Saturday, August 2, 2008

Few Surprises in Second Round 18s Action Saturday at Nats

©Colette Lewis 2008--
Kalamazoo MI--

The weather was perfect Saturday--partly cloudy with a high near 80 degrees--and 30 of the 32 seeds in the 18s division took advantage of it to reach the third round at the Nationals in Kalamazoo.

Some had an easier time of it than others, however. The top two seeds, Ryan Harrison and Chase Buchanan, were on and off the court in a hurry, with Harrison breezing past Frederick Walsh of Bellevue, Wash. 6-2, 6-0 and Buchanan taking out Kayvon Karimi of Plano, Texas even more quickly by a 6-0, 6-1 score.

No. 9 seed Jarmere Jenkins had a much more stressful afternoon, as he squandered a 4-0 third-set lead against Andre Dome of Arroyo Grande, Calif. and found himself at 5-5 in the third set before easing to a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win. Jenkins served for the match at 5-4 but never got to match point, with Jenkins's two backhand errors at 30-30 drawing Dome even. But Dome couldn't hold, and Jenkins served more confidently in the final game to claim the victory.

Number 12 seed Rhyne Williams, resplendent in neon yellow, struggled a bit against John Collins, a lean left-hander from Bowie, Md., before posting a 6-4, 6-4 win. The real drama emerged at the Western Michigan courts, where 15-year-old Sean Berman of Irvine, Calif. and 2006 16s champion Brennan Boyajian, the 14th seed, were in a third set tiebreaker. Boyajian had won the first set 6-3, Berman had taken the second by the same score, and was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third. I was fortunate to arrive at 3-3 in the third set tiebreaker, and had no difficulty telling which court the match was on, as the crowd gathered for the climax was probably close to 100 people.

Boyajian calmly stroked a forehand winner to take a 5-3 advantage in the tiebreaker, but his double fault put Berman back on serve. Boyajian had found something to carry forward from that forehand winner however, and hit another one for a winner to get to match point. After a brief rally at 6-4, Boyajian then found that shot again, hitting his third forehand winner in four points to seal the victory. Berman received treatment for cramping immediately following the match, but he was able to exit the court under his own power.

The two seeded players losing were No. 23 seed Walker Kehrer and No. 27 seed Ryan Lipman. Wild card Joey Burkhardt downed Kehrer 6-1, 6-1, while 2007 16s doubles champion Daniel Nguyen won another thriller at the Western Michigan courts, defeating Lipman 7-6(6), 1-6, 7-6(4).

None of the 16s seeds played on Saturday, but the second round will take place on Sunday. Two rounds of 16s doubles were completed, with only one seeded team, No. 14 Harry Seaborn and Michael Zhu, failing to advance.

For complete draws, see ustaboys.com. For additional coverage, visit collegeandjuniortennis.com.


Anonymous said...

Why is Sean Bermann playing 18's? If Egger were doing that with no pressure nobody would think he was in a slump and his true talent would show because there would be everything to gain and nothing to lose. Bermann has never proved himself in the 16's. He has lost to a ton of them. What a joke. Of course he is going to look good in that situation. If he played 16's he would play totally different with pressure and not even finish in the final 32. He would not even be seeded in 16's. He even lost to Christian Harrison this year who is playing 14's in the World Championships.

Anonymous said...

Why is Sean Berman playing 18s anyways? It's not like he has a snowball's chance to get close to winning it. He would have been more competitive and an achievement for him to play the 16s and do well, IMO. Another pushy parent who thinks their son will be a pro?

Anonymous said...

What has happened to Andrew Kells, Drew Daniel, and Lawrence Formentera? I think Kells was a 16s Clays finalist a couple years ago. Daniel killed Domijan last year but now can't seem to win a round in Futures qualifying, and hard to believe Formentera made Noble look relatively silly last year at the Zoo. All three went quietly today. Too bad.

Impressive performance by Berman against Boyajian. Sounds like the Dome/Jenkins match lived up to the expectations.

Anonymous said...

How can Egger enter into this equation especially since he lost first round in the 16's? He was an excellent player in 12's, above average in 14's and now middle-of-the-pack in 16's. This is yet another example of shooting stars flaming out when they experience easy success early in their careers, and then fail to evolve their game to compete at the higher age divisions. What I can't understand is why the USTA continues to sponsor him. His game hasn't kept up with other players and his slow court game is non-existent, as can be proven from his clay court results.

Anonymous said...

Berman did apply for a Wild Card for B16s and didn't get one from USTA. His parent is not that pushy!

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, wasnt Augie Bloom one of the top players in the 12's or 14's? If so, whats happened to him?

Also, if Andre Dome is so good, why is he going to Cal-Poly? Not to knock his choice or that school, but you just dont see top players going to obscure schools like that, so Im guessing there is a reason behind it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just saw Drew Daniel is already headed home and its still the weekend. Didnt see that coming.

Anonymous said...

take it easy austin...how about giving drew courtney some credit for his win, as well as dome...From what I know cal-poly is a great academic school. Its not always all about tennis.

Anonymous said...

What does me being surprised Daniel is out of the tournament have anything to do with giving Courtney credit? Just made a simple observation that Im surprised because hes always been a good junior. And yes I know thats who he played in the main draw.

Also, I asked a legit question about Dome. Its interesting, and somewhat refreshing, when a player of his caliber chooses a lesser known school. Sort of like Lajola choosing Hawaii (his hometown school) last year.

Please read closely what I write before repsonding implying that I was being negative toward someone or a school.

Anonymous said...

"Not a USTA fan" If the USTA continues to sponser Egger, then they are dong the right thing for a change.

Obviously successful tennis is about winning, but I have felt that the USTA has always been about junior stardom, and PRO tennis very early. For the girls is is crazy, with their blueprint of gold balls, or extremely high finishes in all super nationals, followed by the subsequent advancement into lower level ITF's as soon as they turn 13..then on to PRO Circuit events etc..

Parents get caught up in this, and the fans of tennis (look at how every loss is scrutinized on this board). I dont care about trends, ie.."if you look at history, successful young juniors have the best pathway to PRO tennis".

How about taking a hard working kid with a great attitude, working on a style that has in the past taken longer to develop, and not hammering into him that he has to win every match right now? I agree with your "implication" that their are many other kids out there that could use the support Egger is getting. I agree with that 200%. I have stated on this board many times that there are boys and girls in the lower rankings that we will never know what they might have been, because they did not get the coaching, financial help needed to reach their potential.

I just think it is very wrong to be critical of the current players getting support, and I find it somewhat refreshing if the USTA and his support group are not hyping out about these defeats, but instead are taking a more long term approach with him. Again, MANY more kids are out there who would benefit from daily training at Boca, but that doesnt mean this kid is not worthy.