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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

International Hard Courts Recap, Slideshow, Videos; Qualifier Donaldson Ousts No. 12 Seed Goffin in US Open First Round; A Comeback to Remember by Steve Johnson

I'm wrapping up last week's ITF Grade 1 International Hard Court Championships with this recap for the Tennis Recruiting Network. With no boys final played, the spotlight is on Claire Liu's win over Xiyu Wang in the girls final, but I did talk to both champion Miomir Kecmanovic and the injured Oliver Crawford about their week in College Park.

Below is the slideshow featuring the quarterfinalists in singles and semifinalists in doubles. A link to the Google photo album is available here. Also below are videos from the girls final.

When the US Open main draw wild cards were announced, Jared Donaldson was one of the notable names missing, but the 19-year-old got through qualifying, only to draw No. 12 seed David Goffin of Belgium in the first round. Donaldson has had a fine summer on the US hard courts going 14-5 (including qualifying)in ATP-level events, while the 25-year-old Goffin is now 4-4 since Wimbledon. Donaldson dropped the first set, but he began to raise his level midway through the second set, and by the time he won the third, Goffin appeared to be out of gas, with Donaldson closing out an impressive 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0 victory. He will play Viktor Troicki of Serbia in Thursday's second round. For more on the match, see this usopen.org article.

Kalamazoo champion Michael Mmoh lost his opening round match to Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4, 6-1. Although Mmoh didn't play badly, he didn't do much to pressure Chardy, who controlled most of the points and a came up with a lot of winners. Seventeen-year-old USTA US Open Wild Card Challenge winner Sonya Kenin lost her first round match to No. 10 seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3.

The 2012 NCAA champions both picked up first round wins today, but their paths couldn't have been more different. Nicole Gibbs needed less than an hour to eliminate qualifier Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-1, 6-0, while No. 19 seed Steve Johnson, who trailed Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-1, 5-2, 0-40, saved six match points in his 4-6, 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-3, 6-3 victory in the New Grandstand.

With John Isner coming from two sets down to beat Frances Tiafoe in over three hours and Johnson doing the same tonight against Donskoy, the new facility is getting some great matches. Unfortunately, the reserved seating policy is inhibiting the kind of atmosphere the old Grandstand was known for, but hopefully that will change going forward. Johnson's reward for his comeback win is a second round match Thursday with 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina.

The men's draw is here; women's draw is here.

Tuesday's first round results for Americans:  

Venus Williams[6] def. Kateryna Kozlova(UKR)  6-2, 5-7, 6-4

Serena Williams[1]
def. Ekaterina Makarova(RUS) 6-3, 6-3

Janko Tipsarevic(SRB) def. Sam Querrey(USA)[29] 7-6(4), 6-7(0), 6-3, 6-3

Agnieszka Radwanska(POL)[4] def. Jessica Pegula[Q] 6-1, 6-1

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova(RUS)[17] def. Louisa Chirico 6-1, 6-4

Steve Johnson[19] def. Evgeny Donskoy(RUS) 4-6, 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-3, 6-3

Jared Donaldson[Q] def. David Goffin(BEL)[12] 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-0

Donald Young def. Jan-Lennard Struff(GER) 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5

Karolina Pliskova(CZE)[10] def. Sonya Kenin[WC] 6-4, 6-3

Daniel Evans(GBR) def. Rajeev Ram[WC] 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1

Jeremy Chardy(FRA) def. Michael Mmoh[WC] 6-4, 6-4, 6-1

Nicole Gibbs def. Aleksandra Krunic(SRB)[Q] 6-1, 6-0

Paul-Henri Mathieu(FRA) def. Christian Harrison[Q] 6-0, 6-2, 6-1

Vania King[WC] d. Antonia Lottner(GER)[Q] 7-6(2), 6-3

Alessandro Giannessi(ITA)[Q] def. Denis Kudla 0-6, 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-0

Varvara Lepchenko def. Shuai Peng(CHN) 4-6, 7-6(9), 6-3    

Wednesday's second round single matches involving Americans:
Roberta Vinci(ITA)[7] v Christina McHale

John Isner[20] v Steve Darcis(BEL)[Q]

Jack Sock[26] v Mischa Zverev(GER)[Q]

Ryan Harrison[Q] v Milos Raonic(CAN)[5]

Shelby Rogers v CiCi Bellis[Q]

Madison Keys[8] v Kayla Day[WC]

Lauren Davis[WC] v Elina Svitolina(UKR)[22]

Ernesto Escobedo[WC] v Kyle Edmund[GBR]