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Monday, July 1, 2024

Johnston Sweeps, Schuman Goes Back-to-Back at ITF J200 in Mexico; Seven Americans Advance to Wimbledon Second Round; Tien Extends Win Streak to 16 at Bloomfield Hills Challenger

Noah Johnston is still listed in the Wimbledon boys qualifying, which begins Thursday at Roehampton. If he does make the trip, he won't have any grass court preparation, but the 16-year-old left-hander from South Carolina will have the confidence earned after sweeping the titles of the ITF J200 last week in Tampico Mexico
After Johnston and Benjamin Willwerth won the doubles title on Friday night, they met in the singles final Saturday night, with top seed Johnston posting a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(1) victory over the sixth-seeded Willwerth.  In the doubles final, top seeds Johnston and Willwerth, who won the J200 title in Mexico two weeks ago, defeated unseeded Ronit Karki and Jack Satterfield 7-5, 6-3.

Johnston is up to a career-high ranking of 54 with the titles, while Willwerth, also 16, is up to a career high of 92.

The girls singles title also went to the top seed, with Aspen Schuman winning her second J200 title in as many weeks. This week the 16-year-old from Northern California defeated No. 2 seed Maya Iyengar 6-3, 7-5 in the final.  Schuman is also at a career-high ITF junior ranking with the title, now at 33.

Nancy Lee and her Canadian partner Emma Dong won the girls doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds defeating top seeds Capucine Jauffret and her Jamaican partner Alyssa James 6-2, 7-5 in the final. 

There were three other singles titles for Americans last week on the ITF Junior Circuit. At the J100 in Ecuador, unseeded 17-year-old Alba Martinez swept the titles, earning her fourth doubles title and second singles title on the ITF Junior Circuit. In the singles final, Martinez, a four-star from Florida, defeated No. 6 seed Londyn McCord 6-2, 6-3. Martinez also got the better of McCord in the doubles final, with partner Daniela Chica. The unseeded pair defeated top seeds McCord and Ligaya Murray 6-4, 6-1 for their third title as a team.

Another sweep for an American junior came at the J30 in Honduras, with top seed Nicole Okhtenberg winning her first two ITF Junior Circuit titles of the year. The 16-year-old from Florida defeated unseeded Natasha Jerkunica 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the singles final. Top seeds Okhtenberg and Adelie Osher won the doubles title over No. 2 seeds Siham Richmagui of Honduras and Sandra Talamo Pinto of Venezuela 6-3, 6-1. 

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Lee won the boys title in Honduras, with the top seed beating No. 2 seed Alejandro Ochoa of Mexico 6-2, 2-1 retired for his third ITF Junior Circuit singles title. Lee also reached the doubles final, with Ochoa.

There were two doubles titles for Americans at J30s, with Aida Oviedo winning in Argentina and Shaya Jovanovic winning in the Netherlands.

Five Americans are through to the round of 16 at the ITF J300 in Roehampton: Kaylan Bigun[1], Alex Razeghi, Shannon Lam, Thea Frodin and Iva Jovic[5].

The first day at Wimbledon saw a few surprises, with one of the most notable not involving an American. Twenty-three-year-old qualifier Lulu Sun of New Zealand, a former Texas Longhorn, defeated Australian Open finalist and No. 8 seed Qinwen Zheng of China 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 for her first main draw win at a major. Sun will play fellow qualifier Yuliia Starodubtseva of Ukraine, a former All-American at Old Dominion. Starodubtseva, 24, defeated Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium 6-4, 6-3 for her first main draw victory at a major. 

Americans went 7-7 in first round matches today, with Ben Shelton's match suspended due to darkness.

Monday's Wimbledon first round results of Americans: 

Coco Gauff[2] d. Caroline Dolehide 6-1, 6-2
Erika Andreeva[LL](RUS) d. Emina Bektas 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3
Sloane Stephens d. Elsa Jacquemot[LL] 6-3, 6-3
Madison Keys[12] d. Martina Trevisan(ITA) 6-4, 7-6(4)
Maria Sakkari[9](GRE) d. McCartney Kessler[Q] 6-3, 6-1
Daria Saville(AUS) d. Peyton Stearns 6-4, 6-2 
Emma Navarro[19] d. Qiang Wang(CHN) 6-0, 6-2
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova[25](RUS) d. Taylor Townsend 7-6(4), 6-1

Daniil Medvedev[5](RUS) d. Aleks Kovacevic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 
Tommy Paul[12] d. Pedro Martinez(ESP) 6-2, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Ben Shelton[14] v Mattia Bellucci[Q](ITA) 4-6, 6-3, 3-6 susp.
Lloyd Harris(RSA) d. Alex Michelsen 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(9) 
Frances Tiafoe[29] d. Matteo Arnaldi(ITA) 6-7(5), 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3
Brandon Nakashima d. Sebastian Baez[18](ARG) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

Tuesday's Wimbledon first round matches featuring Americans:

Sofia Kenin v Iga Swiatek[1](POL)
Ashlyn Krueger v Jessica Pegula[5]
Danielle Collins[11] v Clara Tauson(DEN)
Katie Volynets[Q] v Maria Carle(ARG)
Bernarda Pera v Anastasia Potapova(RUS)
Lauren Davis v Camila Osorio(COL)
Robin Montgomery[Q] v Olivia Gadecki(AUS)
Alycia Parks[Q] v Caroline Wozniacki[WC](DEN)

Ben Shelton[14] v Mattia Bellucci[Q](ITA) 4-6, 6-3, 3-6 susp. Monday
Taylor Fritz[13] v Christopher O'Connell(AUS)
Mackenzie McDonald v Emil Ruusuvuori(FIN)
Chris Eubanks v Quentin Halys[Q](FRA)
Marcos Giron v Henry Searle[WC](GBR)
Sebastian Korda[20] v Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard[LL](FRA)

Qualifying was completed today at the ATP Challenger 75 in Bloomfield Hills Michigan, with four of the six qualifiers Americans: Quinn Vandecasteele(Oregon), Christian Langmo(Miami), Ryan Seggerman(Princeton, North Carolina) and Stefan Kozlov.

The 2022 Kalamazoo 18s champion and finalist both advanced to the second round. Champion Learner Tien(USC) came back to defeat James Trotter(Ohio State) of Japan 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 for his 16th consecutive USTA Pro Circuit victory. The jump from the $15K level to the Challenger level is usually a large one, but Tien managed to adjust quickly this week. Trotter won the Tyler Texas Challenger 75 at the beginning of last month, which was the last Challenger on the USTA Pro Circuit.  

Ethan Quinn(Georgia), who Tien beat in the 2022 Kalamazoo final, breezed past Ozan Baris(Michigan State) 6-2, 6-2 and will play fellow 20-year-old Philip Sekulic of Australia in the second round. Sekulic upset No. 2 seed Emilio Nava 6-0, 2-6, 7-5.  Top seed JJ Wolf(Ohio State) beat wild card Andres Martin 6-4, 7-5.