2003 US OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS


Chris Kwon

Jessica Kirkland

Marco Baghdatis

At The Open With Marcia Frost...

Wednesday, August 20th-Qualifying Day Two

The kids just couldn't catch a break today. No matter how good they looked, their opponents looked better. The National Tennis Center was a battle ground today as players used their racquets as weapons to push their way through.

The match between Chris Kwon and Tomas Berdych, the No. 8 seed, was no more than a power struggle. The strength on the court was unbelieveable. Unfortunately, it doesn't make for very exciting tennis when players can't return each others serves. There were a few exciting points, but mostly it was a contest of who hit the most winners in the serve and return. It was the more experienced Tomas who did that and he moved on to the next round, 6-2,6-4.

I am not sure exactly what happened to Jessica Kirkland today. Unlike many of the younger players, she does not seem to have any fear playing with the pros. If anything I would say that Jessica Kirkland was too confident and she let it get the best of her.

It was not easy, but Jessica won the first set 6-4 against Olga Kalyuzhnaya. The second set was an entirely different situation. The Russian commanded the points and the set for a quick (and fairly easy) 6-1 win. She continued this streak through to 3-0 in the final set. Jessica hit a few great shots, but Olga managed to return most of them. It was not until 5-1 in the third that Jessica was able to break. With Jessica serving at 5-2 and two match points for Olga, the junior came back with all she had and brought it to deuce. The next few points were definitely the best of the match. It took a total of four match points, but Olga got that set 6-2.

Jamea Jackson (above), who recently turned pro, was no match for the second-seeded Aniko Kapros. Aniko stormed through the first set 6-1. Jamea didn't even have an opportunity to break thorugh until match point. In fact, Aniko gave away two match points. In the next game, Jamea couldn't make use of the three game points she had and Aniko took the match, 6-1,6-1.

The top junior in the world, Marco Baghdatis, managed to overcome a tough one to upset the ninteenth seed, Janko Tipsarevic. It was a battle to the end as the two hard-hitting teens went through two tiebreakers for an eventual 6-7,7-5,7-6. Meanwhile, last year's Junior Open winner, Maria Kirilenko, will have another opportunity to make the main draw this year since she got past Katalin Marosi, 5-7,6-3,6-1.

Tomorrow I will watch the lone amateur left in the Qualifying, the University of Illinois' Rajeev Ram. I'm sure it will be a challenge as he faces the No. 32 seed Jan Vacek.

Until Tomorrow...

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