Marion Bartoli

Ashley Harkleroad

Brendan Evans &
Brett Joelson

Erin Burdette &
Megan Bradley

Stephen Amritraj
& KC Corkery

At The Open With Marcia Frost...

Friday, September 7th
Junior Championships Day Six

And then there was one...
The day started with three American doubles teams in the semifinals, but when the battles were over only one survived -- Brendan Evans and Brett Joelson.

In an unfortunate twist of fate, two unseeded American teams faced each other in the first doubles semifinal of the day. Brendan Evans and Brett Joelson were the youngsters -- at 15 and 16, respectively, yet they were in command when it counted. With former junior star Luke Jensen (Brett's father had been his coach) standing by, Brendan and Brett took the first set at 6-4.

In the second set, it was an even closer game of spectacular serve and volley. Both teams held on despite numerous break points and they were forced into a tiebreaker. It was Brendan and Brett who then got the break and they took it through to 7/4 in the breaker. They will be facing Tomas Berdych/Stephane Bohli in the finals. Berdych/Bohli had an easier time today against Kollerer/Wiespeiner, 6-3,6-4. (More to come on Brendan Evans & Brett Joelson and our interview.)

In girls doubles it was not the Americans who prevailed. It looked like Tanner Cochran and Kristen Schlukebir had the match locked up after the first set. They won it an easy 5-1 and had commanded a 2-0 lead in the second. Despite some nice shots by Jelena Jankovic and Metea Mezak, they did just couldn't seem hold it together. Then -- without warning they took over. They quickly commanded a 4-3 lead and took the set 6-4. In the third there were some nice points, but the No. 3 seeds continued the rally and took the match, 1-6,6-4,6-3.

It was a similar situation at the Megan Bradley/Erin Burdette match. In a most unusual setting of a growing crowd (Venus/Jennifer had just let out) and loud, live music in the background, Megan and Erin took the first set, 6-4, on one of many aces by Erin. In the second, it was close enough to go to the tiebreaker. Galina Fokina and Svetlana Kuznetsova did just two better for a 7/5 win. The third, however, belonged all to them as they sent Megan and Erin off to college (UCLA & Stanford), 6-3.

In boys singles, seeds Gilles Muller, Luciano Vitullo & Yeu-Tzuoo Wang easily advanced. The last upset was Brian Dabul, who fell to unseeded Alex Bogdanovic of Great Britain, 6-1,6-3. Alex had also defeated No. 8 Bruno Echagaray.

On the girls side, Ashley Harkleroad had an easy time past Barbora Strycova, 6-1,6-4. Ashley again hit some balls on the court next to a much tighter match -- top-seeded Kaia Kanepi and No. 10 Marion Bartoli. Bartoli pulled that one out, 4-6,6-4,7-6(3). In the other quarterfinals, Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Matea Mezak and Marie-Gaiane Mikaelian easily got past Neyssa Etienne, 6-1,6-1.

The crowd will be cheering for the homegrown tomorrow -- Ashley Harkleroad, Brendan Evans & Brett Joelson. Though they did not make it into the finals, three other American doubles teams left with some spectacular showings and memories that trophies can't buy.

Until Tomorrow...



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