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Bradenton’s Osuigwe reaches Wimbledon girls quarters

Bradenton’s Whitney Osuigwe is moving on to the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships girls’ singles tournament after beating Great Britain’s Katie Swan on Wednesday.
Bradenton’s Whitney Osuigwe is moving on to the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships girls’ singles tournament after beating Great Britain’s Katie Swan on Wednesday. AP

After another three-set match, Whitney Osuigwe is headed to the quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Championships girls’ singles tournament.

The 15-year-old from Bradenton outlasted Great Britain’s Katie Swan for a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win in London on Wednesday, netting herself a spot in the quarterfinals of a second straight junior Grand Slam. Osuigwe, who trains at IMG Academy and is the daughter of IMG coach Desmond Osuigwe, will face Russia’s Sofya Lansere in the quarterfinals Thursday at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Osuigwe, the No. 2 seed, is one of five American girls headed to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, including top-seed Kayla Day.

Osuigwe moved up to the world No. 1 ranking in juniors in the International Tennis Federation rankings Monday after Wimbledon play began. Osuigwe won the French Open girls’ singles tournament last month.

50Percentage of break points No. 2-seed Whitney Osuigwe won during the third round of the Wimbledon Championships girls’ singles tournament.

Her win Wednesday was another well-rounded performance, controlling the match while both serving and returning. She landed the only three aces but connected on 59 percent of her first serves with a 66 percent win rate on those serves. Her 44 percent win rate on receiving points let her convert 4 of 8 break-point opportunities.

Osuigwe is already assured at least her second-best performance at a junior major. Prior to her title at the French Open, Osuigwe had never advanced past the first round of the singles draw at a Grand Slam tournament.

Former Manatee punter gets preseason honor

Jonathan Hernandez transferred to South Florida and immediately seized the reins as the punter for a top 25 team. As a walk-on transfer from Florida State, he quickly rose from unknown and became one of the best specialists in the American Athletic Conference, getting himself placed on the Ray Guy Award watch list in October.

This season, he’ll start on the list. The senior was one of 29 players placed on the Ray Guy Award’s preseason watch list, making him the fifth Bull to show up on an award’s preseason list. The Ray Guy Award, named after the only pure punter in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is handed out to the top punter in the nation each year.

2,597Total yards Jonathan Hernandez punted during the 2016 season, the seventh most in South Florida history.

Hernandez earned his place on the watch list with a breakthrough junior campaign in 2016. The Manatee High School alumnus posted an average of 41.2 yards on 63 punts while pinning 25 inside the 20-yard line and booming 12 punts longer than 50 yards. Both of the latter two numbers placed him second in the American. Hernandez’s stiffest competition will likely be Utah’s Mitch Wishnowsky, the defending Ray Guy winner, and Florida’s Johnny Townsend, who led the Football Bowl Subdivision with an average of 47.9 yards per punt in 2016.

Local rider improves during second round of national rodeo

Chance Rodriguez improved during the second long go-round of calf roping at the International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR), but he’ll need plenty of breaks through the rest of the week to reach Friday’s short go-round championship.

The Parrish rider followed up his score of 11.7 on Tuesday with a 10.7 on Wednesday, giving him a final average of 11.2 after the two preliminary rounds. Following the morning session, which is the first of four in his division, Rodriguez sat in second place.

The top 15 riders in each division advance to Friday’s championship round. The leader after Round 1 posted a score of 7.8. Rodriguez sat in 38th. The 15th-place score following the opening round was 9.7.

Rodriguez isn’t Manatee County’s only representative at the IFYR. Parrish’s Jase Cooper is competing in steer wrestling and will have his second long go-round Thursday at 9 a.m. He scored a 14.5 in the first round and entered the second in 43rd place.

David Wilson: 941-745-7057, @DBWilson2

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