Kalamazoo College - Kalamazoo, Michigan - August 1-10, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008-Day One

It's day one at the Nationals and there is plenty of action at Kalamazoo -- even without the seeds playing -- as the early rounds of the 18s singles and doubles get underway and some familiar faces make their return.

I'm on a long road trip so I'm pacing myself. I sat down to watch the last two singles matches left at Stowe Stadium and they were worth the look. Matthew Sicora and Oscar Fabian Matthews were at 6-4,3-2 Oscar when I got there. Michael, who just signed to play for the University of Minnesota, was in the match all the way as the games were close and the points were good. Oscar managed to break and, with a 5-3 lead, had two match points, but Michael saved them and the battle continued a bit longer before he sealed it at 6-4.

Another great match was the last singles standing at the end of the day. I came in rather late -- after Will Reynolds had the first 6-3 and Matthew Siow squeezed out the second in a breaker -- and it was still going strong. The points were good ones and, like the previous match, it took three match points to finish it. But this match was tight down to the end, with Matthew emerging the winner.

It seemed that all the doubles matches were close ones today. I watched the first set of David Henry & Matt Walters vs. Andrew Jung & Mac McNulty into a tiebreaker won by the latter, however, David & Matt did come back to take the match in the third. It was side by side tiebreakers at Western Michigan University where the excitement was definitely in the court where the 11/9 breaker was won by Travis Filmore & Eric Sock over Rajeev Deb-Sen & Sebastian Fauchet (they also won the match). The second was a very long first set won by Matthew Kandath & Walker Kehrer (seeded No. 13, but never having played together) over Bobby Browning & Thomas Cook. They had a much easier second, only dropping one game.

The day ended with the traditional Opening Ceremonies. First up was a demonstration of the new USTA Quick Start program, which exhibition players Scott Oudsema, who not only played here as a singles and doubles finalist, but grew up in the area, and rising star John Isner participated in. It was followed by welcoming remarks from the sponsors and first year tournament director Mark Riley before the play began. As is tradition here, the exhibition players have a doubles match against the top-seeded 18s team. Experience proved to be the key as John & Scott took a 6-3 win while Austin Krajicek & Jarmere Jenkins showed the large crowd their doubles skills. Following that match, it was John against Scott, with the hometown hero taking the one-set contest, 7-6(8).

Saturday will be a busy day around here as the seeds take the courts in the 18s and the 16s get their chance at the first round matches.

Until tomorrow,
Marcia Frost
Click Here For The Official USTA Nationals Boys 18 Website




Stories & Photos From The 2007 Boys 18&16 National Hardcourts

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Michael Sicora

Oscar Fabian Matthews

Matthew Siow

Will Reynolds

Joseph Schafer

Matt Walters & David Henry

Haig Schneiderman

Sebastian Fauchet

John Isner

Scott Oudsema
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