his first main draw of a pro tournament, came through qualifying to earn the title at the $15,000 event. 

Govind Nanda(UCLA) won the $25,000 USTA Men's Pro Circuit tournament in Tulsa, defeating wild card Stefan Dostanic(USC) 6-3, 7-5. It's the first title since last June for the No. 3 seed, who left the Bruins for professional tennis after the 2020-21 season.

No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik won the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Wichita, defeating top seed Kayla Day 6-3, 6-3. It's Mandlik's third title of 2022, all at the $25K level.

At the $15,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Colorado Springs, former Furman standout Katarina Kozarov defeated Veronika Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) of Russia 6-3, 6-4. It's the first professional singles title for the 24-year-old from Serbia.

Wimbledon begins Monday in London, but it's a light day for Americans, with only 10 of the 34 players from the US on the schedule. Stefan Kozlov, who lost in the final round of qualifying, upped the original total of American competitors by one when he received entry as a lucky loser following the withdrawal of Croatia's Borna Coric.

All matches are available on ESPN, ESPN 2 or ESPN3 and ESPN+, with ABC also broadcasting matches for the first time. For more on the ESPN schedule for Wimbledon, see this article.

Wimbledon first round matches featuring Americans Monday:

Bernarda Pera v Anett Kontaveit[2](EST)
Danielle Collins[7] v Marie Bouzkova(CZE)
Ann Li v Lucia Bronzetti(ITA)
Alison Riske[28] v Ylena In-Albon(SUI)

Steve Johnson v Grigor Dimitrov[18](BUL)
John Isner[20] v Enzo Couacaud[Q](FRA)
Christian Harrison[Q] v Jay Clarke[WC](GBR)
Tommy Paul[30] v Fernando Verdasco(ESP)
Reilly Opelka[15] v Carlos Taberner(ESP)
Frances Tiafoe[23] v Andrea Vavassori[Q](ITA)

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dostanic Reaches Tulsa $25K Final; Corleys, Zamarripas Win Pro Circuit Doubles Titles; 17 US Juniors Begin Play at ITF J1 in Roehampton Sunday; Fritz Defeats Cressy in ATP Eastbourne Final

Two weeks ago in East Lansing, Georgia Tech rising junior Andres Martin made the final of his first USTA Pro Circuit tournament, a $25,000 event that he accessed via qualifying. Stefan Dostanic, a rising senior at the University of Southern California, had a bit more experience than that, but he hadn't earned an ATP point until this week at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Tulsa, but he has posted three victories over seeds this week and is into Sunday's final.

Dostanic, a 20-year-old from Irvine California, defeated No. 5 seed Sho Shimabukuro of Japan 7-6(9), 6-3 in today's semifinals, posting his third ATP Top 500 win of the week. He will face former UCLA star Govind Nanda, the No. 3 seed, who beat wild card Martin 6-4, 6-3. Both Dostanic and Nanda are former Kalamazoo Nationals finalists, with Dostanic finishing runner-up to Brandon Nakashima in the 16s in 2017 and Nanda falling to Zachary Svajda in the 18s in 2019.

In today's doubles final in Tulsa, top seeds Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan and Dane Sweeny of Australia defeated No. 3 seeds Zeke Clark(Illinois) and Nate Ponwith(Arizona State) 6-3, 6-2.

At the $15,000 men's tournament in South Bend Indiana, Sekou Bangoura and Great Britain's Johannes Monday will play for the title Sunday. Monday, who qualified for the main draw at a Pro Circuit event for the first time this week, probably welcomed the day off he got today when 2015 NCAA champion Ryan Shane was unable to play due to injury. The 20-year-old rising junior at Tennessee lacks the experience of 30-year-old Bangoura, who played collegiately at Florida. Bangoura defeated Ohio State rising junior JJ Tracy 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in the semifinals today.

The doubles title went to No. 2 seeds Sid Banthia(Wake Forest) and James Trotter(Ohio State), who defeated No. 4 seeds Felix Corwin(Minnesota) and Noah Schachter(Texas A&M) 6-2, 7-6(3).

The singles title at the $25,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Wichita will be decided by top seed Kayla Day and No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik. Day defeated Samantha Crawford 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and Mandlik beat Adriana Reami(NC State) 6-1, 7-6(5) in today's semifinals.

In the all-collegiate doubles final, No. 2 seeds Allura and Maribella Zamarripa won their fifth professional title, with the twin sisters defeating unseeded Carolyn Ansari and Canada's Ariana Arseneault(Auburn) 6-4, 6-2. The Zamarripas, who did not drop a set all week, announced early this month that they would be turning pro and not returning to Texas for their sophomore year.

Two former collegians will face off for the title at the $15,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Colorado Springs, with former Furman star Katarina Kozarov of Serbia, the No. 3 seed, taking on wild card Veronika Miroshnichenko of Russia, who just completed her eligibility at Loyola Marymount. Miroshnichenko needed three hours to defeat Virginia rising junior Hibah Shaikh 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(1) and Kozarov took out No. 7 seed Gianna Pielet, a rising sophomore at Texas A&M, 6-1, 7-5.

In doubles, another pair of sisters, although not twins, won the title, with top seeds Ivana and Carmen Corley getting their first Pro Circuit championship. Ivana and Carmen, who just completed their senior and junior years at Oklahoma, defeated No. 3 seeds Miroshnichenko and Poland's Daria Kuczer(Tennessee) of Poland 7-6(4), 6-2.

Main draw matches at the ITF J1 in Roehampton begin Sunday, with seven US girls and ten US boys in the main draw. Aidan Kim is not one of the boys; I'm not sure why he did not get a special exemption into the main draw as he was in the doubles final today at the J1 in Nottingham. Kim and Nicholas Godsick, the No. 6 seeds lost to Florida rising freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn of Thailand and Jaden Weekes of Canada, the No. 5 seeds, 6-2, 6-7(5), 10-3.

No. 5 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain won the boys singles title, with No. 4 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia retiring trailing 6-3, 1-0. No. 3 seed Taylah Preston of Australia won the girls singles title, beating unseeded Ela Nala Milic of Slovenia 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-3.

The girls doubles title went to No. 2 seeds Luciana Moyano of Argentina and Lucciana Perez Alarcon of Peru, who beat No. 7 seeds Milic and Lucia Peyre of Argentina 6-2, 6-0 in the final.

The American boys competing in Roehampton are: Nishesh Basavareddy[4], Ozan Colak[16], Michael Zheng, Godsick, Cooper Williams, Learner Tien, Alex Michelsen, Leanid Boika, Alexander Frusina and Sebastian Gorzny.  

Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic is the top boys seed.

The US girls in Roehampton are: Liv Hovde[1], Qavia Lopez[6], Alexis Blokhina, Mia Slama, Sonya Macavei and two qualifiers: Kaitlin Quevedo and Theodora Rabman.

The final of the ATP 250 in Eastbourne was an entertaining battle between two Americans, with Taylor Fritz, the No. 3 seed, defeating Maxime Cressy(UCLA) 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(4). Fritz dominated the first set, but Cressy found his form midway through the second set and it was even from then on. Fritz, who had not won a match in either of the previous grass court tournaments he played this month, didn't face a break point in the final, capturing his third ATP title, with his first also coming at Eastbourne, in 2019. The second was this spring's BNP Paribas Open. For more on the Eastbourne final, see this article from the ATP website.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Thirty-three Americans in Wimbledon Draws; Roehampton J1 Qualifying Underway; USTA Wild Card Challenge Set for July; Collegians Advance to Semifinals at USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments

The Wimbledon draws were released this morning, with the United States leading all nations with 33 participants: 15 men and 18 women. Six US men are seeded, the most in the 32-seed era (2001), and seven US women are seeded, the most since 8 were seeded in 2004.

Here are the Americans competing; I'll post the matchups for Monday's first round in my Sunday post. The women's draw is here; the men's draw is here.

Reilly Opelka[15]
John Isner[20]
Christian Harrison[Q]
Frances Tiafoe[23]
Steve Johnson
Tommy Paul[30]
Jenson Brooksby[29]
Brandon Nakashima
Maxime Cressy
Jack Sock[Q]
Marcos Giron
Taylor Fritz[11]
Mackenzie McDonald
Denis Kudla
Sam Querrey

Claire Liu
Catherine Harrison[Q]
Sloane Stephens
Emina Bektas[Q]
Shelby Rogers[30]
Jessica Pegula[8]
Louisa Chirico[Q]
Coco Gauff[11]
Madison Brengle
Lauren Davis
Amanda Anisimova[20]
Christina McHale[Q]
Serena Williams[WC]
Danielle Collins[7]
Ann Li
Allison Riske[28]
Madison Keys[19]
Bernarda Pera

The doubles draws were also released today, with Rajeev Ram(USA) and Joe Salisbury(GBR) No. 1 in the men's draw and Elise Mertens(BEL) and Shuai Zhang(CHN) the top seeds in the women's draw.

Qualifying at the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton began today, with the main draw beginning on Sunday. Four Americans have advanced to Saturday's final round of qualifying: Jelani Sarr, Jonah Braswell, Kaitlin Quevedo and Theodora Rabman.  Aidan Kim was initially in qualifying, but he is playing the J1 in Nottingham and is into the boys doubles final, with Nicholas Godsick, and either moved into the main draw or got a special exemption, as he's not able to play qualifying. 

No. 2 seed Qavia Lopez, the last American remaining in the Nottingham singles, lost to unseeded Ela Nala Milic of Slovenia 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1 in today's semifinals. Milic will play No. 3 seed Taylah Preston of Australia in the final. The boys final features No. 4 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia and No. 5 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain. Top seed and Roland Garros boys champion Gabriel Debru of France lost to unseeded William Jansen of Great Britain in the quarterfinals. 

The USTA today announced the return of its US Open Wild Card Challenge, which was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. As with the recent Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge, the points accumulated at any hard court event at the $25K level and above will be counted, with the best three results comprising a player's total. The men's race begins July 11 and runs for five weeks; the women's race begins July 18 and runs for four weeks. 

College players have fanned out across the country this month after the NCAA tournament and they've had a lot of success on the USTA Pro Circuit the past three weeks.  That has continued this week, with two wild cards reaching the semifinals of the $25,000 men's tournament in Tulsa.  It comes as a surprise to me that USC rising senior Stefan Dostanic didn't have an ATP point until this week, but the 20-year-old Southern Californian hasn't played all that many USTA Pro Circuit events and was usually in qualifying when he did. This week in Tulsa, he has defeated Donald Young, No. 4 seed Yunseong Chung of Korea, both by retirements, and today got a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 6 seed Omni Kumar(Duke). He will face No. 5 seed Sho Shimabukuro of Japan in the semifinals.

Wild card Andres Martin, a rising junior at Georgia Tech, defeated qualifier Murphy Cassone(Arizona State) 6-0, 6-2 and will play No. 3 seed Govind Nanda(UCLA) in the semifinals. Martin, also 20, reached the final of the $25K in East Lansing two weeks ago as a qualifier, and he is 7-1 on the Pro Circuit since losing to Stanford's Arthur Fery in the second round of the NCAA singles competition last month. Martin had not played a Pro Circuit event until East Lansing.

JJ Tracy, the rising junior at Ohio State, is into the semifinals at the $15,000 tournament in South Bend after defeating No. 8 seed Patrick Kypson(Texas A&M) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. It's the third three-set victory for Tracy this week. He will play No. 5 seed Sekou Bangoura(Florida), while in the bottom half, 2015 NCAA champion Ryan Shane(Virginia) will face Tennessee rising junior Johannes Monday of Great Britain.

The only collegian still competing at the women's $25,000 tournament in Wichita is former North Carolina State star Adriana Reami. The unseeded 24-year-old, who has yet to drop a set, beat No. 2 seed Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico in the second round and defeated No. 5 seed Ashlyn Krueger, the 2021 USTA National 18s champion, 6-2, 6-2 today. Reami will play No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik, who beat No. 7 seed and 2022 NCAA singles champion Peyton Stearns(Texas) 6-4, 6-1. In the top half, No. 1 seed Kayla Day will play unseeded Samantha Crawford, a meeting between two former US Open girls champions, with Day winning in 2016 and Crawford in 2012.

At the $15,000 women's tournament in Colorado Springs, Texas A&M rising sophomore Gianna Pielet defeated top seed Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals of a USTA Pro Circuit event for the first time. Pielet will play No. 3 seed Katarina Kozarov(Furman) of Serbia, who beat No. 5 seed Ivana Corley(Oklahoma) 6-0, 6-3. In the bottom half, Virginia rising junior Hibah Shaikh continued her run, beating No. 8 seed Paris Corley(LSU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old, who earned her first WTA points this week, will face wild card Veronika Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) for a place in the final.