Mixed Results for Americans as Australian Open Begins; Chadwick to Retire From Ole Miss; Staying Home to Train
The first day of the Australian Open was good for US women, who went 5-2, and disappointing for US men, who went 1-3.
Sam Querrey was the sole US man to advance to the second round from the bottom half of the draw, defeating Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3). Qualifier Denis Kudla and Michael Russell both lost in straight sets, to Florian Mayer of Germany and Dmitry Tursunov(30) of Russia respectively. Steve Johnson was up 6-3, 3-1 on Adrian Mannarino of France before he lost 11 straight games to find himself down two sets to one. He recovered to win the fourth set, but Mannarino took the fifth to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4. It was the fifth time Johnson had lost a first-round slam match in five sets, with no five-set victories, and he has not won a slam main draw match since the 2012 US Open. Kudla will leave Melbourne still looking for his first main draw win at the Australian Open, having lost in the first round in 2012 and this year after getting through qualifying.
The US women's winners were Serena Williams, Madison Keys, lucky loser Irina Falconi, Alison Riske and Lauren Davis. Davis defeated USTA wild card winner Sachia Vickery 6-3, 6-3, while Venus Williams lost to No. 22 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, accounting for the two US losses.
As for the recent junior slam champions, ITF world junior champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland defeated Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, but No. 2 junior Ana Konjuh was thoroughly dominated by No. 4 seed Na Li of China 6-2, 6-0. Bencic will now play Li in the second round.
Tuesday's action will feature the top half of the men's draw and the bottom half of the women's draw, in what is expected to be stifling heat. American men in action are Jack Sock, Ryan Harrison, Rhyne Williams, Donald Young, Bradley Klahn, Wayne Odesnik, Tim Smyczek and John Isner. US women playing are Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Sloane Stephens, Christina McHale, Vania King and Varvara Lepchenko.
For draws and Tuesday's schedule, see the tournament website.
The University of Mississippi today announced that men's head coach Billy Chadwick will be retiring at the end of the 2014 season, with current associate head coach Toby Hansson replacing him. Chadwick coached the Ole Miss women for several years before taking over the men's program in 1983 and he has been a consistent winner in Oxford for those 30 years. From the release:
For the complete release, see the Ole Miss athletic site.
Daniel Coyle, author of the Talent Code, posted this piece on 18-year-old US Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin. Coyle discusses the lure of being "picked" for elite training, then offers the counterpoint that staying at home can offer its own attractions as a developmental pathway. I don't quite see how this is a "new" approach, as Coyle labels it, but it may offer some food for thought for tennis parents, who often face a similar decision when it comes to training.