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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Junior Orange Bowl Day 4: Competition Heats Up in Round of 16

Coral Gables, FL--

Three set matches were plentiful Thursday in the boys and girls 14s, with half of the contests in each division going the distance.

Unseeded Shane Vinsant of Keller, Tex., who had already disposed of a seed in the second round, notched another upset with a 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 win over No. 9 seed Ivan Conejero of Chile. Vinsant squandered a 5-2 lead in the third set, but broke and held to book his place in Friday's quarterfinal against top seed Tiago Fernandes of Brazil. Fernandes cruised past No. 9 seed Michael Rinaldi of Palm City, Fla. 6-1, 6-0.

George Morgan of Great Britain staged an impressive comeback in his encounter with fellow No. 17 seed Dennis Novikov of Redwood City, California. Down a set, with Novikov serving for the match at 5-4, Morgan, a tall right-hander, used his variety and his focus to turn the match in his favor.

"He mentally got off, when he lost that game, and I took advantage of it," said Morgan, who can slice his backhand or pound a two-hander with equal success. "I'm usually quite a slow starter, it takes a half a set or a set to adjust; I need to work on that a bit more."

Morgan has now reached his goal for the tournament.

"My aim was to make the quarterfinals, so I'm happy with that."

Next for Morgan is Matias Sborowitz of Chile, who also won a long three-setter Thursday afternoon.

All four players who won three setters did so after dropping the opening set, including Emmett Egger of Issaquah, Wash., a No. 9 seed, who defeated Spencer Simon of Santa Barbara, Calif. 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Egger faces another American, Eddie Herr finalist Spencer Newman of Miami, in Friday's quarterfinals. Newman, also a No. 9 seed, dropped Luis Patino of Mexico 6-0, 6-2. The other quarterfinal has No. 5 seed Diego Hidalgo of Ecuador facing No. 9 seed Yaroslav Shyla of Belarus.
In the girls 14s, the top U.S. seeds remaining, No. 4 Lauren Herring of Greenville, N.C., and No. 5 Ellen Tsay of Pleasanton, Calif., had opposite outcomes in their three-setters.

Herring fell to No. 17 seed Yulia Putintseva of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in a marathon that had many swings in momentum. Herring was down 3-0 in the second set, won six straight games to earn the split, then fell behind 4-1 in the third. She fought back to 4-4, but dropped her serve in the next game, giving the emotional and vocal Russian a opportunity to serve out the match, which she did.

Tsay stopped Great Britain's Laura Robson's Florida winning streak at nine, defeating the Eddie Herr champion 6-4, 0-6, 6-4, and thoroughly frustrating the 13-year-old Londoner with her defense.

No. 17 seed Monica Puig of Miami advanced to the quarterfinals, as did Breaunna Addison of New Braunfels, Tex., with straight-set victories.

The boys 12s quarterfinals, which move from Tropical Park to Biltmore Tennis Center on Friday, will feature three Americans.

No. 1 seed Joe Di Giulio, of Newport Beach, Calif. was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Billy Harris of Great Britain, a deceptively routine score for a very long, grueling match. Di Giulio meets No. 1 seed Borna Coric of Croatia, who hasn't lost more than three games in his first four matches. Unseeded Justin Butsch of Miami Beach, Fla. downed another unseeded American, Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, Calif., 7-5, 6-2, and Miami's Roy Lederman, the Eddie Herr finalist, blew past Grant Solomon of Dallas, Tex. 6-0, 6-0.

The girls 12s have completed their third round, with Sachia Vickery of Hollywood, Fla. and Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla. closing out the evening with a reprise of their meeting in the Eddie Herr final last month. Once again Keys emerged with the victory, this time under the lights on the Salvadore Park clay, with a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2 decision. Keys was down 5-2 in the second set, won four straight games, but couldn't close it out when she was serving for it at 6-5/ Vickery took advantage of the lapse to force a tiebreaker and then a third set, but Keys prevailed.

Next for Keys is Deerfield Beach Fla.'s Jan Abaza, a qualifier, who defeated No. 1 seed Kanami Tsuji of Japan Thursday afternoon 7-5, 6-3. Ayaka Okuno of Santa Clara, Calif. and Denise Starr of Miami, both unseeded, advanced to the round of 16 in straight sets, but U.S. No. 1 seed Jerricka Boone of Chicago, Ill., was bounced by Darya Lebeshava of Belarus 6-3, 6-0. Unseeded Alexandra Kiick of Davie, Fla. fought back to oust qualifier Jennifer Brady of Boca Raton, Fla. 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, and will face unseeded Victoria Duval of Boca Raton on Friday. Duval, who has lost only four games in three matches, defeated Ines Fontanarosa of France 6-1, 6-2, and said her opponent's No. 1 seeding helped her play well.

"I was really motivated because I knew she was No. 1 and it wasn't going to be an easy match," Duval said. "I was motivated to hit the ball; the other matches were a little easy, so I didn't really focus on what I had to do."

Duval had no trouble outlasting her much larger opponent, who with ponytail and one-handed backhand, resembled her compatriot Amelie Mauresmo.

"I've been working on my consistency, because in previous matches I've been missing a lot," said Duval. "I've been working with my coach on my consistency, and I see the results in this match."

The girls 12s will play two rounds on Friday, with the semifinals scheduled for Saturday and the finals for Sunday, all at Salvadore Park.

For complete results and draws, see the Junior Orange Bowl TennisLink site.


Anonymous said...

who won the wildcard tournament for AUS open??

Colette Lewis said...

I heard that Levine won it, but I have no details.

Anonymous said...

bricker posted an article on it in the sun sentinel. 3 player round robin.

Beat Odesnik in the deciding match.

Kuznetsov was the only other player involved.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Levine got the wildcard.