NEW YORK (AP) As a tot, Angela Haynes hit her first tennis strokes on the same Compton courts that produced Serena and Venus Williams.
Now 19 and ranked 185th, Haynes tasted her first bit of the Grand Slam success so familiar to the Williams sisters, upsetting 22nd-seeded Magdalena Maleeva 6-2, 6-3 to reach the U.S. Open's third round Wednesday night.
''Everybody peaks at different times, so maybe I am a late bloomer,'' said Haynes, a wild card. ''But I just have to stay within myself, play my game, do what I do best.''
On a Day 3 of the Open that included just-as-expected victories by major champions Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and Jennifer Capriati, and none-too-surprising exits by Gustavo Kuerten and Mark Philippoussis, Haynes got a chance in the spotlight.
She lost in the first round of last year's Open, then lost in the first round of qualifying at the Australian Open in January. That was the sum of Haynes' Slam experience until Monday, when she beat Tatiana Perebiynis in a third-set tiebreaker.
Haynes handled Maleeva quite impressively in the 6,106-seat Grandstand, the largest arena she's played in, hanging tough even after wasting three match points. Haynes never lost her serve, and kept her unforced errors to a minimum: 14 in all.
''Here is the best place to win, get back to where I was and maybe better,'' Haynes said. ''Definitely, it is my biggest win, but I can't dwell on this match. I really have to stay focused here.''
Even if she loses to No. 16 Francesca Schiavone in the third round, she's guaranteed to make $40,000 more than the total prize money on offer at several of the minor league tournaments she struggled at this year.
That's also a nice payday considering all the sacrifices her family made through the years to support her tennis career, sacrifices her father, Fred, said included sleeping in his car. He's hoping a good Open will translate into a sponsorship deal; Angela Haynes and Venus Williams have the same agent.
''We're not done,'' Fred Haynes said in a hallway near the locker rooms at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us