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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Polansky Topples Boys No. 1 Seed; Brengle Takes Out Girls No. 7

©Colette Lewis 2006--
Flushing Meadows

Canadian Peter Polansky's remarkable comeback from a life-threatening catastrophe was completed Wednesday when he upended top seed and 2006 French Open Junior champion Martin Klizan of Slovakia 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4.

Polansky, an ITF Canadian Junior Open finalist last week, survived a horrific accident in April while with the Canadian Davis Cup team competing in Mexico City. He crashed through a third story hotel window while sleepwalking, and although he miraculously survived thanks to a small bush that broke his fall, his legs were sliced nearly to the bone by the glass and he suffered a dangerous loss of blood. After intensive hospital care and physiotherapy, he began playing tennis seriously again in July, and was performing on such a high level that he began to receive wild cards into both Futures and ATP-level events in his home country.

Wednesday's win was no surprise to the 18-year-old from suburban Toronto, whose highest ITF junior ranking, 39, was reached in January 2005.

"I've play so many tough matches these past two months," Polansky said, "with the Rogers Cup and the Granby Challenger. I guess I'm getting used to playing the big points well."

"I was serving really well throughout the whole match," Polansky said. "He was barely getting points on it and I managed to break him once in the first and twice in the third."

Klizan picked up his game when he had to, in the second set tiebreak, but Polansky quickly took a 3-0 lead in the third. He protected that break until serving for the match at 5-3, but dropped his only service game of the match to put Klizan back on serve. The tall 17-year-old from Bratislava couldn't accept the gift and made two forehand errors to give Polansky his biggest junior win.

Asked to rate his play on a scale of 10, Polansky gave himself a 9. "I was playing pretty well, just a few mistakes here and there brought it down to a 9."

Polansky's opponent in the round of 16 on Thursday will be 2006 Wimbledon finalist Marcin Gawron of Poland, unseeded in this tournament.

The only American boy left in the singles is fourth seed Donald Young who defeated Fernando Romboli of Brazil 7-5, 6-3. Young faces unseeded Greg Jones of Australia in the round of 16. Jones dismissed Michael McClune 6-1, 6-2 using a powerful array of groundstrokes to go with a big serve and an aggressive all-court game.

Dennis Lajola was serving for the match in the second set against qualifier Artem Smirnov of the Ukraine, but found himself losing it a tiebreak and faltering in the third 2-6, 7-6 (1), 7-5. A nasty fall in the third set resulted in an injury to Lajola's wrist and he and Donald Young, the 5th seeds, withdrew from their first round doubles contest. The other remaining American boy, Chase Buchanan, dropped a 6-4, 6-3 decision to Madagascar's Lofo Jean Ramiaramanana Wednesday afternoon.

The U.S. girls had a much better day than the boys, and four have made their way to the round of 16. Unseeded Madison Brengle took out seventh seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 6-3, and 16-year-old from Delaware cited a more aggressive game plan, confidence gleaned from playing in the women's US Open qualifying tournament, and the court itself for her success.

"I played really well in my first match (in qualifying) and even the one I lost, I played well. Both were on this court (no. 8), so I'm hoping tomorrow to get it again."

When told that Chris Evert was courtside watching her match, Brengle was thrilled and flattered, and of course, delighted that she had played so well under the scrutiny of the 18-time Grand Slam singles champion.

Brengle will face American Lauren Albanese on Thursday. Albanese, in the completion of a match that began on Wednesday, defeated Chelsey Gullickson 7-5, 1-6, 6-2. Gullickson, 16, was down a set when the match resumed, but she took control of the second set, forcing Albanese to raise her game in the third.

Ashley Weinhold, who won two rounds of women's qualifying, continued her excellent play with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Alexandra Panova of Russia, while Julia Cohen cruised into the third round with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Wing Yau Venise Chan of Hong Kong.

For complete draws, including the doubles played on Wednesday evening, see usopen.org. For photographs of U.S. juniors, visit ustaboys.com.


Wedgie said...

Polansky rides again today (saturday) and he's going for the finals after beating Donald Young.

That guy is hot hot hot...