Sunday, June 16, 2013

Americans Sock, Kudla Set to Begin Wimbledon Qualies on Monday

(June 16, 2013)-- Just a mere three miles from the Wimbledon grounds at SW 19, sits a cluster of grass courts in Roehampton ready to be put to task by men's singles and doubles qualifiers tomorrow. Among those men will be Jack Sock and Denis Kudla, two highly touted American men considered by many to be on the cusp of much bigger things.

Sock, who qualified for the French Open last month en route to a second-round appearance, will open with veteran German Mischa Zverev on Monday, while Kudla, who reached the quarterfinals at Queen's Club last week (his second career quarterfinal on grass), will open against Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France.

Sock is seeded second in the qualifying draw and Kudla is seeded 6th. A total of eleven Americans are hoping to qualify.

The Americans have had recent success in the qualies, and they've also made history in the past. Last year four Americans qualified, including Brian Baker, who reached the fourth-round. John McEnroe made history as a qualifier in 1977 when he reached the semifinals at the age of 18 in his first appearance at the tournament.

It's hard to imagine anybody coming out of the qualies and pulling a McEnroe at this year's Wimbledon. Given the extreme talent and depth in the men's singles field in 2013, and the changes to the grass surface that have led to experience trumping raw talent in the men's game, it's getting harder and harder to do. But with the increases in prize money at the Slams this year, even making the main draw nets a player 23,5000 Euros.

That's nothing to scoff at. Neither is John McEnroe's unruly mop top and tight Fila shirt, circa 1977. We'll leave you one from the vault from Superbrat's, circa 1977.