By Erin Bruehl
On the opening day of the US Open National Playoffs Men’s and Women’s Championships, a pair of future Florida Gators teammates led the way and took the first steps toward securing spots in the US Open Qualifying Tournament.
No. 4 seed Peggy Porter, 17, was the only seeded player in action on Day 1 in New Haven, Conn., and advanced with ease, winning, 6-2, 6-2, over 14-year-old Victoria Flores, the youngest player in the competition. Porter, a two-time Texas sectional qualifier champion, has committed to play at the University of Florida after an outstanding junior career. She is entering her senior year of high school in Dallas this fall.
Also advancing in the women’s draw were veteran Kelcy McKenna, 15-year-old Meghan Kelley and Magda Okruashvili, the Eastern sectional qualifier champion who trains at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open.
On the men’s side, 17-year-old Elliot Orkin was the one newcomer among the veterans to win, defeating University of Oklahoma star Nick Papac, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Orkin, the USTA Southern sectional champion, will be playing at the University of Florida this fall and also recently competed in the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships.
Tony Larson and Damon Gooch, competing in their third and second US Open National Playoffs Men’s Championship, respectively, also advanced.
The US Open Men’s and Women’s Championships are being held Aug. 16-19 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, Conn., in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event. The winners each receive a wild card into the 2013 US Open Qualifying Tournament, held Aug. 20-23 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Day 1 Results:
Women's Championship - First Round
 Peggy Porter (USA) d. Victoria Flores (USA), 6-2 6-2
Magda Okruashvili (GEO) d. Allison Miller (USA,) 6-1, 6-2
Meghan Kelley (USA) d. Nelle Youel (USA), 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2
Kelcy Mckenna (USA) d. Amy Sargeant (GBR), 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4
Men’s Championship – First Round
Damon Gooch (RSA) d. Robert Seby (USA), 6-2, 6-2
Tony Larson (USA) d. Nolan Paige (USA), 6-2, 6-0
Elliot Orkin (USA) d. Nick Papac (USA), 7-6(5), 6-2