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After A Long Wait, Sugita Qualifies For Wimbledon Main Draw

Wimbledon, Great Britain

Sugita© Getty ImagesYuichi Sugita first played a Grand Slam qualifying tournament in 2009.

After five years, Yuichi Sugita finally reversed a trend. Dating back to the 2009 US Open, the Japanese World No. 147 failed to qualify at 17 Grand Slam events. On Thursday, he earned a place in the Wimbledon singles main draw after defeating Switzerland’s Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.

Sugita’s countryman Tatsuma Ito also qualified after a strong effort against Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, a former World No. 1 junior. Ito clawed his way back, winning 11 games in a row for a 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-0 victory.

Three Australians claimed spots in the main draw: Luke Saville, Samuel Groth, and James Duckworth. Saville, the 2011 Wimbledon junior champion, needed five sets to overcome Yann Marti 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(7), 8-6.

Tim Smyczek, seeded third in qualifying, fell to fellow American Alex Kuznetsov 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Kuznetsov will be joined by two others in the American contingent: Denis Kudla, who qualified for his fifth Grand Slam main draw by beating Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, and Ryan Harrison, who edged Daniel Brands in straight sets 7-6(3), 6-2, 6-3.

Marsel Ilhan of Turkey secured his berth with a victory over Tunisian Malek Jaziri. The Istanbul resident last qualified for a Slam main draw at the 2011 US Open and last qualified for Wimbledon in 2010, when he lost to Victor Hanescu in the second round.

Rounding out the group of 16 qualifiers are Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic, Tim Puetz of Germany, Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, Jimmy Wang of Chinese Taipei, Ante Pavic of Croatia, Konstantin Kravchuk of Russia, and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

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