©Colette Lewis 2009--
Winds gusting in the 25 mph range Wednesday didn't make for the prettiest tennis, and those unable to survive the challenge included boys 18s top seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France and No. 2 seed Kevin Krawietz of Germany. Herbert had barely escaped qualifier David Sofaer in his opening match Tuesday and in Wednesday's second round 2008 Eddie Herr 16s finalist Jack Carpenter of Great Britain dismissed Herbert by a 6-2, 6-4 score.
Krawietz was eliminated by U.S. wild card Bjorn Fratangelo, who battled back for a 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-2 victory over the German. Fratangelo is one of eight U.S. boys to make the round of 16, and all but one of Thursday's third round matches feature at least one American. In addition to wild cards Nick Chappell and Gonzales Austin, who defeated No. 8 seed Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia, Mitchell Frank(5), Dennis Novikov(15), Sekou Bangoura(13) Denis Kudla(4) and Raymond Sarmiento(9) all posted victories. Bangoura will play Fratangelo in the only all-American third round match.
The girls 18s had its own surprise on Wednesday, when No. 2 seed Silvia Njiric of Croatia was beaten by 14-year-old qualifier Lou Brouleau of France 7-5, 6-4. Top seed Heather Watson of Great Britain struggled a bit early in her match with Monica Turewicz of the U.S., but found her form for a 6-4, 6-1 victory. There are only two U.S. girls in the round of 16--Madison Keys and qualifier Belinda Niu. Keys defeated lucky loser Tamar Bizhukova of Russia 6-2, 6-0, and Niu kept her run going with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over 2008 Eddie Herr 18s semifinalist Sophie Oyen of Belgium.
It's definitely not a regular occurrence for the tournament referee to be called to the court for a ruling that could end a long and heated match, but for the second consecutive day that's what happened. Unlike the Herbert decision, which allowed the top seed to continue play (see Tuesday's post for more on that), this time the ruling went against the seeded player, resulting in No. 7 seed Yulia Putintseva of Russia's loss to unseeded Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
Putintseva broke Dabrowski at 4-4 in the third set, but was unable to serve it out, with Dabrowski, a finalist at last week's Yucatan Cup, hitting a backhand winner at 30-40 to make it 5-5. After one deuce, Dabrowski held in the next game, but the tension was beginning to take its toll on both girls. Although I wasn't there earlier, the screams from the always vocal and demonstrative Putintseva could be heard many courts away, and I was told that she was warned about taunting by a roving official earlier. The usual arguments about line calls, which were made all the more frustrating by the gusty winds, eventually led to an official being permanently stationed on the court.
With Putintseva serving at 5-6, 0-30, Dabrowski was overruled on a baseline call, but won the replayed point to make it 0-40. Putintseva was facing three match points, but thanks to some tentative play by Dabrowski, who made three errors, the 14-year-old Russian brought it back to deuce. She won the next point with a forehand winner but Dabrowski responded with a winner of her own to take it back to deuce. A Putintseva backhand into the net gave Dabrowski match point No. 4, and when Putintseva's shot landed what appeared to be wide, she erupted, screaming and throwing her racquet into the fence. What she didn't realize was that the official had overruled Dabrowski's call, and because the official was telling the Canadian that, she failed to see the racquet toss. Another official near the court had seen it however, and stepped forward to tell the on-court official what he had seen.
The tournament referee was called, and because Putintseva had already received a point penalty for misconduct, the second infraction was a game penalty. When the decision was quickly made and announced to the crowd that had gathered alongside court 3, the majority of spectators seemed satisfied with the verdict. The two girls did not exchange a handshake at the net.
In the 16s, wild card Jeremy Efferding overcame cramping to defeat No. 2 seed Dimitar Kuzmanov of Bulgaria 6-3, 7-5. Both players appeared to be suffering from cramps and both received treatment from a trainer at 5-4 in the second set, although Efferding seemed to be in more pain. The treatment helped for a little while, but after the next changeover, Efferding was hobbling again. Kuzmanov had called an official to the court at 4-4 in the second set, but the final call of out by Efferding, which was upheld by the official, was disputed by Kuzmanov and his supporters in the crowd, to no avail. In the round of 16, Efferding will play fellow wild card Robert Livi.
Other U.S. boys still in contention in the 16s are Morgan Mays(14), 2008 Eddie Herr 14s champion Alexios Halebian(8), Hunter Harrington(7) and Mac Styslinger.
There are seven U.S. girls in the third round of the 16s: top seed Sachia Vickery, Vicky Duval(16), Kelsey Laurente(11), Breaunna Addison, Riko Shimizu, Caitlyn Williams(5) and Ashley Dai (10), who has yet to lose a game in two matches.
In the girls 14s, top seed Tatiana Guskova of Russia was defeatd by 2008 Eddie Herr 12s champion Estelle Cascino, a qualifier from France, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2. U.S. girls remaining are No. 4 seed Josie Kuhlman, Spencer Liang and Alanna Wolff.
In the boys 14s, Joe DiGiulio(3), Roy Lederman(8), Thai Kwiatkowski(13) and qualifier Karim Arem represent the U.S. in the round of 16. Lederman battled Spencer Papa for over three hours on Wednesday morning before emerging with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
The semifinals are set in the 12s, and Korean Duck Hee Lee continues to be the story. Although the deaf 11-year-old lost his first set of the tournament, he held steady in the three-hour contest with Russian Mark Chepurnoy to earn a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1 victory. He will meet Seongchan Hong, a No. 1 seed, also from Korea, in Thursday's semifinal. Stefan Kozlov, the 2008 Eddie Herr 12s finalist and a No. 1 seed, eliminated Jae Seok Han, the third Korean to make the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-4. Kozlov will play Russian Andrey Rublev, also a No. 1 seed, who defeated Reilly Opelka 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The girls 12s semifinals feature only one No. 1 seed, Anastasia Nefedova. She will play fellow Floridian Tornado Ali Black in one semifinal, while Mariya Shishkina, now playing for the U.S., meets Canadian Maria Patrascu in the other.
Rain arrived late Wednesday afternoon, and there is a chance it will continue into Thursday. See eddieherr.com and the tennis information site for draws and more.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
©Colette Lewis 2009--