Top seeds Coco Vandeweghe and Alison Riske won with relative ease today, while Madison Keys upset world #141 Jamie Hampton and Gail Brodsky knocked out local favorite Melanie Oudin at the Racquet Club of the South in Norcross, Georgia in Australian Open Wild Card Playoff Quarterfinals matches.
Keys, who was also the #6 seed en route to winning the US Open Wild Card Playoffs in College Park, Maryland over the summer, struggled in the first before edging Hampton 3-6, 6-4, 9-7. That’s 9 games to 7, as no tiebreak is played and the matches are considered Grand Slam qualifiers. Vandeweghe recorded 5 aces in a row en route to a 6-4, 6-4 win over upstart Taylor Townsend. Brooklyn’s Gail Brodsky outlasted Melanie Oudin 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, finishing Oudin’s mediocre season on a sour note. Second seeded Alison Riske had the easiest match of the day by far in double bageling Grace Min.
Taylor Townsend was gracious in defeat and her attitude will win her support going forward. She claimed that she had not even read the USA Today article about her.
Attendance was impressive, especially for an opening round. The sea of fans was in stark contrast to the College Park event, making one wonder if Atlanta might indeed be America’s tennis town. There were unconfirmed reports that tickets are almost sold out for the remainder of the weekend. With the exit of Oudin, Hampton, Townsend and Min, no women with connections to Georgia or Racquet Club of the South are left in the event. Speaking of Georgia connections, Irina Falconi was everywhere today. She stayed for every match and must have posed for 500 photographs with fans. She took a little time to hit when there was a break in the action. It was a perfect chance to test the slow motion video option on the camera. It’s dark. Not Edgar Allen Poe or Morrissey dark, but it should be more interesting during outdoor court season.