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Friday, August 23, 2013

American Teens Duval and Min Earn US Open Spots Via Qualifying; ITF's Top Junior Kyrgios Reaches Main Draw

Last year, Vicky Duval won the USTA Girls 18s National Championships and with it a main draw wild card into the US Open, where she played former champion Kim Clijsters in the first round.  This year, Duval fell in the quarterfinals of the National Championships in San Diego, but received a wild card into the US Open qualifying tournament, and today she reached the main draw with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Tereza Mrdeza of Croatia.

Duval, 17, didn't drop a set in her three wins this week, beating No. 4 seed and WTA No. 105 Teliana Pereira of Brazil in the first round 6-1, 6-3, and Valeria Solovyeva of Russia 6-2, 6-1 in the second round. Duval will play No. 11 seed and former champion Samantha Stosur of Australia in the main draw next week.

2011 US Open girls champion Grace Min also qualified without dropping a set. The 19-year-old from suburban Atlanta defeated No. 3 seed and current WTA No. 104 Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1 in her final qualifying match today.  Min had previously qualified at the French this year, and made the final round of qualifying at Wimbledon. Min will play Karin Knapp of Italy in the first round.

CoCo Vandeweghe, the 2008 US Open girls champion, also qualified today, beating Nigina Abduraimova of Uzbekistan 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Vandeweghe will play fellow qualifier Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia in the main draw. Krunic defeated Louisa Chirico 6-1, 6-3 to earn her spot. Taylor Townsed lost to Chanel Simmonds of South Africa 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 today to fall short of the main draw. With these three qualifiers, the total number of American women in the main draw is now 19, the most since 2006.

The only men's qualifier from the US was Donald Young, who beat Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic 6-1, 6-4. Young, who did not drop a set in his three wins, will play Slovakia's Martin Klizan in the main draw.  With Young qualifying, the total number of US men in the main draw is 15. Kalamazoo finalist Jared Donaldson fell to Philipp Petzschner of Germany 6-2, 6-0 in the final round of qualifying, with Petzchner moving on to face Jack Sock. Recent University of Virginia grad Jarmere Jenkins also fell short of the main draw today, losing to Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 6-3, 6-4.

Eighteen-year-old Nick Kyrgios of Australia, the No. 1 junior in the ITF rankings, decided not to play the US Open junior championships, and in hindsight that looks like the right decision, as he qualified for the men's main draw today. Kyrgios, who received the Australian Open reciprocal wild card at Roland Garros this year and won a round, will be playing in his first US Open men's draw.  He has a tough opponent to start out: No. 4 seed David Ferrer of Spain.

The draws, with qualifiers placed, are available at usopen.org.

Speaking of Australia, it's been announced that former University of Illinois men's tennis coach Craig Tiley will take over from Steve Wood as chief executive of Tennis Australia, ending speculation that Tiley was a candidate to replace the late Brad Drewett as president of the ATP.