Sixteen American men and women helped start action at the Western & Southern Open’s qualifying event. Playing for a nearly sold-out first day crowd, seven men and 12 women are vying to secure 19 spots into the main draws.
This year’s Division I NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson, who just finished his junior year at the University of Southern California, upset the No. 9 seed Jeremy Chardy 7-6(9), 6-4 to get to the second round.
Rhyne Williams, who lost to Johnson in the NCAA finals representing the University of Tennessee, didn’t have the same outcome in his match. He lost in straight sets to top seed Radek Stepanek, who’s ranked No. 27 in the world after winning the title in Washington, D.C. last week.
To get to the D.C. finals, Stepanek defeated Donald Young in the American’s first Tour semifinal. In his first round qualifying match, the 22-year old Young lost to compatriot Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-0, 6-4 in the inaugural match on the new court three.
For the women, wild card Jill Craybas, 37, defeated the No. 22 seed Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. Joining her into the second round is compatriot Alexa Glatch, 21, who beat the No. 11 seed Mathilde Johansson in straight sets.
Melanie Oudin, a ‘09 US Open quarterfinalist, lost to the No. 15 seed Kateryna Bondarenko 6-1, 6-4. This is her fifth consecutive loss.
In a closely contested match on Centre Court, India’s Sania Mirza, the No. 13 seed, edged Vania King 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-6(5).
Madison Brengle, a wild card from Delaware, was another first day casualty. The 21-year old lost to second-seeded Petra Cetkovska in three sets.
American players also in action today, who lost in the first round, included Tim Smyczek, Ryan Sweeting, Julia Cohen, Coco Vandeweghe, Irina Falconi, Varvara Lepchenko and Allie Will.
By Benjamin Snyder