@CitiOpen Post-Match Video Exclusive: Usue Arconada Cruises To Qualifying Final
Steve Fogleman, TennisEastCoast.com
Almost a year and a half ago, I interviewed Ray Benton, the CEO of the Junior Tennis Champions Center at The Tennis Center at College Park, Maryland.
During that interview, he brought up a name that made me call him back to spell-check. It was Usue Arconada.
Benton said that Arconada was “as good as any of them”, referring to the deep bench of junior talent that trains at the Tennis Center. He called her “a tiger” and said that JTCC Coach Frank Salazar was bringing her all the way from Argentina to train in Maryland.
Well, the JTCC finally let the tiger out of the cage today. 14-year-old Usue (OO-SWAY) Arconada showed power and poise in a 7-5, 6-3 mauling of qualifier Maria Irigoyen (ARG) at a Citi Open qualifying opening round match in Washington, D.C.
Today marked Arconada’s professional tennis debut and she did not disappoint.
After the match, I interviewed Coach Salazar and Arconada herself. It turns out that last night she stayed at the home of her coach with fellow JTCC phenom Francis Tiafoe and brother, Jordy Arconada, with his own name on the Junior Tennis Watch List.
To keep her mind off the big match, the boys distracted her with Xbox and jokes.
Tomorrow, Arconada will play Alexandra Mueller for a spot in the main draw of a WTA International event. Even though Mueller is from Pennsylvania and would’ve been considered a local favorite, Arconada is already the toast of this town.
Scores of JTCC students, staff, coaches and supporters were in the stands today, cheering her on, including Tiafoe and brother Jordy.
As you can see from the video interview, Arconada’s poise shines through off the court as well.
As Ray Benton might say: “Go get ’em, Tiger!”