When it comes to qualifying for the main draw of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Robert Kendrick knows that survival takes precedence and friendships are put on hold. He accomplished both yesterday with a 6-2, 7-6 (10-8) victory over Zack Fleishman to advance to the qualifying finals.
Kendrick is among eight players who will vie today for four spots in the main draw at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Northwest Washington. The fourth seed will face Yeu-Tzuoo Wang of Taipei, Taiwan, who dispatched Reston native Trevor Spracklin, 6-2, 6-1, in 52 minutes.
Kendrick avenged a qualifying loss to his friend Fleishman at the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles last month. "The L.A. loss hurt. As good of friends as we are, I really wanted this," Kendrick said. "He played well in L.A., and I decided to change my game plan for this result."
At times, it was hard to tell that Kendrick was leading in the match as he shouted at himself and tossed his racket on two occasions. Despite losing two service games, he easily won the first set behind a strong first serve and potent forehand. He had 14 aces and won 71 percent of his points on his first serve.
"I just wanted to move him around and let him make the mistakes," Kendrick said. "I went back to the old ways in the second set, but still was able to pull it out."
Spracklin failed for the second consecutive year to advance to the main draw. He was forced to play two matches in one day after his first-round match Saturday was suspended because of rain. He was clearly fatigued after staving off five match points in a three-set victory in his morning match.
Spracklin lost command of his stinging first serve, managing to win just 49 percent of those points for the match, while Wang converted 76 percent. Spracklin committed a double fault on game point to give Wang a 3-1 lead in the first set. "This was borrowed time," Spracklin said. "[Wang] was fresh. He is a tough player, and I didn't have the stamina to make a run."
France's Floret Serra will face Nenad Zimonjic, and the winner will be the only unseeded player to qualify for the main draw. Serra dispatched top-seeded Glen Weiner en route to the finals. The other match will feature third-seeded Harel Levy against seventh-seeded Takao Suzuki.