©Colette Lewis 2011--
Mitchell Krueger and Michael Redlicki haven't played since the semifinals of Kalamazoo last year, a match Redlicki won 7-6(6), 6-4 en route to the 16s title. On Tuesday, Krueger, the No. 6 seed, assured himself another shot at the 6-foot-7 left-hander, beating qualifier Denis Nguyen 6-3, 6-1. Redlicki had beaten Justin To of Hong Kong 6=2, 6-1 on Monday.
"It's been almost a whole year," said Redlicki. "We've developed a lot in the nine or so months it's been. We're going to have to adapt to what happens at the beginning of the match, especially the elements, because it gets really windy out here."
Redlicki, who was at the Home Depot Center to play doubles this afternoon, did watch Krueger play, and had to be impressed with what he saw. Krueger, 17, dictated play from his position on the baseline, and kept Nguyen scrambling to stay in the points. Krueger, who picked up his first ATP point in the McAllen, Texas Futures last month, thinks that playing that level of competition will help him against Redlicki.
"Not many juniors have that size advantage," said Krueger. "And being lefty, that's another advantage. So it's good seeing the pro level, and I feel I'm competing pretty well at that level."
Krueger still remembers the set point he had in the opening set in the Kalamazoo semifinal.
"I had a set point with a pretty easy volley, and I let it go," said Krueger. "We had a pretty good match overall, and I feel I'm playing pretty well right now. We'll see tomorrow. It should be pretty fun."
Redlicki, also 17, said he would talk to his coach about strategy.
"We'll come up with a grand scheme, use it tomorrow and hope it turns out for the best."
Bjorn Fratangelo, top seed in the boys 18s, had a long wait when his not before 10:30 match went on more than three hours later due to two three-set girls matches. But he handled qualifier Ernesto Escobedo 6-2, 6-4 and will play Claremont finalist David Doehring, who received a wild card, in Wednesday's second round match. Fratangelo is writing a blog for the USTA during the tournament, and the first entry can be found here.
One of the matches that kept Fratangelo waiting was Yuki Chiang's 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 victory over No. 14 seed Caroline Doyle. Chiang played flawlessly in the opening set, and said she was successful in implementing her strategy of staying away from Doyle's forehand, but went away from that in the second set, which she realized was a mistake. Once she returned to executing that strategy, Chiang was able to dictate play more consistently and close out the match. She will next play top seed Katrine Steffensen, who is the one of the few top 16s seeds remaining in the draw after two rounds. No. 2 seed Adi Milstein lost in Monday's first round, and in today's second round, No. 3 seed Julia O'Loughlin and No. 5 seed Maria Smith lost to Maia Magill and Kiah Generette respectively. No. 4 seed Nicolette Tran and No. 8 seed Marie Norris are the only other Top 8 seeds in Wednesday's round of 16.
There were fewer surprises in the boys 16s, with top seed Luca Corinteli, No. 2 seed Spencer Papa and No. 4 seed Joseph DiGiulio all advancing to the third round. No. 3 seed George Goldhoff went out in a long, tough match with Deiton Baughman on the upper courts, with Baughman earning a 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(0) victory.
In the girls 18s, the only seed to fall was No. 15 Gabrielle DeSimone, who retired in her match with Alejandra Cisneros of Mexico down 5-2 in the first set.
The big upset in the girls 18s came in the doubles, when top seeds and Orange Bowl champions Lauren Herring and Madison Keys fell to Giuliana Olmos and Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 7-5, 1-6, 10-8.
I intend to watch the Krueger - Redlicki match on Wednesday, but because there is a conference call with Patrick McEnroe which will include the announcement of the new Orange Bowl site that I also need to participate in, I may not be able to follow the match quite as closely as I would like.
For complete results and Wednesday's order of play, see the tournament site at usta.com.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011