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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Flores and Injury Derail Jenkins at Easter Bowl

©Colette Lewis 2008--
Rancho Mirage, CA--

Gabriel Flores was advised to think of his first round boys 18s match with No. 2 seed Jarmere Jenkins as a "practice match."

"When I saw the draw, I was like, whoa, Jarmere Jenkins," said the 16-year-old from Puerto Rico. "But I talked to my brothers and they said, 'hey man, just forget about it, think of it as a practice match. If you win, you win, but you have nothing to lose.'"

Flores did win, 6-2, 6-4, when a right shoulder rotator cuff injury Jenkins suffered early in the match led to a dramatic reduction in the power of his serve and forehand.

"Mostly when he hit forehands, he sliced it because it hurt," said Flores. "He's very fast and even though he was injured, it was a tough match, because he could run and he could put the ball back in the position he wanted."

Once Jenkins lost the first set and did not retire, Flores knew he had to keep his focus.

"I heard his dad's comment, he wanted him to retire," said Flores. "But he said to his dad 'no, I'm going to fight, I want to win this.' So I knew I would have to work. He can push, he can drop shot me, he can come to the net on every point. Jarmere Jenkins has a lot of weapons, he's a very good overall player."

Jenkins did take a 3-1 lead in the second set, but Flores broke back.

"When he was serving, we had like eight deuces, he had like five game points, I had like three or four break points, and finally I broke," said Flores. "If he had gone 4-1 up, he would have been mentally relieved; it was a big game, the key to my winning the set and the match."

Jenkins was not the only seed to fall in Tuesday's first round boys action. No. 5 seed Bob Van Overbeek lost to Daniel Moss, 7-6(4) 0-6, 6-2 and No. 6 seed Jason Zafiros went out to Daniel Nguyen 6-4, 6-1. One of the best matches of the day saw Alex Brigham defeat Matthew Kandath 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3) in a contest that took place on three different courts. They were moved from the court they were originally assigned when high winds blew dust from the adjacent clay courts, then were moved from a second court to a lighted one as dusk settled in.

In girls 18s second round action, none of the remaining top eight seeds lost, although four lower seeds did go out to unseeded opponents.

Top seed Melanie Oudin got by the impressive Alexandria Walters, who will joining UCLA in the fall, by a 6-3, 7-5 score. Walters hit with power and depth, and never allowed Oudin to feel comfortable with her own game.

The most contentious girls 18s match of the day saw No. 5 seed Lauren McHale defeat International Spring finalist Jacqueline Cako 7-5, 7-6(3) in a match that took over two and a half hours to complete. An umpire was called to the court early in the first set, and the vocal McHale celebrated key points with "c'mons" and "vamoses" throughout. Cako, who was playing her eighth match in eight days, hung tough throughout, but McHale's ability to get one more ball back eventually wore her down.

For complete results in the ITF 18s, click here.

Although he wasn't seeded in the 16s at the Easter Bowl, it still counts as news when Christian Harrison loses, and he did in Tuesday's second round to No. 17 seed Chidi Gabriel 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

The No. 1 seeds in the boys and girls 16s and 14s are all still in the running for the Easter Bowl titles. For complete results, click here.


better judgment said...

Flores showed great talent in the match. He showed an incredible forehand and superb concentration. He is really a player to watch for the future. He really can play very good tennis. Really, an awesome forehand and very talented kid.

florida said...

"Flores and Injury Derail Jenkins". If Jenkins was injured he should have withdrawn. Flores played well. No exuses here Collete.

stringer said...

If you are sick or injured you shouldn't play. Period.

JustTheFacts said...

To betterjugment, florida and stringer:
Collette was just reporting the undisputed facts of the match. Fact is that after throwing out his shoulder after only a couple of games, Jenkins played with no serve and a slice forehand. In reporting the facts, there was no disrespect to Flores. I am sure he is a talented player as is anyone good enough to get into the draw of the Easter Bowl. A win is a win. But the fact is that Jenkins was injured and played through. There once was a time when playing through an injury was considered the sporting and honorable thing to do. Today, our best players sometimes default if they have a tummy ache. I guess today is a different day.

By the way, Flores lost 1 and 2 the next day.


Ohh please justthefacts don't start talking smack about Flores, a win is a win. And he deserves all the credit for taking the #2 seed out of the tournament. He had a rough day so what, this is and up and comming player, insted of talking bad about our american juniors, why don't we start pulling for them. I'm tired of all the hating on this website, lets join togheter and pull for OUR juniors. Flores keep doing your thing, I'm glad you got your best win to date, Jenkings I hope you get better.
For all the other juniors, keep working hard I will be pulling for all of you.
Let's rule the world once again.