Forget It. Drive On.
This mindset mantra concocted by her coach Frank Salazar guided Junior Tennis Champions Center player Usue Arconada in her first professional match this past Saturday, July 27. Usue was awarded a Citi Open wildcard spot in qualifying round.
14-year-old Usue, down 5-2 in the first set to 26-year-old Maria Irigoyen (No. 174 in the world), employed stringent mental toughness, unbridled energy and crisp strokes to soar back into the match. She secured the first set by claiming the next five games. The momentum shift continued in the second frame and ended with Usue capturing a 7-5, 6-3 victory over a fellow Argentinean. She fell to Alexandra Mueller, 1-6, 1-6, in the next round.
Usue is the second youngest to win a WTA match, ranking only behind Madison Keys. Keys defeated then world No. 81 Alla Kudryavtseva in a Ponte Vedra Beach tournament in 2009.
Mitchell Frank, Trice Capra, Denis Kudla and Alison Riske, four other players affiliated with the JTCC, have either competed or are set to play in the Citi Open. Wild card Mitchell Frank was upended by Malek Jaziri in the first round of qualifiers. Another wild card, Trice Capra, will play No. 79 in the world Paula Ormaechea at 4:00 PM today. Denis Kudla will face off with Samuel Groth at 5:30 PM today. Groth holds the record for the fastest serve as he uncorked a 163 MPH bullet during a Challenger match in South Korea last year. Finally, Alison Riske is matched up against Vania King and will play the first round match tomorrow (she competes in doubles today).
For draws and start times, click here.