US Open Main Draw
Past and Present College and Junior Players Storm U.S. Open Main Draw
by Marcia Frost, 9 September 2012
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While many focused on the veterans at the U.S. Open, such as Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, some recent college players and teenagers were also garnering the spotlight at the U.S. Open. Some came and left quickly, while others made their names known to the tennis world.
's Burdette qualified - and kept going
© Marcia Frost
The USTA Boys 18
and Girls 18
National winners received wildcards into the main draw of the U.S. Open. The luck of the draw was not with Victoria Duval
, who ended up with former champion Kim Clijsters as her first round opponent. Duval had some impressive shots before falling to Clisters 6-3, 6-1.
Eighteen year old Dennis Novikov had to postpone his return to UCLA as he used his wildcard from winning Kalamazoo to impress. His first round match against Jerzy Janowicz went to 6-2,7-6,3-6,6-3 before he took the win. He almost upset No. 31 Julien Benneteau in the second round, but the Frenchmen escaped at 3-6,6-4,7-6,7-5. Novikov did win a round of doubles with Michael Redlicki, who had been his partner for the doubles title at Kalamazoo.
Samantha Crawford, who had used her wildcard to make it through qualifying in singles, fell in the first round of the main draw to Laura Robson. That was not the case for Mallory Burdette, who continued winning in the women's singles draw, recording wins over Timea Bacsinszky and Lucie Hradecka before coming up against No. 3 Maria Sharapova. The loss to Sharapova did not discourage Burdette, who turned professional just following her U.S. Open run.
Ryan Harrison defeated Benjamin Becker in the first round of men's singles before falling in a four-set match to seventh-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro. That was not the end of the U.S. Open for Ryan Harrison, who teamed with brother Christian Harrison for an amazing journey through men's doubles, taking out the fourth and 14th seeds before finally losing in the quarterfinals to No. 9 Aisam-Ul-Haq Quereshi and Jean-Julien Rojer.
Steve Johnson has been called the greatest college tennis player of all time by some. The University of Southern California standout took his four NCAA team championships, along with two NCAA singles titles, to the U.S. Open and proved he had no trouble making the transition into the pros. He took the tournament by storm, defeating former collegian Rajeev Ram of Illinois in the first round of men's singles and then beating Ernests Gulbis in the second round, before succumbing to Gasquet in the third.