By Orin Davidson
Beaten but unbowed, was Sachia Vickery’s disposition after suffering elimination in the women’s singles of the U.S. Open tennis tournament yesterday.
The 17-year-old player of Guyanese parents played her heart out but was outduelled by the more experienced Julia Glushko, going down in straight sets 7-5 6-3 yesterday in the second round on Court 4 at the Billie Jean King Complex, New York.
“I think I played really well this tournament but got nervous towards the end of both sets,” Vickery told Stabroek News
after yesterday’s 85-minute battle. The diminutive teenager was hoping to impact by becoming one of the few female wild-card entrants to reach the third round of the world’s premier hard court tournament.
“ I thought I could’ve beaten her after the way things got started, but I could not put it together towards the end,” the youngster stated , referring to the big point situations. Her opponent, a world 128th- ranked contender, seemed on the verge of an upset loss as Vickery started out fast and ran up a 5-3 lead in the first set.
It was a battle from the baseline as the Florida-born Vickery, who dispatched Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia in the first round, surprised Glushko with powerful groundstrokes, taking her to the cusp of a first set lead.
But when it mattered most, Vickery’s serve went awry and the Israeli number one took advantage of the teenager’s frustration with line calls that went against her.
With Court Four not having the benefit of hawk-eye video replay equipment, Vickery could not challenge the calls and she let her frustrations affect her game.
Glushko took advantage, breaking Vickery at 5-4 and then reeled off three more successive games to take the set. Things did not improve for the youngster in the second set and once she dropped serve in the fourth game, Glushko rode her momentum to seal the match and advance to her first Grand Slam third round.
In reaching the second round the Israeli had upended number 20 seed Russian Nadia Petrova in the first round on Tuesday.
Vickery who clinched her first main draw US Open place with a wild card by virtue of her triumph in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) 18-and Under singles competition, will now have to build points in the future in qualifying competitions for upcoming Grand Slam and Tier One tournaments.
“I will have to discuss with my coach my plans for the rest of the year”, she said adding that she is done with junior competitions for the remainder of 2013.
Vickery who always plays with Guyana flag colours on her wrist sweat-bands, said she is grateful to her many fans back in Guyana for their support. “ We got many messages of congratulations after the first match and I am thankful,” the youngster stated.
She was also grateful for the presence of a multitude of family members who cheered her on from courtside yesterday and also on Tuesday when the teenager defeated Lucic-Baroni.
Vickery is a close relative of former national footballers Aubrey Hutson and Selwyn Hutson who hail from the mining town of Linden. Her mother and father are also from the mining towns of Kwakwani and Linden.