Qualifier Sachia Vickery Rallies To Reach Second Round of US Open
(August 28, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – American qualifier Sachia Vickery came back to beat Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the second round at the US Open.
The currently ranked 154th player in the world, who was the USTA Girls 18s National Championships in San Diego in 2013 talked about how she turned the match around.
“I just fought,” said the 22-year-old Floridian. “Tried to fight for every single point. I think coming through qualies gave me an advantage because I was a little bit more match ready and maybe a little bit more tired physically. But I’m used to the courts had a feel for the crowd, so I thought that was a big advantage.”
No one ever talks about the struggle to survive on the tour in terms of funding if you are not one of the top players. “It would be true to say that I never thought about it (the money), but I think, but recently, I’m thinking about it a little bit less, just to ease the pressure off of myself,” she said.
“In tennis, every week something can happen and can have a turnaround. In tennis you lose every week, you can make it back up the next week or the next month so I try to look at it like that because I used to think about that a lot and I wasn’t able to play my game. But now I’m a little bit past that.”
Despite the challenges, she is motivated:” I mean it’s such a struggle, especially if your ranked around the 150 and 200 mark. You don’t make a ton of money, it’s expensive for coaches, hitting partners, your fitness trainer. Every week, nothing is guaranteed, but I come from very, very humble background, and so my Mom taught me, to always work hard, nothing is ever going to be given to you. I’m not used to getting anything, I’m used to getting everything that I have. I’m used to going in with that mentality.”
Last time Vickery reached the second round was in 2013 when she received wildcard into the US Open by winning the 18s Nationals. “I was a little bit younger and was a little bit immature, I wasn’t mentally ready for that big stage, the kind of big match. Now I’m a little bit more mature and I have more years of experience, I know how to handle those high pressure situations a little bit better. So definitely I’m just going to try to give myself the best chance, just going to keep the mentality I had since during my first qualies match.
Next round for Vickery will be wildcard Sofia Kenin who upset 32nd seed Lauren Davis.
“It’s great for her, she’s a young, up and coming player,” Vickery said. “We actually live five minutes from each other in Florida and we practice almost every single day, so definitely familiar with each other. I’ll obviously expect a really tough match. She’s been playing really well, especially the last few months of the year, she’s won a few challengers, that’s how she got the wildcard. I know it’s going to be tough, but I’ll try to fight through.
“Wildcards are always an advantage, you don’t have to go through the qualies, you are much fresher from your first round match. Kenin has only played one match and I played four, so obviously that’s a factor, but me personally, I would rather make it through qualies and kind of earn my spot out there. For me that’s a lot. I feel a lot better, More confident going through that way as opposed to getting the wild card, even though she won it. Personally I prefer the matches, building the confidence match by match.”
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Karen Pestaina at the US Open