(August 27, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Collin Altamirano is a 17-year-old junior tennis player from Yuba City, California who gained entry into the main draw through a wild card earned when he won the USTA Boys 18 National Championship earlier this month in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Altamarino won Kalamazoo as an unseeded player.
“It was a big win at the biggest American tournament for juniors so it was fun. It was a nice for me to win that and obviously I get to play here,” said the Californian who trains at Arden Hills.
“I was unseeded. I felt that I should have been but I just haven’t played as many junior tournaments. I’ve played two this year. I did not get a high enough ranking.”
“Going into Kalamazoo I knew I was one of the top five or six players with a chance to win it,” he noted.
Altamirano took on 22nd seed Phillip Kohlschreiber of Germany in the first match on court 11 on Tuesday, and not surprisingly fell to the 29-year-old ATP World Tour veteran 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in 85 minutes, in his very first main draw of a grand slam event.
Walking onto the court Altamirano said he felt relieved, despite a very probable outcome against him.
“This has been one of my goals in life to play here and to do it at a pretty young age,” he said. “I felt pretty good about myself. I was pretty happy. It’s nice to kinda get this out of the way be able to know that I can come back here and play again.”
“It was a lot of fun,” the Yuba City native continued. “First Grand slam I’ve ever played. Obviously he’s a very good player.
“I knew there was going to be a big difference. There is a big difference between a guy who won juniors and someone 20 in the world.
“Big step up from juniors when playing challengers and futures events. It’s been a good learning experience.”
This young Californian began to learn the game at five, inspired by his mother Anne who played tournaments locally.
“She had big dreams for me and got me into this game. She did a very good job,” he said with a smile.
As for Altamirano, what does the future hold for him? He intends to continue to play juniors, challengers and futures events. He’ll be playing the California swing later this year.
“I like my chances to go pro, but this year is going to decide it for me,” said Altamirano.
His US Open is not over yet, he’ll be competing in the junior tournament in both singles and doubles.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama