Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Novikov falls in first round of Wimbledon qualifying

   Dennis Novikov had a tough assignment in his Wimbledon debut.
   The 21-year-old San Jose resident lost to 23rd-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 on Monday in the first round of qualifying at Roehampton.
   Mathieu, 33, is ranked No. 127 but climbed to a career-high No. 12 in 2008. He has reached the third round or better in all four Grand Slam tournaments, including fourth-round appearances at Wimbledon in 2007 and 2010.    
   "Little disappointed with today, my Wimbledon is over for this year," the 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter), 200-pound (91-kilogram) Novikov tweeted. "I'll be back next year, though. Home for some rest now."
   American men went 0-4 on Monday in the 128-player singles draw. Also falling were 18-year-old Jared Donaldson, Jarmere Jenkins and Chase Buchanan. All three have had success in Northern California Challenger singles or doubles in the past two years.
   Three more American men, all seeded, are scheduled to play today in the opening round: No. 13 Austin Krajicek, No. 18 Bjorn Fratangelo and No. 24 Ryan Harrison. They also have excelled in NorCal Challenger singles or doubles over the years.
   Women's qualifying is set to begin today. Among the 11 Americans in the 96-player singles field is Maria Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto.
   In Sanchez's only previous singles appearance at Wimbledon, she lost in the second round of qualifying in 2013. Sanchez has never played in the doubles main draw at Wimbledon, either.

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