US OPEN 2014
Kozlov Leads Home Charge On Qualifying Day Two
New York City, U.S.A.
by Josh Meiseles|
Americans Kozlov and Ram move into the second round of US Open qualifying; Tiafoe ousted in three sets.
Seven Americans will seek a berth in the final round of US Open qualifying after a strong second day on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows.
16-year-old Stefan Kozlov won his first Grand Slam qualifying match, battling back from a set deficit to claim 12 of the last 14 games for a 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory over Mitchell Frank. The former second-ranked junior blasted 30 winners and broke Frank's serve on eight of 14 opportunities. He joins Collin Altamirano, Rajeev Ram, Rhyne Williams and Austin Krajicek as American victors on Wednesday.
Kozlov will face 2013 US Open boys' champion Borna Coric in a blockbuster battle between promising young guns. Coric did not need to fire a single serve, breaking in the first and only game before No. 19 seed Thiemo De Bakker retired due to injury. The Croat recently reached his first ATP World Tour quarter-final at the Vegeta Croatia Open Umag (l. to Fognini).
Another American 16 year old, Francis Tiafoe, was unable to overcome 11th-seed Tatsuma Ito, despite benefitting from 46 unforced errors. Ito prevailed 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3.
In other action, Jimmy Wang saved a match point in a marathon second set tie-break to oust Daniel Evans 4-6, 7-6(9), 6-2 in two hours and 32 minutes. The 29 year old's legs were seizing with cramps as the match reached its conclusion.
At age 29, Konstantin Kravchuk qualified for his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon earlier this year. On Wednesday, the Russian began his quest to reach the main draw in New York in dominant fashion, routing Daniel Smethurst 6-1, 6-2 in 50 minutes.
"I saw the top-level guys at Wimbledon and I played a good match against Simon in the first round," said Kravchuk. I feel much better now. It's the mental things, the preparation, how you feel on court. You're smiling more, relaxing more, enjoying the tournaments. You believe in yourself more."