Seven U.S. men advance
at Wimbledon qualifying
Arthur Kapetanakis | June 24, 2019
We are still two weeks away from Manic Monday, but Day 1 of Wimbledon qualifying was mad in its own right, particularly for a busy Team USA.
Seven of the nine Americans in the men’s qualifying draw advanced to Round 2—the maximum amount possible, given the two all-U.S. matchups on the schedule. The women’s qualifying event begins on Tuesday.
Wimbledon qualifying is unique in that it is held outside of the All England Club, to preserve the pristine grass courts for the main event. With the entirety of the men’s opening round contested on Monday at the Bank of England Sports Centre, the advancing Americans dominated, combining to win 14 out of the 15 sets they played.
Bjorn Fratangelo, Donald Young, Noah Rubin, Marcos Giron, Chris Eubanks, Tim Smyczek and Tommy Paul all advanced, while Michael Mmoh and Mitchel Krueger were dismissed.ADVERTISEMENT
The No. 27-seeded Fratangelo (pictured above), the only American seeded in qualifying, led the charge with a 6-4, 6-4 result over Russian Alexey Vatutin. Eubanks was the only winning American to drop a set, the former Georgia Tech star ultimately advancing with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 win over Italy’s Luca Vanni.
In the two all-American affairs, Rubin got the better of Mmoh, 6-3, 6-4, while Smyczek topped Krueger, 7-5, 6-4.
Fortunately for the Americans, the men's qualifying draw will not serve up any more all-U.S. encounters. With the surviving competitors just two wins away from a coveted main-draw place, Team USA is in position to earn seven of the 16 qualifying berths for the men’s singles event.
There are 17 American women in the ladies’ qualifying draw, including the No. 3-seeded Lauren Davis, No. 6 Christina McHale and No. 9 Whitney Osuigwe. Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff received a qualifying wild card, and will face top-seeded Spaniard Aliona Bolsova in Round 1. Despite the influx of American women, there are no all-U.S. matchups in Round 1.
Gauff, a former world junior No. 1 and 2018 French Open girls’ singles champion, is competing in qualifying for a third time at the majors. After a first-round qualifying loss at the 2018 US Open, she reached the second round of the play-in event at the 2019 French Open.