©Colette Lewis 2010--
Rancho Las Palmas--
The weather was much improved for the second day of the 16s and 18s competition at the Easter Bowl, with almost no breeze and temperatures in the 70s. But while the playing conditions were better, a player's health was again a major story; for the second straight day, the most intriguing match of the Easter Bowl ITF didn't happen. On Monday it was No. 7 seed Sachia Vickery who was unable to play; on Tuesday, boys 18s top seed Raymond Sarmiento, who was scheduled to meet USTA Spring National champion Bjorn Fratangelo in the first round, was forced to withdraw with a stomach virus/food poisoning. Alternate Andranik Khachatryan took Sarmiento's place in the draw and fell to Fratangelo 6-0, 6-2.
Nearly half of the boys 18s seeds failed to reach the second round. No. 5 seed Campbell Johnson, coming off a two-week suspension related to the Orange Bowl altercation, lost to Spencer Newman 6-4, 6-2, and No. 8 seed William Kwok was defeated by Augie Bloom 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. No. 10 seed Shaun Bernstein lost to ISC finalist Clay Thompson 6-2, 6-3, No. 13 seed Mac Styslinger went out to Keaton Cullimore 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5. No. 15 seed Alexander Petrone lost to Evan Song 7-6(2), 6-4 and No. 16 seed Morgan Mays lost to Wyatt McCoy 6-3, 6-3.
No. 14 seed Gonzales Austin trailed 5-2 in the third set against Connor Farren before winning the last five games of the match to claim a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory. Another tense match was No. 2 seed Dennis Novikov's 6-2, 7-6(6) win over Austin Smith. In the tiebreaker there was a scoring dispute that apparently centered on a second serve call, and although Smith thought the score was 4-2 in his favor, the umpire called to the court returned to the last undisputed point, which put the score back to 2-2. Late in the tiebreaker, a couple of loose points by Smith gave Novikov a match point, which he converted with a big serve, but there was no handshake, as both players went straight to their bags without even approaching the net.
In the boys 16s, top seed Nolan Paige rolled past Michael Guzman 6-2, 6-1, but No. 2 seed and 2009 boys 14 Easter Bowl champion Mackenzie McDonald was upset by John Pearce, whose father Brad, now the head coach at BYU, won the 18s Easter Bowl title in 1984.
Pearce, who turned 16 on Sunday, dropped the first set against McDonald, who will be 15 on Thursday, but came back to a post a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 win.
"I lost the first set, but I felt like I had opportunities," said Pearce, who reached the round of 32 for the first time in a USTA Level 1 National Championships. "I knew I could come back in the second set if I kept playing like I was playing. I was down a break with him serving at 4-3, but I broke back, then was down 15-40 at 5-all, but came back and won the tiebreaker. I started the third set really strong, got the first break, held really easily, held and broke one more time."
McDonald wasn't the only No. 2 seed to lose on Tuesday, as the second seed in girls 14s, Katrine Steffensen, was overwhelmed by unseeded Taylor Townsend 6-0, 6-2. Top seed Gabrielle Andrews reached the round of 16 with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Aryn Greene, a No. 17 seed.
Boys 14 top seed Daniel Kerznerman needed over three hours to get by Henrik Wiersholm, a No. 17 seed 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, while No. 2 seed Noah Rubin made much quicker work of Jared Donaldson 6-3, 6-1. No. 3 seed Jacob Dunbar lost to unseeded Deiton Baughman 7-5, 6-2.
In girls 16s, top seeds Kyle McPhillips and Brooke Austin breezed into the third round. In the girls 18s second round, top seed Lauren Davis was a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Danielle Flores and ISC champion Krista Hardebeck was equally impressive with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Lorraine Guillermo. Britney Sanders defeated No. 13 seed Nadia Echeverria Alam 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 and Ashley Dai beat No. 16 seed Skyler Kuykendall 6-1, 6-1.
Brooke Bolender, the girls 18 No. 8 seed, who advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Courtney Dolehide, is blogging for usta.com this week.
For complete results, see the TennisLink sites: ITF and USTA.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010