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.
There’s a raindrop or two out there in the South Carolina skies this morning. Family Circle Cup qualifying play was originally supposed to begin at 10:00 a.m. and was moved to 9:30 a.m. That might have been optimistic as the forecast calls for the rain early today. It might be a long day of on-again, off-again outdoor frustratation, but fingers are crossed.
Having never had the benefit of witnessing the young USA talent of Hayley Carter, Abigail Spears, Shelby Rogers, Maria Sanchez, Emily Harman or Tetiania Luzhanska, today will be a day of first impressions for this sleep-deprived tweeter.
As @WTAToday pointed out last night, the Shvedova-Pegula fight should be particularly entertaining. Other matches of note, in no particular order:
Heather Watson vs. Melanie Oudin: Both of these players could argue that they were handed the toughest draw in qualifying. Watson’s game is on the rise, and Oudin desperately needs to win some matches.
Julia Cohen vs. Shelby Rogers–It’s the North vs. the South as the young South Carolinian takes on Philadelphia’s Julia Cohen.
Andrea Hlavackova vs. Kristina Mladenovic—Hlavackova hails from a brewing family and has earned half of a law degree. What could be more interesting than watching her, even if you’re not a beer-drinking attorney whose twitter alter-ego is @BaltoBeerBaron?
Veteran vs. Upstart division:
Alexandra Cadantu vs. Marta Domachowska
Melinda Czink vs. Hayley Carter
Mirjana Lucic vs. Simone Kalhorn
The grandmother of women’s tennis tournaments begins in just ten days time. The Family Circle Cup is not only the longest running tennis event with the same sponsor, it is also the first women’s professional tennis tournament to have offered $100,000 in prize money.
East Coast tennis fans have been fortunate to have such an event for forty years. So much has changed in that time (Virginia Slims, anyone?), but the Family Circle Cup is still the premier women’s event on the East Coast.
The Family Circle Cup’s stadium on Hilton Head Island was the very first tennis stadium that I ever saw, way back in 1989. Since 2001, the Cup has resided on Daniel Island in the City of Charleston.
The qualifying draw was expanded from 32 to 48 for 2012, with 12 women qualifying for the main draw.
That means a very exciting first weekend, with 24 saturday matches and 12 on Sunday. Also on Saturday, the main draw will be selected from the grounds of the tournament. It will be open to the public and held during a match day, which is unusual and very welcome news to fans.
Agnieszka Radwanska is expected to be the top seed. 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur, Grand Slam Queens Serena and Venus Williams, and former world #2 Vera Zvonareva headline a very competitive main draw. Venus was the recipient of a wild card as was Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Three wild cards remain for the main draw.
On the qualifying side, Americans Sloane Stephens, Jill Craybas, Julia Cohen, Coco Vandeweghe, Jamie Hampton, Varvara Lepchenko and Alison Riske are expected to compete. Riske, who lives in Hilton Head, should be a crowd favorite. We can’t say she’ll be a bigger crowd favorite than 16 year-old Hayley Carter from South Carolina, who nabbed the first qualifying wild card. Five more qualifying wild cards are up for grabs.
You can check out the entire field in this handy police-style photo array compliments of the Family Circle Cup. Click on the Family Circle Cup logo at the top of this article to purchase tickets.
College Park, Md—There’s something about Washington D.C. that brings out the best in Bobby Reynolds.
Just a month after leading the World Team Tennis D.C. Kastles to their first-ever 16-0 season, Reynolds is back in the nation’s capital this weekend vying for a spot in the year’s final Grand Slam tournament. With a strong 6-3, 7-5 win over former University of Tennessee All-American Rhyne Williams in the semifinals of the USTA U.S. Open Wild Card Playoffs, Reynolds finds himself just one win away from winning the wild card tournament and entry into the U.S. Open main draw.
“I joke that this is more of a hometown for me than when I’m playing in Atlanta,” said Reynolds, of Acworth, Ga., wearing his 16-0 Kastles championship T-shirt. “I wish we could play World Team Tennis all year around. I love everything about it. You could lose 5-0 and your team still wins and everyone’s happy.”
The top-seeded Reynolds is the oldest player in the draw by far at age 29. The seven other men’s players consisted of three 20-year-olds, two who are 19 and two age 18. Reynolds will meet 19-year-old Daniel Kosakowski in the 1 p.m. best-of-five set final on Sunday with the winner getting that main draw spot into the Open.
“I’m really just trying to keep up with these younger guys,” said Reynolds, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the first round of the 2005 U.S. Open and had played in three other main draw Opens. “‘It’s great to be in the final. Daniel’s a tough up-and-coming player. These young guys just have so much power. You think you hit a good shot and then they come back right back at you.”
Kosakowski, the one-and-done former UCLA Bruin from Huntington Park, Calif., who is currently ranked No. 398 in the world rankings, beat local favorite Denis Kudla, the tournament’s No. 2 seeded player from Arlington, Va., 6-2, 6-3.
“This is a great chance and a good opportunity for me,” said Kosakowski, who also beat Kudla at the L.A. ATP event the Farmers Classic in the final round of qualifying in a much closer straight-set match just three weeks ago. “I’m serving well and have had a great summer. I’m just so happy to be here and to get the invite.”
It was a pro-Kudla crowd except for Kosakowski’s father, sister and brother-in-law. Ironically, Kosakowski’s sister Sylvia or Downey, Calif., just one day before lost in the U.S. Open National Playoffs second round at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, Conn., falling to Robin Anderson, 6-3, 6-2.
“Yeah, she was out here trying to qualify for the Open so she drove down today to watch,” said Daniel of his sister, who played collegiately at Pepperdine. “It’s great to have them all here to support me.”
On the women’s side, defending champion Beatrice Capra, who won this event last year in Boca Raton and then went on to win two rounds in the main draw at the U.S. Open, beat her World Team Tennis Philadelphia Freedom doubles partner Julia Cohen, 6-4, 6-4.
“It was really hot out there,” said Capra, who beat Cohen 6-1, 6-1 at a pro event on clay in Raleigh, N.C., earlier this year. “That was one of the toughest matches I’ve played in a long time. I knew that Julia is such a great competitor out there and I never expected her to make a mistake. I knew I had to win the match today. She wasn’t going to give me anything.”
Capra will face the tournament’s youngest player 16-year-old Madison Keys in Sunday’s 11 a.m. final. Keys, the No. 7 seeded player from Boca Raton, Fla., defeated No. 3 Gail Brodsky of Brooklyn, N.Y., 7-5, 7-6 (7).
Keys, being watched closely Saturday by her USTA coach Adam Peterson, won the only meeting between the two finalists, taking last year’s USTA National Hardcourt 18s Round of 16 match, 6-2, 6-4, over Capra just a week before Capra won this event in Boca.
“I used to train with Madison down at Evert’s so I know her game pretty well,” said Capra, of Ellicott City, Md., who like Kudla had the majority of crowd support Saturday.
Beatrice Capra (5), Ellicott City, Md., def. Julia Cohen (1), Philadelphia, Pa., 6-4, 6-4
Madison Keys (7), Boca Raton, Fla., def. Gail Brodsky (3), Brooklyn, N.Y., 7-5, 7-6 (7)
Daniel Kosakowski (3), Huntington Park, Calif., def. Denis Kudla (2), Arlington, Va., 6-2, 6-3
Bobby Reynolds (1), Acworth, Ga., def. Rhyne Williams (5), Knoxville, Tenn., 6-3, 7-5
Sunday’s Finals Schedule
Stadium Court, 11 a.m.
Beatrice Capra (5), Ellicott City, Md. vs. Madison Keys (7), Boca Raton, Fla.
Not before 1 p.m.
Bobby Reynolds (1), Acworth, Ga., vs. Daniel Kosakowski (3), Huntington Park, Calif.
Note: Men’s final is best three out of five sets. (Steve Pratt)
Boy, was that a bad scan. Tennis Fans like draw sheets. We like to look at them, put them in our pockets and write down the winners names. We realized that we haven’t seen them out there anywhere else on the web, so here they are for you to play along at home.
Time to go. With in-progress matches starting at 11 today, we can’t be late or we could miss everything.
Tonight was another tough night to be a tennis fan. Only one match made it into the second set. Like twelve days ago, when we spent five hours at Legg Mason to see Gaels Monfils score exactly one point, tonight we saw Julia Cohen score two over three hours.
Unlike Legg Mason’s Soggy Semifinal Saturday, this was no sustained downpour. It was like Mother Nature messing with our minds. Just enough rain on the court to stop play, followed by twenty dry minutes and another little rain. Repeat the sequence over and over, and that is what happened tonight. You wish Mother Nature would just get it out of her system and be done with it. We didn’t get that lucky tonight.
The decision to play indoor matches and then the reversal was a little strange. First, they announced that the 5 p.m. matches would be moved indoors, and then they canceled the plan at 7 p.m. “We had the option to move the matches indoors, but we really want to complete the tournament outdoors weather permitting,” said Lew Brewer, USTA US Open Wild Card Playoff tournament director. “If rains hits Friday, the matches will be moved indoors and throughout the weekend if necessary. We have decided to move our semifinals to Saturday and our finals to Sunday.”
Tomorrow’s Order of Play is below. A handy PDF is also available, thanks to Steve Pratt of the USTA. Sounds like a Baltimore name to us. Sounds like a great pen name for us, too. Shame it’s already taken. Here’s Steve’s release after the OOP link.
Three first-round matches were halted in progress after approximately 45 minutes of play with the following scores:
Tennys Sandgren (5) leads Rhyne Williams (4) 3-2
Ashley Weinhold (2) leads Madison Keys (7) 4-3
Nicole Gibbs (8) leads Julia Cohen 6-0, 1-0
Friday’s schedule of play will be as follows:
Stadium Court at 11 a.m.
Julia Cohen (1) vs. Nicole Gibbs (8), in progress
Ahsha Rolle (4) vs. Beatrice Capra (5)
Denis Kudla (2) vs. Bjorn Fratangelo (7)
Not before 6 p.m.
Bobby Reynolds (1) vs. Bradley Klahn (8)
Grandstand Court at 11 a.m.
Ashley Weinhold (2) vs. Madison Keys (7), in progress
Gail Brodsky (3) vs. Jessica Pegula (6)
Not before 6 p.m.
Daniel Kosakowski (3) vs. Mitchell Frank (6)
Court 3 at 11 a.m.
Tennys Sandgren (4) vs. Rhyne Williams (5), in progress
Eight first-round matches (four men’s and four women’s matches) were to be played Thursday with men’s and women’s semifinals scheduled for Friday and finals on Saturday. Due to the postponement of play, the event has been extended through Sunday.
Saturday 4 pm: Two women’s semifinals followed by two men’s semifinals
Sunday 11 am: Women’s final followed by men’s final
Tickets will be honored at any session.
Playoffs? Playoffs? Playoffs!
It’s a word that DC-area sports fans don’t get to hear terribly often and the USTA must have felt the National Capital Area’s pain. The Washington Capitals don’t count. If you make the post-season every year and break your fan’s hearts again and again, that’s torture, not playoffs. With Mitchell Frank, Denis Kudla and Bobby Reynolds, there should be a lot for locals to cheer about this weekend in College Park.
We’ve confirmed wi-fi, requested interviews and gassed up the car. With 8 US Open Wild Card matches being played today, we’re going to be busy tweeting photos, shooting video and sprinting between the three match courts and the practice courts. Expect tons of twitter, at least one website post from the venue, and plenty of multi-media content later tonight.
Below is the full press release from the Tennis Center at College Park. See you there. We like the part about media availability for all players TODAY! Will we be able to tuck them into their hotel beds tonight?
COLLEGE PARK, MD – Three of the four local players in the US Open Wildcard Playoffs, who are competing for main draw singles wildcards into the men’s and women’s draws at the 2011 US Open, have a unique home court advantage when play opens tomorrow at 3 pm at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), 5200 Paint Branch Parkway.
Ellicott City’s Trice Capra, Annandale’s Mitchell Frank, and Arlington’s Denis Kudla have all trained for years at the USTA Certified Regional Training Center. In addition, Washington Kastles’ Bobby Reynolds is a local favorite.
Schedule of play includes eight first round singles matches on Thursday as follows:
Julia Cohen (1)
Nicole Gibbs (8)
Ashley Weinhold (2)
Madison Keys (7)
Tennys Sandgren (4)
Rhyne Williams (5)
Denis Kudla (2)
Bjorn Fratangelo (7)
Ahsha Rolle (4)
(5)Gail Brodsky (3)
Jessica Pegula (6)
Bobby Reynolds (1)
Bradley Klahn (8)
Daniel Kosakowski (3)
Mitchell Frank (6)
Trice Capra is the defending Champion of the US Open Wildcard Playoffs. Last year she reached the third round of the US Open. Capra is entering Duke University in September.
Mitchell Frank is the 2011 USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships finalist. Frank has recently reached two semifinals and a quarterfinal on the Futures Circuit. He is the 2010 16 and under Orange Bowl finalist. Frank will attend the University of Virginia in September.
Denis Kudla reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, RI in July. He is currently ranked #325 and was a US Open Boys’ singles finalist in 2010.
Bobby Reynolds, who is the No. 1 seed in the US Open Wildcard Playoff for the men, starred for the Washington Kastles and helped the team complete an undefeated season in 2011 and was selected as World Team Tennis’ Rookie of the Year in 2010. Bobby has achieved a career high ranking of #63 in the world.
Four of last season’s top collegians round out the men’s field. Daniel Kosakowski (Huntington Park, CA) turned professional after his freshman year at UCLA and recently won his first Tour-level match at the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles. Tennys Sandgren (Gallatin, TN), a rising junior at the University of Tennessee, recently won back-to-back Futures titles on the USTA Pro Circuit. Rhyne Williams (Knoxville, TN), the 2011 NCAA singles runner-up for the University of Tennessee, turned pro after winning his second professional title in June at the USTA Pro Circuit Futures in Innisbrook, FL. Bradley Klahn (Poway, CA) won the 2010 NCAA men’s singles title and will be a senior at Stanford this fall. Bjorn Fratangelo (Plum, PA), who completes the field, is the first American since John McEnroe in 1977 to win the French Open boys’ singles title.
The women’s field includes top-seeded Julia Cohen (Philadelphia, PA), a former All-American for the University of Miami who in May reached the final of an ITF Pro Circuit $25,000 event in Thailand and two former USTA Girls’ 18s National Champions in 2007 champion Ashley Weinhold (Austin, TX), and 2008 champion Gail Brodsky (Brooklyn, NY), as well as two-time USTA Girls’ 18s runner-up Nicole Gibbs (Santa Monica, CA), who as a freshman helped lead Stanford to the final of the 2011 NCAA women’s team championships. Rounding out the field are Madison Keys (Boca Raton, FL), who won her first professional title in 2010 at the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 event in Cleveland; Jessica Pegula (Boca Raton, FL), who reached her first professional final in January at the USTA Pro Circuit $25,000 event in Lutz, Fla.; and Ahsha Rolle (Miami Shores, FL), a 10-time champion on the USTA Pro Circuit who reached the third round of the 2007 US Open.
Seeding for the event is based on this week’s ATP World Tour and WTA Rankings, and there will be media availability with the players on Wednesday, August 17. For additional information including ticket pricing, please visit www.jtcc.org.