Tennis Server ATP/WTA Pro Tennis Showcase - US Open 2010 - Way Below The Radar - Federer, Wozniacki, Chang, Beck, Soderling, Dent
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September 2, 2010

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US Open 2010, Flushing Meadows, NY, USA
September 2, 2010
Editorial by Jane Voigt.

Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Way Below The Radar
 
September 2, 2010 -- Upsets at the U. S. Open aren't new. They happen every year. But when two young wildcards take down two seeded players in an afternoon, that's something to crow about.
 
American Beatrice "Tracy" Capra conquered nerves and the big stage of Grandstand court to upset Aravane Rezai, a fiercely competitive young Frenchwoman who hits the ball as hard as a man and doesn't seem to have a middle gear. Rezai was seeded #18. She's out of the Open, as of this afternoon, having been defeated in three humiliating sets.
 
"We are all extremely happy and excited for Tracy," Vesa Tonkka, director of tennis at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park, MD, said in a phone interview. "This is a great thing for Tracy."
 
Fans, coaches and the country of Japan have patiently waited years for Kei Nishikori to break through.
 
He had advanced to the fourth round at the 2008 U. S. Open and was named the ATP Newcomer of the Year that year, too. But injuries plagued the young star. He disappeared from the scene to recover and retune. Today, the 20-year-old emerged triumphant. He out-lasted a fading Marin Cilic in a five-hour, five-set marathon. Cilic was seeded #11.
 
Capra began her rise in tennis at nine. She enrolled at the JTCC and trained there until two years ago when she was sixteen. Capra's hometown is Ellicott City, MD, one of many small, and boring according to Capra, historic towns that dot the greater Washington and Baltimore expanse. She is now under the tutelage of the a certified Regional USTA Training Center at The Evert Academy in Boca Raton, Florida.
 
"Tracy has an ability to play well in big matches," Director Tonkka said. "She stays in the long points and is good in the ones with five or more rallies."
 
These were the points that roiled Rezai. It was as if Capra's sole purpose today was to frustrate the Frenchwoman. She would string Capra wide with a walloped inside out forehand, but the ball would come back -- a high loopy thing. They gave Capra needed time to get herself back in position for the next shot.
 
Capra's balls didn't always have the pace Rezai had come to expect on tour. In her attempts to hit winners, she struck unforced errors because her technique failed off the softer responses. After a series of blunders, the frustration looked to set in. She tossed her head back and raised both arms to the sky, the way anyone would search for divine intervention in a time of crisis.
 
Capra, though, played nearly flawless percentage tennis. She sensed humiliation steaming off Rezai. Capra kept to herself, didn't get lost in the second set when Rezai whipped off whizzing winners, and waited patiently for her chances. Because when she got a ball set up, she struck it as hard as anyone on tour. Many times, these were backhand winners at sharp angles.
 
In order to gain her wildcard into the Open, Capra had to win a playoff tournament. She defeated another top American upstart, Madison Brengle, to earn her first-ever trip to a major's main draw. Tracy is ranked 371 in the world.
 
Next up for the American is Maria Sharapova or Iveta Benesova. If Sharapova advances, Capra will no doubt move uptown to Arthur Ashe Stadium for their match.
 
Capra looks up to Sharapova because of the Russian's mental toughness. Capra likes how Sharapova goes for her shots and never reveals her emotions.
 
"That really inspired me," Capra began. "One of my great assets is I'm really... I like to think that I'm mentally tough, and I'll always stay in the match until the end."
 
Tonkka could not have agreed more.
 
"Nothing comes close to what Tracy did today," Tonkka added happily. "She has improved so much."
 
Kei Nishikori's match against Marin Cilic was reminiscent of the quarterfinal battle last year between the Croatian and the future Open champion Juan Martin del Potro -- a drag-em-out roller-coaster affair that required heaps and more heaps of physical and mental exertion from both players.
 
Today's scoreline tells it best -- 57 76(6) 36 76(3) 61.
 
They both had about twice as many unforced errors as winners, which showed a battle and the mental lapses that prevented one of them to dominate. They both hit 13 aces, which isn't a big number for Cilic, who routinely pulls himself out of trouble with his serve.
 
The last set, though, was just too much for Cilic and a field day of break point conversions for Nishikori. Cilic ran out of juice.
 
Cilic arrived at the Open with a puff of steam not a full head of it. He made a decent showing in Washington at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, losing in the semifinals to eventual winner David Nalbandian. However, Cilic bowed out of Toronto and Cincinnati in the first rounds.
 
Nishikori will play the steady Albert Montanes of Spain in the third round. Montanes, seeded 21, won't bring the firepower and service strength of a Cilic. But, he will be steady just like Capra was today. And she definitely showed fans how practical patience and percentage tennis can deliver fantastic results.
 

 
[1] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d Kai-Chen Chang (TPE) {green shirt} 60 60
 
Kai-Chen Chang US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Kai-Chen Chang US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Kai-Chen Chang US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Kai-Chen Chang US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[2] Roger Federer (SUI) {blue shirt} d Andreas Beck (GER) 63 64 63
 
Beck Federer Scoreboard US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Andreas Beck US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Andreas Beck US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Andreas Beck US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Andreas Beck US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Andreas Beck US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis
Roger Federer US Open 2010 Tennis

 
 
[5] Robin Soderling (SWE) {white shirt} d Taylor Dent (USA) 62 62 64
 
Soderling Dent Scoreboard US Open 2010 Tennis
Taylor Dent US Open 2010 Tennis
Taylor Dent US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis
Taylor Dent US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis
Taylor Dent US Open 2010 Tennis
Taylor Dent US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis
Taylor Dent US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis
Taylor Dent US Open 2010 Tennis
Taylor Dent US Open 2010 Tennis
Fans US Open 2010 Tennis
Robin Soderling US Open 2010 Tennis

 
Earlier Coverage from this Event:
 
September 1, 2010 US Open: The Word - Andy Murray, Lukas Lacko, Venus Williams, Rebecca Marino, Gael Monfils, Igor Andreev
August 31, 2010 US Open: What's Age Got To Do With It? Arnaud Clement, Marcos Baghdatis, Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Jan Hajek, Viktor Troicki
August 30, 2010 US Open: And Away We Go - Melanie Oudin, Kim Clijsters, Andy Roddick, Olga Savchuk, Greta Arn, Stephane Robert
August 29, 2010 US Open: Who's In, Who's Out
 

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