The youngest and the oldest of the 16 women’s and men’s players selected to play in this weekend’s U.S. Open Wild Card Playoffs punched their tickets to New York with convincing wins on a stormy and thundering Sunday near Washington, D.C. Welcome to the main draw of the U.S. Open, Madison Keys, age 16, and Bobby Reynolds, age 29, who won three matches each at the Junior Champions Tennis Training Center to earn the final U.S. Open main draw wild card singles spots handed out by the USTA.
Keys, the number seven seeded player from Boca Raton, Fla., ended any thoughts of a return trip to New York for Beatrice Capra with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win, while Reynolds of Acworth, Ga., had to take care of business indoors in a best-of-five final, downing 19-year-old Daniel Kosakowski, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.
Just last week, it was announced that Keys would be going to New York to compete in the qualifying tournament as a wild card. With qualifying beginning Tuesday, Keys said there was incentive to get a week off and that thought was one of the reasons she was able to turn things around so quickly Sunday against the crowd-favorite Capra from Ellicott, Md.
“I kind of just decided that I didn’t want to go to New York tonight (to play qualifying),” Keys said. “I wanted to go next week. I just focused on staying in the match and hopefully when I had the chance try to change things around. Now I get to go back home to Boca and sleep in tomorrow.”
Immediately following the win, Keys texted and called her mother while still on court.
“Mom was on the beach walking around and she was just saying how happy she was and proud she was of me,” Keys said. “My coach (Adam Peterson) was texting her during the match.”
Keys says she doesn’t care who she draws in the first round of the Open. “Just that I’m in the main draw is good enough for me,” adding she wouldn’t mind playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium. “But I definitely wouldn’t complain if I didn’t get to though,” she said.
Capra was the defending champion of this event and then went on to win two rounds at the Open. She was distraught she wasn’t able to finish off Keys after playing so steady in the first set.
"I just starting thinking about it in the second set and I got tight,” Capra said. “I started thinking about New York and I let down, and Madison took advantage of that. I really wanted to play at the Open but I’m excited to be starting Duke tomorrow.”
Reynolds said he does care who he draws in the first round of the Open, whose win on Sunday was worth at least $19,000, prize money for a first-round loss at the Open.
“I don’t want someone with a number next to his name,” he said following his gutsy victory over the former UCLA Bruin Kosakowski from Huntington Park, Calif., where there are no indoor tennis facilities.
“I feel relieved. Very relieved,” said Reynolds, who attacked Kosakowski from the beginning winning points forcefully from the net in the first set. “It was very tough and important for me to get out to a fast start. Ninety percent of my game is to stay in there and fight and I was able to do that. You might say I don’t have the most talent, but I have a lot of heart and fight out there.”
Reynolds said he was doubtful for this tournament having pulled a stomach muscle two weeks ago.
“I couldn’t even serve till Tuesday,” he said. “I will go home now and rest and take tomorrow off and then back at it on Tuesday.”
Reynolds has played in four main draw U.S. Opens and lost to Rafael Nadal in the first round of the 2005 event.
Sunday’s Final Scores
►Madison Keys (7), Boca Raton, Fla., def. Beatrice Capra (5), Ellicott City, Md., 3-6, 6-4, 6-0
►Bobby Reynolds (1), Acworth, Ga., def. Daniel Kosakowski (3), Huntington Park, Calif., 6-2, 7-5, 6-4
Credit all photos to Andrew Riddle/For the USTA
Bobby Reynolds won three matches at the Junior Champions Tennis Training Center to earn the final U.S. Open main draw wild card singles spots handed out by the USTA
Madison Keys, who won three matches at the Junior Champions Tennis Training Center, earned the final U.S. Open main draw wild card women's singles spot