Friday, June 26, 2015

Two U.S. women qualify for Wimbledon

Sachia Vickery advanced to the Wimbledon main draw
for the first time. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Of the 18 American men and women combined who played Wimbledon singles qualifying this week, only two survived.
   Sachia Vickery, seeded fourth, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands reached the main draw with straight-set victories at Roehampton on Thursday. The men's and women's singles draws will be conducted today, and Wimbledon will begin on Monday.
   Vickery, 20, defeated countrywoman Jessica Pegula 7-5, 7-5 to earn her first berth in the Wimbledon main draw. Pegula, whose billionaire father owns the NFL's Buffalo Bills and NHL's Buffalo Sabres, was the runner-up to Modesto product Maria Sanchez in the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2012.
   Mattek-Sands, a 30-year-old veteran who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2008, beat 11th-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel 6-1, 6-4. Peer, 28, is ranked No. 120 after climbing to a career-high No. 11 in 2011.
   The United States had 11 women and seven men in singles qualifying at Roehampton.
   Vickery advanced to WTA tour quarterfinals at Stanford on hardcourts last summer and Nottingham on grass two weeks ago, both times as a qualifier. She also reached the quarters of the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger last July.
   Mattek-Sands, who had hip surgery last year and missed six months, has plunged from a career-high No. 30 in singles in 2011 to No. 157. But she's a career-high No. 6 in doubles after winning this year's Australian Open and French Open with Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.
   Mattek-Sands, a two-time semifinalist in women's doubles at Stanford, also won this year's French Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Mike Bryan.
   Meanwhile, 15th-seeded John Millman of Australia earned his first main-draw berth at Wimbledon with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Enzo Couacaud of France.
   Millman lost to Sam Querrey in the semifinals at Sacramento and the final at Tiburon in consecutive Challengers last fall. Here's my November profile of Millman.
   Querrey, a 27-year-old San Francisco native, reached the Nottingham semifinals on the ATP World Tour this week with a big upset. Querrey, seeded 12th, saved two match points in his 5-7, 7-6 (8), 6-4 triumph over second-seeded Gilles Simon of France.
   Querrey will face Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov, who eked out a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4) win over Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu, a Wimbledon quarterfinalist in 2010.   

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