2008 WIMBLEDON JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
All England Club - Wimbledon, England - June 23-July 6, 2008
Last year I was actually at Wimbledon, covering the junior event in its entirety and catching some matches of former college players. I was home this year, experiencing it across the ocean like many other people. Of course, I watched the spectacular Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer final, however, my thoughts are mainly with the current and recent past college and junior players so here's a different perspective than what you saw on tv...
Former Vanderbilt University player Bobby Reynolds (right) had the honor of being the last American left standing in the Men's Singles when he made it to the third round. And former U.S. Open Junior champion Andy Murray was a quarterfinalist before losing to Rafael Nadal. Jesse Levine, who played for the Florida Gators last year, made it through the Qualifying in singles and doubles (with Hugo Armando), and won a round in the main draw over last year's Wimbledon Junior Champion Donald Young before his five-set loss in round two to Jurgen Meltzer.
College tennis was well represented in the doubles events as former University of Florida star Lisa Raymond* and partner Samantha Stosur made it to the finals before the title went to Venus & Serena Williams. The NCAA winning Stanford duo of Bob & Mike Bryan played into men's doubles semis, and ended up facing each other in the Mixed, where Bob & Samantha prevailed. The University of Illinois' Kevin Anderson also made it all the way to the doubles semis with partner Robert Lindstedt before falling in four sets (two of which were tiebreakers) to eventual champions Daniel Nestor & Nenad Zimonjic.
There were definitely some surprises in the Junior Championships. The British were thrilled to see hometown favorite, 14 year old Laura Robson, win the girls singles and Bulgaria had its first junior hero, boys winner Grigor Dimitrov. Junior doubles titles went to three more countries as the Chinese team of Cheng-Peng Hsieh/Tsung-Hua Yang and the Slovenia's Polona Hercog paired with Aussie Jessica Moore (both the boys and girls finalists were also from Australia). And though 16th seeded American Bradley Klahn didn't do as well as hoped at Junior Wimbledon, he did have an unmatched experience -- to warm up Roger Federer the day before his classic final.For more details on players in the U.S. dominating doubles, see This Week In American Doubles