Thursday, August 23, 2012

Eight Americans Reach Friday's Final Round of Qualifying at US Open; US and GB Split Maureen Connolly Trophy Matches

The second round of qualifying at the US Open began dismally for the American contingent with five women losing in the early matches before Maria Sanchez earned a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Cristina Mitu of Romania. Sanchez will play No. 18 seed Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the final round of qualifying Friday.

Later in the afternoon, wild card Samantha Crawford picked up a big win, defeating Marie-Eve Pelletier of Canada 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. I was able to watch as much of the match as they showed on the CBS Sports Network, and Crawford played extremely well, able to hit winners pretty much at will, as she's always in the juniors. (They didn't show the second set, where by all accounts she played poorly). Down 4-2 in the final set, Crawford kept firing, got the break back, held and then forced an error with Pelletier serving at 4-5 30-40 to earn the win.

I've been critical of some of inaccurate information being disseminated on the qualifying television broadcasts, but they didn't ignore Pelletier's 6-0, 6-1 win over Crawford in the second round of the El Paso $25,000 Pro Circuit event back in June. I'm sure she didn't hit 47 winners that day as she did today, but it is true that result probably did more harm to Pelletier than it did to Crawford today.

Alex Glatch, the No. 31 seed, is the third US woman through to the final round of qualifying. She defeated Stephanie Vogt of Lichtenstein 6-4, 6-2 tonight.

Bobby Reynolds, the No. 30 seed in qualifying, leads the five American men who reached Friday's final round. Reynolds defeated James Duckworth of Australia 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 and will face unseeded Sergio Gutierrez-Ferrol of Spain.

Tim Smyczek took out No. 21 seed Dustin Brown of Germany 6-4, 6-4 and will play No. 3 seed Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania on Court 17, in the 5 to 7 p.m. televised time slot.

The other three US men posting victories today were all wild cards with college experience. 2011 NCAA finalist Rhyne Williams beat Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 7-6(5), 6-2 and 2010 NCAA champion Bradley Klahn defeated Marco Trungelliti of Argentina 6-4, 7-6(2). Williams will need to defeat unseeded Peter Gojowczyk of Germany to advance to the main draw; Klahn's final hurdle is No. 9 seed Florent Serra of France. Williams is scheduled for TV Court 11 for the day's first televised window at 11 a.m.

The most dramatic victory was recorded by former UCLA Bruin Dan Kosakowski, who beat No. 2 seed Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7). Kosakowski saved a match point in the tiebreaker, with the big crowd on Court 17 pushing him to the win. The match took nearly three hours, with the final set going 85 minutes, so Kosakowski's fitness level, which looked excellent during the match, will be tested Friday. Fortunately for him, his opponent, Hiroki Moriya of Japan, also had a lengthy three-setter, with Moriya needing over two hours to upset No. 20 seed Wayne Odesnik 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.

The main draws were released earlier today, with Kalamazoo champion Dennis Novikov playing Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in the first round, while San Diego champion Vicky Duval drew No. 23 seed and former champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium for her US Open main draw debut.  NCAA men's champion Steve Johnson will play fellow American Rajeev Ram, and NCAA women's champion Nicole Gibbs takes on Alize Cornet of France in the first round.

The draws are at the tournament website.

Up in New Haven, Conn., the annual Maureen Connolly Trophy competition is underway, with the United States girls taking on a team from Great Britain.

Jennifer Brady and Vicky Duval of the US picked up singles wins over Katy Dunne and Katie Boulter respectively, while Harriet Dart and Anna Brogan of Great Britain defeated Nicole Frenkel and Katerina Stewart. The two doubles matches were also split, with Boulter and Dunne beating Frenkel and Stewart and Tornado Black and Brady defeating Brogan and Dart.

Judy Murray is coaching and blogging about the competition at the LTA website.


Tim Board said...

Looking forward to the Ram-Johnson match. I'd pay to see that one! Should be interesting with the contrast of styles.

Sheryse said...

Hi there. We got to watch Sam's match and yeah it was a real good win but truth be told she just flat out treed the first and third set. We were kind of laughing at the time because she was going for crazy shots and they were just going in nomatter how bad her court position. The other girl was trying to hang tough and keep an eye on the percentages but first and third set Sam just couldn't miss. Second set she couldn't find the court. We looked at the online stats and she had 40 something winners and 40 something UE's but it was like all of those UEs came in the second set. She just was going huge on first and second serves and if they went in she won the point, if they didn't she lost it. It was just like the way you play in juniors, no plan, no plot just hit it big and dont expect it to come back.