College and Junior Players at Open '13 Qualifying
by Marcia Frost, 26 August 2013
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The qualifying draws at the U.S. Open were filled with young players and those with college ties again this year. In the end, not many were left standing.
Among the women's wildcards into the U.S. Open Qualifying were Brooke Austin
, Louisa Chirico
, Victoria Duval
, Alexandra Kiick
, Jamie Loeb
, Brianna Morgan, Taylor Townsend
and Jan Abaza
, who won a $50,000 ITF doubles tournament with Chirico.
Seventeen year old Mayo Hibi, who lives in the U.S. and plays under the Japanese flag, earned her wildcard through the USTA National Playoffs. Former Georgia Tech standout Irina Falconi had direct entry into the qualifying based on her rankings.
In addition to the pro win, 17-year-old Louisa Chirico has had a dream year in the juniors, reaching the semis at both the French Open and Wimbledon Junior Championships. That dream continued on Court 17 as the native New Yorker was able to play in front of her friends and family. She gave them quite a show in the first round, dismissing Slovakia's Masa Zec-Peskiric, 6-3, 6-1.
Chirico faced a number of challenges in the second round. A day full of rain delays put her into an evening match with No. 22 seed Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Despite the odds, won the first set, 7-5, pushed the second to the same score before winning the decisive third set by a score of 6-2. Chirico came within one match of making the main draw, dropping her final match to Aleksandra Krunic 6-1, 6-3.
Jamie Loeb, also a New Yorker, had a path similar to Chirico, gaining strength from the hometown crowd. The 18-year-old University of North Carolina freshman beat Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay in straight sets in the first round before losing to Ksenia Pervak of Russia in a three-setter.
Seventeen-year-old Victoria Duval created quite a buzz on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, and it was well-deserved. She began the tournament with a quick 6-1, 6-3 win over fourth-seeded Teliana Pereira of Brazil and continued the momentum until she qualified for the main draw without ever dropping a set.