By Ann Liguori
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NEW YORK (WFAN) — On a day when five-time US Open champion Roger Federer endured another five-set match, a few young Americans put on some very impressive performances.
Jennifer Brady, playing in the tournament’s main draw for the first time, now finds herself in the third round after a 6-1 6-1 thrashing of 23rd-seed Barbora Strýcová on Thursday. Brady dazzled with huge forehand winners on her way to wrapping things up in only 56 minutes.
At the Australian Open this past January, Brady progressed to the fourth round in her major championship debut. The 22-year-old is a former All-American as UCLA.
American Shelby Rogers, ranked 56th in the world, knocked out Daria Gavrilova, the 25th seed, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) in what was the longest women’s match ever at the US Open: 3 hours and 33 minutes. Rogers next faces No. 4 Elina Svitolina.
For a set, Nicole Gibbs, a former Stanford standout, looked like she was going to pull off the biggest upset of her career, and inside Arthur Ashe Stadium to boot. She took the first set from No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova, 6-2, using great movement and taking advantage of her opponent’s serving struggles. But then Pliskova got things going, winning the final two sets 6-3, 6-4.
Wild card American Taylor Fritz hung tight with No. 6 Dominic Thiam of Austria before succumbing in four sets.
Donald Young was able to take No. 18 Gael Monfils the distance before exiting. Monfils moved on with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 triumph.
American wild card Bjorn Fratangelo lost to Adrian Mannarino, the 30th seed, but he was able to grab a set in the process. Mannarino won 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-2. This after Fratangelo overcame 46 aces from Ivo Karlovic in his first-round match.
The USTA has put a lot of time, effort and money into developing American tennis. Their National Tennis Campus opened early this year in Orlando, Florida. It’s a 64-acre facility and designed to develop tennis players at an early age.
The USTA has created a youth brand called Net Generation as it tries to inspire a new generation of tennis players. Something new the governing body is doing this year is bringing out kids every morning before the first match starts on the Ashe court at 11 a.m., and having them rally with each other over make-shift nets. It’s great for young people to see other kids hit balls and see how much fun they’re having.
The best inspiration would be for Americans to continue to win and go deep in the draw. Let’s hope Venus Williams, Madison Keys, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Sloane Stephens and other Americans continue to get the job done.
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