Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of US Open Qualifying a Long One

If you started following the US Open like I did this morning, listening to Ken Thomas at radiotennis.com, you heard him say that he would be doing internet play-by-play for the five matches scheduled for Court 11. Because the first two went so long, he ended up only doing three, and the other matches were moved from his court. In the first match on Court 11, Alison Riske, who has turned pro and will not be attending Vanderbilt after all, battled for nearly three hours before succumbing to cramps and Yulia Fedossova of France 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. That court's next match saw Sam Warburg, the former Stanford star, go out in a third set tiebreaker to No. 10 seed Michael Berrer of Germany in another contest that took almost three hours to settle. Another former Cardinal, Lilia Osterloh, followed Warburg on Court 11, and even though she had a routine 6-4, 6-1 over Catalina Castano of Columbia, it was the last match Thomas broadcast.

Osterloh's win was one of several for Americans today, wild cards or otherwise. On the men's side Alex Kuznetsov and Ryler DeHeart lost, as did wild cards Blake Strode and Ryan Lipman. Several former Kalamazoo 18s champions were in action on Tuesday, with 2004 winner Scoville Jenkins posting a straight set win over No. 30 seed Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia, but 2001 champion Alex Bogomolov, seeded No. 16, losing to two-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-3. Jenkins will meet another Kalamazoo champion, 2007 winner Michael McClune, who outlasted Todd Widom 7-6(13), 2-6, 6-4 in the night's last match. No. 9 seed Michael Russell, the Nats 16s champion in 1994, advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 7-6(6) win over David Guez of France. Twelve other U.S. men play their first round matches on Wednesday.

The only wild card success for U.S. women on Tuesday was assured when Lauren Embree met Irina Falconi in the first round. Embree, who received her wild card for reaching the girls 18 final in Berkeley, took out Falconi, who received her wild card for performing well in this summer's Pro Circuit events, 6-4, 6-1. There was a lot of coverage of this match. Steve Pratt, the Easter Bowl press aide who last year worked for usopen.org, is this year working for the USTA publicity department during qualifying, and he spoke with Embree for this story. The Gatorzone is keeping tabs on Embree's results, and spoke with Florida's assistant coach Dave Balogh, who was at the match. Marcia Frost also wrote this for College Tennis Examiner. A big thank you to Marcia for confirming with Riske her professional status.

Embree's next opponent will be another American, Shenay Perry, the 24th seed, who also advanced in straight sets.

Wild card Sloane Stephens dropped her match 6-3, 6-2 to Portugal's Neuza Silva and wild card CoCo Vandeweghe, last year's US Open girls champion, also fell, losing to No. 11 seed Ekaterina Bychkova of Russia 6-0, 6-3. As Pratt pointed out, the omens should have been better, as Vandeweghe was assigned the same court, No. 7, where she had won her title last year over Gabriela Paz, but none of that magic could be conjured this year. American Carly Gullickson, the No. 25 seed, was the fourth American woman to advance to the second round of qualifying. Nine others play their first round matches on Wednesday.

For complete draws, visit usopen.org


wow said...

Wow, wonder what Vandy will be able to do without Riske. They have no other recruits coming in for this year.

John said...

I was thinking the same thing. They really hung there hats on that one recruit and with her in lineup, they would have been a top 10 team for sure....without her.....not really sure.

Did notice they still have 8 already on roster without her, so they have bodies......and J. Wu will be a very good #1...just not at the elite level like a Riske.

Austin said...

Tim Smyczek good win over Clement today.

DY3 also won. He has good matchups the next two rounds as well, so if he's going to qualify he has the draw for it.

well said...

Maybe Geoff MacDonald can write about it in the NY Times