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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.