It’s been an uneven first two days at the 2012 U.S. Open, with everything going to form on Arthur Ashe Stadium and chaos ruling on the outside courts. Thus far, all 10 matches in Arthur Ashe Stadium have been decided in straight sets (the closest set score: 6-4) while on the outside courts there have been upsets and long matches; yesterday alone, unseeded American doubles teams knocked out the number one, number four and number seven doubles teams in the world. John Isner hopes that trend continues today when he takes to the Arthur Ashe Stadium court against Xavier Malisse for his first U.S. Open as the top-seeded American man. On the outside courts, two of the best tennis stories of 2012 will look continue their magical runs, with comeback kid Brian Baker returning to the U.S. Open main draw for the first time since 2005, and U.S. Olympian Varvara Lepchenko looking to extend the best season of her career at age 26.
A pair of collegiate stars will also be in action today, with two-time defending NCAA men’s singles champion Steve Johnson hoping to break a run of futility among NCAA men’s champs against fellow American Rajeev Ram and two-time defending NCAA women’s doubles champion Mallory Burdette eyeing a spot in the third round of her maiden Grand Slam event. Burdette was scheduled to take on two-time U.S. Open women’s doubles champions and reigning Olympic gold medal winners Serena and Venus Williams with Stanford teammate Nicole Gibbs. The duo won the NCAA doubles title together this summer, but Gibbs withdrew yesterday with an injury.
The total attendance for Day Two of the 2012 U.S. Open was 56,780, including 33,009 for the Day Session and 23,771 for the Night Session.
Americans in action on Day Three of the 2012 U.S. Open
►Brian Baker, Nashville, Tenn.
►Mallory Burdette, Jackson, Ga.
►Ryan Harrison, Austin, Texas
►Varvara Lepchenko, Allentown, Pa.
►John Isner, Tampa, Fla.
►Steve Johnson, Orange, Calif.
►Bradley Klahn, Poway, Calif.
►Mallory Burdette, Jackson, Ga.
►Rajeev Ram, Carmel, Ind.
►Irina Falconi, Atlanta
►Nicole Gibbs, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
►Madison Keys, Boca Raton, Fla.
►James Blake, Tampa, Fla.
►Vania King, Long Beach, Calif.
►Bob Bryan, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
►Raquel Kops-Jones, Fresno, Calif.
►Mike Bryan, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
►Dennis Novikov, San Jose, Calif.
►Grace Min, Norcross, Ga.
►Sam Querrey, Las Vegas
►Melanie Oudin, Marietta, Ga./New York, N.Y.
►Michael Redlicki, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.
►Jessica Pegula, Boca Raton, Fla.
►Bobby Reynolds, Acworth, Ga.
►Maria Sanchez, Modesto, Calif.
►Michael Russell, Houston
►Abigail Spears, San Diego
►Serena Williams, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
►Venus Williams, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
►Eric Butorac, Rochester, Minn.
►Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Phoenix
► Sloane Stephens, Coral Springs, Fla.
Doubles Report: Americans knock out three of the top seven seeds
It was a tremendous day for American men’s doubles teams yesterday, with all-American tandems teaming to defeat the number one seeds, the reigning U.S. Open Men’s Doubles finalists and the number seven seeds. The brother tandem of Ryan & Christian Harrison kicked things off by upsetting the number four seeds and 2011 U.S. Open Men’s Doubles finalists, Mariusz Fyrstenberg & Marcin Matkowski, 7-6, 2-6, 7-6. Ryan, 20, has established himself as one of the top young players in the world, while Christian, 18, is making the transition from the junior to the pro ranks. This is Christian’s first appearance in a Grand Slam main draw.
The Harrisons weren’t the only Americans to register a big upset yesterday, however, with Nicholas Monroe & Donald Young defeating the number seven seeds, Michael Llodra & Nenad Zimonjic, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. The biggest upset came last, with 2010 U.S. Open boys’ singles champion Jack Sock—who on Monday upset 22nd-seeded Florian Mayer in singles—and two-time defending NCAA men’s champion Steve Johnson knocking off the top-seeded team of Max Mirnyi & Daniel Nestor, 1-6, 7-6, 6-2.
In other doubles action yesterday, the all-American tandem of Brian Baker & Rajeev Ram moved into the second round, as did American Eric Butorac, playing with Australian Paul Hanley, and Scott Lipsky, playing with Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez.
Wednesday's pre-match vocalist
Eleven-year-old Katie Garthe of Miller Place, N.Y., will perform “America the Beautiful” during today’s matches. Garthe is one of the 12 selections from the 150 kids ages 12 and under who answered the USTA’s Casting Call for singers at Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater in New York City in June. The winners receive a once-in-a-lifetime-chance to perform in front of thousands of fans at the U.S. Open.
“I am very excited for Wednesday night,” said Garth. “I am going to have a big audience. It is an honor to perform [at Arthur Ashe Stadium]. I have been practicing every day with a Karaoke machine in my house, adjusting for the echo effect I will have in the middle of the stadium.”
This will be the biggest performance of her Garth’s young career. She is no stranger to large crowds, as she regularly sings the national anthem during North Fork Ospreys baseball games, in Peconic, N.Y. Garth also has performed in many musicals in school and in her community. She loves to dance, sing and play instruments, including flute and piano. She has auditioned for Broadway shows and has done various voiceover work. This fall, Garth will be attending North Country Road Middle School.
With David Nalbandian’s withdrawal announced yesterday, line #98 in the men’s singles draw will be replaced by Lucky Loser Florent Serra of France, and with the withdrawal of Nalbandian/Schwank, the alternate team of Thomaz Bellucci & Joao Souza of Brazil will be on line #29 of the men’s doubles draw.
In women’s doubles, the American team of Mallory Burdette & Nicole Gibbs have withdrawn. Line #43 will be taken by the alternate American team of Lindsay Lee-Waters & Megan Moulton-Levy.