The first major of 2014, the Australian Open is about a month away and American players Sachia Vickery and Steve Johnson reserved their spot for the singles main draw in Melbourne.
Vickery and Johns won finals on Sunday, in two different fashions at Life Time at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Georgia to take the 2013 Australian Open WIldcard Playoffs Presented by the USTA.
Vickery, 18, cruised past fellow 18-year old Victoria Duval, 6-2, 6-3 in a match that may have lacked drama, but still featured some some great tennis.
Vickery said she played as hard as she could against the favored Duval.
"I was trying to go point by point and not think too far ahead," explained Vickery.
That included taking risks on her serve and serve return.
"I thought just I would go for it and if I miss it, I miss it," said Vickery. "(One the serve) I think she started noticing I was going wide a lot . My "T" was working today."
Johnson, ATP World Tour No. 156, had to go the distance to win his wildcard. The former Southern California All-American injured his left ankle in the fourth set and ended up having it heavily taped. Johnson saved a match point at 4-5 to the up-and-coming Tennys Sandgren.
Winning the marathon 4-6, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(5), 6-1, Johnson said that's what makes tennis so interesting to fans and the players.
“That’s just tennis. He’s one point away from winning, and 20 minutes later I’m up a break and trying to squeeze him for another one.”
Johnson has had some recent bad luck in five-set matches, so this was extra sweet.
“I’m excited to finally win a five-set match,” he added. “I’m 0-for-4 in life, 0-for-3 this year, so I’m glad to get one.”
Johnson and Vickery are now into the singles main draw in Melbourne – Vickery’s first time there, and Johnson’s second main draw in Australia.
More information at www.australianwildcard.com.