Former UT student-athlete Rhyne Williams knocked out 5 seed Ryan Sweeting yesterday. Hours later, his former roommate at the University of Tennessee, Tennys Sandgren, almost sent 2 seed Alexander Bogomolov packing before his game collapsed in the third set as Bogo prevailed 1-6, 7-5. 6-0. Incidentally, this was the same scoreline by which President Obama won the three sets of Presidential Debates earlier this month.
Rhyno will face USC’s Steve Johnson in the Round of 16, while Bogomolov will see wild card Austin Krajicek.
On tap for Tuesday is DC’s Dennis Kudla against Britain’s Daniel Smethurst for the opener. Later, UVA product Somdev Devvarman will try to use the crowd support to overcome Mischa Zverev. UVA ‘First Year’ Mac Styslinger, who tore through qualifying, will test his game against Izak Van Der Merwe.
The nightcap will feature the most highly anticipated match of the tournament, as top seed Jesse Levine takes on phenom Jack Sock. No, it’s not Sock vs. Roddick under the lights of Arthur Ashe, but it’s guaranteed entertainment. Here’s your printable Order of Play.
Main Draw First Round
Tim Smyczek d. Alex Domijan 7-5,6-4
Brad Klahn d. Michael McClune 6-3, 6-3
Rhyne Williams d. Ryan Sweeting 6-4, 6-4
Steve Johnson d. Alex Bogdanovic 7-6 (5), 7-5
Austin Krajicek d. Tsung-Hua Yang 6-2, 6-1
Alex Bogomolov, Jr. d. Tennys Sandgren 1-6, 7-5, 6-0
Fritz Wolmarans d. Darian King 6-3, 6-4
Taro Daniel d. Devin Britton 6-3, 6-4
Eric Quigley d. Edward Corrie 6-4, 6-2
Mac Styslinger d. Jeff Dadamo 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (2)
There’s a big rematch today between Jesse Levine and Robby Ginepri on Stadium Court at CitiOpen in Washington. Last time these two played was for a main draw wild card to the Australian Open back at the USTA’s AO Wild Card Playoffs at Racquet Club of the South in Norcross, Georgia in December. Tennis East Coast was there for Levine’s victory lap in suburban Atlanta and I expect nothing less than a close match between the two.
Denis Kudla, Michael Russell, Jesse Levine, Bobby Reynolds and Alex Kuznetsov advanced to the second round of qualifying at Roland Garros today. Kudla needed three sets to dispatch 29 seed James Ward of Great Britain, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Reynolds also won a three-setter in convincing fashion over KazakhYuri Schukin, 6-0, 6-7 (1), 6-2. Levine won 2 and 2 against France’s Julien Obry. Michael Russell perservered in a very tight 4, 6 and 7 win from German Simon Greul, while Kuznetsov eked it out over fellow American Michael Yani, 7-6(3), 7-5.
The American men will mostly have an off day tomorrow. The exception is Michael Russell, who will take the court for a second round match not before 3:00 p.m.
Eight American women are scheduled for tomorrow’s first round qualifying. Coco Vandeweghe, Madison Brengle, Alexa Glatch, Alison Riske, Lauren Davis, Julia Cohen, Jill Craybas and Gail Brodsky will begin their quest for main draw berths tomorrow. Craybas and Brodsky will meet on Court 16, where only one American will advance from the match.
Nothing is better than seeing the answers to our questions in print. Especially when someone else is doing the typing. The USTA’s Steve Pratt breaks down pressers better than anyone. After all, his gumshoe reporting days were spent with none other than the Los Angeles Times. Here’s his take:
NORCROSS, Ga., Dec 18, 2011 – Boca Raton, Fla., residents Madison Keys and Jesse Levine both won coveted trips to Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday with convincing victories at the 2011 Kia Motors USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoff played at the Racquet Club of the South.
The 16-year-old Keys, who won a similar playoff in August in College Park, Md., for a spot in the US Open main draw, downed Gail Brodsky of Brooklyn, N.Y., 6-3, 6-4, before Levine dumped the hopes of local Kennesaw, Ga., resident Robby Ginepri with a 6-0,6-2, 6-1 victory that lasted just 1 hour and 24 minutes.
The three wins in three days mean an automatic berth for both players into the Australian Open main draw, the year’s first Grand Slam.
“Yes, I’m starting to like these wild card playoffs,” said an ecstatic Keys after the match. “ I knew she was getting pressured by my power and my serve was able to come in handy today.”
The key point of the match came early in the second set when Brodsky went up 15-40 at 2-all on Keys’ serve. But Keys pounded two big aces to get it back to deuce and wound up holding for the early lead.
Brodsky found herself down 5-2 in the second set but recorded a big break and hold to get itback to 5-4. “Anything I was throwing at her was not good enough today,” said Brodsky, who added that she will travel to Australia and try to qualify.“But I’m not upset with myself because I know there’s not much else I could have done.”
Brodsky added: “I don’t think she was feeling the pressure today. There’s really not much negative I can say about the way Madison played today. I just didn’t have enough today to beat her. I hope next time I’ll be better prepared and better trained.
“I was a little bit fatigued but she had tough matches too. It’s not like she was winning matches 0-0. She was in the same position as I was, it’s just she was better today.”
Keys admitted she never felt any pressure in the final. “Not really,” she said.“I’m one of the younger ones still so I’m not supposed to winthese matches. I’m the underdog. So I’m able to play a little morefree.”
“It still hasn’t hit me yet. I’m just really excited to be going to Australia. Just like the US Open, it’s going to take a couple of days before it actually sinks in.”
Keys will take a few days off before spending Christmas in her native state of Iowa and then back to training in Florida and California before heading Down Under.
Levine simply played some of the best tennis he’s ever played, moving well and running down everything Ginepri threw at him.
“I was just in the zone today,” he said. “I was just wondering after the first set if I could really stay with it. I wasn’t expecting to come out like that. I know Robby’s fit and in shape, I just didn’t expect to come out like that and was wondering if I was going to be able to keep it up.
Keep it up he did, dropping just three games in three sets. “Everything seemed to go my way and I was moving well and hitting the ball well all day.”
“I’m back in the Big Show so it feels really good.”
Ginepri tried to change things up at the start of the third set, taking a restroom break and changing his shirt and style of play, starting the set by serve and volleying the first game.
“I was just hoping to win that first game,” Levine said. “If I didn’t I thought maybe he could get the crowd back into it and the momentum could change.”
Levine joked about the third-set restroom break. “He tried to ice me, I guess. It was a veteran move. It was a big game to win that first one for sure.”
Levine added, “I’m used to the crowd being against me having played a year in college. I was just hoping to keep the momentum my way and not let them get into the match.”
Sponsors included: Kia Motors, Cost Management, USTA, Racquet Club of the South, Down Under Fest, New Chapter Press, Atlanta Kookaburros, Sports Rehab, Australian Bakery, Serious Tennis, Win Wear, Game Day Girl, Body Helix and Outback Steakhouse. The beneficiaries of the event were the United Way of Metro Atlanta and the National Tennis Foundation.
Sunday’s Final Scores
No. 6 Madison Keys (Boca Raton, Fla.) def. No. 5 Gail Brodsky (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 Jesse Levine (Boca Raton, Fla.) def. No. 4 Robby Ginepri (Kennesaw, Ga.), 6-0, 6-2, 6-1
THE MATCH: GOT THERE LATE
APRES LE MATCH:
Jesse Levine is a great guy. He is a rock star on the ITF Challenger circuit and is poised to crack the top 100 on the pro scene. He’s also the first player of the 30 pressers we’ve covered to ask where he could see video of his conference. We know who we’re secretly rooting for later today.
VANDEWEGHE, CoCo (1)vs. BRODSKY, Gail (5)
RISKE, Alison (2) vs. KEYS, Madison (6)
Not Before 3:00 PM
GINEPRI, Robby (4) vs. Williams, Rhyne (8)
Not Before 2:00 PM
KUDLA, Dennis (3) vs. LEVINE, Jesse (2)