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Monday, August 27, 2012

Burdette Wins Open Debut, Duval Gets Ashe Experience, Sock Upsets Mayer

The first few days of any slam are tough to get a handle on, and even with a two-hour rain delay at Flushing Meadows, I seemed to be constantly juggling the TV, the live stream on usopen.org, and the live scoring.

Most of the matches I was interested in watching weren't on the televised courts, so I actually only saw two matches in their entirety today: Two-time Kalamazoo champion Jack Sock's 6-3, 6-2, 3-2 ret. win over No. 22 seed Florian Mayer of Germany and Vicky Duval's 6-3, 6-1 loss to No. 23 seed and three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters tonight.

Sock, playing on the grandstand, dominated from the start, and when he did get in trouble he was able to serve his way out of it. Mayer was obviously in some sort of pain, calling for a trainer after the second set and according to some accounts unable to move to his right, and once he was broken at love serving at 2-2, hitting three consecutive unforced errors, he approached the net to shake hands and retire.

In the post-match interview, Sock was asked to rate his serve.

Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, how good was your serve today, knowing what you can do on a good day?

JACK SOCK: I think my second serve was a 9.63. I think my first serve was pretty good. I mean, when I missed the first serve, I think my second serve really helped me. I was able to start off the point ahead even with the second serve.

When I think I was down a game, my serve was a 10 coming up big on some points where I was down or some games where I was down.

Brad Gilbert, never one to underestimate a player's potential, talked of Top 10 for Sock and said he expected him to be Top 50 by this time next year.  Now ranked 243, Sock has a long way to go to reach that, but he now has his first Top 25 win, and according to Greg Sharko of the ATP, he is only the third player in the last 20 years ranked over 200 to beat a Top 25 player at the US Open. Sock plays Flavio Cippola of Italy, ranked 87th, in the second round.

Denis Kudla, the 2010 runner-up to Sock in the US Open Junior Championships, fell short of the upset, losing to No. 24 seed Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(2).

Duval, whose little girl voice masks a steely competitive mindset, was able to comeback from 2-0 down in the opening set against Clijsters, break the retiring Belgian and hold for a 3-2 lead, but she was able to win only one game after that. Clijsters was not sharp in the first set, but she began to hit with pace and depth in the second, and Duval found the games going by quickly. She said afterward that she learned she needed to get stronger on her serve, but she thought it a great experience, and was especially appreciative of the crowd's support. Gilbert asked her what she thought when she saw the draw, and Duval answered she considered herself "the luckiest 16-year-old in the world."

She will play the juniors next week, in front of decidedly fewer fans, but she may have gained a few spectators based on her performance tonight.

Most of the US qualifiers and wild cards lost today. In addition to Duval, wild cards Julia Cohen, Melanie Oudin and Nicole Gibbs all dropped their first round matches in straight sets.  Qualifier Samantha Crawford fell to Laura Robson of Great Britain 6-3, 7-6(6).

One bright spot was wild card Mallory Burdette, who defeated Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-4, 6-3. Burdette, making her grand slam singles debut (she's been in the doubles draw twice), was actually ranked higher than her opponent, 252 to 308. Bacsinszky received direct entry based on a protected ranking.  Next up for Burdette is unseeded Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic, who beat No. 27 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain today.

Tim Smyczek won a marathon against fellow qualifier Bobby Reynolds 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to join American veterans James Blake and Mardy Fish in the second round. Varvara Lepchenko, the No. 31 seed, was the only US woman other than Burdette to win today.

Tomorrow's schedule features qualifier Rhyne Williams against Andy Roddick in a day match second on Arthur Ashe. Kalamazoo champion Dennis Novikov did not draw quite as high profile an opponent or court. He plays Poland's Jerzy Janowicz on Court 10, third match on.

Also playing Tuesday are Sloane Stephens, Christina McHale, Jesse Levine, Irina Falconi, Sam Querrey, Vania King, CoCo Vandeweghe, who plays Serena Williams in the night match, and Venus Williams, who faces wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

For more on today's action, see the tournament website.


Kerri Pryor said...

Great news for Mal, but what's going on with the US Open match stats? I went to look at the figures for Mal's match and I almost fainted when it said she had one winner. I've watched Mallory through her whole Stanford career and I can't imagine her getting through the warm-up without hitting at least half a dozen winners.

Randy Futty said...

C-if you get a chance, watch Jersy today if you've never have before. He usually has a top 20 game, with a tip 200 head. Watched he and Gulbis at Winbledon this year and few hit the ball harder and cleaner.

Colette Lewis said...

I saw him in the 2007 USO junior final, but haven't seen him in the pros. But it's not on a TV court, and I'm not there yet, so I won't be seeing him today.

re: stats said...

To Kerri Pryor: Mallory was on a court that didn't have a unique individual keeping track of winners. The 1 that showed up was an ace as recorded by the chair umpire (who doesn't track winners).