US Open Day 2: Florida players continue to be solid contenders
Aug 30, 2023
Florida players continued to win big at the US Open during yesterday's lineup of first round matches.
Leading the way on the men's side of the draw was Bradenton-based Michael Mmoh. He shocked No. 11 seed Karen Kachanov from Moscow in straight sets winning his first round 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
Above: Michael Mmoh. Photo by
Everything is bigger in Texas. That includes the big-serving 6' 10" John Isner. Off-season though, the Texan trains in Florida at Saddlebrook. Yes, Isner says he'll retire after this US Open. But, the training in Tampa paid off. A first round 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 win against Argentina's Facundo Diaz Acosta will keep Isner going this year.
On the women's side of the draw, Madison Keys maintains Florida roots having attended the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton at age 9. She now resides in Orlando. She took out Netherlands-based Arantxa Rus in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.
And soon after Sofia Kenin's family moved from Moscow to Pembroke Pines, Kenin began working with Rick Macci at a young age in Boca Raton. Fast forward to Round 1 yesterday — Kenin cut down her first opponent Ana Bogdan from Romania in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4.
Ranked 204 in the world, Sachia Vickery was born in Miramar. But the Floridian played big in the first round with an upset over 21-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Boca Raton-based Jessica Pegula graced the cover of Florida Tennis recently with her doubles partner from neighboring Delray Beach, Coco Gauff. Gauff had to endure a three-setter Monday night but Pegula breezed through her match yesterday with Camila Giorgi of Italy, 6-2, 6-2.
Looking back on Gauff's first round win, Florida Tennis photographer Todd Pechter was taken with her bright yellow fashion statement, courtesy of New Balance, on Monday night. No, not a warm shade of Florida sunshine — her dress was bright neon tennis ball yellow.
Above: Coco Gauff. Photo by Todd Pechter for Florida Tennis.
Pechter elaborates, "With so much at stake in these matches, it is should come as no surprise that any little advantage a player can take, they should; it's a brilliant way to compete — provided it isn't against any rules. You might recall a few years back, when there was swimwear available for competitive swimmers that actually aided their performance by cutting down on water resistance. Those suits were ultimately banned.
"Along similar lines, Coco's outfit could easily be seen to cause a momentary loss-of-vision of a tennis ball, as it blends in with the dress. Sure, we're probably talking a microsecond, but professional tennis is a pretty fast sport, and that microsecond could conceivably make the difference between hitting a winner and shanking a shot off the frame. Perhaps it's not all that big a deal: Wimbledon has used white tennis balls for years, and players have been required to wear attire that is mostly white. Still, a tennis-ball-colored-neon dress seems a good deal more pervasive. But if it's within the rules, wear it!"
Written by Florida Tennis' Executive Editor and Publisher Matt Pressman and photographer and Florida Tennis contributor Todd Pechter. Top Photo: Darren Carroll/.