I don’t think I love anything more than Charleston qualifying. It’s the unofficial beginning of my annual pro tennis tour and the baby sunburns I get in Charleston remind me of the scorching American hardcourt circuit ahead.
Tena Lukas? As Donald Trump would say, “Who knew keeping up with the WTA could be so hard?” Yes it is, but the previously unknown to me Lukas exasperated an impressive early crowd, many of whom left after the first set in a 6-1, 6-1 destruction of Samantha Crawford which commenced the Americans woes yesterday. When I asked her if she liked the Charleston surface, she gave the predictable but extremely enthusiastic “I do now!” response.
Only 3 Americans are left out of 11 in the first round of qualifying, but two emerged from All-American matches. There are players of 13 nationalities still vying for the 8 main draw spots to be awarded later today. Muhammad, Kenin and Min are your Americans on the march in qualifying.
Ana Bogdan was particularly animated after a 6-1, 6-0 55 minute slammer over Aleks Wozniack. Bogdan will play Romanian counterpart Alexandra Dulgheru in one of the final matches of the day. Speaking of Wozniak, I thought that the Canadian’s loss earlier in the day foreshadowed Caroline Wozniacki’s loss in Miami. I’m very superstitious that way. And Wozniak is showing such poor form that I expect little from her in the near future.
In the outdoor bar, I overheard one woman say, “but I do like Ted Cruz.” And I waited, but then she started onto something else. How was I to take this without context? It shall haunt me for time immemorial.
Now for the draw ceremony. First of all, why are we still picking poker chips out of buckets in the 21st century? Second, two kids in front of me were really mad that Shelby Rogers wasn’t at the draw ceremony. They didn’t seem to care less that an Olympic Gold Medalist was right in front of them. They wanted their darn Shelby.
Here’s your Order of Play for this Sunday, April 2, which is the laziest day of the tourney for the next 5 days. It’s a chance for organizers and volunteers to put in a rare 9-5 workday and a chance for me to move out of North Charleston and enjoy slightly more reasonable downtown hotel weekday rates. It’s going to be a great day.
VOLVO CAR OPEN – CHARLESTON, SC, USA
APRIL 3 – 9, 2017
RESULTS – APRIL 1, 2017
Qualifying Singles – First Round
Qualifying – S. Kenin (USA) d  T. Townsend (USA) 64 63
Qualifying –  S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) d J. Elie (USA) 75 61
Qualifying –  A. Bogdan (ROU) d A. Wozniak (CAN) 61 60
Qualifying –  A. Krunic (SRB) d E. Halbauer (USA) 62 62
Qualifying –  O. Jabeur (TUN) d A. Hlavackova (CZE) walkover
Qualifying –  G. Min (USA) d [WC] M. Gordon (USA) 63 75
Qualifying –  V. Cepede Royg (PAR) d C. Dolehide (USA) 63 63
Qualifying – A. Rodionova (AUS) d  S. Vickery (USA) 63 63
Qualifying –  A. Muhammad (USA) d D. Jurak (CRO) 64 60
Qualifying – A. Dulgheru (ROU) d  L. Hradecka (CZE) 62 63
Qualifying – T. Lukas (CRO) d  S. Crawford (USA) 61 61
Qualifying – J. Maleckova (CZE) d  C. Burger (NED) 26 64 76(6)
Qualifying – F. Stollar (HUN) d  T. Pereira (BRA) 61 60
Qualifying – F. Ferro (FRA) d  M. Gonzalez (PAR) 46 60 76(4)
Qualifying –  S. Karatantcheva (BUL) d [WC] C. Morra (USA) 64 63
Qualifying – A. Carreras (GBR) d  J. Teichmann (SUI) 75 62
ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2017
ALTHEA GIBSON CLUB COURT start 10:00 am
Qualifying –  S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) vs T. Lukas (CRO)
Qualifying – S. Kenin (USA) vs F. Ferro (FRA)
Qualifying –  G. Min (USA) vs F. Stollar (HUN)
COURT 3 start 10:00 am
Qualifying –  V. Cepede Royg (PAR) vs A. Carreras (GBR)
Qualifying – A. Rodionova (AUS) vs  S. Karatantcheva (BUL)
Qualifying –  A. Bogdan (ROU) vs A. Dulgheru (ROU)
COURT 4 start 11:00 am
Qualifying –  A. Krunic (SRB) vs J. Maleckova (CZE)
Qualifying –  O. Jabeur (TUN) vs  A. Muhammad (USA)