It was the opening day of qualifying at the US Open which saw several intriguing matchups. A host of Americans were on the schedule while the all-Canadian match between Eugenie Bouchard and Carol Zhao followed the all-Australian matchup involving Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Other highlights included a miraculous comeback by Ekaterine Gorgodze against French Open girls' runner-up Caty McNally, former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki as well as a marathon affair between Ukranian sensation Marta Kostyuk and Valentina Ivakhnenko.
Bouchard loses one game en route to second round, Kokkinakis needs three sets to oust Tomic
The all-Canadian showdown was dominated by Bouchard as she took control from the start, winning the first eight games, her ground game looking sharp, forcing Zhao into several mistakes. She was also dissatisfied with a few of the line calls in the match, saying "It was pretty loud and obvious. You don't need a machine to make that call."
Tomic and Kokkinakis have taken different paths down the rankings, injuries forcing the former to have to battle back to regain his standing while bad results and a terrible attitude have crippled the latter. It was Tomic who claimed the opening set 6-3 before surrendering eight games on the trot to fall behind 2-0 in the third, Kokkinakis moving on 6-0 6-3 in the final two sets.
Gorgodze moves on thanks to amazing recovery, Kostyuk edges Ivakhnenko
Playing on Court 8, McNally, the Roland Garros girls' finalist, looked to be heading to a decisive win, leading Gorgodze 6-0, 5-0 only to see the Georgian pull off one of the greatest comebacks the tournament has ever seen, winning 13 of the last 15 games of the match for a 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory. When asked what she was thinking after falling behind by such a big margin, the 26-year old said "I just took it one point at a time. I had no choice".
For the 15-year old, she was making her debut in the senior competition and was quickly behind to the Russian by a set and a break, but Ivakhnenko failed to serve out the match in the second set twice, the Ukranian winning the second set tiebreak 8-6. It was more of the same in the third, with Kostyuk claiming a dramatic 7-4 tiebreaker to move on. Lisicki was a 6-4, 6-3 loser to Belarus' Olga Govortsova.
Mixed results for Americans on opening day
With a number of Americans in action, Australian Open junior champion Sebastian Korda posted one of the highlight victories, rallying from a set and a break down to oust Dennis Novikov. On Court 12, in front of a near-full crowd, Donald Young knocked off Mats Moraing in straight sets.
Other American victors were Francesca Di Lorenzo, Gail Brodsky, Jessica Pegula, Varvara Lepchenko, Kristie Ahn, Jamie Loeb, Bjorn Fratangelo, Evan King, Christian Harrison and JC Aragone.
Americans who were eliminated were Kevin King, Tom Fawcett, Ann Li, Victoria Duval, Kayla Day, Katerina Stewart and Allie Kiick.