Shintaro Mochizuki, an 18-year-old from Japan, made a good start on Tuesday in his first attempt to qualify for a Grand Slam. The teen defeated fellow #NextGenATP player Hugo Gaston of France 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the second round of qualifying at Wimbledon.
Two years ago, Mochizuki became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam boys’ singles title when he lifted the Wimbledon trophy. A wild card in qualifying who is No. 500 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, the teen is trying to make his mark at SW19 again.
“I didn’t think I was going to get a wild card for qualies this year, because it’s 2021 and I won in 2019,” Mochizuki told Wimbledon.com. “I was really happy when I heard I got the wild card and I was super excited.”
Another #NextGenATP player, American Brandon Nakashima, ousted Australian Aleksandar Vukic 6-1, 6-1. Vukic had pushed Denis Shapovalov to two tie-breaks at last week’s cinch Championships, but Nakashima dispatched him in just 52 minutes. Twenty-year-old Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic, who is currently 10th in the ATP Race To Milan, survived a stern test against former World No. 5 Tommy Robredo 7-5, 4-6, 10-8.
Former World No. 10 Ernests Gulbis was able to manoeuvre into the second round of qualifying with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory against Kazakhstani Dmitry Popko. Serbian veteran Viktor Troicki, who is competing in his final tournament, outlasted American Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-5.
Martin Klizan, a six-time ATP Tour titlist who owns a win against both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, played his last match. Zdenek Kolar of the Czech Republic defeated the Slovakian 6-1, 6-2.
Australians had mixed results on Tuesday. Two notable matches featured Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis. Tomic beat Slovenian Blaz Kavicc 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, while aggressive American Maxime Cressy edged Kokkinakis 7-6(5), 7-6(3).
In other action, Russian Roman Safiullin took out 42-year-old Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4 and Buenos Aires finalist Francisco Cerundolo eliminated Brazilian Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves 6-4, 6-2.