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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Duval Shocks Stosur, Vickery Advances at US Open; McCarthy Beats Mertens in ITF Grade 1 Canadian Open

Day Two at the US Open was a good one for young Americans, led by 17-year-old Vicky Duval, who defeated 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 this evening on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

After serving for the first set at 5-4, Duval lost the next three games, and trailing the No. 11 seed 4-2 in the second set, it looked as the 2012 USTA 18s champion would be ousted in the first round by a former US Open champion, just as she was last year by Kim Clijsters. But whether it was last year's experience, the reserve of confidence she had built qualifying last week, where she won all three of her matches in straight sets, or just uninspired play by Stosur, Duval turned the match around, winning the final four games of the second set to force a third.  Duval got the break she needed at 4-3, held for 5-3, and had a match point on Stosur's serve before the Australian held, forcing Duval to serve it out.  The final game was a long one, with Duval saving break points and Stosur saving match points until on her fourth match point, Duval hit a forehand winner to record the first Top 20 victory of her young career. For more on the match, see usopen.org.

Sachia Vickery, with 18s National Championships trophy
Earlier in the day, Duval's friend and long-time Florida junior rival Sachia Vickery, who succeeded Duval as USTA 18s National Champion, earned her first slam victory in her first slam match, beating qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-4, 6-4.  Vickery broke Lucic-Baroni serving at 4-5 in the first set, then fell behind a break early in the second, but came back to serve for the match at 5-3.  The 18-year-old didn't get to match point in that game, but broke Lucic-Baroni at love to move into the second round against qualifier Julia Glushko of Israel, who beat No. 20 seed Nadia Petrova in the first round. Duval will play Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the second round.

While girls national champion Vickery was successful in her slam debut, boys national champion Collin Altamirano was not.  The 17-year-old lost to No. 22 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday, and was no doubt disappointed with his performance. Altamirano, who was playing in his first ATP level match, started the match with a hold of serve, but lost nine straight games, with unforced errors doing most of the damage.  Kohlschreiber hit a lot of winners and served well, never facing a break point, leaving Altamirano with little choice but to go for even more.

Other young Americans fared better, with former two-time Kalamazoo champions Jack Sock and Donald Young advancing to the second round, along with Denis Kudla, who beat 2011 ITF World Junior champion Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in four sets.  Sam Querrey(26) and John Isner(13) also advanced to the second round. Other US winners Tuesday were Christina McHale and Alison Riske.

Aside from Isner, it wasn't a good day for former college players, as Nicole Gibbs, Steve Johnson, Maria Sanchez and Mallory Burdette all lost first round matches.

For complete draws and results, see the tournament website.

The mixed doubles draw has been released, with eight wild card teams, seven of them American pairs.  2011 mixed doubles champions Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock are not playing together this year, with Oudin playing with 2011 NCAA doubles champion Austin Krajicek and Sock partnering Sloane Stephens.  I'm a bit surprised not to see Taylor Townsend in the mixed draw, but her commitment to the juniors may have been a factor in that, and she is playing women's doubles with Mallory Burdette. Vicky Duval, who is not playing the junior tournament, is paired with Donald Young in the mixed.

The Grade 1 in Repentigny Canada this week has not attracted the deepest fields, with the US boys in particular absent from the draw, but the girls field has several top 10 players: Katerina Siniakova(3), Barbora Krejcikova(4) and Elise Mertens(8).  Mertens, the No. 3 seed from Belgium, was beaten by unseeded Kaitlyn McCarthy today 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4. Christina Makarova, the No. 6 seed, is the only other American to reach the third round. Semi-live scoring can be found on the tournament's website.


Austin said...

Really disappointed with Steve Johnson's result last night. He was up a set and led 4-2 in the second. He also had several set points in the third set, then faded in the fourth set. Too bad because that was a very winnable match.