Virginia alums JC Aragone and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski both participated in their first ever US Open on Monday. Both, unfortunately, lost their matches, but both performed admirably on the professional stage.
Aragone kicked off the day for the Hoos, facing Kevin Anderson of South Africa. Anderson - the #32 player in the world - won in straight sets, but Aragone got in his fair share of big shots.
With Anderson leading 4-3 in the first set, Aragone fought admirably through a game that featured multiple deuces, advantages, and break points, but ultimately dropped the game. This gave Anderson a 5-3 lead, and allowed him to serve for the first set point. Considering Aragone was the last player to make the qualifying tournament and was in a coma just five years ago, he had an outstanding showing.
Kwiatkowski started later in the afternoon, and played an intense five set match against #23 Mischa Zverev (GER).
The first set went to a tiebreak after neither player could break the other’s serve, but Kwiatkowski was unable to pick up the win. He then went on to win the next two sets with a score of 6-4, but dropped the fourth 7-5. The decisive fifth set went with the serves until Zverev was able to break Kwiatkowski to take a 5-3 lead, then served for the win.
Kwiatkowski earned a spot on SportsCenter with an incredible shot down the line, which he followed with a short workout.
All in all, Kwiatkowski made some small errors, but had a top-25 ranked tennis star on the ropes in the US Open. Not a bad Monday. For full highlights of his match, click here.
Congratulations to both JC and Thai-Son for their outstanding showing in the US Open and for representing Virginia well.