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Duval, Kudla lead Americans into Wimbledon main draw

June 20, 2014 10:31 AM
Alex Kuznetsov was one of four Americans who qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon.

By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com

Team USA filled up four of the available qualifying spots at Wimbledon, with three American men and one American woman advancing into the main draw. Ryan Harrison, Denis Kudla, Alex Kuznetsov and Victoria Duval will all move from the grass courts of Roehampton to the hallowed lawns of SW19 for their opening-round matches next week.

No. 9 seed Kudla found himself in a lengthy battle with No. 18 seed Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia, but figured out a way to prevail after nearly three hours, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. Kudla has excelled on the grass courts before, having come through qualifying in both singles and doubles last year and advancing to the quarterfinals at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, R.I., in 2011. His opening match in the main draw will be against fellow qualifier Marsel Ilhan of Turkey.

After a struggle in his first-round qualifying match, it was smooth sailing into the main draw for No. 22 seed Harrison. He fought through a difficult first set against No. 16 seed Daniel Brands of Germany, but encountered few problems the rest of the way and easily advanced, 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-3. Harrison will be making his fourth appearance in the main draw at Wimbledon, having reached the second round in 2011 and 2012. He’ll play No. 11 seed Grigor Dimitrov in his opening round.

And in an all-American battle, No. 26 seed Kuznetsov overcame a slow start to defeat No. 3 seed Tim Smyczek, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. This marks the second time Kuznetsov has qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon, having also accomplished that feat last year. Next up for Kuznetsov is No. 16 seed Fabio Fognini.

On the women’s side, No. 12 seed Victoria Duval prevailed in a fierce all-American battle against two-time NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs, qualifying for her first main draw appearance at Wimbledon, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Duval previously qualified for the US Open last summer, where she went on to shock 2011 champion Samantha Stosur of Australia in the first round. Her main draw debut at SW19 will be against No. 29 seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania.

In doubles qualifying, Harrison and Kevin King also advanced into the main draw by defeating Konsantin Kravchuk of Russia and Tim Puetz of Germany, 6-3, 7-5. Next up for them is No. 12 seeds Raven Klaasen of South Africa and American Eric Butorac, who reached the final of the Australian Open earlier this year.

Harrison, Kudla and Kuznetsov will join seven other American men in the main draw. They include No. 9 seed John Isner, Bradley Klahn, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Jack Sock, Donald Young and Michael Russell

Duval will join 11 other American women in the main draw. They include No. 1 seed Serena Williams, No. 18 seed Sloane Stephens, No. 30 seed Venus Williams, Anna Tatishvili, Christina McHale, Madison Keys, CoCo Vandeweghe, Varvara Lepchenko, Lauren Davis, Vania King and wild card Taylor Townsend.



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