Sunday, August 21, 2011
U.S. Open National Playoffs finalists Blake Strode and Robin Anderson
In the first men’s semifinal of the day, defending champion and No. 1 seed Blake Strode had little trouble in dispatching No. 4 seed Damon Gooch 6-1 6-1. Despite facing break points in three of his final four service games, Strode did not lose serve once all match as he easily advanced into the championship match.
“It was a lot closer than the score says,” said Strode. “He played well and there were a lot of long rallies out there, especially towards the end.”
Strode has dropped only six games in his three matches at the US Open National Playoffs, but he said that he has made sure to not get ahead of himself.
“I don’t ever think I’m the favorite when I go out there,” said Strode. “I just look at the person who’s in front of me as an obstacle and do my best to try and come through.”
In the second semifinal of the day, Anderson stormed out to a 5-0 lead in the opening set against No. 3 seed Macall Harkins and had the lead for the duration of the match, not losing her serve once throughout the contest.
“I thought I served really well out there,” said Anderson. “I started to revert back in the second set and play a little bit too defensively, but was able to hang on in the end.”
Earlier in the day, Anderson competed in her second round qualifying match at the New Haven Open, where she lost 6-0, 7-5 to Anastasia Rodionova of Australia. However, Anderson she was quickly able to put the loss out of her mind.
“I knew I had another match to get prepared for,” said Anderson. “I just put the loss right out of my mind and came out ready to play.”