Top Four Seeds Make Quarterfinals in Boys 14s at Junior Orange Bowl ~~~
©Colette Lewis 2005
Coral Gables FL--
I realize I've been focusing more on U.S. players throughout the first three days of the Junior Orange Bowl, primarily because I know them and their games better than I know the international players. It also provides some way of directing my attention--when so many matches are played at the same time, the constant hopping from one court to another is limited a bit if I decide just to check on U.S. players.
But that's not to say that I have blinders on when it comes to admirable tennis games. Eddie Herr champion and top seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria has a game that not only brings his appreciative peers to his matches, but coaches as well, using the opportunity to point out to their charges how his balance and technique are models they might consider emulating. Tuesday Dimitrov, the European 14-and-under champion, schooled James Chaudry, the 15th seed from Great Britain, 6-2, 6-2.
Another player's player is Bernard Tomic, the thirteen-year-old from Australia who won both the Eddie Herr and Junior Orange Bowl 12s last year, and has not missed a beat in the 14s. On Tuesday the unseeded Tomic met New York's Shaun Bernstein in a rematch of a second round Jr. Orange Bowl 12s contest last year. Unfortunately for Bernstein, the result was the same, a straight set loss, but making the round of 16 in his first year of 14s demonstrates his game is continuing to develop and improve. Tomic, who did not play the Eddie Herr, is improving with every match, and will test his precocious game against Dimitrov on Wednesday.
Fourth seed Yannick Reuter of Belgium meets Florida's Alex Domijan in the top half's other quarter. Reuter defeated qualifier Pavel Liska of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 and Domijan won the last six games of his match against Devin Britten of Mississippi, to take a 6-3, 6-3 victory. Domijan, who lost in the Eddie Herr final to Dimitrov, is not seeded.
Eleventh seed Lazare Kukhalashvili of the Republic of Georgia, who was a semifinalist last year in the 14s, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win over Mousheg Hovhannisyan of California. The unseeded Hovhannisyan, who beat eighth seed Martin Trueva Monday, is playing his first Junior Orange Bowl event, and his three wins indicate that Southern California junior tennis remains as strong as ever.
Kukhalashvili will face third seed Jose Silva of Brazil, who needed over three hours to subdue unseeded James Munro of South Africa 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6), 6-3. The first two sets took over two hours and fifteen minutes to play, and only ten minutes into the third set, Silva requested a trainer for cramping, but he didn’t appear to have any physical problems after the treatment and finished strongly.
Wednesday’s most intriguing match for fans of U.S. junior tennis has second seed JT Sundling and unseeded Rhyne Williams meeting for the first time in a tournament setting. Having practiced together most of the past two weeks, Sundling and Williams know each other’s games well now and will use that education under the pressure of the quarterfinals of the Junior Orange Bowl. On Tuesday Williams defeated tenth seed Nicolas Pastor of Argentina 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, while Sundling ended the run of qualifier Jadon Phillips 6-2, 6-1, the third straight match he has lost three games or fewer.
In boys 12s unseeded Mika De Coster of the U.S. rolled into the quarters with a 6-0, 6-0 whitewashing of ninth seed Ben Wagland of Australia and will face Quoc-Daniel Nguyen, also from the U.S. and also unseeded. Qualifier Jacob Jung of California, on a seven-match winning streak, takes on unseeded Diego Hildago of Eucador in the other top half quarterfinal.
In the bottom half, unseeded Christian Harrison of the U.S. meets unseeded Joey Swaysland of Australia and ninth seed George Tsivadse of Georgia takes on unseeded Andrew Korinek of the U.S. Korinek eliminated the last remaining number one seed, Jan Romih of Slovenia, 6-1, 6-2.
In girls 12s three number one seeds made the semifinals, with Hanna Orlik and Nicole Gibbs winning three-setters; Jennifer Ren, the third number one seed, will be tested in the other semifinal by qualifier Blazena Lukac.
I’m sorry to have missed the girls 14s round of 16, because several of their matches (played at exactly the same time as the boys but at the Biltmore rather than the University of Miami) appear to have been very exciting.
Portugal’s Michelle Larcher de Brito, who cruised to the Eddie Herr 16s title earlier this month, is having a much tougher time of it in the Junior Orange Bowl 14s. Tuesday she escaped with a 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-3 win over Julia Boserup of the U.S.; on Monday the unseeded de Brito eased past Kurimi Nara of Japan 7-6 in the third. Her next opponent, Gail Brodsky, defeated fellow American Asia Muhammad 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Unseeded Eddie Herr 14s finalist and 2004 Jr. Orange Bowl 12s champion Valeria Solovieva of Russia came from behind to eliminate U.S. wild card Alexandra Anghelescu 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.