©Colette Lewis 2007--
I took a stroll past the court where top seed and 2006 Orange Bowl champion Nikola Hofmanova of Austria was playing her girls' 18s first round match against Alyona Sotnikova of the Ukraine. Hofmanova was up a set and a break, so I thought there was little chance of an upset, and I proceeded to other matches to catch as many of the U.S. girls as I could. Sotnikova, 15, who trains at the Roddick Total Tennis Academy, wasn't as willing to concede the match as I was, and she roared back for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory. After the match, I talked to Myron Grunberg, the director at Roddick's, and he attributed Sotnikova's success as much to her mental skills as to her game, and said she pulled off this upset by breaking down Hofmanova's confidence.
It was a day of comebacks for Grunberg's students, as 14-year-old lucky loser Maryna Zanevska, also of the Ukraine and training at Roddick's, was down two breaks at 4-1 in the third against wild card Asia Muhammad of the U.S. But Zanevska came back to win 6 of the next 7 games to stun Muhammad 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Muhammad didn't play defensively--she kept going for her shots--but Zanevska gave her nothing for free, and as the final few games of the three-and-a-half-hour match played out, Muhammad couldn't find the winners she needed.
All but two of the girls' 18s first round matches were played on the warm and breezy Monday, with eight U.S. girls advancing to the second round. No. 3 seed Madison Brengle, No. 5 seed Melanie Oudin and unseeded Julia Boserup won in straight sets, as did qualifiers Kristy Frilling and Jessica Alexander. Wild card Carling Seguso got through in three sets, as did lucky loser Alexandra Anghelescu. Playing on adjacent courts, the McHale sisters split their decisions: Christina won over qualifier Charlotte Rodier of France 6-4, 6-0 but older sister Lauren lost a lengthy struggle with No. 4 seed Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Aside from Hofmanova, two other seeded girls lost: number 11 seed Tanya Raykova of Bulgaria, the 2006 Eddie Herr champion in the 16s, who was Alexander's victim, and number 12 seed Johanna Konta of Great Britain.
In the third round of the 12s, the American boys continued their impressive results at the Eddie Herr, claiming nine of the final 16 spots. No. 1 seeds Roy Lederman and Joe Di Giulio lost only one game apiece, but Grayson Goldin needed a third set tiebreaker to move on. The fourth U.S. No. 1 seed, Luca Corinteli, didn't survive, falling to unseeded Elio Levi, also of the U.S. in three emotional sets. After several disputes, some over line calls, some over the score, a roving umpire was called to the court, where he stayed the entire match, monitoring and calming players as required.
In addition to those four, five other unseeded Americans reached the round of 16--Jose Gracia, Stefan Kozlov, Justin Butsch, Jack Murray and Daniel Kerznerman.
The girls' 12s feature seven American girls, with No. 1 seeds Madison Keys, Tina Liang and Sachia Vickery advancing in straight sets. In fact, only two of the 16 girls' third round matches went three sets. Unseeded Alexandra Kiick of the U.S. won one of them and will now face another unseeded U.S. girl, Spencer Liang. Unseeded Ayaka Okuna, who defeated a No. 1 seed from Argentina on Monday, and Denise Starr will also represent the U.S. in the round of 16.
All seeded players in the 14s had byes, so there were no upsets in that age group, and the boys in the 16s and 18s were not scheduled. In girls' 16s, only two seeds fell--No. 16 Lidziya Marozava of Belarus, who lost to Daniela Vidal of Venezuela, and Kerrie Cartwright of the Bahamas, the No. 11 seed, who fell to qualifier Maria Belaya of the U.S. in three sets.
For complete draws and more coverage of the tournament, visit eddieherr.com
Monday, November 26, 2007
©Colette Lewis 2007--