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Friday, July 5, 2024

McNeil, Penickova and Schinnerer Qualify for Wimbledon Junior Championships; Six Americans Scheduled for First Round Matches Saturday; Americans Sweep ITF J300 Roehampton Doubles Titles; Tien and Basavareddy Reach ATP Challenger Semifinals

I arrived in London late Friday afternoon to some unusually dismal weather, which is always a disappointing start to a tournament. Intermittent rain, low clouds and temperatures in the 60s, along with a forecast of more of the same throughout the coming week, wasn't inspiring, but on the brighter side, they did finish the Wimbleon junior qualifying and the Roehampton ITF J300 finals, although the latter were played indoors.

Three Americans qualified for the main draw of the Wimbledon Junior Championships: Christasha McNeil[10], Annika Penickova and Kase Schinnerer[4].  McNeil lost in the final round of qualifying at the Roehampton ITF J300 last weekend, but got through this qualifying with a  6-7(3), 6-1, 10-7 win over British wild card Megan Bush. She has been drawn to face top seed Renata Jamrichova of Slovakia.

Fourteen-year-old Penickova, the twin sister of No. 9 seed Kristina, had picked up a couple of main draw wins in ITF W15s last month in Tunisia, so came into Wimbledon junior qualifying with confidence and match play, defeating British wild card Isabella Wong 7-5, 6-2 to earn her second spot in a junior slam main draw. She had qualified for the US Open Junior Championships last September.

Seventeen-year-old Kase Schinnerer will be making his debut in a major, after defeating unseeded Pablo Martinez Gomez of Spain 3-6, 6-3, 10-6. He had lost in the first round of qualifying last month at the Roland Garros Junior Championships.

With the professional matches now behind schedule due to rain on three of the first five days, there are fewer first round junior matches than usual on the schedule for Saturday, with 13 in boys singles and 17 in girls singles. The qualifiers and anyone in the finals of Roehampton are not scheduled on the first Saturday.

Saturday's first round junior matches featuring Americans:

Katie Rolls[12] v Hephzibah Oluwadare[WC](GBR)
Kristina Penickova[9] v Yelyzaveta Kotliar(UKR)
Thea Frodin v Eliska Tichackova(CZE)
Alex Razeghi v Nathan Trouve(FRA)
Ian Mayew v Wiliam Rejchtman Vinciguerra(SWE)
Max Exsted v Hoyoung Roh(KOR)

The boys draw with qualifiers placed is here. The girls draw with qualifiers placed is here. The ITF Junior preview is here.

Indoors at Roehampton, No. 5 seed Iva Jovic lost in the singles final to No. 14 seed Teodora Kostovic of Serbia 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(2), but rebounded to take the doubles title with Tyra Grant. Jovic and Grant, the No. 2 seeds, defeated unseeded Julie Pastikova of the Czech Republic and Julia Stusek of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 in the final for their sixth doubles title, all at the J300 level and above. 

Jagger Leach and Kaylan Bigun won the boys doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds defeating top seeds Petr Brunclik of the Czech Republic and Jangjun Kim of Korea 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 10-7 in the final for their first title as a team.

University of Virginia rising freshman Rafael Jodar of Spain won the boys title, defeating Charlie Robertson of Great Britain 7-6(7), 6-4. The 17-year-old Jodar has now won a J300 title on all three surfaces, rare indeed with only two grass court tournaments of any significance for juniors.

Three American women advanced to the fourth round in singles: Emma Navarro, Madison Keys and Coco Gauff. Gauff and Navarro will play for a place in the quarterfinals Sunday. Ben Shelton and Brandon Nakashima have to come back Saturday to complete their third round matches, but Tommy Paul did advance to the second week.

Friday's third round matches featuring Americans
Carlos Alcaraz[3](ESP) d. Frances Tiafoe[29] 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2
Tommy Paul[12] d. Alexander Bublik[23](KAZ) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Ben Shelton[14] leads Denis Shapovalov(CAN) 3-2
Ugo Humbert[16](FRA) leads Brandon Nakashima 7-6(9), 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-6

Coco Gauff[2] d. Sonay Kartal[WC](GBR) 6-4, 6-0
Madison Keys[12] d. Marta Kostyuk[18](UKR) 6-4, 6-3
Emma Navarro[19] d. Diana Shnaider[RUS] 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Saturday's third round matches featuring Americans:
Ben Shelton[14] leads Denis Shapovalov(CAN) 3-2
Ugo Humbert[16](FRA) leads Brandon Nakashima 7-6(9), 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-6
Danielle Collins[11] v Beatrice Haddad Maia[20](BRA)
Bernarda Pera v Jelena Ostapenko[13](LAT)
Taylor Fritz[13] v Alejandro Tabilo[24](CHI)

At the ATP Challenger 75 in Bloomfield Hills Michigan, teenagers Learner Tien and Nishesh Basavareddy have advanced to the semifinals. It's a first for the 18-year-old Tien, who has now won 18 consecutive pro matches after saving a match point serving at 4-5 in the second in his 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 win over Philip Sekulic of Australia. The 19-year-old Basavareddy, who has reached two Challenger semifinals (and one final), advanced when Bernard Tomic of Australia retired trailing 6-4. 

Tien will face qualifier Ryan Seggerman(Princeton, North Carolina) in Saturday's bottom half semifinal, while Basavareddy will take on qualifier Stefan Kozlov, who beat top seed JJ Wolf 6-4, 6-4 Friday evening.