Citi Open tennis: Coco Vandeweghe charges past Arvane Rezai and into quarterfinals

August 2, 2012

Already brimming with confidence, Coco Vandeweghe said she was able to raise her game even more Wednesday night when she observed how her play had shaken her opponent.

Vandeweghe used her strong legs to dispose of Aravane Rezai, 6-2, 6-2 and advance to the quarterfinals of the Citi Open at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Northwest Washington.

When stationed near the baseline, the 20-year-old American was able to grind her opponent down with strong returns that stayed low to the net.

“I felt after those long rallies that she kind of deflated a bit,” Vandeweghe said.

Her serves made for tough returns, as she recorded 11 aces and just a pair of double faults. Often, Rezai had no time to react to the serve — all she could do was turn and walk to the other end of the baseline. Early in the second set, she disputed an official’s call, claiming that Vandeweghe’s serve landed out not only on that point, but also on the previous three.

“It can either make her fiery and angry and make her play better. Or it can make her so angry that she plays worse,” Vandeweghe said.

Also in women’s singles, Eugenie Bouchard of Canada rallied to win 12 of the last 15 games and down Olga Govortsova, 0-6, 6-1, 6-3. Bouchard, 18, fell into a three-game hole in the third set before she came back to win.

She advances to meet 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens in a quarterfinal matchup of two of the sport’s youngest emerging stars. Bouchard won the Wimbledon juniors title in July; Stephens is ranked No. 50 in the world.

In the second round of men’s singles, Tommy Haas knocked off Leonardo Mayer, 6-4, 7-5.

James Blake played with strength and poise to turn back Marco Chiudinelli, 6-2, 6-4. In the clinching game, Blake rebounded from a 40-15 deficit and forced a deuce with a 117-mph ace. He then raised his serve to 127 mph for a match-clinching ace.

Also on Wednesday, the tournament inducted the inaugural hall of fame class of the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation.

Donald Dell, who co-founded the event in 1969 and was a former Davis Cup captain, highlighted the class. Joining him was John Harris, Paul Robert Ignatius, Henry H. Kennedy Jr. and Peter Work.

Founded in 1955 , the WTEF uses tennis as a tool to provide academic help to at-risk children.

“I started playing at the Armory in New York, in a similar program that stressed education and gives kids a chance to succeed in life, not just in tennis, but by using their brains,” Blake said.

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