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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Six Americans Advance on Hot and Humid First Day of the US Open Junior Championships


©Colette Lewis 2014--
Flushing Meadows, NY--

The late afternoon thunderstorms arrived as predicted around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, but before rain suspended play, six Americans had posted victories as the first round of the US Open Junior Championships began.

One of them, Henrik Wiersholm, may have wished the rain had come early in the day, because although he managed to get through his match with Joao Menezes of Brazil, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, during it, he said "I literally felt like I was dying."

Wiersholm had started his day hitting with Giles Simon, who upset No. 4 seed David Ferrer on Louis Armstrong Stadium a few hours later, but his health deteriorated, with a sore throat and diarrhea the symptoms.  The 49th-ranked Wiersholm easily took the first set from Menezes, ranked 23, but the oppressive heat and humidity began to take its toll on an already weakened Wiersholm.  Up 3-1 in the second set, he was doubled over in pain, and had to have treatment on the changeover.

"It wasn't just exhaustion, I felt like I had to puke," Wiersholm told Simon Cambers, who reports on junior tennis for the ITF website. "It was terrible. I went to the lady and said I need a trainer, I couldn’t even stand up. I got a few minutes rest and was able to recuperate. They gave me an ice bag, I used it the rest of the match. After that it became a lot less about tennis. I hit a wall, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t serve properly, otherwise I was cramping. The heat was definitely a factor, it was the dehydration before it and then the heat afterwards. It was a situation where literally I felt like I was dying. I was just playing one-hit points. I thought I played pretty smart just going for shots. He got a bit nervous, I got a second wind at 3-3 in the third set and I thought I’m just going to find a way."

Despite all his difficulties in the second set, Wiersholm twice served for the match at 5-4 and 6-5, unable to win either game, and when he lost the tiebreaker, the outlook wasn't good. But he survived, saving six of the seven break points he faced, and is understandably happy to have done so.

"It was definitely very satisfying," Wiersholm told Cambers.  "I should get a day off tomorrow and that will be huge. I’m confident that it will definitely change (for the better)."

Alex Rybakov also suffered from cramping in his 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Nino Serdarusic of Croatia, needing treatment after the match.  A trainer massaged his left leg on the changeovers in the third set, but other than his tendency to keep the rallies short, Rybakov wasn't noticeably impeded.  In the final set, Rybakov 2-0, 4-1 and 5-2, but had to save a break point serving for the match at 5-3.  He hit a forehand winner to save it and another forehand that caught the line to give himself a match point.  He converted it with a well-struck backhand that forced an error from Serdarusic, who also seemed to physically struggling in the aftermath of the match.

No. 6 seed Francis Tiafoe needed just over an hour to defeat Chan-yeong Oh of Korea 6-2, 6-3 on the new show court 5.  Six US boys lost on Sunday, with wild card Aron Hiltzik falling to No. 5 seed Quentin Halys of France 7-5, 6-3, despite being up a break in both sets, Tommy Paul lost to No. 8 seed Roman Safiullin of Russia 6-4, 6-3 and Logan Smith fell to No. 9 seed Marcelo Zormann of Brazil 6-3, 6-1. Wild card Walker Duncan, who replaced an injured Ernesto Escobedo,  lost to Juan Jose Rosas of Peru 6-3, 6-3, wild card Deiton Baughman fell to Omar Jasika of Australia 7-6(4), 7-5, and Dennis Uspensky was beaten by top seed Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-3, 6-0.

Boys seeds eliminated on Sunday were No. 11 seed Jumpei Yamasaki of Japan, who lost to Lucas Miedler of Austria 7-6(1), 6-4, No. 13 seed Matias Zukas of Argentina, who was beaten by Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus and No. 16 seed Nicolas Alvarez, who was ousted by Martin Blasko of Slovakia.


Unlike the boys, the girls matches scheduled for the day were not completed, with Americans Brooke Austin, Dasha Ivanova and Sofia Kenin in various stages of their matches when the rain began. No. 4 seed Tornado Alicia Black had yet to begin her match.

Three US girls did post wins Sunday afternoon, all of them 15 years old, with Michaela Gordon taking out Miriam Kolodziejova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2, Usue Arconada having a surprisingly easy 6-1, 6-1 victory over last week's Repentigny Grade 1 semifinalist Gabriella Taylor, and Kelly Chen collecting her first junior slam victory over Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia by the curious score of 6-0, 6-7(6), 6-0.

Chen had two match points leading 6-4 in the second set tiebreaker, but admitted she was felt the tension of her first US Open junior match in the second set.

"I was a bit nervous in the second set," Chen said. "I wasn't hitting my shots as well. I think I choked.  Most of the time was up 40-15, and I would just lose four points in a row, so it was a bit frustrating in the second set. I really wanted to win this first match and it was nerve-wracking."

Even though she quickly took a big lead in the third set, Chen said she couldn't relax until she had taken the final point.

"I was never really was comfortable," said Chen, from Cerritos, California. "I was just really nervous, and I'm shaking right now. I don't think I was comfortable throughout the whole match. It's my first time in New York, and I really want to do well this tournament."

Chen will face No. 11 seed Anna Kalinskaya in the second round, after the 15-year-old Russian defeated Bianca Turati of Italy 6-3, 6-4. Kalinskaya beat Chen 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the ITF Grade 1International Hard Court Championships two weeks ago in College Park, Maryland.

Katrine Steffensen lost to Greetje Minnen of Belgium 6-4, 6-2, wild card and Nationals 16s champion Kylie McKenzie was beaten by No. 16 seed Olga Fridman of Ukraine 6-1, 6-2 and Jessica Ho lost to Dalmi Galfi of Hungary 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.

The upset of the day in girls first round action saw Anna Bondar of Hungary defeat No. 5 seed and Wimbledon finalist Kristina Schmiedlova of Slovakia 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

The doubles tournament begins on Monday, with two Americans part of the top-seeded teams.  Stefan Kozlov, who is still alive in mixed doubles with Christina McHale, is playing with Rublev of Russia, and the Wimbledon finalists are the top boys seeds.  CiCi Bellis and Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, the French Open finalists, are the top seeds in the girls doubles draw.

Draws, results and the order of play for Monday are at usopen.org.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dolehide Joins 35 Other US Juniors in Main Draw of US Open; Ruse, Santillan Sweep Repentigny Grade 1 Titles


The US started Saturday with six players hoping to make it to the main draw of the US Open, but only one made it through--15-year-old wild card Caroline Dolehide.

Dolehide, the younger sister of UCLA's Courtney Dolehide, had no trouble adjusting to her first visit to the US Open, dropping only ten games in winning both her qualifying matches.

On Friday, Dolehide defeated No. 9 seed and 89th-ranked Emily Arbuthnott of Great Britain 6-2, 6-4 and on Saturday she was the first player earn a spot in the main draw, thumping No. 2 seed and 63rd-ranked Lucie Wargnier of France 6-2, 6-2.

Dolehide, who didn't make the trip to New York when Courtney played in the US Open Junior back in 2009, said the surface on the practice courts outside the East Gate helped the recent improvement she's made to one of her strokes.

"Every match is hard, but I think I played really well today, I played the wind right," said Dolehide, a Hinsdale, Illinois resident. "I've changed my serve and it's a lot harder. And these courts are a little faster, so I impact the person more. Fast and high bouncing courts have really been helping."

As she headed inside the gates to pick up her player credential, Dolehide marveled at the thousands of fans spilling out from the boardwalk leading from the subway platform near the East gate.

"It's really nice to play here," said Dolehide, a rising sophomore who will be 16 next week. "Seeing all these people cheering for me really pumps me up. It's amazing, just being here is amazing."

As a qualifier, Dolehide will get the day off on Sunday, and was looking forward to her hours of leisure as a main draw junior participant.

"I'll get my all-access pass, eat lunch with the pros, and then go back to the hotel and have a nice dinner."

Wild cards Gianni Ross and Connor Hance both fell in three-setters Saturday, with Ross losing 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-2 to Simon Soendergaard of Denmark and Hance falling to Simone Roncalli, one of three Italians to qualify, 6-0, 6-7(6), 6-1. 

Wild card Alexandra Sanford lost to No. 4 seed Margot Yerolymos of France 6-0, 6-2, Johnisse Renaud was beaten by No. 3 seed Vera Lapko of Belarus 6-4, 6-1 and Madison Bourguignon fell to No. 10 seed Katherine Sebov of Canada 6-1, 6-3.  Bourguignon will be playing in the main draw however, with the late withdrawal of Canada's Francoise Abanda.

Another lucky loser was needed for the boys draw, with the withdrawal of David Poljak of the Czech Republic, and it went to Jordi Arconada, who trains in College Park, Maryland, but plays for Argentina.

Wild card Ernesto Escobedo, who had reached the final round of men's qualifying last week, withdrew with an injury and Walker Duncan has replaced him in the draw.

In all there are 19 girls and 17 boys from the United States competing in the junior championships this year, and as is now always the case in ITF junior competitions, they are separated in the draw, so none will play each other in the first round.

Twenty of the 36 will be in action on Sunday, starting at 11 a.m.

The US Open boys seeds:
1. Andrey Rublev (Russia)
2. Orlando Luz (Brazil)
3. Jared Donaldson (USA)
4. Stefan Kozlov (USA)
5. Quentin Halys (France)
6. Francis Tiafoe (USA)
7. Duck Hee Lee (Korea)
8. Roman Safiullin (Russia)
9. Marcelo Zormann (Brazil)
10. Michael Mmoh (USA)
11. Jumpei Yamasaki (Japan)
12. Naoki Nakagawa  (Japan)
13. Matias Zukas (Argentina)
14. Taylor Fritz (USA)
15. Francisco Bahamonde (Argentina)
16. Nicolas Alvarez (Peru)

US Open Girls Seeds:
1. CiCi Bellis (USA)
2. Jelana Ostapenko (Latvia)
3. Iryna Shymanovich (Belarus)
4. Tornado Alicia Black (USA)
5. Kristina Schmiedlova (Slovakia)
6. Jil Teichmann (Switzerland)
7. Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov (Spain)
8. Paula Badosa Gibert (Spain)
9. Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)
10. Marketa Vondrousova (Czech Republic)
11. Anna Kalinskaya (Russia)
12. Anastasiya Komardina (Russia)
13. Naiktha Bains (Australia)
14. Ipek Soylu (Turkey)
15. Ioana Rosca (Romania)
16. Olga Fridman (Ukraine)

Complete draws are available at usopen.org.

At the Grade 1 in Repentigny Canada, Gabby Ruse of Romania and Akira Santillan of Australia took the singles titles.  Ruse, the No. 2 seed, defeated unseeded Katie Swan of Great Britain 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Ruse, who retired from the final at the ITF Grade 1 in College Park last week, was obviously not seriously injured then.  Swan's performance in Canada got her a special exemption into the US Open juniors main draw, and the 12th-seeded Santillan received the same reprieve from qualifying with his 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(2) win over No. 2 seed Nakagawa of Japan.

Ruse and Tami Grende of Indonesia, seeded fourth, won the doubles title 7-5, 6-2 over unseeded Chihiro Muramatsu and Yukina Saigo of Japan.

The boys doubles title went to Santillan and Halys of France, the No. 2 seeds, who won in a walkover from Nakagawa and Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands.

Friday, August 29, 2014

My US Open Junior Preview; Six American Juniors Reach Final Round of Qualifying at US Open; Mmoh and Tiafoe's Week with Pros Comes to End

©Colette Lewis 2014--
Flushing Meadows, NY--

My preview of the US Open Junior Championships can be found today at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  There's been one late change: wild card Nathan Ponwith suffered an injury and Sameer Kumar was awarded Ponwith's wild card, taking Kumar out of qualifying, where he was the No. 11 seed. 

Two American boys, both wild cards, and four American girls, two of them wild cards, advanced to Saturday's final round of qualifying.  Gianni Ross defeated No. 3 seed Lloyd George Harris of South Africa 6-3, 6-4 and Kalamazoo 16s finalist Connor Hance defeated No. 6 seed Domagoj Biljesko of Croatia 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Hance led 5-1 in the second set, only to lose six straight games, but he was able to get himself into the same situation in the third set and finished off the win.  

Wild cards Caroline Dolehide and Alexandra Sanford also took out seeded players, with Dolehide beating No. 9 seed Emily Arbuthnott of Great Britain 6-2, 6-4 and Sanford defeating No. 14 seed Ojasvinee Singh of India 6-3, 6-2.  Madison Bourguignon downed No. 6 seed Ioan Petroiu of Romania 7-5, 6-4 and Johnnise Renaud eliminated No. 12 seed Destanee Aiava of Australia 6-4, 6-3.

The finals round of qualifying begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday on the practice courts outside the East entrance gate and I will be there covering those six matches.


Although I didn't get settled in until nearly all the first round of junior qualifying matches were completed Friday, I did get an opportunity to see the second round men's doubles match with Michael Mmoh and Francis Tiafoe playing Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram.  The age disparity was remarkable, with Lipsky 33 and Ram 30, while Mmoh and Tiafoe are both 16.  The experience gap was obvious during the match, with the veterans earning the win by a 6-1, 6-4 score in front of a sparse crowd on court 17.

"We've never really played people like that who are constantly doing different stuff on the doubles court, switching on every serve," said Mmoh.  "They really played real doubles, compared to in juniors, when we never play anybody anywhere near like that. It was tough, and we obviously didn't play our best."

Mmoh and Tiafoe had beaten Victor Estrella of the Dominican Republic and Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday, but that team didn't present the same challenges.

"They didn't play doubles," Tiafoe said of their first round opponents. "We were rallying crosscourt a lot. They would come in sometimes and one guy had pretty good hands, but there was no switching, mainly rallying a lot. We played unbelievable, got a lot of rhythm from the baseline, passing well, serving great. We were hoping that would happen today, but those guys weren't having baseline rallies."

The second set was much closer than the first, with no breaks of serve until Tiafoe was broken at 4-4.  Ram then served out the match, with aces on the last two points, although the first one had to be confirmed by Hawkeye, the first challenge by either team in the match.

"We kind of forgot about it," said Tiafoe, who had been on a court with Hawkeye once before, at the Citi Open last month. "There wasn't many close calls," Mmoh added. "They were calling them pretty well," Tiafoe said. "I tried to challenge at 40-15 too, but they didn't allow me to do that, it was pretty disappointing, I thought the serve could have been long."

"At the Citi Open I tried to challenge a couple times and I was always late," Tiafoe said. "You have to do it right away. I'm usually arguing with the ref, so I'm not dong it right away."

Another perk of playing on Court 17 is the serve speed indicator, with Mmoh taking fastest serve honors with a 131 mph bomb in the sixth game of the first set.

"It was probably one of the only good things in the match," Mmoh said.

But despite the loss, Mmoh and Tiafoe have enjoyed their week in New York and the status that comes with a main draw player's credential.

"First off, the locker room is humongous compared to the juniors'," Tiafoe said. "It's night and day. You have the past champions. You see all these pros live and you're so used to seeing them on TV. It's like you're dreaming kind of. At first, me and Mmoh only talked to each other we were so out of place.  You have a lot more access too. You are able to hit on the inside courts before the juniors can, we can pretty much go wherever we want.  You're much more respected and I've signed a lot of autographs--way more than we would if we were playing juniors."

"It's really amazing to see these guys every day," said Mmoh, who mentioned a conversation with Gael Monfils as a memorable moment during the week. "The experience was probably the best I've ever had at a tournament."

Both Mmoh and Tiafoe have hit with John Isner this week, and Tiafoe has had an opportunity to renew his acquaintance with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who he met back in March at an exhibition at Madison Square Garden.

"I had a pretty deep conversation with Novak yesterday," Tiafoe said. "That was pretty exciting, and me and Andy have been talking a lot. So the fact they exchange conversations with me means a lot to me and I'm happy to have the experience this week."

Mmoh and Tiafoe will now prepare for the Junior Championships, "back to reality" as Tiafoe put it, with Saturday an off day for them.

"We'll probably sleep in a little bit, get here at a decent time. We'll probably hit with each other, sign in for the tournament, get ready for the juniors. We've both been playing pretty well, so I think we'll go on a good run here, try to go out strong with the US crowd."

Complete draws and Saturday's schedule can be found at usopen.org

Thursday, August 28, 2014

US Open Junior Qualifying Begins Friday; Bellis Falls to Diyas in Three; Gibbs Reaches Third Round; Should Bellis Sue the NCAA?

The qualifying draws for the US Open Junior Championships have been posted with eight American boys and nine American girls aiming to join the 34 US juniors already in the main draws, which will get underway on Sunday.

The boys in qualifying are Dan Kerznerman(10), Robert Levine, Sameer Kumar(11) and wild cards Gianni Ross, Patrick Kypson, Connor Hance, Sam Riffice and Jacob Brumm.

The girls in qualifying are Raquel Pedraza, Johnnise Renaud, Olivia Hauger(5), Madison Bourguignon and wild cards Kayla Day, Caroline Dolehide, Alexandra Sanford, Ryan Peus and Ellie Halbauer.

Qualifying begins at 10 a.m. Friday on the Practice courts outside the Billie Jean King National Tennis and there will be live scoring available on the usopen.org website.  The schedule for Friday's matches is here. I will be arriving in New York tomorrow afternoon, but probably won't get there in time to watch any of the first round of qualifying, although I do hope to see some of the second round men's doubles match between Francis Tiafoe and Michael Mmoh and Rajeev Ram and Scott Lipsky.

Due to long matches on Court 17 today, CiCi Bellis ended up playing her second round against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in prime time, with the support of a enthusiatic crowd.  The 15-year-old National 18s champion played well after a shaky first few games and forced a third set, but eventually fell to the 20-year-old, whose WTA ranking is 48, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2.  Bellis might have tired midway through the third set, but she did not look overmatched or out of place in any of the extended games and rallies between the two.  She now has some time to rest before the junior championships begin, and she'll be the top seed, facing an entirely different scenario than the one she competed in this week.

Former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova today at the US Open
Two-time NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs won the biggest match of her career today, defeating No. 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 on Court 17. Gibbs served for the match twice in the second set, and had a match point at 5-6 in the second set tiebreaker, but she couldn't convert. She kept fighting however, and didn't experience similar problems when she got up a break in the third set, closing out the victory to become one of just four US women in the third round. She plays No. 11 seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy next, with Serena Williams meeting Varvara Lepchenko in another third round match. Venus Williams is the only American woman in the bottom half of the draw.  Gibbs talks about overcoming that disappointing stretch in the second set in her press conference.

John Isner and Sam Querrey advanced to the third round with wins today, while Tim Smyczek will attempt to join them in third round play tomorrow.

Wild cards Stefan Kozlov and Christina McHale won their opening mixed doubles match, beating No. 7 seeds Julia Goerges of Germany and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 7-5, 2-6, 12-10.

Jared Donaldson and Michael Russell beat their fellow wild card team, Kozlov and Noah Rubin, the Kalamazoo champions, 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-4. Donaldson and Russell will play the Bryan twins in the second round.

Complete draws can be found at usopen.org.

An interesting article by Patrick Hruby on the NCAA's insistence on college athletes being amateurs was posted today on Vice Sports, with background on why the $10,000 expense rule was adopted in Division I tennis only and why CiCi Bellis should be able to keep the prize money she won at the Open without jeopardizing her ability to play college tennis in the future.  I know plenty of athletic departments fear the end of the world as they know it with the professionalization of college sports, but the Olympics and tennis, once virulently insistent on amateurism, have managed to survive and thrive without the catastrophes many in college athletics are predicting now.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wild Cards Mmoh, Tiafoe Win Opening Round Doubles at US Open; Amritraj Takes Dustin Taylor's National Collegiate Coaching Position at USTA


The good news from the US Open for American tennis fans came late Wednesday, after a downright depressing first eight hours. Sloane Stephens, seeded No. 21, went out in the second round to WTA No. 86 Johanna Larsson of Sweden 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, despite leading 3-0 in the second set and 2-0 in the third set.

Steve Johnson was up 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-0 against qualifier Tatsuma Ito of Japan when he began cramping, and after taking two game penalties for time violations and losing the next two games, barely able to hold the racquet, he retired.  Johnson discussed in his press conference the seemingly random nature of the cramps, saying the onset took him completely by surprise.

Ryan Harrison went out to No. 7 seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 7-6(4), 6-2 in the first round, and wild card Madison Brengle lost to No. 26 seed Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-1 in the second round. So Americans were 0-4 in singles until No. 20 seed Venus Williams defeated Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-1, 6-4 in a second round night match. 

Just before that match finished however, 16-year-old wild cards Francis Tiafoe and Michael Mmoh picked up their first grand slam win, defeated Victor Estrella of the Dominican Republic and Teymuraz Gabishvili of Russia 6-3, 6-4.  Tiafoe and Mmoh had no idea they were going to receive a wild card into the men's doubles, and Tiafoe had returned to College Park, Maryland to prepare for the Junior Championships after playing in his first round men's qualifying match in New York last Wednesday, planning to return to New York today or tomorrow. Mmoh, who had just lost in the semifinals of the ITF International Hard Court Championships at College Park, was preparing to return to Bradenton for a few days before the US Open Juniors, but all that changed when they went to the US Open website, tipped off by twitter, to see their names on the wild card list for men's doubles.  Once they confirmed, the frequent doubles pair rearranged their travel schedules and went to New York on Monday.

They were broken only once in the match, in the second set, although they were required to save nine break points. Immediately after they were broken, they broke right back then held for the win. They will play the winner of the match between Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram, who meet No. 15 seeds Jamie Murray of Great Britain and John Peers of Australia tomorrow.

Eleven Americans are on the singles schedule for Thursday, including CiCi Bellis, who plays 20-year-old Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan fourth on Court 17.  Free live streaming of that match and many others can be found by clicking the red Watch Live button at usopen.org.


I heard a couple of days ago that Stephen Amritraj, currently a USTA National Coach in Carson, California, will be taking over Dustin Taylor's position as National Coach for Collegiate Tennis, beginning September 1.  I spoke at length with Amritraj, who played his college tennis at Duke, this past April when I was in Carson, and he is certainly passionate about and committed to college tennis and its current and former players.  I'm sure I'll have additional opportunities to talk with him about his plans for the position next week at the American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wild Card Bellis Shocks Cibulkova in US Open First Round; Giron, Rubin, Donaldson Fall in Opening Matches


Twenty-one Americans were playing first round singles matches today at the US Open, but the show was stolen by 15-year-old wild card CiCi Bellis, who defeated No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.   Bellis, the USTA National 18s champion, was playing on newly configured Court 6, which isn't a televised court, but once she had taken the first set, ESPN managed to get a camera and Pam Shriver to the court, just in time to watch Bellis lose the second set.

Bellis went down a break early in the third set, and ESPN stuck with their John Isner studio interview, but once Bellis got the break back in the third set, they returned. From the studio Chris Evert spoke of the lack of pressure for a player in Bellis' position, and all that Cibulkova must be feeling, and that certainly did play a role in the final two games.  With a large and supportive crowd pushing her on, Bellis held, then broke, feasting on Cibulkova's second serve, to become the youngest US Open first round winner since Anna Kournikova in 1996 and the youngest American since Mary Jo Fernandez ten years earlier.

Cibulkova, who reached the Australian Open final this year, has had an awful hard court season this summer, and she looked in the few games I saw, error prone and a step slow. But Bellis took advantage and did what she is supposed to do in her situation, swing away and try to win the match. 

Now comes the tough part for Bellis, who will have to deal with all the attention and hype surrounding this win without the help of an agent, as she is still an amateur.  She plays 20-year-old Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the second round Thursday, and expectations are now much higher than they were before today's win. But coping with success hasn't been a problem for Bellis in her junior career, so that's encouraging.

Here's the New York Times account of Bellis' win.  The transcript of the Bellis news conference is here.

The American women had a great day, with Madison Keys(27), Nicole Gibbs, Vania King, CoCo Vandweghe, Christina McHale, Varvara Lepchenko and Shelby Rogers picking up victories (Serena Williams and Taylor Townsend have yet to take the court).

The news wasn't as good for American men.  Isner, the No. 13 seed, beat NCAA champion Marcos Giron 7-6(5), 6-2, 7-6(2) on Ashe, with the level extremely high in the opening set.  Giron never earned a break point however, and as usual, Isner came up with big shots in the tiebreakers.  I look forward to seeing Giron competing in the American Collegiate Invitational next week, along with Danielle Collins, who played so well on Ashe yesterday.  Both did college tennis proud this week.   Kalamazoo champion Noah Rubin lost to Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-4, 6-3, 6-0, getting down early in the first set before shaking his nerves and making a match of it at the end of the first and beginning of the second sets.  But a first serve percentage of 51 percent just isn't going to get it done at the slam level, and Rubin's errors began to mount as Delbonis continued to apply pressure with some big shotmaking.  Steve Tignor of Tennis.com filed this account of the match.

Seventeen-year-old wild card Jared Donaldson played No. 20 seed Gael Monfils of France in front of a packed house at the Grandstand this evening, with Monfils coming away with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory.  Donaldson showed his power from both sides, but made too many errors, some of which were caused by the always stunning defense of Monfils.  Monfils' serve was also superior; although he made only 54 percent of his first serves, he had much easier holds than Donaldson, who had to work so hard to hold his. Donaldson did get one break of the Monfils serve, in the third set, but he was broken both before and after that break, so it didn't provide the boost he needed to take a set.

Sam Querrey and Tim Smyczek won their first round matches today, but in addition to the losses by the wild cards Giron, Rubin and Donaldson, Jack Sock and Wayne Odesnik also lost, with Sock retiring down 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to Pablo Andujar of Spain, with a right leg or foot injury.

Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson play their first round matches Wednesday.  Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and Madison Brengle will play their second round matches Wednesday. 

2013 US Open junior champion Borna Coric of Croatia, who qualified for the main draw, made a splash today by defeating No. 29 seed Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.  The transcript of his interview can be found here.

Mixed doubles play begins Wednesday, as does women's doubles.  The complete schedule is here.

The draws are at usopen.org.