Kudla, Jabeur Among Early Qualifiers on @CincyTennis Sunday; Strycova, Puig Out
Steve Fogleman in Mason
It’s easily been some of the loveliest August tennis-watching weather I remember in Cincinnati qualifying, and it’s always reassuring to see jammed stands and practice sessions. Soon the crescendo of the American tour will begin, as the tennis world moves onto New York. That’s a world away from the smell of the chili in Mason and, I’ve said it before, this is America’s U.S. Open. After the Open, the world of tennis shrinks for me. The Challengers, where dozens cheer, kick up in the fall and while there are quality offerings all over the country, there’s something beautiful in the way Cincinnati serves its experience. This moring was no exception.
Denis Kudla had a packed Court 4 of American supporters, and he became the first man to book a trip to the main draw here today with a solid 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory over 20-year-old Aussie Alexei Popyrin. Ons Jabeur was the first women’s qualifier of the day, winning 11 straight games en route to a thrashing of crowd favorite Andrea Petkovic, 6-3, 6-0 in 59 minutes.
Was it a late night out? Monica Puig looked exhausted at the conclusion of yesterday’s qualifying win, and she was not ready to bounce on court this morning as Veronika Kudermetova took full advantage with a 6-2, 6-1 exit for the gold medalist.
Speaking of deer-in-the-headlights, top qualifying seed Barbora Strycova, who played both of her matches on Stadium, went out with a whimper in a 6-2, 6-1 routining at the hands of Rebecca Peterson.
We’ll be back later.