FLUSHING, N.Y. - Tapping into her experience playing in one of the world's biggest tennis tournaments, Henderson's Asia Muhammad won for the first time at the U.S. Open Wednesday, advancing with a three-set win in the qualifying tournament taking place at the National Tennis Center.
Muhammad's talent is a direct result of the Andre Agassi Foundations Boys and Girls Club program where she was coached by UNLV NCAA Champion Tim Blenkiron.
"Asia is very excited to be here and she showed that on the court today. She is really starting to become a mature young lady," explained her father Ron Holmes. "But we would not be at the US OPEN if not for Andre's foundation and Asia's coach at home Tim Blenkiron. We have also been getting a lot of great help and coaching from the USTA. Asia is excited to work hard and see what she can do to make them all proud."

Asia stunned the crowds at the 2008 Tennis Channel Open by reaching the final beating top 100 players on the way. In the last year she has been traveling to pro tour with the USTA traveling team.

Playing as a wild card in the main draw singles last year, the 17-year-old Muhammad lost in the first round to a player ranked top 50. This time playing as a wild card in the 128-player qualifying event, she overcame some nerves in the second set to beat Jorgelina Cravero of Argentina, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

Muhammad faces Australia's Anastasia Rodionova, the No. 30 seed, in the second round Thursday. Muhammad has to win two more rounds to become one of the 16 qualifiers into the main draw beginning Monday.

"It's exciting to get my first win at the Open," said Muhammad. "I was a little nervous there in the second set but once she started getting visibly upset I was able to use that to win the third."

Muhammad will play in the main draw doubles event earning a wild card by virtue of her win at the USTA National 18s Hardcourt national championships two weeks ago in Berkeley, Calif. She will play with Christina McHale of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

USTA Training Center West National Coach Adam Peterson watched the match and was impressed with Muhammad's fitness and composure. "Because I've been working with Asia for such a short time, I didn't want to really get into the mental aspect of her game," Peterson said. "Something like that takes some time and trust from the player. So it's something we'll work on but right now I'm just helping her with some technical things in her game. Her fitness level pulled her through in the third set."
Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa
Tivoli Village
Tennis Warehouse

Click here to find out more!