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Monday, August 26, 2013

Klahn Through to Second Round at US Open; Junior Champions Debut on Tuesday; Blake Retires; Wild Card Update

There were mixed results for the 14 Americans in action Monday as the US Open got underway in New York.

Lauren Davis never got on track against No. 18 seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, losing 6-0, 6-0, but No. 23 seed Jamie Hampton posted a straightforward 6-4, 6-2 win over another Spaniard, Lara Arruabarrena. CoCo Vandeweghe defeated fellow qualifier Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-4, 7-6(5), while veterans Venus Williams and Bethanie Mattek-Sands got impressive straight-set victories.  No. 15 seed Sloane Stephens struggled but got past Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).

Bradley Klahn at 2012 NCAA Championships
One of the bright spots for the US was wild card Bradley Klahn's four-set win over fellow left-hander Kenny De Schepper of France. Although Klahn's five-set victory over Austria's Jurgen Melzer in last year's first round was no doubt bigger, reaching the second round of the US Open for the second year in a row is worth celebrating.  The 2010 NCAA champion while at Stanford, Klahn received his wild card this year for his play on the US Challenger summer circuit, and the way he handled the loss of the first set shows he has ample confidence after his excellent results the past two months. For more on the match, see the tournament website.

Shelby Rogers, who received a wild card based on her results in the Challengers this summer, fell to 2011 US Open girls finalist Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-2.  Aside from perhaps Davis, the day's most difficult loss for a young American was that of Rhyne Williams, who was up two sets to one and two breaks at 4-1 in the fourth, but ended up losing to Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 6-3, 4-6, 1-6, 7-5, 6-0 in a match that lasted nearly three and a half hours.

Madison Keys, who withdrew with an injury from qualifying at the Rogers Cup, lost to No. 9 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-4.

The young Australians split their openers, with 17-year-old Ashleigh Barty outclassing Estrella Cabez Candela of Spain 6-1, 6-4 to post her second main draw slam win (she won a round at the French, also as a reciprocal wild card).  World Junior No. 1 Nick Kyrgios, who qualified into the main draw, was eliminated by No. 4 seed David Ferrer today 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.

Tuesday's schedule will feature the USTA National junior champions, with Collin Altamirano's first round match against No. 22 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany first on at 11 a.m. on televised court 11.  To watch the match, go to usopen.org and click on the WATCH LIVE button at the top of the home page, which takes you to the index of the six televised courts.  Sachia Vickery's match against qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia is third on court 7, which unfortunately is not a televised court. NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs is on second on Court 4, also not a televised court, against Flavia Pennetta of Italy.

James Blake announced today that he would be retiring after this year's US Open.  Blake, who played here in Kalamazoo, reaching the finals of the 18s in 1997, won both the ITA All-American and Indoor singles titles while at Harvard, leaving school after his sophomore year for the professional tour. Blake has always been vocal in his support of college tennis, advocating it for the vast majority of juniors.  For more on Blake's retirement, see this article from usopen.org.

According to the USTA, the final boys main draw wild card has been awarded to Ernesto Escobedo.  The last girls qualifying wild card is still to be determined.

USC women's associate head coach West Nott has posted on Facebook that Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian received wild cards into the mixed doubles draw, with Santamaria partnering Jarmere Jenkins and Christian playing with Dennis Novikov.

21 comments:

Robbed of dreams said...

Colette - Was the wildcard list for women's doubles ever posted? Did they really give seven WCs? Besides the "promise" of a 2014 US Open WC to make up for this "mistake" will the USC pair get an additional WC into something else if they win 2014, which they are certainly expected to do? This mixed dubs WC, frankly, is an insult.

work-hard-tennis said...

What is really ironic is if you go to ITATENNIS.COM, front and center,there is a picture of last year's women's college NCAA doubles winners (Burdette & Gibbs), with a big US OPEN logo behind them.

I also notice that few of the articles mentioning "college players playing in the US open" mention Kaitlyn Christian or Sabrina Santamaria.

No forgiveness here said...

If it was Jack Sock or Harrison, this wouldn't have happened or would have been fixed immediately. Did the Kalamazoo winner put in his paperwork? I would like to see it. I would like to see all WC paperwork. Call Gloria Aldred and get to the bottom of this. They could have undone this within hours of announcing WCs and they chose instead to spit on these girls and college tennis. It still blows my mind that they got away with it.

Austin said...

My goodness people, let it go!

AR Hacked Off said...

USTA with more egg on face, not a good start for them.
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/08/26/us-open-to-serve-up-an-ace-for-local-economy/

Passivity gets you nowhere said...

Attitudes like yours Austin is why the USTA is such a mess. No accountability. Those that actually have players in juniors, college or pros (versus some club player only concerned with himself and has never been to these levels) are tired of USTA being able to plow over people, then let it go as you say. Enjoy your narrow view of the US Open.

I actually play tennis so I know... said...

You realize of course, frequent commenter above, that you are ridiculously wrong. Great players didn't get to where they were by worrying about wildcards, but by improving their tennis. The USTA is not great, but it certainly doesnt plow over people- dont speak for a populus you are clearly not a part of. Enjoy your gaping idiocy watching the us open!!!

so what said...

blah blah blah the greatest players...thanks for making and validating the point. Ya, just be great then you won't be screwed, that's a good objective for USTA. Enjoy the Open!

enough said...

i agree with Austin, this doubles stuff is getting tired. they (and the people around them) messed up. USTA oversight unfortunate but lets be honest, maybe a couple players who play college doubles aren't at the front of the WC committee's minds.
the SC girls are lucky to get into mixed and should be THRILLED to have a chance to play. people bent over backwards to try to correct this.

Seriously? said...

They should be THRILLED to play mix dubs rather than main draw dubs? Maybe they can kiss the feet of anyone USTA while there, they should be so grateful.

Austin said...

Attitudes like mine? I have read you all whining about it for 2-3 days now. The first 10 posts were fine, but the last 15 have become tiresome. Move on.

work-hard-tennis said...

Austin and Enough, your attitude(s) reminds me of something that happened to me way back when. I sent a group of kids to an exchange at another club w/ another pro. When they got off the van coming home, they were sorely disappointed. Despite the fact that they had won more matches, the home club somehow manipulated it so that the home club had won, according to them. They went on and on about it. I told them, "C'mon guys, it's ok, it is not Wimbledon".

One young girl looked me in the eye and said, "Coach, to US, it is OUR Wimbledon".

I never forgot that lesson. What is important to someone else cannot be pushed aside, whether it's in your job or your relationships.

You two can downplay a main draw entry into the US Open, but if it had happened to you, you wouldn't be so "Move on!" about it, I do not think.

Austin said...

Well considering they are getting a wildcard next year AND they gave them both of them a wildcard into the mixed doubles this year, which they would NOT have received if this error was not made, I think it more than makes up for it. So everyone should move on. This topic is of little care to me, so I'm done discussing it.

Great perspective said...

Great comment work hard tennis, I will remember that for a long time. These girls knew they were playing here since May, had family and friends traveling to see them play, invested 3 months mentally and physically getting ready for it. It is funny to me that people don't understand what they had going into this and how insignificant mix dubs is compared to main draw. Could have been a break through that is now a year delayed, ya never know. If you work with players you know the effort given by them and their families preparing for an event like this. Glad to know some get it.

John said...

Austin - 'this topic is of little care to me' is pretty offensive to anyone who cares about tennis development in the United States. Who is to say what will happen in the next twelve months - that future WC may or may not happen. While this didn't happen to me or my child, I'm thinking of it as just that - and while I agree that posting about it doesn't need to go on forever, I will never forget what happened. Go ahead and move on to more important junior and college tennis topics.

Brent said...

Has the USTA formally acknowledged the oversight in any way (i.e. press release, interview, etc.)?

Tony said...

The two biggest problems I see with this mishap are 1) Player Development exists solely to provide assistance for situations like this. If they can't do as much as fill out some paperwork for some players, really what is the point of them even existing and 2) Christian and Santamaria "earned" the right to play in the US Open based off of their stellar results over the whole college season. They weren't being awarded a wild card because the agency that represents them got them an in or something absurd along those lines. That's great that they get to play next year but a lot can change in a year. Injuries, etc. They earned the right to play in the main draw of doubles and the USTA should have found a way to make it happen. Bottom line.

Colette Lewis said...

@Brent:
I asked USTA PR. Their response: Santamaria and Christian did not apply for a US Open wild card.

Show me the apps said...

Did the Kalamazoo winner fill out an application? Too bad Tom Perotta wasn't working on the WC story. He would have asked USTA to produce all the WC applications for this tournament and others. There would have been a lot missing -- many are done over phone calls or dinner with agents, lots are bought and sold in various ways -- and none of these ways requires an application. I hope this is Mr. Perotta's next story - the dirty business of WCs, there is so much to that story. USTA will never understand the damage they have done. While this story will be old news soon, there are a lot of tennis people that will remember this and harbor it for a very long time.

Eric Amend said...

Marie Antoinette and Austin agree on this one.... "Let them eat cake!!!!"

A WC into the mixed doesn't give Santamaria and Christian an opportunity to earn any WTA ranking points so in actuality, it's of little to no real value for an aspiring professional except for the experience. Even if one of them were to win the mixed tournament, they wouldn't accept the prize money since they are going back to school and it's the points that springboard a career anyway, NOT the money. It would be a nice feather in their cap but that's about all.

Brent said...

The USTA is hiding behind their obvious mistake/oversight. The 'they didn't apply' defense scores them no PR points. So, in order, USTA Jackup #1 was not reaching out to the team ahead of the deadline to confirm their fairly obvious intent to enter as a wild card. USTA Jackup #2 was, even after the initial mistake, you have to send out a press release publicly acknowledge the mistake/oversight, annouce the remedies (this year's mixed, next year's women's dubs, get them some time in the ESPN booth, etc.). To hide behind the technicality of the missing application and just hope it quietly goes away is weak stuff. Do we really believe that the same thing would have happened if Djokovic or Serena forgot to submit their paperwork (I understand the womens' dubs are wild cards and my examples are not but the point holds)? Austin, I agree with you on most everything but squarely disagree on this one - there SHOULD be significant outrage over this and the lack of public acknowledgement is not helping. In my mind, it is a slap in the face to college tennis. My two cents.