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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Top Seeds Survive, but No. 2 Seeds in Plaza Cup 18s Defeated Saturday

©Colette Lewis 2010--
Coral Gables, FL--

Danny Riggs, the top seed in the boys 18s division at the Tennis Plaza Cup, certainly didn't get off to the start he anticipated Saturday morning at Salvadore Park, dropping his opening set of the tournament to fellow Floridian Andrew Dzulynsky 6-2. Riggs, the grandson of Bobby Riggs, best known for his role in the 1973 Battle of the Sexes with Billie Jean King, didn't panic however, and won the second set 6-4. Then came the ten-point tiebreaker to decide the match, and although Riggs fell behind in that too, he again stayed calm, winning the last four points of the match. In the gusty winds, Riggs managed to keep the ball inside the lines when it counted, letting Dzulynsky make the errors when every point was a critical one. Riggs won his second match of the afternoon against Carl Eguez without the drama of a match tiebreaker.

Girls 14s top seed Mia King also stayed alive in the main draw by winning a match tiebreaker against Adi Milstein in their second round contest. King, who trains at the USTA National Center in Boca Raton, and Milstein, who trains at the Evert Academy on the same site, embraced at the net after the emotionally exhausting victory, which King took 6-2, 5-7, 10-8.

Girls 14s second seed Rasheeda McAdoo also barely survived, taking a match tiebreaker from Ally Miller-Krasilnikov to advance to the quarterfinals by the score of 3-6, 6-4 10-4.

The second seeds in the 18s division were not as fortunate. Julie Sabacinski served for the first set in her second round match with Lynn Chi, but Chi won the final three games of that set and completed the upset 7-5, 6-2. The boys 18s No. 2 seed, Justin Crenshaw, had his chances in the second round against Zachary Krumholz, but Krumholz saved two match points on his way to a 1-6, 6-2, 12-10 victory.

It wasn't a good day all around for the seeds in the girls 18s, with five of them losing in the first two rounds. No. 3 seed Mia Schmidt was beaten by Reeree Li 4-6, 6-4 10-6 in the second round, No. 4 seed Julia Jones lost to Samantha Crawford 6-4, 2-6, 10-4 in the first round, No. 5 seed Caitlin McGraw dropped her first round match to Lindsay Graff, and No. 7 seed Emily Stein lost in the first round to Maci Epstein. The 14-year-old Crawford proved her mettle a second time on Saturday, coming back to take a 5-7, 6-0 12-10 decision from Anika Novacek, daughter of former ATP Top 10 player Karel Novacek.

Top seed Bianca Sanon breezed through her first two matches, losing only six games in her wins over Leah Fried and Courtney Malinchak. No. 8 seed Sherry Li and No. 6 seed Jacqueline Crawford joined Sanon in the quarterfinals with straight set victories in the second round.

I spent almost all day at Salavador Park, the site of the boys and girls 18s and the girls 14s, but I did walk the six blocks south to the Biltmore Tennis Center in time to see the match tiebreaker in a first round contest between Stephen Watson and Jake Albo. At 9-9 in the tiebreaker, Watson got a net cord winner that actually bounced twice on the net cord before falling on Albo's side, and on match point, a rattled Albo failed to finish a point a he had control of, giving Watson the victory. Although I didn't see any of it, Watson later defeated No. 7 seed Thai Kwiatkowski 1-6, 6-0, 10-5. The top seed in the boys 16s, Gordon Watson, advanced to the quarterfinals, but girls 16s top seed Christina Carpenter lost in the first round. Boys 14s No. 1 seed Daniel Kerznerman had no difficulty in his first two matches, and the top seed in the boys 12s, Nikola Samardzic, also had two straight-set victories.

For complete results, see the TennisLink site.