Junior Wimbledon | Mutavdzic looking for quarter-final berth
Britain’s Matilda Mutavdzic, who has reached the 3rd round of the girls singles, is now looking for a quarter-final berth at Junior Wimbledon, having taken out Russia’s Daria Frayman, pictured, 4-6 6-3 6-3, on Tuesday
From Oxfordshire, Mutavdzic said reaching round of 16 in the girls’ singles at Wimbledon is the highlight of her career so far.
The 15-year-old, who grew up in Abingdon, showed great fighting qualities as she followed up her three-set win over 7th seed Sada Nahimana on Monday by toughing it out against her older Russian opponent, battling back from losing the opening set to win.
Watched by a large number of supporters and friends from Oxfordshire, including her former coach Ed Izzard, Mutavdzic showed her full range of emotions.
Foot-faulted 3 times, she responded to early setbacks with some superb angles and drop shots, breaking Frayman in the 4th game of the second set, and then again at the start of the third.
Frayman managed to draw level in the 6th game of the decider, but Mutavdzic then broke again with some superb ground strokes and rode out the win.
The Brit, who now lives in Genk, Belgium, and plays most of her tennis abroad, could not hide her delight at claiming victory.
“I’m very, very happy with this win,” she said. “In general, I think, you could say I’m ecstatic!
“I was just happy to have got one win at Wimbledon, to get through two rounds is far beyond my expectations.
“I had to show a lot of mental toughness out there, and I think I did.
“Before this, winning the 10 and Under national championships, here, was the highlight of my career, but now this is.”
She will face 10th seed Alexa Noel of the United States in the third round on Wednesday, and is also in the girls’ doubles thanks to a wild card, partnering fellow Briton Holly Fisher.
Noel, one of only 5 seeds remaining in the girls draw, came through with a routine win over fellow American, Charlotte Owensby, a qualifier.
Other British hopes Sonnay Kartal and Erin Richardson, both wild-carded into the draw, fell at the 2nd round hurdle, to Katrina Scott from the USA, 6-1 6-4, and Ukraine’s Daria Snigur, 6-0 6-1, respectively.
In the biggest upset of the day, Linda Fruhvirtova, a 14 year old from the Czech Republic, downed the 2nd seed Maria Camila Orsorio Serrano, 6-4 6-3, with some blistering backhands and big serving.
“I feel I can do great results on the ITF juniors and I just wanted to keep improving my game and have great results,” she said.
Fruhvirtova is the youngest player in the draw, a distinction she is more than used to because she has always been ahead of the curve, facing and beating higher-ranked players throughout her junior career.
When asked how it feels to face older players, she shrugged.
“I don’t take it like this anymore,” she said. “I was a little bit nervous [this week] because my first Grand Slam was Roland Garros and then there I lost in the first round after a really bad match.
“I really didn’t want to lose here again in the first round because it would feel like ‘ok, when will I finally get the first Grand Slam win?’”
In her first ever Wimbledon, Fruhvirtova ensured that this is a question she will never have to think about again.
Fruhvirtova looked in control throughout the match against the favoured Colombian, despite having just won her first junior slam match on Saturday.
“I’m really happy with my win today,” said Fruhvirtova, the reigning Les Petis As champion. “I feel like I played really, really well.
“Of course there were some mistakes, but I played consistent. There weren’t many downs in my game, I kept playing well first set, second set and I was focused.”
A little more than a year younger than this year’s Wimbledon sensation Coco Gauff, Fruhvirtova views the American prodigy as an inspiration, but does not see herself making the second week of the women’s tournament by this time next year.
“I think I can get there, but I don’t think I can do it like in one year,” said Fruhvirtova, who faces the same age restrictions as Gauff, which both must continue to navigate in the coming years.
“It’s really tough. I can’t get so many wild card, I’m limited in count of tournaments, but I think what she achieved here is amazing, great results. I think I can do it, some day.”
While Osorio Serrano was not able to hold off her younger opponent, top seed Emma Navarro did, just barely, beating 16-year-old Selena Janicijevic of France, 4-6 6-4 7-5.
Up 4-1 and serving in the first set, Navarro lost 5 straight games, then went down a break in the second set at 3-1, but fought back.
The 18-year-old from South Carolina took a 4-2 lead in the third set, lost it, served for the match at 5-4, didn’t get to match point, but never allowed any frustration to disrupt her focus.
Janicijevic showed off some exquisite volleys in high pressure situations, but Navarro was still able to find spots for well-executed passing shots, including one stunning forehand from 8 feet behind the baseline as she was tumbling to the grass.
Navarro got another chance to serve for the match after breaking Janicijevic with a forehand winner at 30-40, but she needed 3 match points to finally end the challenge from the French girl, who played outstanding tennis to save the first two.
After forcing a forehand error for a third match point, Navarro got a good first serve in and Janicijevic netted her backhand return, ending a match the spectators crowding around No 10 Court were delighted to have witnessed.
Navarro, who ended with 38 winners and just 23 unforced errors against Janicijevic’s 37 winners with 35 unforced errors, now faces 15-year-old qualifier Katrina Scott, who added to her impressive grass court resume with a 6-1 6-4 win over British wild card Sonay Kartal.
In the other significant matches of the day, Elizabeth Mandlik bagelled Elina Avanesyan 6-0 6-0, 3rd seed Qinwen Zheng survived Carole Monnet, 6-3 4-6 6-2, and 4th seed Diane Parry edged past Abigail Forbes 7-6(5) 6-4.
A day after going 11-9 in the third set, Mandlik, who is the daughter of 4-time Grand Slam champion Hana Mandlikova, impressively did not drop a game in her second round outing, and next takes on the 6th seed, Natsumi Kawaguchi from Japan.
Half of the first round of doubles matches were also completed on Tuesday, with the only girls seeded team to fall No 6 Sada Nahimana of Burundi & Liubov Kostenko of Ukraine losing to Savannah Broadus & Abigail Forbes, 6-1, 6-4, from the USA.
Thailand’s Thasaporn Naklo was forced to retire in her doubles match after being hit in the eye with a ball late in the third set.
Naklo and her partner Mananchaya Sawangkaew were coming back from 5-1 down against Fruhvirtova & Kristyna Lavickova when the unfortunate accident occurred.