| By Brian Coleman

The U.S. Open Qualifying tournament began Tuesday with a few locals in action on a hot day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

New Jersey-born Louisa Chirico, who grew up in Harrison, N.Y., took on fellow American Samantha Crawford. After Chirico jumped out to a 6-3, 3-0 lead, Crawford found her footing and rallied to take the second set. But Chirico regained momentum with an early break in the deciding third set and never looked back, moving through to the second round with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 triumph.

Chirico, who is seeking her third straight main draw appearance at the U.S. Open, will face Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi next. Kanepi defeated Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday to advance.

Jamie Loeb, the Bronxville, N.Y. native who trained at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Sportime Randall’s island, powered into the second round of qualifying with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over South Korea’s Na-Lae Han. Loeb converted on three of her five break point chances, while saving the only two she faced to advance in just over 60 minutes.

Up next for Loeb is Russia’s Vera Zvonareva, a former world number two and 7-6, 6-1 winner Tuesday afternoon over China’s Xinyun Han

Long Island’s Noah Rubin fell in his qualifying match on Tuesday, as Germany’s Tobias Kamke defeated the former Wake Forest standout, 6-1, 6-4.

Kamke broke Rubin for 3-1 in the opening set, and would go on to win the next three games to win the first set. Kamke then converted on both of his break points in the second set to hold off any surge from Rubin and make his way into the second round.

Kamke will advance to face Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, a 6-1, 6-3 victor over Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik.

Credit all photos to Brian Coleman

New Jersey's Louisa Chirico defeated fellow American Samantha Crawford in Day One action at the 2017 U.S. Open Qualifiers


Jamie Loeb of Bronxville, N.Y. powered into the second round of the U.S. Open Qualifiers with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over South Korea’s Na-Lae Han




Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com