Thacher reaches last 16 of US Open junior tournament


Flushing Meadows, New York is the mecca of American tennis, a location where the names Connors, McEnroe, Sampras, and Federer require neither foreword nor elucidation. For two weeks in late August and early September, all eyes in the sporting world lock firmly on the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the site of the annual U.S. Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the calendar year. And players like Ryan Thacher ’08 venture from all corners of the globe to battle it out against the best tennis has to offer.

Last week, Thacher reached the last sixteen in the Junior Boys’ singles competition of the Open.

After making quick work of Australia’s Jared Easton, 6-2, 6-1 in the tournament’s first round, Thacher met seventh seed Stephane Piro of France. Despite Piro’s high ranking, Thacher yet again won without dropping a set, defeating Piro 6-4, 6-3.

Thacher’s next test, though, caused him problems and Great Britain’s Daniel Evans grinded out a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory that ended the left-hander’s run in the tournament.

Following his runner-up performance at this year’s 2007 Boys’ Under-18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Thacher was granted a qualifying wild card in the Men’s Singles competiton at this year’s U.S. Open, but opted to be inserted in the Juniors draw instead.

Thacher is considered the USTA’s number one Juniors prospect and one of the next great hopes for American tennis, analysts from Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times alike have said. He has drawn just as much praise for his character, maturity, and intelligence off the court as his prowess on it.