Junior Wimbledon | Matusevich upsets 15th seeded Onclin
First round matches were completed on Monday in the Wimbledon Junior Championships, as the up-and-coming stars of the future vie for honours in the boys singles and doubles around the grounds of the All England Club.
After 3 of the top 8 boys seeds went out on Saturday, upsets were rare on Monday, but Britain’s Anton Matusevich, who reached the quarter-finals here last year, pulled off a great win over Roehampton Grade 1 champion Gauthier Onclin of Belgium,the No 15 seed, 6-3 4-6 6-4, to join Jack Story and Arthur Ferry in round 2.
In addition Onclin, Otto Virtanen, the 11th seed from Finland also went out at the hands of Cannon Kingsley.
The American caused the upset after trailing 4-1 in the final set and saving 2 match points with the Finn serving for the match at 5-3, 40-15, to go on to claim the final 4 games of the match in a 4-6 6-1 7-5 win.
“It was a weird match all around,” said Kingsley, who has already began classes this summer at Ohio State. “He was obviously a little injured in his elbow, or his wrist, I couldn’t tell.
“Sometimes he would serve really big, sometimes really slow, he started underhanded serving also, and in the second set, once I got a break, he almost gave up. But right off the bat in the third set, it was like he was back in the first set.”
Down 4-1 in the third and then 5-3, Kingsley was determined to keep fighting.
“Even though I was down a break, I still felt like every game, on my return, I could break him,” Kingsley said. “I was close every game, deuces, 30-alls, break points, but I wasn’t converting.”
At 5-3, 40-15, Virtanen, the reigning Orange Bowl champion, tried another underhand serve, but Kingsley ended up hitting a forehand volley winner to save the first match point.
On the second Virtanen made an unforced error, and Kingsley won the next two points to get out of danger.
After a quick hold and another break, Kingsley was ready to serve for the match, but Virtanen called for the trainer for his right wrist, and Kingsley had plenty of time to think about the next game.
“That was a long medical timeout,” said Kingsley, who spent most of the time shadow serving near his chair. “It was a solid 10 minutes.
“Then I hit the serve, weird bounce, kind of missed it, then double faulted for 0-30, and I’m like, focus. But I just played a couple of good points and I was back in it. I’m just glad I didn’t throw that game away.”
Denmark’s Holger Rune, however, who is the top seed in the boys, has been looking forward to playing at Wimbledon after winning the French Open junior boys title in Paris last month.
He opened his campaign with a relatively routine win over Sweden’s Kevin Chahoud, 6-2 6-4, and plans to continue focusing on the junior Grand Slams this year before moving on to the pros in 2020.
Speaking to BT.dk, Rune said ahead of his match: “I’m excited to be in a battle against Kevin Chahoud. It’s a player I’ve never met before. But I know him very well, and he is solid.”
Rune played his first grass-court event in Roehampton last week where he reached the semi-finals, adding that he enjoyed playing on the surface.
“I think it’s a cool surface. Here you can use your slice and you can get to the net. Overall, I think the grass fits well with my offensive playing style. It’s been a really good month. I am very pleased with the results that have been achieved exclusively because of hard work.”
Speaking about the stress of being one of the favourites at Wimbledon, Rune added: “Not really. Before the clay season, I was around number 30 on the world rankings. In April, I made a decision to work hard. Since then, the results have come quietly, so I know how I have come where I am right now.”
Rune is currently ranked No 2 in the world and will be hoping to become World No 1 in the juniors, a spot currently held by Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who is absent at SW19, having moved on to the pros after Paris.
Four remaining British boys were also in action on Monday, but failed to progress.
Wild cards Blu Baker began strongly but lost out in three sets to Japanese qualifier Ryoma Matsushita, 2-6 6-1 6-4; while Jack Pinnington Jones fell to 12th seed Liam Draxl from Canada, 6-3 6-3; and Felix Gill lost to Spain’s Nicolas Alvarez Varona, 1-6 7-5 6-4.
Derrick Chen, who came through qualifying, narrowly lost out to another qualifier, Andrew Dale from the United States, 7-6(7) 6-4.
Dale had never played a junior slam prior to this week’s Wimbledon, but he was able to overcome that lack of experience and the crowd support for his opponent..
Another American, Will Grant, the only lucky loser in either singles draw, earned his first junior slam main draw win by beating Nini Dica of Romania, 6-1 4-6 7-5.
No 6 seed Brandon Nakashima, also from the US, rolled through his first set with qualifier Phuong Van Nguyen of Vietnam, but had a battle on his hands in the second set before posting a 6-0 7-6(5) victory.