Now, Arantxa knows Allison Bradshaw

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The Independent Online

Two days before they were to play at the U.S. Open, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario was asked what she knew about her next opponent, Allison Bradshaw.

Two days before they were to play at the U.S. Open, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario was asked what she knew about her next opponent, Allison Bradshaw.

Sanchez-Vicario furrowed her brow, wrinkled her nose and said, "Who?"

Now she knows Bradshaw.

The wild card entry made it to the third round of the Grand Slam tournament and pushed Sanchez-Vicario, a former champion, to a first-set tiebreaker on Friday before losing 7-6 (2), 6-0.

Bradshaw is the daughter of Valerie Ziegenfuss, one of the founders of the Women's Tennis Association. Like her mother, she's also a pretty good player, which Sanchez-Vicario discovered rather quickly.

Players compile private scouting reports on opponents, especially those who show up over and over on the other side of the net. Bradshaw, 19, is a brand new opponent, someone who joined the pro tour after two years as an All-American at Arizona State.

"It's kind of weird to go to a third round and have to play somebody new," Sanchez-Vicario said. Bradshaw's "a big girl. She hits the ball really hard. The first set was pretty close."

Twice, Bradshaw was a break away from taking that set. Sanchez-Vicario never yielded, hitting seven winners in eight points to force the tiebreaker. Then she rolled through, winning it easily and pitching a shutout in the second set.

It was so close for the teen-ager from San Diego.

"I'm a little disappointed right now," Bradshaw said. "I just got tired. I felt like I was playing well and I was in control. But you know she's a great player and I think she had a little more experience - or a lot more experience over me.

"She runs every ball down and makes you play a ton. And, you know, she wears you down."

Bradshaw was saddled by 34 unforced errors compared to just 12 for Sanchez-Vicario. The second set was no contest, over in 23 minutes. It was a dose of realism for the youngster.

"She has a lot of future," Sanchez-Vicario said. "She's just young. She just needs to play more tournaments. She has the game, especially on a fast surface, to do well. She's only 17, right?"

No, actually, she's 19.

"Oh, yeah," Sanchez-Vicario said, still getting acquainted. "She still has a long way to go."

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