Sept. 10, 2004

Jenkins and Querrey Eliminated in Tight Singles Quarterfinal Matches

Scoville Jenkins's junior winning streak was stopped at ten on a clear blue Friday afternoon on Louis Armstrong Court when he dropped a closely contested quarterfinal match to Andreas Beck, 6-3, 7-6 (5). With his Kalamazoo victory and impressive march through his first three matches in Flushing Meadows, he appeared to have a chance at a rare double of both the Kalamazoo and the US Open Junior titles in the same year. But because he was seeded a puzzling tenth, Jenkins would have needed to beat two top eight seeds, and second seed Beck was unwilling to cooperate.

Jenkins was not in top form on Friday, and several times the talented lefthander from Germany served his way out of a tight spot. The most telling statistic of the match was break points converted. Jenkins had three chances but failed to convert any of them. Beck capitalized on only one of his four, but it was at a crucial moment in the first set. Up 40-0 in the eighth game, Jenkins could not win that last point, as Beck won the next five points in succession and then held. The second set tiebreaker was unlike the first twelve games, with several mini breaks until 4-4. Jenkins, who uncharacteristically doubled faulted six times in the match, managed an effective second serve but his backhand floated long for 5-4. Beck then smacked a great backhand crosscourt on his serve to seize a match point that Jenkins saved by forcing an error. Jenkins, however, finished his junior career with a double fault, losing the tiebreaker 7-5.

Jenkins faced the loss philosophically. "I'm going to lose hundreds of matches in the next few years," he said. "I've faced three levels of tennis in just this tournament, playing Andy Roddick, then going down to the first few rounds of the juniors, and now this opponent and match, which was somewhere in between."

He'll go back up to that top level after taking next week off at his Atlanta home, when he heads to Charleston to serve as a hitting partner for the Davis Cup team. "It's a great honor to be selected, especially so late into it" (the semifinals vs. Belarus), he said. "I'm sure I'll learn a lot hitting with Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and the Bryan twins."

Sam Querrey got his first taste of the top level of junior tennis this week, and he too learned something.

"I can play with these guys,? declared the 6?5? junior from Thousand Oaks, California. ?I didn't know before I started this tournament if I could, but now I do."

Querrey put together an almost perfect first set of tennis in his quarterfinal tilt with Scotland's Andrew Murray. Using his serve, his footwork and his tennis instincts, Querrey completely baffled the third seed, 6-2. But in the second set, Querrey's first serve percentage began to drop, and Murray played his retrieval game to perfection, taking the second set 7-6 (2). Showing the effects of playing his third straight three set match, Querrey began to wilt, and the energetic Murray continued to run down shots and get them back over the net, to the tune of a 6-1 final set.

Heading back to California with his parents on Saturday, Querrey has a new way of looking at his game and his future.

"I'm hoping I can get some wild cards now, or maybe earn enough points to get in all the Grand Slams next year."

Junior Grand Slams will be a thing of the past for Brendan Evans and Scott Oudsema after this Saturday's doubles final against Beck and his partner Sebastian Rieschick. But their hopes for a third Slam title and their first US Open championship hinged on a tantalizing net cord in the third set of their late afternoon semifinal match with the Murray brothers of Scotland-Andrew and his older brother Jamie. At 4-5, the Murrays were serving at 30-40 and after a brief rally, Jamie's shot caught the tape, bounced on it, hung and then dropped back on their side, putting Evans and Oudsema in the final, with a 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4 victory. "I was hoping, " said Evans of the netcord, "but I really couldn't see it with the sun and shadow until it dropped to the court."

Evans and Oudsema know that their number one ranking and two Grand Slam titles (Australia and Wimbledon) don't guarantee wins. They have often struggled, going to three sets in every match in the draw save one. But they have two big serves and forehands, -and excellent volleys- to deflate opponents at important points. They have the confidence that comes with winning titles on the biggest junior tennis stage in the world. And a little of bit of luck never hurts either.

Source: Colette Lewis (Tournament Office)