UCLA at the 2021 US Open: Day 8
MONDAY, SEPT. 6
The two remaining Bruins saw their 2021 US Open journeys ended Monday, as Jean-Julien Rojer and Ena Shibahara suffered doubles losses at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The third-seeded combination of Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama alternate first-set breaks of serve early with the No. 14-seeded Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang, but ultimately dropped the final two games. The second set provided a near mirror image of the first and Stosur and Zhang prevailed by a 7-5, 7-5 score, earning a berth in the women's quarterfinal round.
The pair of Rojer and partner Wesley Koolhof, seeded 10th, captured its opening set from No. 8 seed John Peers and Filip Polasek, notching a break at 3-3. Peers and Polasek took the final three games of the second, though, forcing a deciding third. Another ever-important break was earned at 3-3 there, this time by Peers and Polasek. That proved to be all Peers and Polasek needed, as they advanced to the men's quarterfinal round with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 5
Playing for the fourth day in a row, Ena Shibahara suffered her first loss of the 2021 US Open Sunday. Still alive in the women's doubles draw, Shibahara was eliminated from the mixed doubles field alongside partner Ben McLachlan.
Seeded sixth, Shibahara and McLachlan were edged out of a quarterfinal-round spot by Austin Krajicek and Jessica Pegula. Krajicek and Pegula took the opening set by way of tiebreaker after neither side was able to notch a break of serve. They would go on take the second, as well, and the overall decision by a 7-6(1), 6-3 score.
Shibahara's time at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center has yet to be completed, as she is looking for a berth in the quarterfinal round of the women's competition with partner Shuko Aoyama. The third-seeded Shibahara and Aoyama next face 14th-seeded Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 4
For the second time in as many days, Jean-Julien Rojer and Ena Shibahara were victorious at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Saturday, Rojer prevailed in the men's doubles draw while Shibahara began her mixed doubles journey on the right foot.
The 10th-seeded combination of Rojer and Wesley Koolhof broke the serve of Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson at 4-3 in the first set and went on to hold in the ninth game. The second set lacked a break, leading to a tiebreaker. Rojer and Koolhof took six of the first seven points and ultimately triumphed by a 6-3, 7-6(3) score. Up next for Rojer and Koolhof are the eighth-seeded duo of John Peers and Filip Polasek.
Shibahara and partner Ben McLachlan took the final two first-set games from Hayley Carter and Hunter Reese and rode that to a convincing second-set performance and a 7-5, 6-2 result. The sixth-seeded tandem of Shibahara and McLachlan is set to next meet Austin Krajicek and Jessica Pegula.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 3
Bruins Jean-Julien Rojer and Ena Shibahara earned doubles wins at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Friday, advancing to men's second round and women's third round, respectively.
Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald had their US Open journeys stopped, as each was dropped in the men's doubles first round after previously falling in the singles second round.
Shibahara and partner Shuko Aoyama, seeded third, broke the serve of Eri Hozumi and Alicja Rosolska at 5-6 of the first set, forcing a tiebreaker. Shibahara and Aoyama trailed 1-3 there, before taking six of the last eight points. The second set saw Hozumi and Rosolska hold on their first two serves, but Shibahara and Aoyama controlled the rest of the match for a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory and a third-round date with 14th-seeded Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang.
Rojer and partner Wesley Koolhof returned to action after their Wednesday match was suspended due to rain. The pair immediately encountered a tiebreaker with Aslan Karatsev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov, which was extended to a 15-13 decision that the 10th-seeded Rojer and Koolhof ultimately seized. The second set belonged to the duo of Rojer and Koolhof, which won by a 7-6(13), 6-1 score and will next meet Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson.
Like Rojer, McDonald and his partner Robin Haase, picked up from an interrupted Wednesday match. The pair was able to capture its first set with Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni before the postponement, but could not take another in 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 loss. Giron and partner Andre Goransson trailed 0-5 in their first set with Frederik Nielsen and Vasek Pospisil before taking the next three games, but were unable to get any closer. The second ended in a tiebreaker, but Nielsen and Pospisil would prevail by a 6-3, 7-6(3) margin.
Shibahara is slated to start play in the mixed doubles draw Saturday, when she teams again with Ben McLachlan. The sixth-seeded pair will meet Tim Puetz and Vera Zvonareva.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 2
Thursday saw hard-fought men's singles efforts by former UCLA standouts Maxime Cressy and Mackenzie McDonald fall short, though Ena Shibahara got on the board in women's doubles play at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
McDonald, Marcos Giron and Jean-Julien Rojer remain in the men's doubles draw and will be back in action Friday, while Shibahara will continue her time in both the women's and mixed (with Ben McLachlan) doubles competitions.
Shibahara and partner Shuko Aoyama, seeded third, received little pushback from Madison Brengle and Claire Liu. Brengle and Liu answered an early break of serve with one of their own, but Shibahara and Aoyama seized the final four games of the first set to set the tone. The second stayed on serve until 3-2 before Shibahara and Aoyama closed out their 6-2, 6-3 win. Next up is the combination of Eri Hozumi and Alicja Rosolska Friday.
Fresh off a five-set triumph over the ninth-seeded Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain, Cressy was broken by Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia out of the gate. Cressy would answer to force a tiebreaker, which Basilashvili won. The second set saw Basilashvili take four of the first five games en route to a two-frame advantage. Cressy took a 5-4 lead in the third, but Basilashvili recovered for the final three games and the 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-5 victory.
McDonald dropped his first two sets, including an opening tiebreaker, versus Kei Nishikori of Japan. The 2016 NCAA singles and doubles champion rebounded to even it up, though, seizing a third-set tiebreaker in comeback fashion before controlling the fourth. Nishikori would take four of the first five fifth-set games and a late rally by McDonald was not enough in the 7-6(3), 6-3, 5-7(5), 2-6, 6-3 result.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 1
Rain suspended play on the outdoor courts Wednesday at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center outdoor courts, delaying the start of doubles play for Bruins Mackenzie McDonald, Jean-Julien Rojer and Ena Shibahara. Marcos Giron was able to complete his second-round singles match, though the four-set result went the way of his opponent.
Pitted against 24th-seeded Dan Evans of Great Britain, Giron had his serve broken out of the gate. That was all Evans needed in the first set, as he held the rest of the way. Giron held a 3-0 advantage in the second before Evans got the match back on serve. A tiebreaker went the way of Evans, who moved within one set of the overall win. Giron answered in the third set, breaking early and closing strong. Then, in what proved to be the decider, Evans collected the first break at 4-3 en route to the 6-4, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3 victory.
Giron is scheduled to hit the doubles courts with partner Andre Goransson Thursday. McDonald and Robin Haase seized their first set, while the 10th-seeded Rojer and Wesley Koolhof were in an opening-set tiebreaker, before the rain came. Also yet to make their doubles debut is the third-seeded partnership of Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama on the women's side.
Men's singles play continues Thursday, with McDonald scheduled to meet Kei Nishikori of Japan and Maxime Cressy set to face Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.
TUESDAY, AUG. 31
Maxime Cressy and Mackenzie McDonald joined fellow former UCLA men's tennis standout and past NCAA champion Marcos GIron in the singles second round Tuesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Cressy turned in one of the most impressive wins of the tournament thus far, dispatching of ninth-seeded Pablo Carreño Busta of Spain in comeback fashion. McDonald also toppled a seeded opponent, knocking off No. 27 David Goffin in straight sets.
Cressy gave Carreño Busta all he could handle in each of the first two sets, but was unable to break through in either. On the brink of elimination, Cressy powered back with a dominant effort in the third. The fourth saw Cressy log a break of serve at 3-3 to turn the tide and ultimately force a decider. Fittingly, the final set stayed on serve until the winner-take-all, first-to-seven tiebreaker. Carreño Busta held leads of 4-1, 5-2 and 6-3 before Cressy answered by taking six of the last seven points for his second trip to the tournament's second round in as many years and first triumph over a top-20 opponent with the 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(7) decision. Cressy, who made the main draw after advancing through qualifying, is set to next face Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia Thursday.
Like Cressy, McDonald replicated his 2020 showing with a second-round berth. McDonald earned a break at 3-2 and never looked back en route to a first-set win. The second saw him answer a Goffin break with one of his own early before closing out the frame with the difference maker. A break at 4-3 was all McDonald needed in the third. His 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 victory is the latest in an impressive year for McDonald, who has seen his ATP Tour singles ranking climb from 194 to 61 since January. He will next meet Kei Nishikori of Japan Thursday. McDonald defeated Nishikori in the semifinal round of the Washington Open earlier this month.
Wednesday marks the start of doubles action, with McDonald and Jean-Julien Rojer each slated to play at approximately 10 a.m. PT. McDonald and partner Robin Haase will take on Santiago Gonzalez and Andrés Molteni. The 10th-seeded pair of Rojer and Wesley Koolhof will square off with Aslan Karatsev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov. On the women's side, Ena Shibahara will again team with Shuko Aoyama. The third-seeded combination has Madison Brengle and Claire Liu on its schedule, with an estimated start time of 11:15 a.m.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 31, 2021
MONDAY, AUG. 30
Former UCLA men's tennis standout Marcos Giron added another win to his already-impressive 2021 ledger Monday, defeating Antoine Hoang of France in three sets at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The match came on the first day of US Open main-draw action.
Giron, whose ATP Tour singles ranking has climbed from 92 to 64 since April, is coming off a quarterfinal-round showing at the Winston-Salem Open last week. He has also logged wins at Wimbledon, Roland-Garros and the Tokyo Olympics this year.
Giron set the tone in his first set with Hoang, posting a break of serve on his first opportunity and eventually taking a 3-0 advantage. The second set saw its first break occur at 3-3, with Giron tipping the scales in his favor. In the back-and-forth third, Giron took five of the first six games before Hoang answered with the next four. Giron would close out the match by taking the final two games however, and the 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 victory.
Next up for Giron is a second-round date Wednesday with the 24th-seeded Dan Evans of the United Kingdom.
UCLA head men's tennis coach Billy Martin has three of his former pupils in the singles main draw, as Maxime Cressy and Mackenzie McDonald are slated to begin Tuesday. McDonald will meet No.-27 seed David Goffin of Belgium on Court 5 at 8 a.m. PT. Cressy is set to take on Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Court 4 at approximately 10:30 a.m. Giron, McDonald and Jean-Julien Rojer are in the doubles draw.
Jennifer Brady, who played for the UCLA women's tennis team, was forced to bow out of the singles tournament due to injury. Brady made an improbable run to the US Open singles semifinals in 2020. Bruin Ena Shibahara will participate in women's doubles action.
Marcos Giron advances to Round 2 for the second consecutive year 👏 pic.twitter.com/5geuLqDux6
— USTA (@usta) August 30, 2021