The #USOpen50 Main Draws have been vicious on #TeamSoCal this week, leaving only Rancho Palos Verdes’ Taylor Fritz in the mix as we near the third round. Fritz emerged from a match with Jason Kubler (AUS) after having played just more than two sets of play before Kubler retired with injury. That’s a blessing for the 20-year old American, who opened the campaign with a hot, humid five-setter on Monday. He’ll need that rest and relaxation in preparing for the third round opponent, #9 Dominic Thiem.
Thiem played a marathon with Redondo Beach’s Steve Johnson in Round Two, one that began with Johnson locking up a first set tiebreak, but ending with Thiem running away with a 6-1 fifth and final set.
Both Claire Liu (Thousand Oaks) and Vania King (Monterey Park) fell in the tournament’s second round singles, but King returns to women’s doubles – her specialty – as the #11 seed alongside Katarina Strebotnik of Slovakia.
In fact, there’s plenty of #SoCalTennis talent still in the hunt as the doubles brackets take shape. Along with Vania King, Coco Vandeweghe (Sancho Santa Fe) teams with Ashleigh Barty (AUS) as the #12 seed.
The surprising split of successful USC tandem Santamaria/Christian finds Kaitlyn Christian (Orange) paired with Rebecca Peterson (SWE) and Sabrina Santamaria (Los Angeles) teaming with Santa Monica’s Nicole Gibbs.
Former UCLA Bruin Jennifer Brady and Long Beach’s Asia Muhammad have won their opening round match, dispatching the #8 seeds in the process.
On the Men’s side, a tough luck defeat befell former UCLA star Mackenzie McDonald in singles, but he’s on the scoreboard in Men’s doubles with a first round win alongside teammate Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.
While Bob Bryan recovers from a hip surgery that has split the legendary twin duo from Camarillo, Mike Bryan teams with Jack Sock (USA) as the #3 seed. The Bryans competed at the Open for 23 consecutive years leading up to this year’s event. But Bryan/Sock is not at all a bad combination – after all, they are the reigning Wimbledon champions after hoisting the trophy earlier this summer.
#USTennis remains alive and well, with some up-and coming names still in the race. JOHN ISNER, the #11 seed, is on to the third round and will next meet Dusan Lajovic (SRB). FRANCES TIAFOE eliminated the #29 seed in the first round and will oppose Alex De Minaur (AUS) today. Also, TENNYS SANDGREN meets an unknown youngster named Novak Djokovic in Round Two (That’s a Djoke). Along with Venus & Serena, #3 seed and defending champion SLOANE STEPHENS remains on course, as does last year’s finalist MADISON KEYS. SOFIA KENIN, TAYLOR TOWNSEND, and BERNARDA PERA are due on court Thursday.