First congratulations to Scott Oudsema and Alex Kuznetsov who were given a main draw doubles wild card and made the most of it, defeating Tommy Haas and Alex Waske in straight sets today. It looks like Kuznetsov is recovering from his broken leg in record time, and a couple of warmup doubles matches are just the thing to prepare him for the Junior Open. Despite not having played all summer, he is still ranked in the ATP Top 500, so it will be interesting to see if he's seeded by the ITF.
The men's doubles draw also features the wild card team of Sam Querrey and Donald Young, a pairing that appears to be a USTA concoction. To my knowledge, they've never played together, and although each has had many partners the past year, they are still searching for that Levine-Shabaz kind of chemistry. The latter did not receive a main draw doubles wild card, by the way.
A belated congratulations to Vania King, who, like Andy Murray, has gotten to the second round of the U.S. Open as a qualifier. King's run is more stunning, as she needed a wild card to get into qualifying, but I've never forgotten what Annie Paton of juniortennis.com said about King at last year's Orange Bowl. (I'm paraphrasing). "Other players fear Vania, nobody wants to play her, she just doesn't realize herself how good she is. Once she does, watch out." It can't hurt having a brother who won Kalamazoo back-to-back and, after graduating from Duke, is now plying his trade on the Pro Circuit.
In addition to Peter Bodo's Tennisworld, Tennis Magazine's managing editor Steve Tignor is also writing a blog from the U.S. Open and his opening paragraph on Day 1 had me laughing out loud. I now consider myself a veteran of tournament first days, and I always feel adrift and anxious, instead of reveling in the sheer pleasure of the situation. I'm vowing that I'll take a better attitude to the outer courts at the NTC on Sunday.
And I can't resist this upbeat New York Times (registration required) story about Scoville Jenkins, who plays Nadal tonight in Arthur Ashe. The difference in talent between his first round opponent, Bastl, and Nadal will be evident, but Jenkins has proven his grit and fitness, and not just Monday evening. I haven't seen him play since last year's U.S. Junior Open, but I understand his serve is better now. Alas, so is Nadal's. But as Gilles Muller so vividly demonstrated last night, just going out to have fun can produce some surprising results.