News & Features
Wimbledon Juniors: Saville Aims for Second Wimbledon Boys Title, Townsend Top Seed in Girls Draw
by Colette Lewis
, 28 June 2012
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The world's top two juniors have contrasting histories as they approach the Wimbledon Junior Championships, which begin Saturday at the All England Club. Eighteen-year-old Australian Luke Saville is the defending champion, winning the first of his two junior slams there last year, while 16-year-old American Taylor Townsend has never played a match on the world's most famous grass courts.
They do share a similar experience, however, as Saville won his second junior slam title this year in Australia, while Townsend swept the singles and doubles titles in Melbourne for her first slam trophies on the ITF junior circuit.
Saville should be challenged by a distinguished group of British entrants trying to deliver their country's first Wimbledon boys title since Stanley Matthews in 1962. Leading that list is 2011 finalist Liam Broady, who has the 2010 boys Wimbledon doubles title on his resume, a testament to his grass proficiency. Kyle Edmund won a round in the Wimbledon gentlemen's qualifying tournament last week, beating ATP veteran Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain for his best career win. Other contenders for that elusive British title are Joshua Ward-Hibbert, whose big serve should help him post singles results more in line with his doubles accomplishments, and Luke Bambridge, a member of Great Britain's 2011 Junior Davis Cup championship team.
Others to watch include two-time 2012 slam finalist Filip Peliwo of Canada, although the 18-year-old from Vancouver has yet to win a match on grass in three attempts, including this week's Grade 1 warmup tournament in Roehampton. Italian Gianluigi Quinzi has made his way to the Top 5 quickly, but at just 16, he will be playing in his first Wimbledon and has had his best results on clay. Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium, who won the boys title at Roland Garros a few weeks ago, reached the third round at both Roehampton and Wimbledon last year, so he has valuable experience to draw on. Nikola Milojevic of Serbia established his status as a contender by winning the ITF Grade 2 on grass last week in Germany.
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