At The Open
With Marcia Frost...
Friday, September 2nd
Today was the first day of the qualifying for the U.S. Open Junior Championships. The event is held out in Flushing Meadow Park, just outside the grounds of the National Tennis Center. I spent most of the day going back and fourth between those courts and the main complex, but I did get to catch a decent amount of quality tennis.
Main Draw, Day Five
Junior Championships Qualifying,
First I must comment on the boys draw. As of Friday morning there was a full (32) qualifying draw with approximately 53 alternates. By Friday evening there was a draw with two byes and no alternates left! This terrific opportunity for any boys who happened to make it to registration day certainly leaves a lot of questions as to what happened to those who were supposed to fill the draw. While I don't currently have the time or energy to explore every missing name, a quick look shows players missing from basically all over the world. I guess we will find out on Sunday if these players have moved up to the main draw because those players aren't coming, or if these boys just decided that the qualifying of a grand slam just wasn't worth it. (There were no such problems in the girls as only a few of the alternates even got in.)
Of the ten American players that were in the qualifying event, only two are still in. Matt Bruch is there because he didn't play yet and Tyler Hochwalt won an all American match, defeating Marcus Fugate, 2-6,6-2,6-4. It was an unexpected result to most since Marcus has been higher ranked and was seeded ten here. Alternate Adam El Mihdawy, a fifteen year old who trains here in Flushing, put up an impressive fight against No. 8 Kento Takeuchi of Japan before falling, 6-7(4),6-3,6-3. I also saw some of the great points between American Jarmere Jenkins and Herbert Weirather, where the Australian prevailed, 7-6(3),6-3.
The American girls took a little more advantage of the homecourt as 8 of 15 made it on to tomorrow's final round. There were some impressive wins among these. Ashley Weinhold eliminated No. 6 Jessica Sweeting of the Bahamas, 6-1,6-0; Melanie Oudin upset No. 15 Lara Fakhoury of Great Britain, 6-3,6-3; and Elizabeth Kobak took out No. 7 Veronica Li (another American), 6-1,7-5. I also watched some of the last match left for the day, Brittany Augustine and Brazil's Fernanda Hermenegildc, the number five seed. It was a close match with some great points. Long after the other matches finished, Fernanda squeaked by, 4-6,6-1,7-5.
I didn't forget my lone college duo while I was out watching the juniors. Unfortunately, it was a last performance for recent University of Miami graduate Megan Bradley and Georgia Tech sophomore Kristi Miller. There was some incredible serve and volley out there, but the best belonged to the much more experienced Corina Morariu and Patty Schnyder as they took the match, 6-2,6-3. I'm sure we will see a lot more from Megan as she plays the circuit. I also expect Kristi to be a fixture at the top of the college rankings this year.
Tomorrow is another day in the park, but with all of the college and junior players gone from the main draw, I will remain there and hope to see some great matches.
Click on a photo to enlarge
Adam El Mihdawy
Krist Miller &