Thursday, June 23, 2016

Novikov's Wimbledon qualifying match postponed

Dennis Novikov of Milpitas in the San Francisco Bay Area will try to earn
his first berth in the main draw at Wimbledon. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
  Dennis Novikov must wait at least one more day to learn whether he'll earn his first berth in the main draw at Wimbledon.
   A resident of Milpitas in the San Francisco Bay Area, the 28th-seeded Novikov was unable to play today as rain virtually wiped out play at Roehampton.
   Novikov, a 22-year-old former UCLA star, is scheduled to face unseeded Hiroki Moriya, 25, of Japan for the first time on Friday in the final round of qualifying.
   Moriya seeks his second main-draw berth at Wimbledon. As a qualifier last year, he lost to ninth-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia in straight sets in the first round. Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, went on to reach the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
   Novikov is ranked No. 146 to Moriya's No. 224 and, at 6-foot-4 (1.93 meters) and 200 pounds (91 kilograms), dwarfs his 5-foot-7 (1.70-meter), 143-pound (65-kilogram) opponent.
   Novikov is one of three American men in the final round of qualifying. Sixth-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo will meet 22nd-seeded Austin Krajicek, guaranteeing at least one U.S. qualifier in the main draw.
   Novikov turned pro in 2013 after leading UCLA to the NCAA final as a sophomore.
    He won the singles and doubles titles in the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2012 to earn wild cards for both main draws in the U.S. Open.
   Novikov reached the second round in each event at Flushing Meadows. He shocked 86th-ranked Jerzy Janowicz, a 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Pole and Wimbledon semifinalist in 2013, in singles and teamed with Michael Redlicki to knock off U.S. veterans Bobby Reynolds and Michael Russell in doubles.

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