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Monday, August 28, 2006

Albanese, King Win at US Open; Young Loses; Junior Wildcard + Brian Baker Update

As expected, lots of news today, and on the American women's side, most of it was good. Vania King easily defeated wild card Alicia Molik of Australia, while Girls 18s champion Lauren Albanese dropped a first set tiebreak to Olga Savchuk of the Ukraine, but came back for the win to put herself in a second round match with 2004 US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova. For her efforts, King gets Justin Henin-Hardenne as a second round opponent.

Donald Young did win his first ATP level set, surprising 20th seed Novak Djokovic by taking the opener 6-4, but came back down to earth, winning only four games in the final three sets.

The men's doubles draw was also released, and Sam Querrey will play in the main draw with Jesse Levine. Kellen Damico and Nate Schnugg also received wild cards, presumably for winning the Wimbledon Junior title together, as they didn't play together in Kalamazoo and aren't scheduled to in the US Open juniors. I'm sure Michael Shabaz is wondering why the USTA didn't give he and Levine a wild card last year when they were the reigning Wimbledon Junior doubles champions.

Thanks to the commenter who alerted me to the latest in the wild cards for the junior boys. Here's the thorough explanation he/she provided:

Austin Krajicek has been given a main draw wild card into the U.S. Junior Open, replacing Wil Spencer. He was originally given a qualifying WC.

Adam El Mihdawy has been given a qualifying WC, replacing Krajicek.

Ryan Thacher, who was given a qualifying WC, no longer appears on the entry list. Thus, there's one available qualifying WC.

Tyler Hochwalt is now in the qualifying draw after several players withdrew. Drew Daniel is the next alternate.

Altogether, there are 14 U.S. players in the main draw and 12 U.S. players in the qualifying draw (assuming that the last WC goes to an American).

It was my understanding that due to other commitments Thacher would not make use of his qualifying wild card, and that appears to be the case here. I am happy that El Mihdawy is getting a chance in the qualifying.

On the girls side, Chelsey Gullickson has moved from qualifying to main due to withdrawals, and Mallory Cecil has received the final main draw wild card. Gail Brodsky and Ellah Nze have moved up to qualifying, while Julia Boserup and Carolyn McVeigh have been given the last of the qualifying wild cards.

And last but not least, there is definitive news on Brian Baker from his hometown newspaper. Again, I appreciate hearing from readers when they find stories like this one.


Anonymous said...

You've gotta feel for Baker. He's snakebitten.

It's nice to see Young win a set against ATP competition, but he seems to have a tendency to fall apart when things start going against him. Hopefully he'll learn how to keep his composure as he matures.

As far as the junior boys are concerned, I'll bet that Drew Daniel gets into qualifying one way or another. Either he'll get in as an alternate or he'll get a wild card. I'm guessing that's why they haven't announced it yet. If Daniel gets in as an alternate, then they can give the wild card to someone else. I'm not sure who's next in line, though. Roy Kalmanovich? James Seal? Denis Lin? Jason McNaughton? J. Houston Barrick? It's anybody's guess.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the doubles wildcards for the mens, i can for sure see levine and querry getting one. They will be a big drawing card for fans to see up and comers. On the other hand i dont see how damico and shnugg got one. If they got one, Shabaz and Levine should of got one last year, shabaz and levine won wimbledon and finals of kalamazoo!! oh well, where is shabaz?

Anonymous said...

Shabaz might be playing somewhere else, Futures...something like that. The Schnugg and Damico w/c seems like a fair shot. I think USTA will wait out the next few days for Daniel to see if he gets in on his own. No w/c will go there, the USTA in their infinite wisdom will give it to some 12 year old.

Anonymous said...

My bet is that it will go to one of the young players on the aternate list. Bo Seal is not on that list, which leaves Devin Britton, Harry Fowler, Denis Lin, Denis Kulda.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody please clear up the glaring mystery regarding why Nate Schnugg has split with Kellen Damico as his doubles partner despite their great and recent sucess in winning Junior Wimbledon?

I'm willing to guess that Damico's mercurial personality had something to do with this.

Collette keeps mentioning that they're not playing together but I never hear any explanation or discussion about it despite the obvious question that is raised by this development.

Anonymous said...

To clarify what has been the scoop on these two, the split has come because of a request from the coaching staff at Univ. of Georgia, not because of any rift between the two. Jamie Hunt is an incoming freshman while Nate has verbally comitted and hopes to be there in Jan of 07. That makes for a pretty nice pairing come January, so why not try it out at Kalamazoo and the US Open. Kellen and Nate have been friends forever, sometimes like brothers, and their results in doubles this year is pretty impressive. However, parents and the players should have had the final word...and maybe they did. Bad choice, I say Let them have a chance of backing up their slam. There will be plenty of opportunity for the Georgia Bulldogs to put Hunt and Schnugg on the court.

Anonymous said...

Drew Daniel has gotten in as an alternate. Bradley Cox was given the last wild card.

kellen said...

To anyone that was wondering, the split had nothing to do with me. Nate and Jamie went down to the banana bowl in march, i decided to stay and train for carson itf. They ended up winning doubles, and decided to play for italy, belgium, france, the zoo, and the open. We won wimbledon and there was nothing I could do. We are best of friends and basically family. The reason Shabaz didnt get the wildcard last year is because he did not apply for one. There is no way the USTA is going to just ask us if we want it we have to apply first. Another reason we got it is because Wimbledon was not a fluke. Unlike Levine and Shabaz we got to the finals of the Australian Open, the finals of the Easter Bowl, and the finals of another Grade A in Mexico. And even though we lost first round here, we put up a great fight, played well, and are very thankful.