At The Open
With Marcia Frost...
Saturday, September 3rd
It was the final day of Junior Open qualifying out in the park and there was certainly a lot of great tennis out there. There were plenty of spectators enjoying the high level of tennis and plenty of NYC Firefighters and Police keeping everyone safe.
Junior Championships Qualifying,
Only one of two of the remaining American boys will be playing inside the grounds tomorrow, though Tyler Hochwalt certainly gave it his all. Down to the last point it was not clear who would win this duel. Tyler, who had upset Marcus Fugate yesterday, almost did it again as he brought Panama's Alberto Gonzalez through a three-setter culminating with a 7-6(2),4-6,7-5 score. If ever there was a qualified "lucky loser," it is Tyler Hochwalt.
The other American boy, Matt Bruch, fared better today. The number one seed quickly dismissed Ahmed Rabeea of Kuwait, 6-2,6-2 to earn his place in the main draw. With eight American girls remaining, only half of those qualified for tomorrow's play. Megan Alexander, who I have seen tough out quite a few three-setters this summer, was just shy today as she bowed to Sweden's Johanna Larsson, 7-5,1-6,6-4. The match between Yvette Hyndman and Canada's Jillian O'Neill looked so close that when I missed the last few points I really wasn't sure who won (it was Jillian, 1-6,6-4,6-1). And though she was right in there in the first set (7-5), Kimberly Couts couldn't do it in the second against No. 3 Olga Govortsova of Belarus and was shut out.
There were two matches that pitted American against American. Ashley Weinhold proved age and experience can do it when she took out 13 year old Melanie Oudin, 6-4,6-4. Liz Kobak and Kristen McVitty were playing long after the rest of the matches finished. The first set was incredible with some crowd-pleasing tennis to a 7-5 win for Kristen. Liz was cramping in the second and both players seemed generally worn as Kristen took it 6-2.
Jennifer Stevens upset the top seeded Erika Sema of Japan without much strain, 6-3,6-4. This was not surprising to me as I've seen Jennifer make her mark on a number of tournaments the past two years.
Tomorrow the main draw begins. I haven't seen the draw yet (and don't intend to make this another night that goes into morning just to get an early glimpse), but I can guarantee there will be lots of junior matches to cover and with lots of matches there are usually lots of surpises.
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