US Open Qualifying Begins Tuesday, with 34 US Players in Draws; Gibbs Wins in New Haven; ITF Grade 2 in College Park Underway
The qualifying draws were revealed this evening for the US Open, with 21 US women and 13 US men in the mix to fill the 16 main draw spots in each 128-draw that are reserved for qualifiers. Last year no Americans reached the main draw via qualifying.
The US women:
Lauren Davis (28)
Alexa Glatch (31)
Chi Chi Scholl
*wild card recipients
Krista Hardebeck was apparently the first alternate for a wild card, because she wasn't mentioned in the wild card release, but Gail Brodsky, who was, is no longer listed as a wild card in the draw.
With so many US women in the draw, nearly 1 in 6, there are bound to be first round matches between them and there are two. Alison Riske and Lauren Davis meet in the first round, as do the two Madisons, Keys and Brengle. Alexandra Mueller won her wild card today in the US Open National Playoffs, beating Mayo Hibi 7-6(2), 6-3. Clement Reix of France won the men's qualifying wild card, beating Nick Meister 6-2, 6-3 in today's final.
The US men:
Wayne Odesnik (20)
Bobby Reynolds (30)
For the first time, the CBS Sports Network is televising the qualifying, focusing on Courts 17 and 11, according to this article at World Tennis Magazine. I have ordered the sports package my cable company offers to see this, so I hope they deliver, as the USTA has apparently instructed them to deliver, "the drama of winning 3 matches to 'get in' as a main focal point..."
The order of play has 18 US players on the schedule for Tuesday, with Riske and Davis on court 17, as is Christian Harrison, who plays No. 6 seed Grega Zemlja of Slovenia. Other young American players on the televised courts include Chi Chi Scholl, Maria Sanchez, Rhyne Williams and Chase Buchanan.
The draws can be found at the tournament website.
Today in New Haven, NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs defeated fellow qualifier Alexa Glatch 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the WTA Premier event, where she will face No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion on Wednesday. Gibbs played 2012 Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic last month at Stanford, also after beating a qualifier in the first round. Sloane Stephens, who beat Tamira Paszek of Austria in the first round on Sunday, faces No. 5 seed Marion Bartoli Tuesday.
There is finally some good news on the ITF junior front, coming in the form of the International Hard Courts being played this week at College Park, Md. For several years, the US has been losing Grade 1, 2 and 3 ITF tournaments, with the Kentucky Grade 1 event disappearing completely, the South Carolina tournament falling from 2 to 4 and the Grass Courts from 3 to 4. The International Hard Courts used to be a Grade 2, was a 4 last year, but is now back up to a 2 with its move from New Jersey to the Washington DC area.
The seeds begin play on Tuesday in the 48-player draws, with South Africa's Wayne Montgomery and Taiwan's Ching-Wen Hsu the top seeds. US juniors Thai Kwiatkowski(2), Connor Farren(4), Kalamazoo 16s champion Henrik Wiersholm, Jamie Loeb and Caroline Doyle are among those competing there this week. Francis Tiafoe, who was in the Czech Republic clinching the ITF World Junior Tennis championship for the USA Saturday, played and won his first match today after receiving a wild card entry.
The draws and results are available at the ITF Junior website.