Sponsored by IMG Academy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wet Day at Grass Courts, But Doubles Finalists Decided

©Colette Lewis 2009--
Philadelphia, PA--

It was scheduled to be a short but interesting day at the ITF International Grass Courts, with the first doubles semifinal beginning at 10:30 a.m. and the next three to follow, one at a time. With no-ad scoring and match tiebreakers in lieu of third sets, it was likely that the last match would finish before 4 p.m., but then the rain that has been in the forecast all week made an unwelcome appearance.

Around 11:30 a.m. a light shower caused the matches, originally rescheduled for noon, to be set back another hour, and because of the continuing threat of rain, all four went on the driest courts within ten minutes of each other.

Unseeded Emmett Egger and Andrew Korinek won a close first set from Hunter Harrington and Matthew Savran, also seeded, then took control in the second set for a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory. Egger and Korinek saved a set point with Korinek serving at 4-5 on a deciding point, then broke Savran on another deciding point to take a 6-5 lead. A third straight game was determined by a deciding point, with Harrington and Savran winning it to force a tiebreaker, and when they won the first three points, it looked as if they taken charge, but Egger and Korinek got the next three and didn't surrender any more on serve. In the second set, Egger and Korinek took a 4-1 lead, then finished it off by breaking Savran for a spot in the finals.

Their opponents will be top seeds Nathan Pasha and Raymond Sarmiento, who came from behind to take a 4-6, 6-3, 10-2 decision from unseeded Shaun Bernstein and Campbell Johnson. After falling behind 4-1 in the second set, Bernstein and Johnson briefly got back on serve, but at 3-4, Johnson was broken and Sarmiento served out the set. In the match tiebreaker, it was all Pasha and Sarmiento, as Bernstein and Johnson chipped in with errors that led to an 8-1 lead for the top seeds.

The lone seeded team in the girls semifinals, No. 4 Ellen Tsay and Monica Turewicz, were up 3-1 in the first set against Breaunna Addison and Brooke Bolender, but dropped the next eleven games in a 6-3, 6-0 loss. Bolender, who won the doubles title last year with Beatrice Capra, will try to repeat in Friday's final against Chanelle Van Nguyen and Kyle McPhillips. McPhillips and Van Nguyen defeated Skylar Morton and Fausthyara Pietersz 7-5, 3-6, 10-7 in a match every bit as close as the score indicates. Neither team played consistently well throughout, and holding serve was a particular challenge for all four girls, but the match featured one point that had the parents, officials and other players watching giggling with delight. McPhillips was serving at 3-4 in the second set and had seen a 40-0 lead disappear, leaving a deciding point. Each girl hit four or five amazing shots, and made an equal number of astounding gets. Each lob, volley, drop shot, drive down the middle, angled placement, was answered with another and another, until finally, McPhillips netted a volley. She and Van Nguyen collapsed on the grass, both exhilarated and disappointed, and Morton went on to hold in the next game to take the set, and force the tiebreaker.

Neither team lead by more than two points, and it was 6-6 at the second changeover. But Morton sent a lob long to make it 8-6 for McPhillips and Van Nguyen, and Van Nguyen held steady in her last two serves to put her team in the final.


man from sc said...

colettewhat does hunter harrington play like and when did he start being so good

Colette Lewis said...

I've only been aware of Harrington since this spring, and the first time I saw him play was in Carson, so I can't answer the last part of your question. He is tall and lanky, and has the big serve and forehand that generally go with that physique, but I haven't seen him play enough to comment beyond that.