FLUSHING, N.Y. - In the first round of US Open Qualifying, incoming freshman Kelly Chen took top seeded Su-Wei Hsieh to the brink of elimination before falling 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3) on Tuesday afternoon.
In the first set, after splitting the first six games, Chen used a service break to take her first lead at 4-3. Chen then held serve, before breaking Hsieh once again to close out the first set 6-3.
Hsieh rallied by winning the first five games of the sixth set. Chen won consecutive games to extend the set, but Hsieh won the next game and taking the set 6-2.
The third set started much like the second as Hsieh jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead. The quick deficit did not discourage Chen though, as she had trailed by the same margin twice in her run to the USTA Girls’ 18s Finals and came back to tie the third set each time. Chen started her comeback by winning three straight games to close Hsieh’s lead to just one game. Hsieh stalled Chen’s momentum by winning the next game, which put the top seed just one game away from advancing. With her back against the wall, Chen once again rallied as she held her own serve and then won a break point to come all the way back and tie the third set at 5-5.
The two traded service breaks to send the third set to a crucial tiebreaker. There Hseih used her WTA experience to win the tiebreaker 7-3 and advance to the second round.
Chen’s US Open experience is not over however. Although she will not play in the main draw of the US Open, her run to the finals of the Girls’ 18s National Championships awards her a wild card entry into the main draw of the US Open Junior Championships. Chen will begin play in the US Open Junior Championships starting September 3rd.