Aug. 28, 2017
FLUSHING, N.Y. – Two former Virginia men’s tennis players competed in the main draw of men’s singles at the 2017 U.S. Open on Monday (August 28) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
J.C. Aragone, who advanced through qualifying to earn his spot in the main draw, fell in straight sets to former Illini No. 28 Kevin Anderson, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Aragone’s fourth service game in the first set would turn the tide of the match. The Cavalier saved three break points before Anderson ripped a running forehand down the line to earn the match’s first break of serve. While Aragone managed to gain a 15-40 lead against the big server in the following game, Anderson closed it out and did not look back from there. Anderson broke Aragone’s serve early in both the second and third sets and never faced another break point himself, but the two players contested some entertaining rallies from the baseline throughout the match.
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, who earned a wild card into the main draw after winning the 2017 NCAA Singles title, took No. 23 Mischa Zverev to five sets, but came up just short, falling 7-6 (5), 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. The almost three-and-a-half-hour contest was close throughout. After narrowly losing the first set in a tiebreak, Kwiatkowski had willfully forged through the left-hander’s quirky serve and volley game to take the second and third sets after he seemed to get a beat on how to find room to pass the Australian Open quarterfinalist. In fact, Kwiatkowski often borrowed from the Zverev playbook late in the match, moving into the net and cutting off angles with sharp volley winners. In the end, though, it was the veteran who find just a little distance on a few key points to get the win and equal his 2016 second round berth, though Kwiatkowski battled until the end, fighting off four set points before finally succumbing.
This was the first time in program history that two former Virginia players competed in the singles main draw. There will be three total Cavaliers competing in the championships as Dominic Inglot is competing in the doubles main draw, partnering with Canadian Daniel Nestor to face the Russian duo of Daniil Medvedev and Mikhail Elgin in the opening round. Treat Huey was also slated to compete in doubles, but withdrew because of injury.
Kwiatkowski and Aragone were members of three NCAA championship teams at Virginia, helping to lead UVA to the 2015, 2016 and 2017 team titles as well as the 2017 ITA National Team Indoor championship.
Both Kwiatkowski and Aragone will be competing Sept. 7-9 at the American Collegiate Invitational tournament, held during the second week at the U.S. Open. Eight American men and eight American women, who are either in college or have recently completed their eligibility, are invited to participate in the single elimination tournament according to their collegiate or professional rankings. Kwiatkowski is the defending champion of the event.