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Monday, August 23, 2010

Thirty-Eight Americans Begin Quest for US Open Main Draw Berths

The U.S. Open qualifying draws were released this evening, with 17 women and 21 men from the United States in the mix for the 16 spots in the main draw that each gender receives. This number is boosted by the 18 wild cards of course, and for those of you who wondered what would happen to Beatrice Capra's qualifying wild card once she won the main draw wild card tournament last week, it has gone to Kim Couts.

The top half of the women's qualifying draw features only one of the nine wild cards, Julia Boserup, and the three seeded U.S. women, Varvara Lepchenko(5), Shenay Perry(7) and Lilia Osterloh(28). Julia Cohen, Madison Brengle and Lauren Albanese are the other Americans in the top half.

The bottom half has eight wild cards: Nicole Gibbs, Irina Falconi, Krista Hardebeck, Madison Keys, Couts, Sloane Stephens, Alexa Glatch and National Playoff winner Alexandra Mueller. The two players in on their own ranking in the bottom half are Lindsay Lee Waters and Alison Riske. Keys, Riske, Couts and Mueller have all drawn seeded players, as has Boserup.

One of the best first round matches in qualifying is Laura Robson vs. No. 2 seed Jelena Dokic of Australia, who has been playing exceptionally well this summer. Dokic's ranking is now 82 after three challenger wins this summer, but when the cutoff came in July, her ranking didn't get her into the main draw. Robson came very close to qualifying at the U.S. Open last year after receiving a wild card, but suffered a painful loss in the final round. With only three other British women in the qualifying, including 2009 U.S. Open girls champion Heather Watson, there is certain to be extensive coverage of Robson's contest with Dokic.

In the men's qualifying, the wild cards are more evenly distributed, with four in the top half and five in the bottom.

Steve Johnson, National Playoff winner Blake Strode, Jarmere Jenkins and Jordan Cox are the wild cards in the top half. One of last year's qualifying heroes, Jesse Witten, is also in the top half, along with Alex Kuznetsov, Lester Cook, Alex Bogomolov and Rajeev Ram, the No. 28 seed. Cox has drawn 2007 Roland Garros boys champion Vlad Ignatik of Belarus, the No. 29 seed, while Virginia sophomore Jenkins will play No. 17 seed Josselin Ouanna of France.

In the bottom half the wild cards are Alex Domijan, Greg Ouellette, Chase Buchanan, Andrea Collarini and Bob van Overbeek. Buchanan is the only one to draw a seed: he will play No. 11 seed Federico Del Bonis of Argentina. The U.S. men in on their own rankings in the bottom half are Jesse Levine, Kevin Kim(25), Ryan Harrison, Robert Kendrick(22), Bobby Reynolds, Amer Delic and Michael Yani. Delic, who is coming back from an injury, plays Yani in the first round.

In an interesting first round match involving former college stars, Colombian Robert Farah, who played at USC from 2007-2010, will take on German Andres Begemann, who played at Pepperdine from 2006-2008.

And like Robson, another young hope of a tennis nation, Australia's Bernard Tomic, has drawn a tough opponent in the opening round. The 2009 U.S. Open boys champion plays top seed Marsel Ilhan of Turkey, with the winner of that match taking on Johnson or his opponent Noam Okun of Israel in the second round.

Tuesday's schedule features 64 of the 128 first round matches. For the complete order of play, see usopen.org.

The draws can be found here.

Ken Thomas will again be webcasting qualifying matches at radiotennis.com.

5 comments:

jamesten said...

Where is Rhyne Williams!!!

Colette Lewis said...

@jamesten:
It appears that Domijan, who was not originally given a qualifying wild card, received the one given initially to Rhyne Williams

Couts update said...

Colette,

Thought you or your readers might be interested to know why Kim Couts, one of the American wildcards at the US Open, pulled out of the qualies today.

Kim is home training in Florida right now. Last night around 7:30 pm, Kim was told by fellow women's players that she was in the draw, and on the schedule for 3rd match on court 6 today. She was 24 spots out of qualifying as of the last published acceptance list, and did not call to sign in to be an alternate, so she couldn't have gotten in on her own ranking. Apparently, she was given a wildcard! Kim applied for a wildcard from the USTA weeks ago. The wildcards were announced, and she did not receive one. Beatrice Capra was originally given a qualifying wildcard, but then won the playoff event, to get bumped up to a main draw wildcard. Obviously, that left one qualifying wildcard. Kim was never told she was the 1st alternate for a wildcard, and was certainly never told she GOT a wildcard, and was in the tournament!! She was not contacted once!! If it hadn't been for other players notifying her she was in the draw and on the schedule, they would have called her match today, without her ever knowing! She could not get on any flights last night, as it was already 8 pm when she found out she had a match the next day, and it was nearly impossible to make the 3rd on match with a flight this morning. So she was forced to withdraw, and an on site alternate, Anne Kremer (1 less American in the draw) was put in.

bullfrog said...

The Couts story is truly unbelievable! As mad as Couts must be, I bet Lauren Davis is even madder. It think it should have gone to her given her fine performance at 18s Hardcourts.

work-hard-tennis said...

That Couts story is just terrible. What a wasted chance of an almost once in a lifetime opportunity. I mean, really, how many chances does anyone get? I don't know her but please tell her my family is sorry that happened to her. That is lousy.