At The Open With Marcia Frost...
Monday, August 27th-Main Draw Day One
The lone amateur playing today was seventeen year old Amber Liu of Southern California. Amber had entered the tournament on a wildcard she received when she won the USTA Super National Hard Court Championships Girls' 18s title. She was pitted against a former junior standout, Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.
Eleni, now nineteen and about a foot taller than Amber, was in control at the beginning with Amber visibly nervous through the first four games. It wasn't until the fifth game, when she was serving, that her nerves turned to frustration and Amber began to fight with more speed and better serving than she with had previously shown.
Though that game went to deuce, she did not pull another win until she broke serve in the following game and then took the next, going from 4-1 to 4-3. Despite her rally, Amber could not hold on past 3-3 in the second set. Eleni, who had a continually growing crowd of support, took the match 6-3,6-3.
Today was also a day for college players, even though no current college players were on the court. Five former NCAA singles champions -- Bob Bryan, Laura Granville, Lilia Osterloh, Jill Craybas and Chris Woodruff were all scheduled for opening day. In addition, former college standouts Ansley Cargill, Mike Bryan and Marissa Irvin had their time in the sun.
Unfortunately, it was not a day of luck for any of the former college stars. Bob played to a crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium against No. 6 seed Patrick Rafter. Bob kept Patrick moving with some shots (including one lying down!) that are sure to be US Open replays for years to come. Bob's twin brother Mike did not have any more luck with the draw. He is scheduled to play Andre Agassi tonight.
Recent pro Laura Granville hit the worst luck of all the college players when she was forced to make her professional Grand Slam debut in Arthur Ashe stadium against the top player in the world -- Martina Hingis. Though she lost a quick 6-2,6-0, Laura still felt it was "just a great experience to be able to play on that court."
Another player who just left college (Duke) to turn pro is Ansley Cargill. Ansley, who received a wildcard into the main draw, played today against Ai Sugiyama of Japan. Although Ansley kept the first set to a close tiebreaker, she eventually lost 7-6,6-3.
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