Jamie Hampton played Ping Pong in the Players' Lounge during the rain delay
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At The Open
With Marcia Frost...
Tuesday, September 5th
Junior Championships, Day Three
The days of perfect weather ended as the rain came and disrupted afternoon play, but I did get to see some matches before the sky opened up.
For 16 year old Bradley Klahn it was a first Grand Slam event (he lost in the first round of the U.S. Open Junior Qualifying last year) and he was determined to stay out there as long as he could. It didn't seem to matter to him that he was playing top-seeded Martin Klizan of the Slovak Republic. I was surprised at how small both of these boys were companred to some of the other top ITF players, but size did not rate talent in either. Despite a pretty quick and easy first set (6-1) for the number one player, Bradley came out tough in the second and pulled it into a tiebreaker. He couldn't hold the breaker, though, and succombed 7/2.
I was fortunate enough to have another match I wanted to see right next door so I was able to keep tabs on both. Ironically, both Julia Boserup and Belarus' Ksenia Milevskaya have birthdays at the end of the week, with Julia turning 15 and Ksenia a year older. That year seems to have made a difference today as the two fast-movers went at it. There was an early break for Ksenia and though Julia had some break opportunities, she couldn't get one until she was down 3-6,2-1. The break didn't hold for long and even a few winners from Julia weren't enough to get her past and it was another 6-3 set for Ksenia.
It had been over two years since I'd seen Sacha Jones of New Zealand play at the Gator Bowl and I was impressed enough that the memory stayed with me. (Sacha's brother GD, who plays for the University of Illinois, was also on hand to watch her.) It was an exciting match with Uzbekistan's Dilyara Saidkhodjayeva. There were great points and very long games. Dilyara just squeaked through for a 6-4 first set and Sacha had the advantage in the first game when it was called for rain.
The forecast looks to improve tomorrow and I'm anxious to get back to some great U.S. Open Junior Championship matches.