Stephanie Cohen Aloro
At The Open With Marcia Frost...
Sunday, September 2nd
For the last two weeks, there were just a few college and junior players sprinkled within the qualifying and main draw. It was rare that I missed a match with amateurs. Today was an entirely different story.
I looked into the possibility of cloning myself, but that fit into the College And Junior Tennis budget about as much as hiring an additional writer. So, I did my best to catch as many matches as possible. It was made even more difficult since our official photographer can't make it until Tuesday and I had to pull double duty, but I managed to make it through a number of matches.
The day started with Lester Cook and No. 9 seed Lamine Ouahab of Spain. Both players came on the court looking understandably nervous, but seemed to get their bearing rather quickly. Despite fairly strong serves by both players there was an unusual amount of service breaks as the players swapped games and points. Lamine managed to squeak by the first set 6-3, which was a lot closer than the number showed. Lester came out swinging in the second set and looked like he was going to take it as he managed to go up 3-0. Lamine came back and continued to a 6-4 set win and the match.
Over on Court 6, Brendan Evans was battling it out with Florian Lemke. The two continued to go through quick games until they were at 3-2, on serve. Brendan then took over the match and, though there were a few nice rallys and breaks, he commanded the match to a 6-3,6-4 win.
Carly Gullickson had a quick one against Ljubica Avramovic. The first set was a bit of a challenge and the players looked easily matched. Carly squeaked through at 6-4. The second set, however, was a different story. It was all Carly the whole way and she led it right to 6-1.
The most exciting match I saw today was between Stephanie Cohen Aloro and Ally Baker. I had seen Ally play in the Qualifying event and knew she was a force to be reckoned with at only fifteen. She proved this to Stephanie through three-sets of powerful serve and volley. Stephanie seemed to take over the first set and won it without much difficulty, but the second set belonged to Ally. The crowd cheered for her as she took it with an ace. Though the third was pretty much up for the taking, it was Ally who had the most breakthroughs for a 3-6,6-3,6-3 win.
There was a very different match taking place on Court 6 and I caught up with it at 5-3. Daniel Kollerer was overpowering Chris Kwon with his temper as well as his shots. Chris remained steady through Daniel's winners and rants, which even included an argument with the umpire when he received a violation for his behavior. Chris had service problems and Daniel took advantage and the match at 6-3,6-2.
Some other exciting junior matches of the day included a near upset by Tanner Cochran over Kai Kanepi. Tanner took the No. 1 seed to 3-6,6-4,7-5 before succumbing. One major upset did occur when Alex Bogomolov defeated No. 5 seed Alejandro Falla, 6-3,4-6,6-2.
As for the remaining college players in the main draw, Whitney Laiho and Jessica Lehnhoff played a late match in the Grandstand against No. 7 seeds Martina Navratilova and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. To say that Martina and Arantxa had crowd support would be an understatement. They played to loud cheers that helped guide them to a 6-3,6-0 win.