©Colette Lewis 2008--
We've been working at the desk of this 18s sectional tournament since 2001, missing only 2006, when we went to Australia instead. It's always been over Martin Luther King's birthday holiday, but this year it was moved up a week, the draws cut down to 32, with a full consolation and, for the first time this year, doubles. This is part of the section's response to the new combined ranking, which will include 15% of the doubles results. Matches started at 8 a.m. at the City of Tampa's Hillsborough Community College site, and the last doubles matches ended around 7 p.m., with a similar schedule in place for Sunday.
Although the doubles are eight game pro sets, it still was four matches for those who won a doubles match, three for everyone who entered doubles and lost their first match. That's a lot of tennis, but after one day, the singles are down to the quarterfinals, and the doubles to the semifinals, with the plan being to finish the doubles on Sunday, to minimize school absences for those only in doubles by that stage.
The seeding has held up well on the boys 18s, with the top four through without dropping a set. No. 5 seed Bryan Swartz lost in the first round to Kurthan Anbarci, who was defeated by Joel Samaha. Aaron May is the other unseeded player reaching the quarterfinals with a straight set defeat of No. 8 Jonathan Drew.
The boys doubles have gone as projected, with the four seeded teams reaching the semifinals. Top seeds Creighton Blanchard and William Federhofer will meet third seeds Samaha and his partner Connor Smith. The second seeded team of Anbarci and Sekou Bangoura Jr. will take on No. 4 seeds Patrick Whitner and Spencer Wolf.
The girls draws have produced more upsets. Top seed and defending champion Kelly Kambourelis is through to the quarterfinals, but No. 2 seed Lindsay Dvorak withdrew, and No. 5 seed Carling Seguso was upset in the second round by Jacqueline Kasler, leaving only two seeds in the bottom half. Amy Grossklag eliminated No. 6 seed Alexis Rodriguez in the second round to join the three seeds in the top half.
The only seeded team remaining in the girls doubles is Olivia Janowicz and Kasler, at No. 3. Top seeds Kambourelis and Jaime Yapp-Shing fell to the Dubins sisters, Brittany and Taylor in the quarterfinals and second seeds Shannon Gunning and Rodriguez lost to Jamie Mera and Jennifer Miller, also in the quarterfinals.
For complete draws, see the TennisLink website.
Thirty minutes north, at the first Pro Circuit Futures of the year, NCAA champions Audra Cohen and Somdev Devvarman, both qualifiers, have reached Sunday's singles finals. Devvarman defeated Greg Ouellette 6-0, 1-0 ret. while Cohen fought back to take out Petra Rampre 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. For complete draws, see usta.com.
Saturday, January 12, 2008