Italy’s Gianluigi Quinzi and Kyle Edmund have been matching each other stride for stride as they find their feet on the men’s Tour; on Friday they will meet in a much-anticipated semifinal in the junior event at Wimbledon.
While top seed Belinda Bencic and No. 2 Ana Konjuh moved within one match of an intriguing final in the girls’ event, Quinzi upset second seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia 64 63 to set up a clash with Edmund.
The Englishman beat Quinzi when they met at Roland Garros a couple of years ago but the left-handed Italian said he felt ready to gain his revenge and go one step further than last year.
“I won one time with Kyle and lost to him two years ago at the French Open, 6-3 in the third,” said Quinzi, a product of the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida. “He’s a very good player and I respect him a lot but I think I am ready to win this tournament.”
Quinzi lost to Australia’s Luke Saville in the semi-finals here last year but said there was nothing more he could have done. “I remember I played unbelievable tennis in the semi-final,” he said. “I couldn’t believe I lost because mentally I thought I was going to win the tournament but Saville played unbelievable. I shook hands and said, maybe next year I’m going to come back.
“Now I’m in the semi-final again. Mentally I think I am ready to win – you have to think this way – but it will be a tough match. I am playing better than last year. I improved my serve and tried to change my forehand, to make it a bit flatter for grass. I’m coming to the net a little bit more and mentally I am strong now.”
Fifth seed Edmund, who received a wildcard into the main draw and played Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in round one, recovered from a set down to beat 15-year-old American Stefan Kozlov 46 61 63.
Kozlov broke serve to lead 1-0 in the second set but Edmund won six straight games to level and then, when the American was battling cramp in the latter stages, held his nerve to win the decider.
The other semi-final will be between Hyeon Chung of Korea and Maximilian Marterer of Germany. Chung followed up his win over No 1 seed Nick Kyrgios by beating eighth seed Borna Coric 76 63 while Marterer beat fourth seed Laslo Djere of Serbia 63 64.
“It’s my first semi-final of a grand slam,” Marterer said. “I like to play on grass courts and it’s my last year as a junior so it would mean a lot to get in a grand slam final. It’s like a dream for me.”
French Open champion Bencic took her winning streak to 33 matches as she crushed American Jamie Loeb 62 63 while Australian Open champion Konjuh was too strong for Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, winning 63 62.
Standing in the way of a Bencic-Konjuh final, though, are two Americans. Former world No 1 Taylor Townsend beat Czech fourth seed Barbora Krejcikova 62 76 and now plays Konjuh; 15th seed Louisa Chirico upset sixth seed Elise Mertens of Belgium 63 36 62.