The first round of qualifying in the U.S. Open ended a short time ago, with Ryan Harrison losing in three sets to Daniel Munoz-De La Nava of Spain. Harrison was one of eight USTA wild cards who lost on Wednesday, but he was the only wild card playing Wednesday to extend his opponent to three sets. Tim Smyczek, Alex Clayton, Bryan Koniecko, Christina McHale, Amanda McDowell, Michael McClune and Julia Boserup all went quietly in two sets. NCAA champion McDowell's 6-1, 6-1 loss to France's Julie Coin, an All-American at Clemson a few years back, was especially disappointing, as was McClune's loss to Franco Skugor of Croatia, which was available via radiotennis.com. With Benjamin Becker's loss yesterday and Benedikt Dorsch's loss today, it wasn't a good day for NCAA champions, except Audra Cohen, who fought back to defeat Alina Jidkova of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
The four wild cards posting wins today were Florida State's Jean-Yves Aubone, 2007 US Open Junior champion Ricardas Berankis, Shenay Perry and Madison Brengle. Brengle saved at least one match point that I saw while checking the usopen.org scoreboard when Ana Jovanovic of Serbia was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third. Brengle saved that match point and broke, then she got broken again, broke back and then won the tiebreaker 7 points to 5. Sounds like a pretty exciting match to me, but it's hard to tell if you aren't there.
The No. 2 seed in the men's draw, former Illini star Kevin Anderson, went out in straight sets to Giovanni Lapentti of Ecuador.
With no admission charge and no credentials required, there's quite a bit more coverage of US Open qualifying than the average pro tournament. Here is McCarton Ackerman's report on yesterday's Sloane Stephens match, posted at Tennis Grandstand. I expect he'll be covering throughout the week, as he does a regular feature on the Futures/Challengers for that site.
And Marcia Frost of collegeandjuniortennis.com is at the qualifying, as she has been for years. For her reports, click here.
Those of you who are following Jesse Levine's career will be interested in this feature by Greg Garber of espn.com. A lucky loser, Levine reached the quarterfinals of the Pilot Pen today in New Haven when Steve Darcis retired down 2-0, and will be in the Top 100 when the U.S. Open begins on Monday. Garber traces the ups and downs of Levine's past twelve months and also explains just how deep his rivalry with fellow left-hander Donald Young goes.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008