©Colette Lewis 2008--
Flushing Meadows, NY--
Qualifier Devin Britton spotted Australian Open Junior champion Bernard Tomic a set Monday afternoon, but his serve and volley game ultimately proved too confounding for the Australian, who fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on another cloudless day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
In the opening set, Britton dropped his serve for the only time in the match, but there was no hint that he was going to abandon his net-rushing game. Tomic's forehand was flying all over the court, and Britton gave him no breathing room, making few unforced errors when there were baseline exchanges and dominating with his volleying at the net.
"I think my game style matched up perfectly with him," Britton said. "He likes to stay back and rally, keep a lot of balls in play, and I kind of took that away from him, really put some pressure on him, and he doesn't like that at all. Coming in to this match, I knew I had a pretty good shot at it, the way he plays and the way I play."
Britton broke to begin the third set and was holding his serve easily, but the outcome was probably decided when Britton got the second break to make it 5-2. Although Britton didn't approach the net regularly when Tomic was serving, his willingness to finish a point there had Tomic feeling the pressure. Tomic had two game points at 2-4, but couldn't convert and Britton could serve out the match. At 5-2, 30-30, Tomic hit yet another forehand into the net, and at match point, Britton completed the upset with an ace.
"I had to serve well, which I did, so I'm pretty happy with that," said the 17-year-old from Mississippi.
Britton's opponent in the second round will be fellow American qualifier Matt Kandath, who was down 3-0 to Italy's Giacomo Miccini in the first set, but came back for a 7-5, 6-4 victory. Kandath defeated Britton in the first round of the ITF Grade 1 in Montreal last week, 7-6, 6-1.
The news for the other U.S. boys was mixed. Wild cards Bob van Overbeek couldn't hold a 4-0 lead in the second set and lost to Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia 6-2, 7-5 and Raymond Sarmiento fell to qualifier Dominic Schulz of Germany 7-6(3), 7-6(3). Harry Fowler, who had qualified by winning a third set tiebreaker, couldn't duplicate the feat against Italian Alessandro Giannessi, losing 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) Down a break in the third set, Fowler broke his obviously fatigued opponent serving for the match at 5-4, and had the momentum, but unforced errors in the tiebreaker cost him the chance to advance. Lucky loser Bo Seal dropped a 6-2, 7-5 decision to qualifier Hiroyasu Ehara of Japan.
The two seeded U.S. boys did record wins, with No. 9 seed Ryan Harrison dismissing Adrien Puget of France 6-3, 6-2 and No. 13 seed Bradley Klahn downing Spain's Pablo Carreno-Busta 6-4, 6-3.
In girls first round action, qualifiers Lauren McHale and Beatrice Capra were eliminated, McHale by fellow qualifier Heather Watson of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4 and Capra by Sweden's Sandra Roma 6-3, 6-1.
Second seed Melanie Oudin cruised past Timea Babos of Hungary 6-2, 6-2 and wild card Coco Vandeweghe took out No. 13 seed Elena Chernyakova of Russia 7-5, 6-1. Chernyakova served for the first set at 5-4, but after that, it was all Vandeweghe, who advances to play Kristie Ahn in the second round. U.S. girls Nicole Gibbs, Gail Brodsky and Mallory Burdette have yet to play their first round matches, which are scheduled for Tuesday. Evan King is the only U.S. boy playing a first round match on Tuesday.
There was no upset in the girls competition matching Sunday's loss of top seed Arantxa Rus, but No. 6 seed Ana Bogdan of Romania was beaten by qualifier Quirine Lemoine of the Netherlands 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4.
Eight first round doubles matches were also played in each division on Monday. Oudin and Asia Muhammad put out the No. 4 seeded team of Cindy Chala of France and Johanna Konta of Australia 6-2, 6-2. Five U.S. boys doubles teams in competition Monday were defeated, although Ty Trombetta, playing with Jose Hernandez of the Dominican Republic, did score a victory.
For complete draws, see usopen.org. For additional coverage of the juniors, see collegeandjuniortennis.com.
Monday, September 1, 2008