Dinara Safina

Eva Birnerova

Simon Stadler

Ytai Abougzir

Tanner Cochran &
Kristen Schlukebir

Brendan Evans &
Brett Joelson

Erin Burdette &
Megan Bradley

At The Open With Marcia Frost...

Thursday, September 6th-Junior Championships Day Five

It was a day full of upsets in singles and wins for Americans in doubles. The tiebreakers kept coming again today as the crowds (who didn't have much to watch in the professional ranks) reveled in the excitement of the Junior Championships.

To start off the day, unseeded Alex Bogdanovic of Great Britain took out the No. 8 seed, Bruno Echagaray. Bruno was frustrated as Alex kept hitting the winners to a 6-4,7-6(2) score. At the same time, the No. 3 seed, Gisela Dulko, was taken out by the Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova, 2-6,7-5,6-3 and the fourth seed, Jelena Jankovic was upset by Matea Mezak, 0-6,6-2,6-4.

There was one American left in the boys singles draw until today. The sixth seed, Ytai Abougzir could not hold on against unseeded Luka Gregorc from Slovenia. While Ytai easily won the first set, 6-1, Luka took over after that winning the next two, 6-1,6-2. Ytai seemed to have lost his edge as Luca grew more and more confident on his way into the quarterfinals.

A very exciting battle of serve and volley went on at Court 8 this afternoon. Stephen Amritraj and K.C. Corkery (pictured above) played out two tiebreak sets as Stephen's father paced the court and the crowd cheered. The winners were non stop throughout the match, led by Stephen's powerful serve and K.C.'s outstanding volleys. Each time it looked like a game was history, it was back to deuce and then a tiebreaker. In the end, it was the American duo that prevailed, 7-6(3),7-6(4).

The second American duo to make it through the doubles was Tanner Cochran and Kristen Schlukebir. This team, which have been together through quite a few tournament trophies over the last few years, upset the No. 6 seeds, Kaia Kanepi and Renata Voracova. Once again, the play was outstanding enough to send it to two tiebreak sets. Tanner and Kristen pulled them both out, 7-6(3),7-6(1).

The biggest crowd of the day on the outer courts gathered to watch Brendan Evans and Brett Joelson against Henry Adjei Darko and Komlavi Loglo. Henry and Komlavi had fought it out yesterday with Ryan Sherry and Stephen Tell and there was no doubt they had earned their place in the quarters. Brendan and Brett had the crowd support, however, and it seemed to pull them through. With even more incredible volleying than had been displayed in previous matches, they took it with a third set tiebreaker for a 6-2,0-6,7-6(4) entrance into the semis.

The final junior match of the day was another long one. Megan Bradley and Erin Burdette faced Suzsanna Babos and Viraq Nemeth. Unlike the other matches of the day, this one went back and forth with less close games. Suzsanna and Viraq took the first set 3-6, while Megan and Erin squeaked through the second 6-4. In the final set, though, it was all American all the way as they took it 6-0.

One match that contained no surprises in the games was Ashley Harkleroad's quick and easy dismissal of Joanna Sakowicz of Poland, 6-4,6-2. The only thing that was unusual about that match was its location -- Arthur Ashe Stadium. As the first junior match to ever be played in that arena, it had 400 spectators. Unfortunately, most of those observing were press and those expecting to see the pros. Outside many wondered (myself included) where Ashley was playing -- none of us ever thought to look at the Ashe schedule! Ashley will be facing No. 16 seed Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic tomorrow.

Until Tomorrow...



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