©Colette Lewis 2007--
Five American girls and four U.S. boys have advanced to the quarterfinals of the 12s competition at the Eddie Herr, some expected, some not. The 12s fields are always something of a mystery, so seeding is difficult with so little common play at that age. But there are five No. 1 seeds still left in both divisions, including Joe Di Giulio and Roy Lederman of the U.S. and Americans Madison Keys, Tina Jiang and Sachia Vickery.
The two unseeded American boys, Elio Livi and Daniel Kerznerman, play each other on Wednesday, while Di Giulio plays Pylyp Kekercheni of the Ukraine, a No. 1 seed who ousted Justin Butsch of the U.S. in three sets. Lederman defeated No. 1 seed Evan Hoyt from Great Britain in straight sets to set up a meeting with another No. 1 seed, Hyeon Chung of Korea. In the only quarterfinal without an American, No. 1 seed Filip Obucina of Canada will meet Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy. The unseeded Quinzi eliminated No. 1 seed Grayson Goldin of the U.S. in straight sets.
There are two all-American quarterfinal matchups in the girls division, with Vickery going against unseeded Ayaka Okuno and Jiang meeting unseeded Alexandra Kiick, the daughter of former Miami Dolphin Jim Kiick. Keys will play No. 1 seed Louise Kwong of Canada, who is rolling through the draw, having lost no more than three games in any of her four wins. The remaining quarterfinal will pit unseeded Gabriele Sinskaite of Lithuania against No. 1 seed Su Jeoung Jang of Korea. Of the quarterfinalists, only Kiick has dropped a set, but half of them will see that domination end on Friday.
One of the marquee matches of the day in boys 18s singles first round play was wild card Filip Krajinovic of Serbia against Bernard Tomic of Australia. Assigned to the "Stadium Court," also known as Nick's Court, the two 15-year-olds attracted a three-deep crowd along the fence and dozens of spectators in the bleachers despite the hot sun and the many other matches nearby. I saw only the last three games of the match, but I was impressed by both boys. The level of play was high, and it was about tennis--there was none of the emotion and anguish so common on the IMG/Bollettieri Academy courts this week. At 4-3 in the second set, after Krajinovic had won the first 6-2, the Serb broke the No. 7 seed to earn an opportunity to serve for the match. He was broken at love, but Krajinovic never so much as swatted at a ball in anger, nor did he raise his voice or betray any disappointment. After the changeover, Krajinovic returned the favor, breaking Tomic at love. On match point, he hit a delicate drop shot that Tomic did get to, but was unable to control and pushed long. With Krajinovic's recent run (20 junior matches and counting), there can be no second-guessing of his decision to take the wild card into the 18s and withdraw from the 16s.
In addition to Tomic, several seeds were bounced in first round action: No. 5 seed and U.S. Open Jr. finalist Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, with a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Henri Kontinen of Finland; No. 6 seed Radu Albot of Moldovia, who lost to 15-year-old Giacomo Miccini of Italy 6-4, 6-4; No. 10 seed Yuki Bhambri of India dropping a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 decision to qualifier Mirza Basic of Bosnia; and No. 15 Vasek Pospisil of Canada, who lost to U.S. wild card Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 7-6(4).
Other U.S. wild cards chalking up wins on Tuesday were Bo Seal and Chase Buchanan, along with qualifier Alex Domijan. No. 8 seed Rhyne Williams, playing in his first tournament in over two months, won in straight sets, as did No. 11 seed Ryan Harrison and unseeded Wil Spencer. No. 16 seed Bradley Klahn advanced in three sets.
Another afternoon contest that proved a big draw was No. 7 seed Mallory Cecil of the U.S. against two-time Eddie Herr champion (12s and 14s) Hanna Orlik of Belarus in first round girls' 18s action. A student at Bollettieri's, Cecil had quite a few supporters, and when facing a determined 14-year-old, that can be important. Orlik wasn't at her best, committing a slew of unforced errors, and Cecil used her speed to great advantage in earning a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
The boys 14s lost their No. 1 seed, Yaroslav Shyla of Belarus, who lost to Donovan Anez of Venezuela in three sets, but Christian Harrison of the U.S., the No. 3 seed, won easily, and No. 2 seed Damien David of Canada also advanced in straight sets.
For complete draws and other coverage of the tournament, see eddieherr.com.