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Teens and veterans advance on Day 1 of qualifying

Allie Kiick readies for a return during Day 1 of qualifying.
By McCarton Ackerman
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The opening day of qualifying at the US Open featured rising stars and seasoned pros alike prevailing in their first-round qualifying matches. American teenagers Ernesto Escobedo and Louisa Chirico were among the winners on Day 1 of qualifying, while veteran American Michael Russell also advanced. 

In the first match of the day on Court 17, 18-year-old Escobedo needed less than an hour to advance past No. 24 seed Somdev Devvarman of India, 6-3, 6-2. Hammering down huge first serves and forehands throughout the match, the wild card controlled most of the rallies and kept Devvarman pinned behind the baseline.

The win over the world No. 143 was a career-best victory for Escobedo, who is currently ranked No. 509 in the world.

“Just being here is like a dream come true and to pull out the win today was amazing,” he said afterward.

Over on Court 11, No. 14 seed Russell had few problems in dispatching Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain, 6-1, 6-4. The 36-year-old is no stranger to the US Open, with nine previous main draw appearances in his career. Russell took world No. 5 David Ferrer to three sets earlier this month at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

The biggest upset of the day on the men’s side belonged to Oscar Hernandez of Spain, who defeated No. 2 qualifying seed Go Soeda of Japan, 6-3, 6-3. Injuries have limited Hernandez to just seven tournaments in the last four years,but the 36-year-old appears healthy and ready to make a bid for the main draw.

On the women’s side, former Wimbledon semifinalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia found herself in a fierce battle on Court 4 with American wild card Bernarda Pera. After two hours of intense play, the No. 13 seed proved to have too much firepower and advanced, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Lucic-Baroni has twice reached the third round of the US Open, in 1997 and 1998.

Meanwhile, on Court 7, New York native Louisa Chirico had plenty of hometown support as she eased past Maria Irigoyen of Argentina, 6-2, 6-2. The 18-year-old Chirico won her first $25,000 tournament last June in Italy.

Click here for full results from Day 1 of US Open qualifying.

Click here for updated qualifying draws.