Erin Burdette & Megan Bradley
Whitney Laiho & Jessica Lehnhoff
Jonathan Stokke & Rajeev Ram
At The Open With Marcia Frost...
Wednesday, August 29th-Main Draw Day Three
It was a week long wait, but I can finally say, "the kids prevailed." In a crowd cheering, three-setter, Girls' 18 Super National Hard Court winners Megan Bradley and Erin Burdette won their first round doubles match.
Erin and Megan walked on the court looking stronger and more confident than their opponents, Kristie Boogert and Miriam Oremans from the Netherlands. The youngsters kept the pace going, but lost a very close 6-4 first set. As the second set began it was all Megan and Erin as they took the older duo to a 4-0 lead. Though they couldn't hold the full lead, they did capture the set, 6-4.
The third set was a crowd pleaser as the games continued to go to deuce and the younger girls commanded the audience. Though Erin made some serve and volley errors, she also hit some winners. Megan, on the other hand, was on the ball nearly one hundred percent. It was one of Megan's many aces that actually won the match, 4-6,6-4,6-4. Next up for the girls are the No. 2 seeds, Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez. (Megan Bradley will also be playing mixed doubles with Justin Gimelstob.)
It's not often that I get to say I'm there for the older team, but that was case at the Whitney Laiho/Jessica Lehnhoff vs. Ashley Harkleroad/Bethanie Mattek match. Since the latter duo turned pro long ago, it was the NCAA doubles champions that garnered most of my attention.
From the start it was clear that Whitney and Jessica had experience -- namely college experience -- that the two younger players did not. They served and volleyed with ease and worked together as a well grouped team. Even though Ashley's amazing shots did prove that she was more than a pretty face, Laiho/Lehnhoff took the first set easily, 6-2.
Ashley and Bethanie put up much more of a fight in the second set. One point was played out through some spectacular volleys, going to deuce six times. The players broke each others serve back and forth and kept the match going until the University of Florida duo took it, 7-5. They will next play Emmanuelle Gagliardi/Meilen Tu. They defeated No. 11 seeds Nicole Pratt/Elena Tatarkova today.
Rajeev Ram and Jonathan Stokke were not so victorious in their match. Though I only saw some of the match, it was enough to know they put their best out there (especially some powerful serves), they were defeated by Marius Barnard/Jim Thomas, 6-4,6-2. I will be sure to catch more of these two at the Junior doubles event.
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