©Colette Lewis 2008--
The rain that caused a delay of more than three hours Monday morning didn't hurt the seeded players in the 16s, with all 28 still remaining advancing to the fourth round, and only one, fourth seed Sekou Bangoura Jr., needing three sets to do so. Most of those matches were sent to the Western Michigan courts, which are usually reserved for consolation and doubles by this stage in the tournament.
The majority of the 18s third round matches were played at Stowe Stadium, and again there were few surprises. All the top 16 seeds won, but No. 5 seed Austin Krajicek had to work his way out of trouble before he defeated John Lamble of Saratoga, Calif. 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 and No. 10 seed Tennys Sandgren had an even tougher challenge, gettng by David Holiner of Dallas, Texas 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4.
Another three-setter involving a top 16 seed in the 18s was one of the day's most anticipated matchups, featuring 2007 Kalamazoo semifinalists Mateusz Kecki and Ty Trombetta. Hallendale Fla.'s Trombetta, the No. 6 seed, got off to a very slow start against the unseeded Californian, but was able to turn the match in his favor for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory.
"In the first set I was trying to go for the winner early," said Trombetta, 18. "He was getting them back, getting them back and eventually I'd miss. He'd get me off balance and put the ball away."
There was no sign of panic however, and Trombetta pointed to the game he won at 5-1 down in the first set as the turning point.
"When I broke him there I started changing it up," Trombetta said. "I thought I was going to come back that set, but I played a bad service game, he hit a couple of good shots, but the second set, I was ready I thought."
After the second set there was a ten-minute heat break, even though the conditions didn't seem to warrant one, but it didn't interfere with Trombetta's momentum, as he broke Kecki in the first game, held and then broke him again in the third game. Kecki's service games weren't all that were broken, as he demolished his racquet after the second break, resulting in a code violation, and his concentration seemed to have snapped as well.
Trombetta took his difficult draw in stride, but was happy to get the win.
"He wasn't playing his best this year after he got hurt last year, but still you've got to watch out for him," Trombetta said. "Especially here. He feels good here."
Two-time Kalamazoo finalist Ryan Thacher would normally be in that category, but the No. 8 seed is suffering from a sciatic nerve problem and was in obvious pain in his 7-5 6-2 victory over Alberto Bautista of McAllen, Texas.
The most impressive performance of the day was No. 16 seed Wil Spencer's 6-2, 6-2 punishment of Isamu Tachibana. Tachibana, from Canyon Lake, Texas, was a quarterfinalist in the 16s in 2006 and is an excellent player, but Spencer, who played in the No. 2 or 3 spot for Texas A&M this winter and spring, was showing no mercy. Tachibana chipped in with several key errors, but Spencer had control of the match with his forehand, which he was hitting early, deep and precisely. Spencer, in his fifth year playing in Kalamazoo, served well and also finished at the net when the opportunity was there.
The third round of 16s doubles was still underway at 8:30 p.m., but results will be available at ustaboys.com.
For additional coverage of the Nationals at Kalamazoo, visit collegeandjuniortennis.com
Monday, August 4, 2008