Robert, Harrison Complete Memorable Wimbledon Qualifying Runs
Stephane Robert first played the Wimbledon main draw in 2010. And eight years later, at 38 years old, the Frenchman becomes the second-oldest qualifier in the tournament’s Open Era history (Neale Fraser, 40, 1974), defeating Italian Luca Vanni 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 on Thursday to move through.
Robert, who has climbed as high as No. 50 in the ATP Rankings, will compete in the grass-court Grand Slam’s main draw for the fifth time.
But the Frenchman is not the only player who completed a memorable qualifying run at Wimbledon. Christian Harrison, the 24-year-old brother of Ryan Harrison, qualified on the Roehampton grass for the first time with a 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-1 victory against Canadian Brayden Schnur.
“It means so much,” Harrison told Wimbledon.com. “It's special because my family is here, we're all staying in the same spot, they were with me the whole step of the way. And I definitely wouldn't have been here without their support.”
Harrison, who broke into the Top 200 of the ATP Rankings on Monday for the first time, dropped out of the rankings for nearly eight months from August 2015 through May 2016. In fact, due to seven surgeries, Harrison did not play a singles match at any level from July 2013 until January 2016.
The World No. 200 will now get a chance to compete in a Grand Slam main draw for the second time (2016 US Open), which will mark his sixth tour-level match. Harrison’s lone tour-level victory came in Atlanta five years ago, when he beat Alejandro Falla in three sets.
Bradley Klahn, an American who missed 21 months due to back surgery from February 2015 until November 2016, will compete in his first Grand Slam main draw since the 2014 US Open. The left-handed 27-year-old beat Italian veteran Simone Bolelli 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3).
Latvian Ernests Gulbis, former World No. 10, will make his 11th appearance in the Wimbledon main draw after ousting Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. It is the six-time ATP World Tour champion’s first showing at the tournament as a qualifier.
Ruben Bemelmans, the No. 2 seed, tied an Open Era record by qualifying for the fifth time, while Italians Stefano Travaglia and Thomas Fabbiano, Chilean Christian Garin, Aussie John-Patrick Smith and Slovakian Norbert Gombos also advanced.