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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Top Seeded Doubles Team of Simon and Sock Fall as Rain Washes Out Singles Play Saturday in Kalamazoo

©Colette Lewis 2009--
Kalamazoo MI--

The three inches of rain that fell Saturday in Kalamazoo prevented any outdoor tennis from being played, but it didn't stop the upsets.

With all the first round of 16s singles and second round of 18s singles matches postponed, the surprises all came in the 16s doubles played at three indoor sites in the area. A total of six seeded teams lost, including No. 1 seeds Spencer Simon and Jack Sock, who were semifinalists in Kalamazoo last year. Andrew Scholnick and Robert Stineman, teammates at New Trier High School in the Chicago area, showed no nerves at crunch time, simply outplaying the favorites in a 6-4, 6-4 win.

Up a set and serving at 4-3 30-0 in the second, Stineman was broken, and the 40 or 50 spectators at the Markin Racquet Center thought perhaps this was a turning point. But Stineman wasn't worried about a momentum shift.

"I knew we could break after that," said Stineman. "And that's just what we did."

"We'd been returning well the whole match," said Scholnick, "so even though we got broken, we still had confidence in our ability to win that set."

It was Simon who was serving at 4-4, and the left-hander from California had struggled holding throughout the match, with double faults a major contributor. When he was broken yet again, to give Scholnick an opportunity to serve out the match, Simon and Sock's hopes for a comeback seemed to fade.

A shank lob winner by Simon with Scholnick serving at 30-30 gave Sock a chance to make it 5-5, but running around his backhand to attack a second serve, Sock put his forehand in the net, and it was deuce. Asked if he was nervous hitting a second serve in that situation, Scholnick said no.

"Another serve, another game, another point," he said, adding that Sock "was hitting fine returns in the beginning, but the second serves in that last game he kept missing."

"I debated calling a down the T serve," Stineman said of his call on their first match point, "but since he'd missed the last two (returns), we'd let him miss another one."

Sock's forehand again found the net, and Stineman and Scholnick had earned what the agreed was their best win, one they did not feel was the result of a possible advantage in the indoor conditions.

"I don't know how they play indoors, I've rarely seen either of them play," said Stineman. "We just played our game and things worked out."

"Now we've got to keep the train running, never let up."

Simon and Sock weren't the only high seeds to fall at Markin Center. No. 3 seeds Jeremy Efferding and Bjorn Fratangelo lost to Nolan Paige and William Spector 7-6(1), 6-4, and No. 5 seeds Hunter Harrington and Vikram Hundal were defeated 6-3, 6-3 by Justin Carter and Dane Webb, who were a last-minute registration pairing. Easter Bowl champions Eric Johnson and Calvin Mark, the No. 6 seeds, were beaten by Joseph Van Meter and Austin Woldmoe 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, leaving only four of the top eight seeded teams still alive. No. 10 seeds Shaun Chaudhuri and Johnny Wang lost to Daniel Ho and Jacob Jung 6-4, 7-6(1) and No. 16 seed Reo Asami and Terrell Celestine were beaten by Bradon Fickey and Andrew Goodwin 6-2, 6-2.

For complete draws and schedules for a busy Sunday in Kalamazoo, see ustaboys.com


A. Meek said...

Was Isner a dominant junior? I wasn't following junior tennis at the time.

Colette Lewis said...

Isner was a very good junior, won the Kalamazoo 18s doubles title, but there was never any expectation that he would bypass college for the pros.