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Scoville Jenkins And Donald Young Knocked Out Of Contention For French Open Wild Card Slot

Friday, May 1, 2009

By Michelle Kaufman at The Miami Herald

The 2009 French Open isn't until the end of May, but qualifying has officially begun in Boca Raton this week.

Eight U.S. men and 11 women are competing for a wild card spot into the main draw as part of a reciprocal agreement with the French tennis federation in which two Americans get slots at Roland Garros and two French players get spots in the U.S. Open.

Jesse Levine, a 21-year-old from Boca Raton, is giving his friends and family plenty to cheer about as he reached Thursday's final against top seed John Isner. Levine, the No. 2 seed, beat Donald Young 6-1, 6-3 in Wednesday's semifinal and Isner knocked out Scoville Jenkins 6-3, 7-6 (7-1). The matches are being played on the clay at the Boca West Country Club.

Levine reached the final of this playoff last year before losing to Weston's Wayne Odesnik. He is determined to clinch the spot this time around, but realizes it won't be easy against 6-9 Isner, who is ranked 17 spots ahead of Levine at No. 113. The two players are friends off the court and know each other's games well, dating to their college days.

Levine played one season for the University of Florida in the spring of 2007 and snapped Isner's 46-match winning streak at the University of Georgia. They have played three times since turning pro, and Levine leads 2-1. Isner won their last meeting. Both players plan to compete at the French Open regardless of the result of the playoff match, but one will have the advantage of a main draw spot while the other has to go through the qualifying rounds there.

''John's serve is unbelievable,'' Levine said. ``He could have games where he serves four aces, so you have to focus on the things you can control against him. I'm very excited because I've played main draw of the three other Slams, but never made it at the French.''

The other four men who competed for the men's wild card were Evan King, 17, of Chicago; Michael McClune, 19, of Irvine, Calif.; Nathan Pasha, 16, of Atlanta, and Rhyne Williams, 18, of Knoxville, Tenn.

Eleven women are vying for a wild card: Kristie Ahn, 16, of Upper Saddle River, N.J.; Gail Brodsky, 17, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Beatrice Capra, 17, of Ellicott City, Md.; Lauren Embree, 18, of Marco Island; Nicole Gibbs, 16, of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Madison Keys, 14, of Boca Raton; Christine McHale, 16, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; Asia Muhammad, 18, of Henderson, Nev.; Sloane Stephens, 16, of Fresno, Calif.; Stacey Tan, 17, of Lakewood, Calif., and CoCo Vandeweghe, 17, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Posted by Shelia

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