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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gullickson Draws Wozniacki in US Open First Round; Qualifying's First Round Finally Complete

Consider yourself fortunate if you didn't see today's US Open draw show on ESPN2. It failed to provide the one thing that we tuned into find out: who was playing whom. It was 50 minutes into the program before that basic information was revealed, and by that time, we were only five minutes away from it being posted online.

From my perspective, the big news was that, for the second year in a row, an NCAA champion has drawn the top seed. Chelsey Gullickson, the University of Georgia junior who won the title in May, will play top seed and 2009 finalist Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the first round. Last year, it was Devin Britton who found his name next to Roger Federer's on line 2.

Gullickson had a very good showing at the Pilot Pen qualifying last week, holding a match point on No. 38 Elena Vesnina of Russia, the No. 1 seed in the qualifying draw. Gullickson explains in this story on georgiadogs.com why she has played so little this summer, and who she hopes to have as doubles partners should she get women's and mixed wild cards.

Men's NCAA champion Bradley Klahn drew No. 20 seed Sam Querrey. Although Querrey is nearly three years older than Klahn, they both grew up in the Southern California juniors, so there is a familiarity that may help Klahn overcome some of the understandable nerves he's likely to feel in his first U.S. Open main draw match.

Kalamazoo champion Jack Sock drew 28-year-old Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland, who is currently ranked 63rd. This isn't the high-profile opponent he was hoping for, but I'm sure it will be a tough test even if it's not a night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Shelby Rogers, the girls 18s champion, drew Shuai Peng of China, who has a WTA ranking of 60.

Wild card Christina McHale plays Vania King, and CoCo Vandeweghe draws Sabine Lisicki, who has played very little this year. Beatrice Capra, the winner of the USTA wild card tournament last week, draws Karolina Sprem of Croatia. The only wild card to draw a seeded player (other than Gullickson, of course) is Jamie Hampton, who will play No. 22 seed Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain.

Other men's wild cards and their opponents: James Blake vs. Kristof Vliegen of Belgium; Donald Young vs. Gilles Simon of France; Ryan Sweeting vs. a qualifier; Tim Smyczek vs. No. 26 seed Thomaz Belluci of Brazil. The winner of the Smyzcek-Bellucci match will get the winner of the Kevin Anderson-Somdev Devvarman contest, which is a rematch of the 2007 NCAA semifinals, won by Devvarman in three sets. The Virginia junior then went on to beat John Isner in the final to win his first of two straight NCAA singles titles.

For complete draws, see usopen.org.

There are still qualifying matches going on at the U.S. Open this evening, but they are second rounders, the first round having finally finished about an hour ago.

Americans Kevin Kim and Alex Bogomolov won convincingly early, as did wild card Irina Falconi.

Later in the day, wild card Krista Hardebeck won her first match at any level in New York, taking out Yurika Sema of Japan 6-4, 6-4. Julia Cohen posted a 6-4, 6-4 win over Great Britain's Naomi Cavaday, and wild card Nicole Gibbs finished her match, delayed from Tuesday, taking a 6-3, 6-2 decision from Greece's Eirini Georgatou.

Wild card Madison Keys lost a tough three-setter to No. 21 seed Maria Elena Camerin of Italy and Lindsay Lee-Waters won only one game in her match with Silvia Soler Espinosa of Spain. US Open National Playoff winner Blake Strode moved into the second round when Alex Bogdanovic of Great Britain retired at 3-6, 5-2. The other American advancing to the second round of qualifying is Ohio State's Chase Buchanan, who was leading No. 11 seed Federico Del Bonis of Argentina 6-3, 3-6, 5-2 when play resumed from Tuesday.

With Del Bonis serving at 2-5, Buchanan immediately earned three match points, but Del Bonis came back to hold to make it 5-3. Serving for the match, Buchanan got down 15-40, but he won the next four points to secure the win.

In another twice-delayed men's match, former USC Trojan Robert Farah was trailing former Pepperdine All-American Andre Begemann 3-6, 2-1 on serve when the match resumed, but the delay obviously helped the Colombian as he rolled to a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory.

The list of U.S men losing in the first round today is a long one. It includes Jordan Cox, Steve Johnson, Lester Cook, Jesse Levine, Alex Domijan, Rajeev Ram, Alex Kuznetsov and Jarmere Jenkins.

Laura Robson, the British 16-year-old, had a surprisingly easy 6-1, 6-4 first round win over No. 2 seed Jelena Dokic of Australia, who had won three challengers this summer, and Bernard Tomic of Australia upset top seed Marsel Ilhan of Turkey 6-0, 2-6, 6-3.

In the second round matches played this evening, wild card Sloane Stephens was defeated by No. 13 seed Zuzana Ondraskova 6-3, 7-5, Julia Boserup lost to Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain 6-3, 6-2 and Michael Yani fell to Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium 7-6(5), 6-3. Bobby Reynolds and Ryan Harrison were still on the court playing their second round matches.

There are only nine third round matches scheduled for Friday, so the other 55 (corrected to 23)will be played on Saturday, which is also Arthur Ashe Kids Day, and the day the ITA College All-Stars are honored by the USTA.

For more on some of the qualifying competitors, including Jesse Witten and Chase Buchanan, see the "Scenes From Queens" blog on tennis.com.

For complete qualifying draws, see usopen.org.

16 comments:

getreal said...

Collette

the US Open bio lists Christina McHale as 5"5' and 108 pounds. Is that correct? She looks taller.

Colette Lewis said...

That is very old bio info. I would say she is 5'7" or 5'8". I last saw her in January.

avid follower said...

Congratulations to Ryan Harrison on making it through qualies at the US Open!!!
Great job from an 18 yr old American who has put in the hard work, come through injuries and perservered.
Just another step and lifes all about taking the next step up towards your goals.

Brent said...

Congrats to Harrison as well. While I have been very critical of his decision to skip the Zoo, hurting his chances to make the Open was down the list a ways on the rationale for why I felt that way. So, while I still feel like that was a bad choice, doesn't stop me from being very excited for him on a major accomplishment on earning his way into the Slam. Very impressive - one of his most impressive (or the most) to date. Will be fun to watch him in the main draw.

Joel said...

LOL, big difference between drawing Wozniacki and drawing Federer. Gullickson's got a chance to do well against a very good but not great player who can get hit off the court while poor old Devin got one of the greatest of all time and never had a chance.

Still, I can't believe Wozniacki is the #1 seed. That's a pretty sad comment on women's tennis, again.

minnie said...

Any updates on Devin? I know he turned pro last year but I haven't heard any info since his match at the Open. Poor results? Injuries? Mistake to turn pro?

Provenalready said...

Harrison hasnt played any junior tournaments in well over a year. When you look at what Young did by playing the Zoo for 2 years after he turned pro and winning it, how much did it help him. You are either a pro or you arent. To think that Harrison should have played the juniors at this point when he is top 230 in the world is a bit ridiculous. If the U.S.T.A. penalized him for that then shame on them. He proved himself anyway. By the way he almost qualied at the French barely losing in the last round so he clearly rises to the occasion. Good luck in the main draw.

been-there said...

Great job Ryan! We are so proud of you. Also, Pat & Suzy & Christian & Madison--all right--way to go! Without your family support and guidance, he'd not be where he is.

Love, the NB Unicorns!

peanut said...

I have been following Harrison the last couple of years and I am happy to see He has made it through the qualifying on His own and into the main draw. I don't have any answers as to what is the best path to making it on the Pro tennis circuit, but do think when you do make a decision to turn Pro and have results, as Harrison has had, that it would seem to be taking a step backwards to go play juniors, where He really has nothing to gain except disappoint.....even Federer and Nadal can lose on a bad day!!! Best of Luck to Him!!! He seems to be committed to being the Best He can be...Hope to see more winning results.

gracias said...

Thank you Ryan for shutting all these haters up!

Texastennismom said...

Good job by Harrison - far better experience for his development than taking a wild card and losing in the first round whatever happens next. And good judgment from the USTA too on their management of him - the wild card matches probably helped him get ready for the qualifying. Good outcome all around.

just wondering said...

any word on christian harrison?
has he quit tennis

Colette Lewis said...

@just wondering
As I've mentioned several times in the last two months, Christian Harrison is recovering from injury, but is expected to be back playing in the next several months.

Good Luck Ryan said...

Very happy Ryan has EARNED his way into the main draw. He is the only top American junior in a very long time to EARN his way into the US Open instead of a wildcard. Well done to the usta for not giving him one. This certainly will help his confidence. The wildcard tournament certainly helped him this week in qualifying. Winning breeds confidence and confidence breeds winning. Congrats Ryan, you proved you belong in the US Open main draw. good luck.

nomorehaters said...

Texastennismom, "Good judgement by the U.S.T.A. on their management of him." What are you talking about? Hes the highest ranked '92 in the world and after the qualies in L.A. he didnt play a single U.S.Open event. That in itself is a mistake or poor management or a screw job. It looks like he qualied to prove them wrong for their decision if anything. Hes won plenty of matches. He didnt need to play qualies to gain confidence. You are like most of the negative people on here. You have something critical to say every time he loses instead of understanding the value of experience at the next level. Hes won matches at the highest level even against top 100 players so its not like he lost his 1st 16 matches with wildcards like Young did. People on here need to quit saying I told you so everytime someone loses like it proves you were right about something. NOTHING takes place of the value of experience. Hes turned down wildcards and taken advantage of some of the ones hes gotten.

Tennis Guru said...

nomorehaters

You are correct on one thing--

"NOTHING takes place of the value of experience."

So then playing qualifying was the best thing for Ryan. Not to prove anything to anyone else EXCEPT himself. He qualified because he was better than the 3 opponents he played against on that day. He deserves to be in the main draw.

Why are you comparing Ryan to other '92s in the World? Ryan is competing against every birth year that is playing.

Shouldn't decision making for Ryan be done on the best interest of Ryan and NOT the fact he is best 92in the World?

Actually Ryan has not won matches at the highest level. Grand Slams and the Masters Final 8 are the highest level.

Stop taking this as a personal attack. No one is attacking his character. Remember--Great players get talked about everyday, sometimes criticized, and sometimes complimented. You should worry when no one talks about a player, then you are not that good.