By Fernie Ruano, Jr.
The dream of a first round appearance at the 2014 Sony Open Tennis took flight for dozens of players on Monday as qualifying for the the tournament began. Among the hopefuls, was highly-touted 21-year-old American Jack Sock who won his first qualifying match against Marton Fucsovics, 6-4, 6-2. For other hopefuls, including one-time American phenom Melanie Oudin, the dream ended just before the first round as she fell to Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-1, 6-3.
Visitors of opening day at the Sony Open might have noticed a familiar last name on the woman’s qualifying board, Krajicek, as Michaella Krajicek, half-sister of former Sony Open and Wimbledon champ Richard Krajickek, also fell to Katarzyna Piter 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.
Croatian phenom Donna Vekic, 17, defeated Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 7-5 on Monday to advance to the second round qualifying at the 2014 Sony Open Tennis at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne. Displaying a combination of solid backhand play and court coverage, Vekic , ranked 94th in the WTA rankings, needed just 20 minutes to take the first set; including breaking Kudryavtseva’s serve to take the set. She won 80% of the points when she got her first serve in, while setting the pace with powerful backhands from the baseline.
An animated Vekic, who yelled words of encouragement at herself throughout the match, took a commanding 3-1 lead in the second set before Kudryavtseva rallied to win 7 of the next 10 points, including a beautiful backhand slice to tie it 3-3. With both players holding serve, Velic broke Kudryavtseva to close out the match, and notch her 88th career victory.
For complete results, check out the 2014 Sony Open Tennis Scores and Results page.