Aug. 29, 2012
NEW YORK- Senior Mallory Burdette continues to steal the spotlight at the 2012 U.S. Open, moving into the third round following a 6-2, 6-4 win over Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic on Wednesday morning.
Burdette has now set the stage for a showdown against Maria Sharapova, seeded No. 3 in the draw and ranked No. 3 in the world. Sharapova defeated Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-0, 6-1 in her second round match.
Appearing as a wildcard in her first career Grand Slam, Burdette had a chance to shake off any early jitters Monday night with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Switzerland's Timea Bacsinsky in the opening round.
Burdette has enjoyed a successful summer testing her game on the pro circuit, collecting singles crowns at the Hospital Tennis Classic ($10,000 USTA Pro Circuit) and Odlum Brown Vancouver Open ($200,000 USTA Pro Circuit), which earned her a main draw U.S. Open wildcard. Back in July, Burdette picked up her first career WTA victory in the Bank of the West Classic opening round before hanging tough early on against 10th-ranked Marion Bartoli in a 7-5, 6-0 loss.
A two-time NCAA doubles champion, Burdette teamed with junior Nicole Gibbs to win this year's title one season after bringing home the 2011 crown with Hilary Barte. The 2012 NCAA singles runner-up to Gibbs, Burdette has compiled a 104-22 overall singles record in three seasons.
- Thanks to ASAP Sports and Kevin Fischer, WTA Tour
Q. Did you expect to be in interview room 1 at the US Open?
BURDETTE: No, definitely not. This is quite an experience, and I'm really enjoying it. This is fun.
Q. What did you do well today and what was it like out there doing it well?
BURDETTE: I think one of the biggest things I did well today was just managing my nerves, managing my thoughts out there. Yeah, every point I stuck to my rituals in between points and was just really focused on trying to be aggressive and playing my game style.
Q. How much did you know about her going in? She won a silver medal at the Olympics pretty recently.
BURDETTE: I did not know that, but I had heard a few things about her game tactically. I knew she was two hands on both sides and hit the ball pretty hard. That was about it going in.
Q. Can you take us through the last couple weeks, getting the wildcard, what it's been like.
BURDETTE: This summer has been amazing. One of my biggest goals at the beginning of the summer was to obviously play some of the pro tournaments and to see if I just enjoyed travel and go playing these tournaments week in and week out. I can honestly say that I've enjoyed the whole process. It's been great. To end up here at the US Open was a huge surprise. I never expected that at the beginning of the summer. I kind of thought I missed my chance at NCAAs when I lost in the finals. That wasn't even on my radar. Yeah, so it's been a crazy ride. Very exciting.
Q. In the past, players tried to get to the pro circuit as soon as possible. Could you talk about the Stanford experience, going to The Farm both as a person and as a tennis player?
BURDETTE: Stanford is just so great. You're surrounded by such amazing people in the classroom, and all of the athletes there at Stanford, they work so hard. It's been a great experience for me. I have learned how to handle a variety of different situations and how to manage my tennis along with schooling, along with, you know, being a captain on the team and things like that. It's just been a very valuable experience, something that I think has definitely prepared me for playing pro tennis. I think college tennis is a great breeding ground for players, and I definitely wasn't sure when I was 18 whether I wanted to go pro or not. I was on the fence. And so I said, I'm going to take my time. I'm going to go to college, work towards a degree, and go from there. I think it's been extremely valuable for me.
Q. Seems very likely your next match will be against Maria Sharapova, which is likely it will be on Ashe, maybe like CBS in the afternoon or something. What would be your expectations, that experience, be like?
BURDETTE: I have no idea. I have only walked out on Ashe with nobody in the stadium. Actually at the National Indoor College Tournament they give you a little tour and we get to go out there at night. But I have no idea. It's going to be quite an experience. I've always looked up to Maria. I remember sitting with my coach, Nick, when she won her first Wimbledon title and talking about her game and the way that she plays. I would certainly love to play more like her. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Burdette and Gibbs were also scheduled to compete against the sister duo of Serena Williams and Venus Williams on Wednesday in the opening round before Gibbs withdrew from competition.
Burdette and Gibbs captured the 2012 NCAA doubles crown, collecting Stanford's 15th overall collegiate doubles titles in school history and eighth since the NCAA adopted its current format in 1982. Burdette and Gibbs wrapped up the year 35-5 overall, 18-2 in duals, 17-3 in tournament play and 18-4 against nationally-ranked opponents.