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Monday, August 22, 2011

US Open Qualifying Begins Tuesday; Jenkins with Three Top 200 Wins; Peter Smith Feature

The qualifying draws for the US Open were released this evening and there are 18 American men and 14 American women in the 128-player draws.

Except for Daniel Kosakowski, who lost in the final of the USTA main draw wild card tournament yesterday, all the men's wild card recipients will be in action on Tuesday, including Blake Strode, who won his wild card last night in New Haven at the US Open National Playoffs.

The wild cards are all bunched in the bottom quarter, with only Kosakowski and Rhyne Williams not in that group of 32. Two of them, 2010 NCAA champion Bradley Klahn and 2011 NCAA semifinalist Tennys Sandgren, play each other. Mitchell Frank has drawn No. 13 seed Kenny De Schepper of France, Denis Kudla's opponent is Andrea Arnaboldi of Italy, Bjorn Fratangelo will play Fritz Wolmarans of South Africa, Marcos Giron meets Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy of France and Strode faces No. 27 seed Nikola Ciric of Serbia. Williams, in the third quarter, plays No. 10 seed Rik De Voest of South Africa. Kosakowski's opponent on Wednesday will be Charles-Antoine Brezac of France.

Other Americans in the draw due to their rankings are: Wayne Odesnik, the No. 19 seed, Zack Fleishman, using a protected ranking, Michael Yani, Tim Smyczek, Alex Kuznetsov, Nick Monroe, Greg Ouellette, Jesse Witten and Rajeev Ram.

The women's schedule is much lighter on Tuesday, with only six of the 14 American women in action, and only one wild card, Julia Boserup. Boserup will kick off play on Show Court 13 tomorrow at 11 a.m. against Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria. Alexa Glatch(27), Madison Brengle, Ashley Weinhold, Gail Brodsky and Lauren Albanese, the last three of whom are former National 18s champions, will also play their opening matches on Tuesday. Brodsky has drawn No. 3 seed Stephanie Dubois of Canada, but the others all face unseeded players in the first round.

Along with Chichi Scholl and Julia Cohen, who received entry based on their own rankings, the six other American wild cards will open play on Wednesday. (Daria Gavrilova of Russia and Ashleigh Barty of Australia also received qualifying wild cards). Krista Hardebeck has drawn Scholl, while Taylor Townsend, making her US open debut, will meet No. 11 seed Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain. Nicole Gibbs, Jessica Pegula, Robin Anderson and Liz Jeukeng, who received Madison Keys' vacated wild card, will open their quest for a spot in the main draw on Wednesday.

See usopen.org for the men's draw, the women's draw, and Tuesday's order of play.

There are huge numbers of "open" tournaments throughout the country and throughout the year that offer prize money to those in a position to take it and competition for amateurs who would like to retain their collegiate eligibility. It is extremely difficult to keep track of these events, because there is no central place to go for results, but occasionally an article from a local news source pops up with a notable result. That was the case with this article from the Delmarva Daily Times, which describes University of Virginia junior Jarmere Jenkins' title in the Jack Purnell-Chris Thomas Memorial Tennis Tournament. Jenkins is the first amateur to collect the winner's trophy in 25 years, and along the way he beat three Top 200 players: 169th ranked Yuichi Sugita of Japan, 122nd ranked Grega Zemlja of Slovenia and in the final, 147th-ranked Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium. All three of those players are in the US Open qualifying draw.

Recent Texas Longhorn Kellen Damico and longtime friend Nate Schnugg, who completed his eligibility at Georgia in 2010, won the double title. An account of their win over Roman Borvanov and Jesse Witten is near the bottom of this article.

From the coverage, this is obviously a very important tennis tournament in Salisbury, Maryland.

I don't expect to see much college tennis coverage on tennis.com, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this feature about University of Southern California's Peter Smith entitled "Dean of the Dynasty" on the website's front page.