Bienvenue! My name is Jamie and I like golf. I grew up playing tennis in eastern Massachusetts, but fell in love with the game after watching Se Ri Pak defeat Jenny Chausiriporn at the 1998 U.S. Womens Open. I studied Hospitality & Tourism Management (with a focus on Event, Tourism, and Convention Management) at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Tennis is my first love, but golf is a very close second. I believe style should equal substance, and the latter is nothing without the former.
The 2009 U.S. Open Qualifying tournament begins on Tuesday, and one of the players I am definitley interested in following is Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan. If you haven’t been paying attention to tour qualifying and the lower echelons of the WTA tour, Kimiko Date-Krumm is making a comeback on the WTA Tour after a 13 year absence!
Date-Krumm, who will turn 39 in September, lost in the opening round at Flushing Meadows the last time she played in 1996. Date-Krumm did make the quarterfinals at the last grand slam of the year in 1993 & 1994.
Date-Krumm, now ranked 160, will open her qualifying campaign against Ekaterina Ivanova. The 21 year old Russian was 5 years old when Date-Krumm first made the quarterfinals here in 1993. Ivanova is ranked a bit higher, but I think Kimiko’s retro game will be enough to outduel the Russian.
Earlier in 2009 Date-Krumm qualified for the Australian Open before losing a three set heartbreaker to 25th seed Kaia Kanepi. She was forced to withdraw from her opening roung qualifying match at Roland Garros to the “Dropshot Dame” Romina Oprandi, and then valiantly lost another three setter to top 10 player Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.
Let’s hope Kimiko can have a bit better success (and luck with the draw!) this week at Roland Garros.
They gave valiant efforts, but two underdog’s attempts to upset their higher ranked and seeded opponents in the opening round of the Pilot Pen fell just a bit short. Chinese stalwart, and former Wimbledon semifinalist Jie Zheng managed to win four points in a row to win the second set tiebreak, but it was not enough to outduel French Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova (pictured) who held on for a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-4.
Italian Roberta Vinci, possibily inspired by countrywoman Flavia Penneta becoming the first Italian woman to reach the top 10, almost took out Polish #1 Agi Radwanska. After trading 6-2 sets amongst them, Radwanska held off the Italian’s upset quest by edging out a tiebreak at 7-5.
Alisa Kleybanova, fresh off a surprising SF finish at last week’s Rogers Cup in Toronto, seemed to have run out of gas. Kleybanova who gutted out three set wins against Jelena Jankovic and Dominka Cibulkova, was unable to find the same solid form in her opener against qualifier Yanina Wickamayer. Wickamayer managed to hold on for a three set victory, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Other winners on opening day were former #1 Amelie Mauresmo, Iveta Benesova, and Virgine Razzano.