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Harrison and Falconi Survive U.S Open Qualifying
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There were many years when the USTA presented U.S. Open wildcards to a host of young players who hadn't even seen sweet sixteen. An emphasis on the importance of college tennis has grown in recent years, and the Qualifying wildcards for 2010 reflected that. With the exception of 15-year-old Krista Hardebeck - who had proven herself on the junior and professional courts this year - the players chosen were a bit more experienced, and some showed that on the courts.

Junior phenom Krista Hardebeck reached Round 2
© Marcia Frost, College And Junior Tennis
The first two days of qualification at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center were filled with rain. Some matches went on for days, starting and stopping between raindrops. It wasn't until Thursday that the sun finally came out for good, and it seemed to be shining on the young Americans. Quite a few of the college and junior players made it past the first round, and those falling - USC's Steve Johnson, Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins, Florida's Bob Van Overbeek, and incoming freshmen Alex Domijian (Virginia), juniors Jordan Cox and Madison Keys - did so in close matches.

The second round of the U.S. Open was a different story. Just a month shy of her 16th birthday, Krista Hardebeck of Southern California made her first time on a New York court a major debut. This year's Easter Bowl winner had taken a bronze ball at the Girls' 18s, proving she wasn't afraid to play above her age. Hardebeck continued to relax on the U.S. Open court and it paid off with a first round win over Yurika Sema of Japan in straight sets (6-4,6-4). The second round was a bit tougher, though, and she fell to the eleventh-seeded Patricia Mayr of Austria with the same score she had been victorious with the day before.

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