©Colette Lewis 2007--
Delray Beach FL--
The 2007 Boys 18s Clay Courts, like any good summer movie blockbuster sequel, could be entitled, "The Return of the Florida State Closed." Three of the four semifinalists in that division met last month in Daytona Beach, on clay, with Clint Bowles taking matches from Joey Burkhardt in the round of 16 and Brennan Boyajian in the semifinals on his way to the title (over Ryan Kim, whom he beat in the round of 32 here).
Bowles, who isn't seeded despite that win, set up a rematch with Boyajian by defeating No. 3 seed Reid Carleton 7-6 (5), 6-3, while Boyajian, the highest remaining seed now at No. 5, cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Luke Marchese, the No. 10 seed.
Taking an early 4-1 lead, Bowles, who will play at Florida State this fall, seemed in control. But Carleton came back to force the tiebreaker, and when Bowles' forehand went awry in the middle of it, Carleton managed a 5-4 lead with two serves coming. But Bowles didn't lose confidence in his forehand, played aggressively and hit two winners from that side in the next three points. The second set, which I caught only the last two games of, was extremely close, but at 3-3 Bowles got the break, held and broke again to earn his spot in the semifinals.
Burkhardt, a 17 seed, defeated fellow Floridian Jeff Dadamo, the ninth seed, 6-1, 6-3. Burkhardt made effective use of his drop shot early, and Dadamo's errors kept him from getting any opportunity to dig into the match. The only out of state party crasher is No. 6 seed Bradley Klahn, the San Diego area native, who defeated Florida's Wil Spencer, the No. 4 seed, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. Klahn, the winner of the Grass Courts last month in Philadelphia, made effective use of his lefty serve and matched Spencer forehand for forehand before taking charge in the final set.
The 16s started the action on a slightly cooler day at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, although 90 degrees is only cool in relative terms.
No. 7 seed Ryan Noble upset No. 3 seed and Easter Bowl champion Lawrence Formentera 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-1. Noble came back from 5-2 down in the first set to win the next four games, but was broken when serving for it. The ensuing tiebreaker saw Noble take a 5-3 lead, but Formentera came up with a couple of winners and an ill-fated drop shot attempt by Noble gave Formentera the set. But Noble gave no indication of discouragement and disrupting the Californian's rhythm with many a slice, Noble got ahead and stayed focused throughout the next two sets.
Noble's opponent in Saturday's semifinal is 14-year-old Dennis Kudla, a 17 seed, who defeated No. 13 seed Sekou Bangoura 6-3, 6-3. The other semifinal will feature top seed Tennys Sandgren against the surprising Devin McCarthy. Sandgren was dominant again today, beating No. 9 seed Walker Kehrer 6-1, 6-2, while the unseeded McCarthy, who had saved three match points in his upset of No. 5 seed Mousheg Hovhannisyan on Thursday, lost only two games in eliminating unseeded Daniel Ho.
The boys 16s doubles finals are set for Saturday afternoon. Kehrer and Raymond Sarmiento, the No. 7 seeds will face the No. 2 seeded team of Noble and Bo Seal, who saved a match point in the second set of their late evening semifinal against Billy Federhofer and Anderson Reed, taking it 3-6, 7-6, 7-6. Both Seal and Sarmiento had played two back draw matches prior to their doubles semifinals, and Seal was on the court nearly ten hours in his three matches.
The 18s doubles completed the quarterfinals today with No. 2 seeds Boyajian and Zach Hunter coming back for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over the unseeded team of Andrew Landwerlen and Andrew Reiff. The semifinals will be played on Saturday afternoon.
Friday, July 20, 2007