At The Open With Marcia Frost...
Saturday, September 11th
Just two more match wins. That's how close Brendan Evans and Scott Oudsema came to the 2004 Junior Doubles Grand Slam. But today that didn't get them down because they won the big one on their own turf -- the US Open.
It has been an incredible run for the doubles team of the 18 year olds. It started with the doubles title at the Australian Open and included another from Wimbledon. Although they didn't make it past the semis at Roland Garros, today they captured their third Grand Slam trophy and this one did not come easy. Four out of the five matches Brendan and Scott played this week were three-setters and there was some question as to whether or not they had it in them to make it past fifth-seeded Andreas Beck and Sebastian Rieschick.
The quality of doubles on Court 11 today was just incredible. Starting with the boys, there was immediately an exciting display of volleying between the American duo and the Germans. The first set belonged to Andreas and Sebastian, but just by one hard earned break. In the second, a crowd of well-known faces in the tennis world gathered, including Todd Martin, Patrick McEnroe and both the present and past USTA Presidents. The American spirit caught on and the sets were split.
The last set of today's boys doubles final clearly belonged to Brendan and Scott, but the serve and volley of Andreas and Sebastian was not so easily dismissed. From a 4-0 lead the Germans came back a bit until it was 5-2 and they had a break point. They couldn't pull it off, though, and it was on to the first of four match points before the crowd cheers and Brendan put up his arms to the 4-6,6-1,6-2 win.
For Andreas Beck it was the second loss of the day. The 18 year old had enjoyed quite a run (and a No. 2 seeding) in his Grand Slam event debut. There was very little that separated Andreas and Sergiy Stakhousky during their morning semifinal. In tennis, however, it doesn't take more than a little. In this case it was the serve that made the difference. Sergiy's serve was on today and it was the aces that secured his win while service problems (including double faults) cost Andreas his. The first set was close except for that one service break and it looked like it would be even hard to separate the two in the second, but Andreas gave it away when he double-faulted away a break at 5-5. Even match point to 6-4,7-5 was won by an ace.
The other boys semifinal today belonged to third-seeded Andrew Murray of Great Britain. The 17 year old, as he had yesterday in his match with Sam Querrey, had a bit of a rough start, but today he bounced back a lot faster. He was a the net by the third game, quickly getting back the service break that Mikhail Zverev had. The Russian couldn't get much by today and both sets belonged to Andrew, 6-3,6-2.
Roger Federer's match finished quickly and the girls doubles final garnered quite a crowd. They were in for a treat because Madaline Gojnea and Monica Niculescu put on quite a display of doubles against Marina Erakovic and Michaella Krajicek. Despite the fact that nearly all players were bandaged and limping, the players kept the ball shooting off the racquets and hardly seeing the ground. The crowd reveled in the tiebreaker, but after it went to Marina and Michaella, so did the rest of the games. It was hard to believe while watching the long, exciting points that all the games were going to Marina and Michaella, but that was the case as they blanked their counterparts in the second set.
The doubles match was the second win of the day for 15 year old Michaella Krajicek. No longer hiding under the shadow of being Richard's little sis, she is now a junior tennis star in her own right and has earned her place in her second straight US Open Junior Girls Singles final. Today it was her doubles partner Viktoria Azarenka who fell to the Netherlands native. In the first set it didn't look as though Michaella would be around tomorrow as the other 15 year old was garnering the games for a 6-1 set. In the second Viktoria actually had two match points before Michaella brought it to a breaker and won the set. Viktoria could not hold her emotions together in the third, even receiving a violation for "unsportsmanlike conduct," and Michaella took full advantage until she was through to the finals, 1-6,7-6(5),6-4.
Tomorrow's second girls finalist is the sole American left in this tournament -- Jessica Kirkland. Jessica's game in the juniors has been solid this past month as she is fresh off her win at the USTA National Girls 18 Hardcourts. Though she did not fare well in the main draw, she has been right on in this Junior Championship. Today she came out swinging with confidence against Shahar Peer of Israel. Shahar, the No. 2 seed and Roland Garros Junior winner, was stunned as Jessica blasted nine points in a row for a 3-0 lead to start the match. Though Shahar did break back twice, it wasn't enough and Jessica had a 6-2 set win. The 17 year old Israeli was not going away so easily and before the Dayton, Ohio native knew it she had lost the second, 6-4. In the third set Jessica had it all and even served for the match at 5-1, when Shahar broke and it looked like she might get through. The break didn't last and Jessica took the third set, 6-2.
The last American girl who played in the US Open Junior Girls Singles was Tara Snyder in 1995, so there is quite a lot of excitement for this year's event. The grounds are being opened tomorrow to the public for just $5. So if you're in the area, come by and check out the junior singles finals at the US Open Junior Championships.
Click on a photo to enlarge
Brendan Evans &
2004 US Open
Boys Doubles Champions
Michaella Krajicek &
2004 US Open Girls Doubles Champions
& Andreas Beck
2004 US Open Boys Doubles Finalists
Madalina Gojnea &
2004 US Open Girls Doubles Finalists
for More Photos
from September 11th