Tuesday, January 20, 2009

McHale and Oudin Fall in Australian Open First Round; Tomic Makes History with Win


Today is a travel day--back to the single digits of Michigan's winter--so this early post will be a brief review of the opening round performances of some of the juniors at the Australian Open.

In matches overnight, 16-year-old Christina McHale, the USTA wild card tournament winner, lost a heartbreaker to Jessica Moore, an 18-year-old Australian wild card, 1-6, 6-3, 9-7. McHale was featured on the ESPN2 coverage, and was shown early in the third set suffering from a severe leg cramp, but it apparently didn't keep her from taking a 5-3 lead in the the third set. Eventually Moore began to wear her down however, from this account in the Herald Sun. Prior to McHale's grand slam debut, the New York Times and Northjersey.com published profiles. The Times' story, found here, contains an error. McHale did not lose in the first round of the juniors at the U.S. Open this year. She lost in the third round to Madison Brengle, as the Northjersey.com story accurately states.

Seventeen-year-old Melanie Oudin, who was the youngest player to qualify for the women's main draw, lost to 84th ranked Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan 6-1, 6-4.

Sixteen-year-old Australian wild card Bernard Tomic became the youngest man to win a main draw match in Australian Open history when he beat 73rd ranked Potito Starace of Italy 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(6). Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash had an assessment of Tomic's strengths and weaknesses in this article by Linda Pearce in the Sydney Morning Herald.

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