Re: The Junior Championships, Wimbledon | Great Britain | GA | 29 June - 07 July 2013
Sorry, I was quite late arriving yesterday, so I missed Garin-Bambridge, Chung-Di Feo & Kyrgios-Miedler.
I watched this match for two spells, one where Baldi was dominating at the end of the first set (which is why I decided to look elsewhere), and the other when it all of a sudden got tight in the second set. Now, I get the feeling Baldi was well below his best and wasn't especially comfortable on the grass, but even that was enough to beat Harris rather handily. The Briton had nothing to hurt Baldi with. A rather weak serve, despite his height, a forehand so awkward that a slice on that wing became a fixture in rallies, and very clunky hands up at the net. I liked Harris' backhand, probably the only thing that impressed me about him, but that wasn't going to win him this contest. The Italian was solid from the back, serving intelligently. He didn't do anything special to win the lion's share of the points though, which is likely more down to his inferior opponent, more than anything else. Certainly a classy player from the baseline though, very tidy strokes.
Probably the match I enjoyed the most out of the whole day. Let me start by saying that Coric is extremely intimidating. Not only is he reasonably tall and uncompromisingly powerful, his on-court behaviour is extremely unnerving too. Screaming after the occasional lost point, loud calls of 'come on' and 'yes' were definitely audible from the other side of the adjacent courts. I felt a bit sorry for Halys here as he was very much up against it before he stepped on to court. As for the match itself, well it was tight. Coric has a massive serve and that was allowing him to hold comfortably in the majority of his service games, but Halys has a lot of talent and hit some great backhand returns of the second serve and his reflexes are superb. Coric just had a bit more power, and was able to match the slices that Halys often deployed, and even counter them with better ones of his own. The Frenchman has a break in the second set, but he was let down by missing too many first serves, and his forehand sometimes breaks down on even the easy ball. I see a successful player of the future there, but Coric should be a successful player of the near future. He looks a good bet for the title.
I'm not surprised Khachanov has had some big wins on the junior circuit already, but today he was simply outplayed by somebody who to me looks like an awesome technician. The Russian imparts a huge amount of spin on the ball with his forehand, and his backhand isn't bad in that regard, either. However, Djere is a good mover and once he started finding his range, he didn't miss. I understand people say that he can't play off of clay, and despite winning today, that was evident. All the skills of a quality clay-courter were on show. Basing himself deep behind the baseline, he allowed Khachanov to take control of the rallies often, but as soon as he had the opportunity to bring a big forehand in to play, he did so. I think the Russian was the better player when both weren't at the baseline, but he didn't quite have the skill to outmaneuver the Serb. Both could work on their serves, as they are going to get eaten alive by good returners in the latter stages of futures tournaments.
Didn't see much of this, so I'll be brief. I also think everyone knows how Kokkinakis plays, so I'll talk about his opponent, instead. Windahl looked like your solid, run-of-the-mill type player. Reasonably big serve and then very solid from the back. He moved nicely as well. Unfortunately I didn't stay long enough to work out what the Swede's favourite patterns were, but from what I saw, he had a hard time returning, which is understandable against Kokkinakis, who probably had one of the biggest serves I saw all day.
First match I watched, and I'll admit I knew next to nothing about Marterer. I liked what I saw though. He kind of adopts the Andreas Beck gamestyle just with a big serve. He possesses a solid weapon in the forehand and a threatening, if a little volatile, flat backhand. Napolitano should have won this match though. He was a break up in the third set. Then went a break down, only to break straight back when the German was serving for the match. The Italian reminds me of Marcel Granollers, both in terms of looks and bits of his games. He's much more free-flowing and doesn't grunt though. I liked his willingness to come to the net often, and of all the players I saw today, he probably showed the most skill up in the forecourt. I think he could be a good all-surface player in the future, even if he primarily plays on the clay. Marterer earned a new fan in me, and is my dark horse for the title.
I'll do some write-ups for the bottom half second round matches later on.