Nicolas Jarry (CHI) at the Junior US Open
The last time that Nicolas Jarry of Chile was at the U.S. Open was as a spectator in 2009, that is except when he practiced and played a tiebreaker with his grandfather out on Court 16. On Tuesday, the 17-year-old Jarry, the 11th seed in the boys’ draw, played his first junior match at the U.S. Open, which coincidentally was contested on Court 16. He won 75 63 over American wildcard recipient Ernesto Escobedo, which marks his first singles victory at a junior Grand Slam after playing the three other majors this year. “I’m very happy for the first win,” Jarry said. “I’m playing very good tennis the last three weeks. I’ve had some physical problems with my (right) elbow, but with the rain yesterday I had two days to recover.”
As for how his tiebreaker went against his grandfather, Jarry said he doesn’t remember the outcome, but thought he might have won it. But it wouldn’t have been too surprising if he had lost that tiebreaker as his grandfather, Jaime Fillol, isn’t simply a tennis enthusiast. Fillol is a former world No. 14 ranked player, won six career titles, reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals in singles (1975), was a doubles finalist at the French Open (1972) and U.S. Open (1974), and led Chile to the Davis Cup final in 1975. Fillol was instrumental in the politics of the game and is a former ATP tour president.
“He’s not my coach, but I play with him sometimes,” said Jarry, of Fillol. “We don’t play matches though. We played the last time we came here and we practiced on the same court I played today.” Jarry is about to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps as he was named on Tuesday to the Chilean Davis Cup team that will play the Domincan Republic in Group I, second round play-off action, September 13-15, 2013. But before he can head to Davis Cup, he has to finish playing here at the U.S. Open. He’ll square off against Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia in the second round.
While this is Jarry’s first season playing at the Grand Slams, second-seeded Gianluigi Quinzi has been competing in the juniors at the majors since 2011. Quinzi , the reigning WImbledon champion, took a 62 64 win over Japanese qualifier Yusuke Takahashi. The Italian did lead 63 41, but then faltered a bit before closing out the first-round encounter. “Today I played not my 100 percent, I played my 80 percent,” Quinzi said. “I played good the important points. I’m happy for my first match, but I feel I have to play better.”
Quinzi doesn’t believe that the Wimbledon title adds too much pressure to his ability to play without distraction this week. He next plays local 17-year-old, Noah Rubin, of Merrick, New York. Playing Rubin will require focus on Quinzi’s part from the standpoint that Rubin tends to have a lot of friends and family that come out to watch. “I have pressure but I can play my tennis because I’m not tight,” Quinzi said. “I just have to go on the court and play my game, that’s all.”
On the girls’ side of the draw, 10th-seeded Louisa Chirico of USA sent Viktoriya Lushkova of the Ukraine packing 63 64 in 73 minutes. “It felt good out there today and I’m happy with how I played,” said Chirico, who is still undecided as to whether she will turn pro or play at college next year. “I never played her in singles or doubles so I didn’t know too much about her.”
The 17-year-old Chirico is taking her matches step-by-step at the U.S. Open where last year she lost in the first round. Now into the third round this year, Chirico already reached the semifinal of Roland Garros and Wimbledon this year, losing to eventual champion Belinda Bencic on both occasions. “Honestly, the only pressure I feel is if I put it on myself and I’m trying not to,” Chirico said. “I just try to do my best and I know that’s all I can do.” Chirico will face American wildcard recipient Michaela Gordon in the third round. The 14-year-old Gordon stunned fifth-seeded Darya Kasatkina of Russia 64 63 in their second round match.