Albanese, Young Represent U.S. in Quarterfinals; Martic Takes Out Third Seed in Girls Action Thursday
©Colette Lewis 2006
Unseeded Lauren Albanese and fourth seed Donald Young earned spots in the quarterfinals with straight set victories Thursday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Albanese trailed another unseeded American, Madison Brengle, early, but quickly earned back the early break she suffered and rolled from there, 6-4, 6-1. Her opponent in the quarterfinals, unseeded Petra Martic of Croatia, created the biggest stir of the day with her straight set win over the third seed, Ayumi Morita of Japan. The 15-year-old is playing in her first junior Grand Slam, but it was Morita that crumbled under pressure. Serving at 5-6, break point, Morita doublefaulted and never recovered, losing 7-5, 6-0,
"I watched her last match," Martic said, "and I knew if I played good, I could win the match. Second set I got relaxed, I knew she would be less with her play. I played good, she was very nervous, making lots of mistakes."
Sixth seed Julia Cohen of Miami was upset by 10th seed Raluca Olaru of Romania 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3. Holding serve was the exception for both girls, but Olaru was broken only once in the final set to claim the win. Olaru faces the top seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Friday. The no. 1 ranked Russian rolled over unseeded qualifier Jade Curtis of Great Britain 6-2, 6-2.
Canadian Sharon Fichman, seeded 13th, blew past fourth seed Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania 6-0, 6-1 to earn a quarterfinal contest with unseeded Czech Katerina Vankova, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Ksenia Pervak of Russia.
The day's most riveting match saw New Zealand's Sacha Jones save two match points in her 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over wild card Ashley Weinhold of the U.S.
Weinhold played near-perfect tennis in the first set, while Jones struggled with her serve.
"She was playing real well in the beginning," Jones said. "Her slice is very effective, but my former coach, Chris Lewis, was a finalist at Wimbledon and he had the best slice I've ever played against, so I knew how to handle it."
At the first changeover of the third set, Weinhold took a medical timeout and emerged with her left thigh taped, and she moved well enough to take a 5-4 lead, but at 40-30, Jones hit a screaming forehand winner to save that match point, the second match point Weinhold missed wide with a forehand.
Jones was determined stay aggressive when she got her chance two games later.
"Last week I was up on Julia Cohen a set and 5-4 40-0," Jones said of their quarterfinal contest in the Canadian Open "and I didn't go for it and I ended up losing in the third in like a three-hour forty-five minute match, so I learnt my lesson there. I had no choice, I had to go for it."
Jones will play 11th seed Tamira Paszek of Austria, who eliminated 8th seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 6-4.
In boys singles, Young gave an impressive performance, blunting the power of Australian Greg Jones to earn a 6-3, 6-4 win. Jones had played flawlessly in his win Wednesday over Michael McClune, but his volleys were not as sharp against Young. The 17-year-old from Atlanta made Jones hit that extra shot often, resulting in errors when he tried for too much. But although Jones was behind the entire match, the Sydney native never went away, battling back from 1-3 0-40 on his serve to pull even at 3 before giving up his next service game on another volley error. Jones saved a match point at 3-5, and earned a break point at 5-4, but Young extricated himself and clipped the line with a forehand winner to close out his third round victory. Young will meet Russian Pavel Chekhov in Friday's quarterfinals. Chekhov, the 11th seed, defeated Young at the Italian Junior Open last year.
Unseeded Peter Polansky of Canada continued his outstanding play, defeating 2006 Wimbledon finalist Marcin Gawron of Poland 6-0, 5-7, 6-1.
"I kind of lost my intensity a bit in the second," admitted the 18-year-old from Thornhill, outside Toronto. "I decided to put everything in and make him play (in the third). I got a couple of breaks and broke his spirit a bit."
Polansky's opponent on Friday is 12th seed Roman Jebavy of the Czech Republic, whom he has never played. The Czech Republic is the only country with two boys remaining in the final eight, with 10th seed Dusan Lojda also winning on Thursday. He plays qualifier Artem Smirnov of the Ukraine, who continued his stellar week with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 upset of third seed Nicolas Santos of Brazil. In the fourth match, Croatia's Luka Belic, the ninth seed takes on second seed Jonathan Eysseric of France.
The doubles quarterfinals are set as well, and there are two all-U.S. teams alive in both girls and boys divisions. Despite her thigh injury, Weinhold and partner Kristy Frilling advanced easily and Chelsey Gullickson and Jamie Hampton moved through in straight sets as well. Lena Litvak, partnering Jones, upended the third seeds, Cohen and Corinna Dentoni of Italy 7-5, 6-2.
The unseeded team of Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg took their second three-set win, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 over seventh seeds Michal Konecny and Andrej Martin. Jarmere Jenkins and Austin Krajicek, also unseeded, won their second consecutive third set tiebreak, overtaking Jones and Hans Podlipnik of Chile 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4).
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