Click on a photo to enlarge
At The Open
With Marcia Frost...
Tuesday, August 21st-Qualifying, Day One
It's usually the second week of the U.S. Open that is drowned in rain, but today the clouds greeted Day One of the Qualifying. Not a ball was hit at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and I was especially disappointed because 2007 marks the return of college players at the Open.
I was pleasantly surprised when reading the list of Wildcards given to this year's entrants. Among the young professionals was a sprinkling of current college players and a dusting of college graduates. Perhaps it was the success of recent Georgia grad John Isner that started this trend. I am glad to see it. Joining John in the Men's Singles draw is University of Florida sophomore Jesse Levine. And Stephen Bass (Notre Dame), Lester Cook (Texas A&M) and Ryler DeHeart
(Illinois) -- are bringing their degrees to their wildcard spots in the Men's Qualifying. Joining them will be current intercollegiate players Matt Bruch (Stanford) and Bryan Koniecko (Ohio State). (Wayne Odesnik, Ryan Sweeting, Donald Young and Michael McClune are the American professionals given spots.)
While the women's wildcards this year includea few "professional juniors" (as I call the 18 and under group who have given up their amateur status), there
are also a number of players who don't fit in that category. Madison Brengle
and Ashley Weinhold are still considering college, while Audra Cohen was at the the University of Miami until winning the NCAAs in May. Lauren Albanese, Alexa Glatch, Jamea Jackson and Asha Rolle are also main draw wildcards recipients.
NCAA finalist Lindsey Nelson, who currently plans to return to the University of Southern California in September, was granted entry into the Qualifying draw, joining American amateurs Hilary Barte, Asia Muhammad, Melanie Oudin, Alison Riske and Coco Vandeweghe.
The forecast for tomorrow is brighter and I am looking forward to my busiest Qualifying event in years as I begin my journey following the College and Junior Players at the U.S. Open.