The Original Article Published on The Jerusalem Post
NEW YORK – Day 2 of the US Open Qualifying Singles Tournament saw American Mitchell Krueger come from behind to beat Canadian Brayden Schnur.
Schnur and Krueger also provided decent material for Jewish fans scanning the draw sheets in hopeful search for Jewish names.
Krueger, No. 198 in the world, is not Jewish, while No. 193 Schnur reportedly is “half Jewish.”
Late in the day, a player wearing a Star of David – inside of a gold tennis racket—appeared on Court10. Proudly Jewish, 23-year-old Jared Hiltzik, from Wilmette, Illinois, played tennis at the University of Illinois, and currently lives in Tampa, Florida. On Wednesday, he fell 7-6(5), 6-3 to Argentinian Marco Trungelliti.
Last year, Hiltzik appeared at the US Open, playing in the American Collegiate Invitational, which featured eight men and eight women in a single-elimination singles tournament. (The winners received a wild card into the 2017 US Open main draw or qualifying draw-depending on their ranking).
Hiltzik felt he played well, but had to deal with some back tightness throughout the match.
“I was alright, I had some opportunities,” said the world’s
432nd-ranked player to The Jerusalem Post.
Jewish and Israel tennis fans will be happy to know that Hiltzik is proud of his Judaism, though he admits that “I was not as involved with Chabad on campus as I would have wanted to be, being a busy student-athlete.”
Hiltzik has traveled to Israel twice – once as a child, and once last month.
“I proposed to my girlfriend on Masada!” he exclaimed.
He plans to get married next September. Hopefully, success at next year’s US Open won’t interfere with the wedding.
The main draw of the US Open gets under way on Monday in New York, with Dudi Sela currently the only Israeli with a spot secured in the singles event.
Yshai Oliel is slated to play in the junior tournament, while Jonathan Erlich will participate in doubles.