2021 Wimbledon Update
Defending Citi Open Champ Nick Kyrgios Tied at 3-All in 5th-Set Cliffhanger; Play Resumes Today
Citi Open Stars Gauff, Pegula, Medvedev & More Score Wins on Day Two of the Championships
DMV Stars Frances Tiafoe & Denis Kudla Look to Advance Later Today
Showers suspended play again at the All England Club yesterday, but they couldn’t stop American teen sensation Coco Gauff from advancing at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. The defending Citi Open doubles champ and No. 14 seed beat back British wildcard Francesca Jones, 7-5, 6-4, in her opening match of the tournament.
"Today I was really nervous going in, my first time back since everything happened in 2019," said Gauff in her post-match press conference. "Francesca, she came out on the court, she came swinging and playing really well. She played well the whole match. Just a few points here and there that were lucky to go my way. But I think today was a solid first-round performance for me."
Jones’s effort was truly inspiring. Ranked No. 211 in the world, she made a huge breakthrough earlier this year when she qualified for the Australian Open, continuing to defy the warnings of doctors, who told her a professional tennis career was impossible, due to electrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia syndrome.
Missing a finger on each hand, and three toes, due to that genetic condition, Jones has propelled herself to new heights this season and raised her game to another level with a hometown crowd behind her in her Wimbledon debut, but couldn’t overcome the determination of Gauff, who is seeking her first major title at the age of 17.
"Francesca really gave it her all today," said Gauff. "Today's match, she didn't give me much to work with. Her story is incredible. I guess from people telling her that she couldn't play tennis, or let alone go pro or make it this far, the fact that she's here, giving it her all, is something I really respect as an athlete."
The Citi Open star sealed the match with a break in each set and won 80 percent of her first-serve points. Next up, Gauff plays No. 139 ranked Elena Vesnina for a spot in the third round on Thursday. It will be their first career encounter.
Elsewhere in women's singles, reigning Citi Open champion Jessica Pegula had an easier time with world No. 74 Caroline Garcia, of France. The Buffalo native and No. 22 seed prevailed with little pushback, 6-3, 6-1, to advance to the second round. She faces Russian rising star Ludmilla Samsonova today, fourth up on Court No. 16, around 11:30 a.m. EST.
Washington Kastles star Venus Williams was also victorious yesterday. The six-time Wimbledon champion exhibited the competitive spirit DC tennis fans have witnessed for so many years at Kastles Stadium, defeating Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, in her opening match. Williams is also scheduled to play again today. She takes on No. 21 seed Ons Jabeur in the last match on Court No. 1, around 12 p.m. EST.
In other Kastles news, Dover, Delaware native and 2015 Kastles Finals MVP Madison Brengle also survived an epic match in an All-Kastles-alum opener against Christina McHale. After dropping the opening set, Brengle fought back to take a narrow lead in the third set, when rain suspended the match overnight. In between showers, the Kastles alum continued her momentum to edge McHale, 3-6, 7-5, 10-8. Next up, Brengle faces world No. 6 Sofia Kenin today in the last match on Court No. 2, around 12 p.m. EST
2019 Kastles star Marta Kostyuk also had a good day on the court. The 19-year-old Ukrainian upset 2018 quarterfinalist and No. 17 seed Kiki Bertens, 6-3, 6-4, in her opening match.
On the men's side, world No. 2 and 2019 Citi Open finalist Daniil Medvedev also won his opener over Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(3).
"In a way it was, I feel like, a good tennis match to watch, because of a lot of different momentum changes," said Medvedev in his post-match interview. "Actually, the fourth set was kind of the most even one, where we both had our chances. Both played really good. I'm really happy that I managed to get it to the tiebreak, and not lose the serve in the tiebreak, and get it done. That was not easy."
Medvedev, who reached the third round of the Championships in 2018 and 2019, will next face #NextGenATP Carlos Alcaraz or lucky loser Yasutaka Uchiyama, as he seeks to equal his career-best showing at the All England Club. Alcaraz and Uchiyama’s match was canceled due to rain.
Former Citi Open Champs Nick Kygios & Gael Monfils Aim to Close Out Epic Openers Today around 9 a.m. EST
Tiafoe Plays Pospisil & Kudla Faces Seppi around 11 a.m.
Today, defending Citi Open champion and former Washington Kastles star Nick Kyrgios will return to Court No. 1 to finish his opening match against No. 21 seed Ugo Humbert of France. The pair are tied in a fifth-set thriller. After falling behind, two sets to one, the Aussie served an ace to tie the match at 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 3-3, when play was suspended due to the 11 p.m. Wimbledon curfew. The match is scheduled to resume today, but not before 9 a.m. EST.
No. 13 seed and 2016 Citi Open champion Gael Monfils is also locked in an epic first-round contest against Aussie qualifier Christopher O'Connell. The match began on Monday and has been postponed over two nights due to the weather. Monfils leads by a game in the fifth set, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 3-2. Play is scheduled to resume on Court 12, but not before 9 a.m. EST.
Also in action today and fresh off his win over world No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas on Monday, College Park native and Washington Kastles star Frances Tiafoe takes on 2019 Kastles alum Vasek Pospisil, of Canada, in the last match on Court 5, around 11 a.m. EST. The pair have never met in a tour event. Should Tiafoe prevail, he will equal his career-best showing at the All England Club, which was a third-round finish at the 2018 Championships.
And in his fifth match of the tournament, fellow JTCC and Washington Kastles alum Denis Kudla plays Italian Andreas Seppi for a spot in the third round. After winning three qualifying matches, the Arlington, Virginia native topped French Open quarterfinalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a three-hour thriller to win his first main round match in five sets. Seppi won their one and only prior meeting, in straight sets, in the second round of the 2016 Australian Open. They square off fourth up on Court No. 4, around 11 a.m. EST today.
On the women’s side, 2015 Citi Open champion and former world No. 3 Sloane Stephens faces fellow American Kristie Ahn in the last match on Court No. 12, around 12 p.m. EST.