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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'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.