U.S. OPEN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
USTA Tennis Center - Flushing, New York
Qualifying: August 22-26, 2000
Main Draw: August 28-September 10, 2000
Junior: September 3-10, 2000
Tanner Cochran &
At The Open With Marcia Frost...
Thursday, August 31th PM-Main Draw, Day Four
Away from the crowds and off in a corner, Girls' 18 Super Nationals doubles winners Tanner Cochran & Kristen Schlukebir played their match on Court 18. Though most of the U.S. Open's visitors didn't even know they were there, they had their own cheering section of friends and family. Unfortunately, it was not enough to beat the more experienced Debbie Graham & Katarina Srebotnik.
There was very little unusual or especially exciting about this match with one exception -- Schlukebir's serve. It is not often you see a 16 year old junior serve up an ace against seasoned pros. Schlukebir did it three times. The serve and Cochran's skilled shots were not enough to hold this match, though, as Graham/Srebotnik simply had more winners. In just about an hour, they took the match, 6-3,6-2.
The Amy Jensen/Claire Curran match was quite a different situation. The good news is they were designated the very large, very public Court 7. The bad news is that they were there because the NCAA doubles champion duo was playing number three seeded Martina Hingis & Amy Pierce.
In the first set, Jensen/Curran shocked the top-ranked pros by taking the first five out of six games. They had confidence, a loud group of Cal-Berkeley teammates, and a packed in crowd rooting for the underdogs. With the score 5-1 and Pierce serving, it looked in the bag until Martina Hingis' talent began to shine and her team won the next three games. When Amy Jensen came up to serve, however, she reminded everyone why she was a three-time NCAA doubles winner and finally closed out the set, 6-4.
The second set of the match was an entirely different story. The professionals blanked the Cal team and walked away with the set. This is not to say that Jensen/Curran did not put up a fight. There were some exciting points -- they just didn't finish them out. The third set was also controlled by Hingis/Pierce. They won that one 6-1.
We will have to wait a little longer for the next breakthrough teen to shine, but there is certainly a lot of skill and determination out there. The U.S. Open Junior Championships will begin on Sunday and they youngsters can battle it out between themselves. Let the talent shine on.
Note: Tomorrow we will look back at some of the former winners of the U.S. Open Junior Championships