Although Sachia Vickery predicted a close match yesterday, she can’t be disappointed that she was wrong on that one. Vickery easily dispatched Victoria Duval in the final of the USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs on Sunday at Lifetime Athletic in Norcross, Georgia.
In little over an hour, Vickery simply dismantled Duval, 6-2, 6-3. Duval was nursing a sore left knee throughout the weekend, but that didn’t seem to be a factor today. After Vickery came out a little nervous early in the first set, she adjusted well. Her aggressive play left Duval guessing, and Vickery did nothing to allow Duval back into the match. Vickery painted the lines returning Duval’s serve several times, sapping any confidence Duval had left.
After the match, Vickery admitted that the big win “hasn’t sunk in yet. It’ll probably hit me when I’m playing in Auckland next week”.
Vickery stayed loose last night, attending a local high school basketball game to see her cousin play here in Norcross, Georgia. Late last night at the hotel, I saw a huge crowd of friends and supporters show up to wish her luck. She had plenty of friends in the stands today, and seemed to have at least as many supporters as Duval, who trained at this facility in the past.
She also had her aunt and uncle here all weekend, including uncle Nicholas Morain, who is pictured below. Morain was even more ecstatic than she was after witnessing three massive wins in three days.
Like everyone else in US tennis, Vickery is headed to Auckland. She will not travel with the USTA women’s player posse. She departs tomorrow with her mother and brother and will arrive in New Zealand on Christmas day. She’s actually making her flight plans right now next to me as I type this. She leaves at 10:00 a.m.
You have got to give Atlanta an amazing amount of credit. Remember, they moved this event back a week. There’s a monsoon going on in Atlanta today and it’s three days before Christmas. And yet the crowd might have down 10-15% from previous years. There are rumors swirling that this event may go the way of the US Open and French Open Wild Card Playoffs and be spread over three challenger events in the future. That would be a low down dirty shame. Atlanta deserves this event and they prove it every year.
—Stephan Fogleman, Tennis East Coast