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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dolehide Joins 35 Other US Juniors in Main Draw of US Open; Ruse, Santillan Sweep Repentigny Grade 1 Titles

The US started Saturday with six players hoping to make it to the main draw of the US Open, but only one made it through--15-year-old wild card Caroline Dolehide.

Dolehide, the younger sister of UCLA's Courtney Dolehide, had no trouble adjusting to her first visit to the US Open, dropping only ten games in winning both her qualifying matches.

On Friday, Dolehide defeated No. 9 seed and 89th-ranked Emily Arbuthnott of Great Britain 6-2, 6-4 and on Saturday she was the first player earn a spot in the main draw, thumping No. 2 seed and 63rd-ranked Lucie Wargnier of France 6-2, 6-2.

Dolehide, who didn't make the trip to New York when Courtney played in the US Open Junior back in 2009, said the surface on the practice courts outside the East Gate helped the recent improvement she's made to one of her strokes.

"Every match is hard, but I think I played really well today, I played the wind right," said Dolehide, a Hinsdale, Illinois resident. "I've changed my serve and it's a lot harder. And these courts are a little faster, so I impact the person more. Fast and high bouncing courts have really been helping."

As she headed inside the gates to pick up her player credential, Dolehide marveled at the thousands of fans spilling out from the boardwalk leading from the subway platform near the East gate.

"It's really nice to play here," said Dolehide, a rising sophomore who will be 16 next week. "Seeing all these people cheering for me really pumps me up. It's amazing, just being here is amazing."

As a qualifier, Dolehide will get the day off on Sunday, and was looking forward to her hours of leisure as a main draw junior participant.

"I'll get my all-access pass, eat lunch with the pros, and then go back to the hotel and have a nice dinner."

Wild cards Gianni Ross and Connor Hance both fell in three-setters Saturday, with Ross losing 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-2 to Simon Soendergaard of Denmark and Hance falling to Simone Roncalli, one of three Italians to qualify, 6-0, 6-7(6), 6-1. 

Wild card Alexandra Sanford lost to No. 4 seed Margot Yerolymos of France 6-0, 6-2, Johnisse Renaud was beaten by No. 3 seed Vera Lapko of Belarus 6-4, 6-1 and Madison Bourguignon fell to No. 10 seed Katherine Sebov of Canada 6-1, 6-3.  Bourguignon will be playing in the main draw however, with the late withdrawal of Canada's Francoise Abanda.

Another lucky loser was needed for the boys draw, with the withdrawal of David Poljak of the Czech Republic, and it went to Jordi Arconada, who trains in College Park, Maryland, but plays for Argentina.

Wild card Ernesto Escobedo, who had reached the final round of men's qualifying last week, withdrew with an injury and Walker Duncan has replaced him in the draw.

In all there are 19 girls and 17 boys from the United States competing in the junior championships this year, and as is now always the case in ITF junior competitions, they are separated in the draw, so none will play each other in the first round.

Twenty of the 36 will be in action on Sunday, starting at 11 a.m.

The US Open boys seeds:
1. Andrey Rublev (Russia)
2. Orlando Luz (Brazil)
3. Jared Donaldson (USA)
4. Stefan Kozlov (USA)
5. Quentin Halys (France)
6. Francis Tiafoe (USA)
7. Duck Hee Lee (Korea)
8. Roman Safiullin (Russia)
9. Marcelo Zormann (Brazil)
10. Michael Mmoh (USA)
11. Jumpei Yamasaki (Japan)
12. Naoki Nakagawa  (Japan)
13. Matias Zukas (Argentina)
14. Taylor Fritz (USA)
15. Francisco Bahamonde (Argentina)
16. Nicolas Alvarez (Peru)

US Open Girls Seeds:
1. CiCi Bellis (USA)
2. Jelana Ostapenko (Latvia)
3. Iryna Shymanovich (Belarus)
4. Tornado Alicia Black (USA)
5. Kristina Schmiedlova (Slovakia)
6. Jil Teichmann (Switzerland)
7. Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov (Spain)
8. Paula Badosa Gibert (Spain)
9. Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)
10. Marketa Vondrousova (Czech Republic)
11. Anna Kalinskaya (Russia)
12. Anastasiya Komardina (Russia)
13. Naiktha Bains (Australia)
14. Ipek Soylu (Turkey)
15. Ioana Rosca (Romania)
16. Olga Fridman (Ukraine)

Complete draws are available at usopen.org.

At the Grade 1 in Repentigny Canada, Gabby Ruse of Romania and Akira Santillan of Australia took the singles titles.  Ruse, the No. 2 seed, defeated unseeded Katie Swan of Great Britain 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Ruse, who retired from the final at the ITF Grade 1 in College Park last week, was obviously not seriously injured then.  Swan's performance in Canada got her a special exemption into the US Open juniors main draw, and the 12th-seeded Santillan received the same reprieve from qualifying with his 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(2) win over No. 2 seed Nakagawa of Japan.

Ruse and Tami Grende of Indonesia, seeded fourth, won the doubles title 7-5, 6-2 over unseeded Chihiro Muramatsu and Yukina Saigo of Japan.

The boys doubles title went to Santillan and Halys of France, the No. 2 seeds, who won in a walkover from Nakagawa and Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands.


Joe Shea, Editor said...

Akira Santillan and his dad, Dean, stayed with me here at IMG Academy in Bradenton last week, and when I saw his 130mph serve and devastating forehand, I knew I was looking at a champion. Now he's won both the singles and doubles championships at Repentigny and will play in the Juniors US Open Championship. His Dad is a great coach for him, because he was a top Junior himself. Roger Federer at the French Open asked him to hit with him for five days in a row - probably to prepare for the powerful serve he faced in the first round. They are a couple of great people, and I have great faith in Akira's future!