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Eastern

Eastern at the 2021 US Open

Scott Sode | September 22, 2021

Competing on courts close to home, USTA Eastern athletes scored impressive results and represented the section well at the 2021 US Open. And even when they had the misfortune of drawing current and former French Open champions, they fought hard.

 

Former junior and New Jersey native Christina McHale defeated fellow American Emma Navarro to reach the second round of the tournament in women's singles, where she ultimately fell to reigning French Open champion and No. 8 seed Barbora Krejčíková. Also competing in women's singles: Eastern's Jamie Loeb (pictured), who, fresh off a runner-up finish at a WTA 125 event in Charleston earlier in the summer, came through three rounds of qualifying to secure a spot in the main draw of her home Slam for the first time since 2015. En route to matching her best-ever result at a major, the Ossining, N.Y. resident notched wins over Anna-Lena Friedsam—the No. 16 seed in the qualifying tournament—and former world No. 20 Mihaela Buzarnescu. Loeb eventually lost to another French Open champion, No. 7 seed Iga Świątek. But she also competed in the mixed doubles tournament, where, with partner Mitchell Krueger, she faced No. 2 seeds  Desirae Krawczyk and Joe Salisbury in the first round. It was a tough ask—to that point Krawczyk had won the last two straight mixed doubles titles at Grand Slams, including at Roland Garros—but Loeb and Krueger came closest to beating the team that would eventually become the tournament champions, falling 8-10 in a match tiebreak.

 

On the men's side, another former Eastern junior, Aleksandar Kovacevic, also caused a stir in the qualifying draw when he defeated top seed Benjamin Bonzi of France, 6-3, 6-4, in the second round.  The New York native then held match points before losing a tough three-set battle against his next opponent, Marco Trungelliti. 2019 US Open boys' doubles champion Eliot Spizzirri also competed in qualifying, where he lost to world No. 130 and No. 14 seed Henri Laaksonen in three sets in the second round. Spizzirri, who hails from Greenwich, Connecticut, received a wild card into the men's doubles tournament (with fellow 2019 boys' doubles champion Tyler Zink). The pair faced reigning French Open champions and No. 3 seeds Pierre-Hughues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in the first round.

 

In juniors, just two months after lifting the boys' singles trophy at Wimbledon, Basking Ridge New Jersey's Samir Banerjee reached the quarterfinals in the same division at Flushing Meadows. On the girls' side, competing in her first-ever Grand Slam, 16-year-old Theadora Rabman defeated two seeds in the qualifying tournament to eventually reach the second round in girls' singles. With many of her friends looking on from the stands, the Port Washington, N.Y. native went down 1-5 in her first round match against Finland's Laura Hietaranta, saved a set point, then won eleven of the next twelve games to advance, 7-5, 6-2. And Madison Sieg, of Greenwich Connecticut, also reached the second round in girls' singles, and the quarterfinals in girls' doubles, with partner Elizabeth Coleman. Sieg and Coleman also scored the same result at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

 

Congratulations to all USTA Eastern athletes who participated in the 2021 US Open:

 

Kristie Ahn

Women's Singles (QR1)

 

Robin Anderson

Women's Singles (QR2)

 

Samir Banerjee

Men's Singles (QR1)

Boys' Singles (Quarterfinals)

Boys' Doubles (Round 2)

 

Louisa Chirico

Women's Singles (QR1)

 

Aleksandar Kovacevic

Men's Singles (QR3)

 

Jamie Loeb

Women's Singles (Qualifier, Round 1)

Mixed Doubles (Round 1)

 

Christina McHale

Women's Singles (Round 2)

 

Ariana Pursoo

Girls' Singles (QR2)

Girls' Doubles (Round 2)

 

Theadora Rabman

Girls' Singles (Qualifier, Round 2)

Girls' Doubles (Round 2)

 

Madison Sieg

Girls' Singles (Round 2)

Girls' Doubles (Quarterfinals)

 

Eliot Spizzirri

Men's Singles (QR2)

Men's Doubles (Round 1)

 

Valencia Xu

Girls' Singles (Qualifier, Round 1)

Girls' Doubles (Round 2)

 

Michael Zheng

Boys' Singles (Round 1)

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