Stephens, Harrison Advance to Second Round of US Open Qualifying on Rainy First Day; More on John McEnroe's Academy
The unpleasant weather that has been hanging around the East Coast the past few days continued today, with the first day of qualifying for the U.S. Open falling behind schedule as a result.
As of 7:30 p.m., only 36 of the 64 matches scheduled for today have been completed. Among those through to the second round are wild card Sloane Stephens, who cruised past Anais Laurendon of France 6-4, 6-1. I listened to that match on radiotennis.com, and there were very few times that Ken Thomas, who was calling the action, could drum up much drama in the contest. Stephens will play No. 12 seed Zuzana Ondraskova of the Czech Republic, who beat National Playoff winner Alexandra Mueller 6-4, 6-1.
Ryan Harrison also lost only five games in his first round victory over Jonathan Dasnieres De Veigy of France, and his 6-1, 6-4 win puts him up against No. 10 seed Rui Machado of Portugal in the second round.
American veterans Bobby Reynolds and Robert Kendrick also won first round matches today, while wild cards Greg Ouellette, Andrea Collarini and Bob van Overbeek were eliminated. Ouellette lost to Ricardo Hocevar of Brazil 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-1, Collarini was beaten by Tatsuma Ito of Japan 6-4 6-2, and van Overbeek lost to Nokola Mektic of Croatia 6-4, 6-0.
Chase Buchanan was up 6-3, 3-6, 5-2 on No. 11 seed Frederico Del Bonis of Argentina when tonight's rain delay stopped play. Buchanan was up 6-3, 3-0 (two breaks) in the second set, then lost six straight games. It was possible to hear his racquet breaking from the radiotennis.com court mics, but he recovered his composure to take that third set lead.
Rhyne Williams, who was initially announced as a wild card recipient, did not feel he was adequately prepared to compete coming off a family vacation, and Alex Domijan took his place. Kim Couts was given a wild card when Beatrice Capra no longer needed hers, but didn't know about it until last night, so she was unable to arrange her travel and an alternate took her place. For more details on that, see the comment in yesterday's post.
Aside from Mueller, the only other women's wild card that finished today was Alexa Glatch, who lost a 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3 decision to Olga Savchuk of Ukraine. Alison Riske also dropped a three-setter, losing to No. 12 seed Zuzana Kucova of Slovakia 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
The schedule for Wednesday isn't up yet, but it will undoubtedly be a very full one. For the results and draws from today, see usopen.org.
New York Magazine turns its attention to tennis this time of year, and its in-depth story for 2010 centers around John McEnroe's new academy on Randall's Island. I know I've given this venture a lot of attention, but I think if you read this lengthy feature you'll understand why I find it so interesting. Not only is McEnroe a very compelling personality, but he also has very firm ideas, based on his own development, about the need for balance in junior players' lives. Is this notion out-dated? That's a fair question, and although there may not be a definitive answer, McEnroe is willing to test his theory with his name on the line.