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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Wet One at US Open Qualifying; Orientation for USTA's Boca Raton Juniors; College Showcase Q and A

After two days, the first round of U.S. Open qualifying is still not complete. Matches didn't begin until around 5 p.m. and although play may resume later tonight, only 25 matches were completed in that three or four hour window.

Michael Yani and Jesse Witten did manage to beat the rain with straight set wins. Yani beat Amer Delic, who hadn't played in over a year while recovering from a knee injury, 6-2, 6-4. Witten defeated Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 6-4, 7-6(6). Rajeev Ram and Jarmere Jenkins were on the court when the rain returned. Chase Buchanan was due to complete his match from Tuesday, but hadn't yet gotten on. Alex Kuznetsov was scheduled for later as well.

On the women's side, there were two bright spots for the U.S. No. 5 seed Vavarva Lepchenko advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Claire Feurerstein of France, and wild card Julia Boserup upset No. 8 seed Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4. Hlavackova is ranked No. 115 by the WTA computer.

Four other U.S. women lost. No. 7 seed Shenay Perry, No. 28 seed Lilia Osterloh and Madison Brengle all dropped three-setters. Lauren Albanese was defeated by 2010 Wimbledon girls champion Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who was an alternate. Pliskova, who took the place of China's Yi-Miao Zhou, won the match 6-2, 7-6(4). Her twin sister Karolina, the Australian girls champion, lost her first round match to Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito yesterday.

Heather Watson, the 2009 U.S. Open girls champion, lost to Loudes Dominguez Lino of Spain 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Thursday's schedule is packed, with 86 matches listed for the 15 courts. This doesn't include the 25 matches that have yet to finish tonight. It seems certain that it will be necessary to play the final round on Saturday, which is also Arthur Ashe Kids day.

Don't forget that ESPN2 will have the draw live at noon Eastern. I'll be tweeting throughout, so check the twitterfeed at left, or sign up to follow me at twitter.com/zootennis.

For today's complete (or incomplete, as the case may be) results, see usopen.org.

Marcia Frost is at the U.S. Open covering the qualifying, and her reports can be found at collegeandjuniortennis.com.

The 2010-11 class of juniors training full-time at the USTA's National Center in Boca Raton had their orientation last week, and Josh Rey was there to write about it for usta.com. Rey visits with newcomer Taylor Townsend and veteran Jeremy Efferding about their experiences with the program.

Tennis Recruiting Network today features a question and answer session with Erica Perkins of the USTA, who explains the College Showdown concept and the other initiatives being implemented to raise the profile of college tennis. If you haven't explored a college showdown in your area, I urge you to check out the schedule. It's an inexpensive way to get more competitive play and will provide a glimpse into the world of college tennis, whether you are a junior or an adult.