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Kozlov, Whoriskey among winners on Day 2 of qualifying

Caitlin Whoriskey
By McCarton Ackerman
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Top juniors and former college stars prevailed in first-round matches on Day 2 of qualifying at the US Open, including 16-year-old Stefan Kozlov and US Open National Playoffs women's singles champion Caitlin Whoriskey.

On Court 17, a battle between top American juniors and college stars took place with two-time junior Grand Slam finalist Kozlov squaring off against University of Virginia standout Mitchell Frank. After dropping the first set, Kozlov recovered from his slow start and cruised through the next two sets to take the match, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2.

Kozlov, 16, reached the boys' singles final this year at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, in addition to the boys' doubles final in the latter. He’ll play Borna Coric of Croatia in the second round of qualifying on Thursday.

In other men’s matches, former world No. 1 junior Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania beat American wild card Mackenzie Macdonald, 6-3, 6-2. Former world No. 35 Philipp Petzschner of Germany also advanced into the second round, defeating Hans Podlipnik-Castillo of Chile, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

On Court 11, Whoriskey pulled off the most notable upset of the first two days of qualifying, edging No. 5 qualifying seed Danka Kovinic of Montenegro. After dropping the first set, the American settled into the match and forced the world No. 106 to play defense. A forehand into the net by Kovinic sealed the match for Whoriskey, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

"I'm used to playing in parks, so the magnitude of the environment was a little overwhelming for me at first," Whoriskey said afterward. "But after the first set, I started to go point by point and not think so much about the wins or losses. I think that helped me settle in and I felt comfortable by the end. To have a crowd like this cheering for you is just surreal."

With the victory, Whoriskey became the third National Playoffs champion to post a qualifying victory, joining Blake Strode (2010 and 2011) and Mayo Hibi (2013).

A former standout player at the University of Tennessee, Whoriskey won her first career USTA Pro Circuit singles title in May at the $10,000 event in Hilton Head Island, S.C. She has also won seven USTA Pro Circuit and ITF-level doubles titles. Her next opponent in the second round on Thursday is Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty, a former top junior and three-time Grand Slam doubles finalist.

In other women’s matches, former world No. 29 Urszula Radwanska of Poland defeated last year’s US Open junior champion, Ana Konjuh of Croatia, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. And promising Canadian teenager Francoise Abanda made her Grand Slam debut in the pros a memorable one by sweeping past Andreea Mitu of Romania, 6-1, 6-1.

Click here for full results from Day 2 of US Open qualifying.

Click here for updated qualifying draws.

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