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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Green Grass and Gray Skies

©Colette Lewis 2007—
Philadelphia, PA—

It was an ideal day to get in the mood for Wimbledon. The ever-darkening skies made rain seem inevitable, the cool breeze demanded a jacket, and the Grass Courts’ schedule, already in disarray from heavy showers on Tuesday, didn’t need any more reminders of the tribulations of an English summer.

Fortunately, the gloom never produced any precipitation, and the singles semifinalists were determined. Even the first round of doubles was completed.

When we arrived shortly after 11 a.m., No. 6 seed Dennis Nevolo had already vacated one of the lush green courts, (no Wimbledon dead-brown patches at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, even three days in), taking a 6-1, 6-1 victory over unseeded Sam Garforth-Bles. Although this is Nevolo’s first experience with grass court tennis, he’s adjusting quickly, and he told me afterward that he’s finding that thinking and improvising are his best bets, given the eccentricities of the surface.

The quarterfinal match between Bradley Klahn, the No. 2 seed, and Ryan Harrison, No. 7, was extremely tight, with Klahn pulling it out, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4). Serving at 5-6 in the second set, Harrison managed to fight off at least five match points before holding, and with a 3-1 lead in the tiebreak, it looked as if momentum was on his side. But Klahn continued to punish Harrison’s second serve, often with outright return winners, and Klahn took the next five points and six of the next seven to earn the victory.

No. 5 seed Ryan Lipman ousted top seed Drew Daniel and unseeded Dennis Kudla put an end to lucky loser Andrew Landwerlen’s run with a 6-2, 7-6 (7) victory.

Because of rain earlier in the tournament, girls’ top seed Mallory Cecil played two singles matches Wednesday, winning the first, but falling to unseeded Emily Fraser in the quarterfinals 6-1, 6-4. Fraser will play Gabriela Paz, the No. 2 seed and 2006 Grass Court doubles champion, who reached the semifinals with a straight set win over unseeded Beatrice Capra. Tara Moore, the No. 3 seed. defeated No. 8 Zaruhi Harutyunyan to set up a rematch with Paz, whom she defeated in April’s International Spring Championships in Carson.

The semifinals in singles will be played on Friday, while two rounds of doubles are scheduled for Thursday.

(I apologize for the incomplete scores; the TennisLink website, which I usually rely on for details, hasn't been updated.)


Anonymous said...

With all the comments in the past about how strong the 91's are it is kind of nice to see the 92's are holding their own with the 91's. Denis Kudla '92 defeated the player who beat Devin Britton '91 and Ryan Harrison '92 beat Alex Domijan'91 head up. So much for the 91's being head and shoulders above the rest.

Anonymous said...

to address the Kudla win over Landwerlen, who defeated Britton - the Landwerlen/Britton match was on a not-quite-so-soggy court so was more balanced for both players. one has to consider the condition of the courts, and the favorability for a small, quick player on slow, soggy courts - rather than thinking that 92's are superior in any way over 91's. each player has his day - some better than others, and court conditions are always crucial

Anonymous said...

Nobody said the 92's were superior. I said they were holding their own as far as results go especially in this tournament. The soggy court excuse doesnt hold water(no pun intended ) because a bigger rangier kid should have better footing since a smaller quicker kid would rely on footing and cutting and speed even more which would be hard to come by on a soggy court. Bottom line is the conditions were the same for both players. Was this the same excuse in the Harrison-Domijan match? Would love to know what happened in that one given the Harrison kids track record against the 91's.

Anonymous said...

You have to remember that this is a grass court! This tournament is full of upsets every year. Some players games will suit the grass courts better than others. I think you need to take these results with a grain of salt because this is the only tournament of the year on this surface and its not like anybody goes out of their way to train for it.

Anonymous said...

I guess you can take clay court results with a grain of salt as well since 80% or more of the tournaments are played on hard courts and many of the kids who play clays don't have clay courts to train on. Enough with the excuses already. We all know that certain game styles favor certain surfaces but the results still count. Ask Federer on clay and Nadal on any surface but clay in the majors.