Junior Boys' Doubles Final
If you asked 18-year-old Martin Redlicki and 17-year-old Kamil Majchrzak a week ago where they’d be at 2 p.m. today, neither would have expected to be hoisting the US Open boys’ doubles trophy on Court 7 after defeating Quentin Halys of France and Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
“Beating the one seeds in the first round definitely got us thinking, but winning the tournament? The title? That was a little out there,” Redlicki said.
It’s especially surprising since Redlicki, a Polish American, and Majchrzak, from Poland, had never played together before the US Open.
The two boys struck up a friendship at a tournament in Milan earlier this year, when they both played in the first round of doubles with different partners. Though Redlicki was born in the U.S. in Chicago, both his parents are from Poland, and he speaks fluent Polish. When he asked Majchrzak if he’d want to team up for the US Open, his new friend agreed. It turned out to be a magical pairing.
The unseeded pair faced the toughest test of the tournament when they drew No. 1 seeds Borna Coric and Stefan Kozlov in the first round. They upset the top seeds in a super tiebreak after splitting both sets. On their way to the final, they also upset No. 6 seeds Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev with a decisive 6-1, 6-1 victory in the quarterfinals.
In Saturday's final, it was a close contest with runners-up Halys and Ferreira Silva, but Redlicki and Majchrzak had incredibly solid service games. They didn’t allow one service break on either of their serves, and they won the match on an ace delivered by Redlicki. On the receiving end, they were able to convert two of their three break-point opportunities, which made all the difference.
“There are no words to describe it, really. Being at home, winning a Grand Slam,” said an overwhelmed Redlicki, who has committed to play tennis at Duke University in 2014. “Just don’t wake me up yet.”
Junior Boys' Singles Semifinals
The unseeded Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis will face off against the boys’ No. 4 seed Coric in the US Open junior boys’ final. Both boys upset higher-seeded opponents on Saturday to earn their spot in the final.
On Court 11, Coric dropped the first set to the No. 1 seed Zverev of Germany, who towered over the compact Croat on court and punished him with a powerful serve.
Zverev must be one of the tallest teens in the boys’ bracket, at well over six feet tall. Because of his height, his game is reminiscent of American John Isner’s – he has a powerful serve but slow movement on court.
Coric is the opposite type of player – a baseline counter-puncher who had an answer for everything Zverev tried to throw at him. Coric also had a look of steely determination throughout the entire match, which eventually paid off, as the 16-year-old turned the match around to win, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Following the junior boys’ doubles trophy ceremony on Court 7, Kokkinakis, another tall junior, defeated No. 3 seed Chilean Christian Garin.
It took a while for the 17-year-old Kokkinakis to find his rhythm. Though his ground strokes were extremely powerful, they were lacking accuracy. He also allowed a few gettable shots pass him by, choosing not to hustle to the ball, perhaps trying to save some energy.
The strategy worked, as he staged the biggest upset of the day, defeating the 17-year-old Garin, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.