Lipman Ousts Boys Top Seed Fratangelo; Girls No. 1 Seed Herring Survives; Doubles Finals Set at Grass Courts
©Colette Lewis 2010--
Wild card Maxx Lipman knows he has big shoes to fill, with his older brother Ryan having reached both the singles and doubles finals at the ITF International Grass Courts in 2007 and 2008. But the size 13 shoes of the 15-year-old from Nashville have established an impressive footprint of their own at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. In his first year competing at the tournament, Maxx earned a semifinal berth in singles with a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory over top seed Bjorn Fratangelo Thursday morning.
The match resumed from Wednesday's rain-out at 4-3 in the first, and it continued to be anybody's match until the tiebreaker. Lipman seemed to continually surprise Fratangelo with his ability to track down an overhead or reflex a volley, and the occasional bad bounce seemed to disrupt Fratangelo's concentration more than it did Lipman's.
"I just kept pressing, kept making him hit a lot of balls," Lipman said. "He struggles moving sometimes--he likes to set up--so I just tried to keep him moving. I used a lot of slices, would come to the net on them, and he had a lot of trouble passing me. I tried not to let the nerves get in the way, and it worked."
Lipman said he would put the victory at the top of his list of big wins.
"It's definitely the biggest win I've ever had," he said. "It would have been nice if it had been in the finals, but I still have a few more matches to go. It's definitely the biggest singles win I've ever had."
In Friday's semifinals, Lipman will play No. 6 seed Brandon Burke of Jamaica, who put an end to the run of qualifier Richard Del Nunzio 7-5, 6-3. In the bottom half's semifinal, No. 3 seed Shane Vinsant will play unseeded Mitchell Polnet. Vinsant took a very long and tough 6-4, 6-4 decision from unseeded Evan Song, while Polnet, from nearby Bucks County, continued his outstanding play, taking out No. 5 seed and 2009 semifinalist Emmett Egger 6-4, 6-2.
In the girls quarterfinals, top seed Lauren Herring overcame the loss of the first set to unseeded Jennifer Kellner, earning a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory. Down 5-2 when play resumed, Herring wasn't able to turn the match around immediately, but at 2-2 in the second set, she noticeably elevated her level of play. Holding for the first time in the set to take a 3-2 lead, Herring didn't lose her serve the remainder of the match. Not only was she getting free point from her first serve, but she eliminated the unforced errors that had caused her trouble in the first half of the match. Finding a particularly effective short angle forehand that produced several winners on key points, Herring also approached the net often, pressuring Kellner into missing passing shots.
Herring will play unseeded Skylar Morton in the semifinals. Morton defeated unseeded Zoe Scandalis 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
No. 8 seed Kyle McPhillips had already won the first set from unseeded Spencer Liang prior to Wednesday's rain, and when the two returned to the court Thursday, there was no change in momentum, with McPhillips rolling to a 6-1, 6-1 win.
McPhillips' opponent in the semifinals will be unseeded Philadelphian Anna Mamalat, who defeated unseeded Brooke Austin 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Mamalat has used her drop shot effectively all week, and today was no exception, as she often caught Austin waiting at the baseline for a two-handed forehand that never arrived.
The girls doubles finals will feature the top two seeded teams. No. 1 seeds Hai-Li Kong and Kelsey Laurente defeated the unseeded team of Kellner and Mamalat 6-2, 7-5 in one Thursday afternoon's semifinal. They will play No. 2 seeds Herring and McPhillips, who cruised past unseeded Spencer Liang and Leighann Sahagun 6-2, 6-2. McPhillips won the doubles title last year, teaming with Chanelle VanNguyen.
The boys doubles championship will be decided between unseeded Anthony Delcore and Vikram Hundal and No. 2 seeds Egger and Vinsant. Delcore and Hundal, who have yet to be taken to a match tiebreaker, downed Christian Lee of Malaysia and Gino Meeuwsen of the Netherland Antilles 7-5, 6-3. Egger and Vinsant, who have also avoided the match tiebreaker, defeated unseeded Daniel Khanin and Harrison Richmond 6-4, 6-2.
The boys semifinals will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday. Complete draws can be found at the TennisLink site.