By Jane McManus
NEW YORK — When Irina Falconi was just 3 years old, her parents moved the family from Ecuador to Washington Heights. One of the bright spots of the move to New York was their new place, right across from Inwood Hill Park and its nine tennis courts.
“I came along and decided one day I was going to go out there and act like I knew what I was doing,” Falconi said. “I was 4-years-old and never looked back. I trained on those courts every single day for 10 years. It’s where it all started.”
As for where she is now, Falconi plays on Court 11 against No. 14 Dominika Cibulkova on Wednesday the third match on the court. Falconi, 21, was ranked No. 78 coming into the U.S. Open, and her first-round win on Monday is the highlight of her career so far. With the win, her ranking rises high enough to automatically qualify for for the main draw of the Australian Open.