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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Easing into the Clays

©Colette Lewis 2006
Rockville MD--

I arrived at the Woodmont Country Club around four o'clock Wednesday afternoon, in time to see the last couple games of 18s second seed Attila Bucko's tough three set win over David Wolff, but most of the main draw singles were over. So I found the court with the most shade and watched some 18s doubles. The unseeded team of Chase Buchanan and Waylon Chin outlasted Nick Meister and Ryan Thacher, a ninth seeded team, in a closely contested 6-4, 7-6 (6) match. Lots of talent on that court, and it was a chance to dive in to clay court tennis, but not too deeply.

I learned that Jarmere Jenkins had upset Chris Racz earlier in the day, making the third seeded Racz the first of the top four seeds in either division to lose. The main topic of conversation among parents, coaches and players however, was the incredible heat on Tuesday. It was warm today, but if you could find a patch of shade, there was enough air stirring to make it bearable. Yesterday, in a city accustomed to heat and humidity, the Washington Post gave it front page coverage, so it must have been off-the-charts awful. I'm relieved to have missed it. I saw enough retirements and heat exhaustion here in 2005 to last a lifetime.

The singles round of 16 is Thursday, and one matchup in the 16s division deemed "must-see" by players and coaches I talked with this evening is top seed Brennan Boyajian versus ninth seed Ryan Harrison. Boyajian, 16, has been playing loads of high quality tennis extending back to his Easter Bowl championship in April, while the 14-year-old Harrison seems to have put his injury problems behind him and can't be taken lightly on any surface.

With so many matches of interest on the schedule for Thursday, including consolation matches that start at 8 a.m., it's time I got some rest after a long day of travel.