Hoosiers Schneider and Ram to Face Off in U.S. Open Doubles
Odds be darned, Rajeev Ram and Ronnie Schneider have netted the chance to go head to head in the Grand Slam tennis event's first round.
There was a slim chance that it would happen—and it came to pass. Bloomington's Ronnie Schneider will play collegiate tennis at the University of North Carolina soon, but first comes an opening-round test against a fellow Hoosier, Carmel's Rajeev Ram, at the U.S. Open in New York City, the final Grand Slam event of the pro-tennis season. The two found out last weekend, on the cusp of the Open, that they drew each other in the tournament. What's more, there's a 1.5 percent chance that this would happen in the 32-team draw. And—get this—they even share a coach in fellow Hoosier Bryan Smith.
Here's the 18-year-old Schneider talking about his parents' nerves, the support back home in Indiana, and his chances in the Open:
Schneider and partner Paul Oosterbaan netted this chance to face off against compatriots 29-year-old Ram and Brian Baker by winning the USTA Boys 18 Doubles National Championship this summer in Oosterbaan's native Kalamazoo, Mich. Schneider and Oosterbaan are blogging about their experience in NYC for the USTA Midwest site here, and Ram and Baker squared off in a charity match in Indianapolis in December 2012.
The men's doubles event begins later than does singles draw play, which commenced at 11 a.m. today. Stay tuned for the expected match date and time. Meanwhile, the field of men's tandems can be found here. The top-seeded team of twins Mike and Bob Bryan is vying for its fourth straight major doubles championship, which would garner them a calendar-year Grand Slam crown after winning the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon events.
You can follow both locals, Schneider and Ram, on Twitter for updates during the tournament.