September kicked off with Emily’s first appearance at the US Open Junior event at Flushing Meadows, New York. The objective this year was all about experience – getting a feel for the event (a massive contrast in size, scale and ambience to both the French Open and Wimbledon) and learning to handle crowds, noise and the very public stage on which the matches were played.
Emily drew her doubles partner in the first round – always an unfortunate draw. They had met three times previously this year and the score before the match was 2:1 in Emily’s favour. However, the previous matches had all been played on red clay and it was apparent from the start that Miyamoto was far more comfortable on a hard court, showing much more assertion and positive play than she had exhibited in their previous encounters. Emily lost the first set 4-6 but began to relax in the second, taking a lead early on. However, she lost some of her looseness mid way through the second set and Miyamoto took the opportunity and closed out the match. So a disappointing result for Emily (in the doubles too where they drew Day and Dolehide, eventual finalists) but there is no doubting that the US Open experience has made her hungrier to return next year to a venue that she thoroughly enjoyed.
After NYC Emily headed back to the UK for a couple of $10k hard court events. The first was in Nottingham and having breezed through the first round, Emily met Eden Silva – a good player who is coming back from injury. The match was close but Eden had the upper hand and in fact progressed all the way to the Final, losing out only to the number 1 seed.
This week Emily played in another $10k tournament in Roehampton. In the singles she drew the number 5 seed, Liebens from Belgium (current WR 589 but last year was WR 295). Emily had played Liebens in Glasgow earlier this year and had lost 6-2 6-3. This time Emily lost a close first set 4-6 but managed to level off in the second 7-6 – both women playing well and to a very high standard. In the third set however, Liebens regained her focus and took control and eventually secured the win. Frustrating for Emily but a good standard of match and lots of positive things taken away for further work.
In the doubles, Emily’s partner withdrew injured from her singles match so they had to give a Walkover – which is always disappointing.
Next month sees Emily travel to the Far East for another $10k event and the Grade A Osaka Mayor’s Cup in Japan.
Sally Appleton – firstname.lastname@example.org