©Colette Lewis 2010--
Two rain delays on Wednesday made for another long day at the Boys 18 and 16 Nationals, but all 16 main draw singles matches were completed, as well as the boys 18s quarterfinals in doubles.
The first and heaviest rain storm came in the the middle of four 16s singles match around 10:15 a.m. and it was approximately two and a half hours later before those matches could be resumed. Another, much lighter shower disrupted play again early in the afternoon for 50 minutes. Fortunately for the schedulers, all eight matches played in the 18s were completed in two sets, with the only three-set matches in the group of 16s that started at 9:30 a.m.
In those, No. 7 seed Mackenzie McDonald beat No. 20 seed Roy Lederman 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 and No. 4 seed Michael Redlicki defeated No. 15 seed Andrew Korinek 6-1, 3-6, 6-2. Redlicki's win sets up a quarterfinal rematch of the recent Clay Court championship final against No. 5 seed Gordon Watson, which Redlicki won in three sets. Watson eased past No. 10 seed Thai Kwiatkowski 6-3, 6-1. McDonald will play No. 2 seed Mitchell Krueger, who beat unseeded Brendan Aguilar 6-2, 6-3. The quarterfinal matches in the bottom half will be played on Friday.
The four matches in the 16s top half all were straight set victories for the higher seeds, all of whom were down a break early in the opening set. Top seed Shane Vinsant trailed No. 9 seed Richard Del Nunzio but soon took control for a 6-4, 6-1 win. His opponent in one of Thursday's quarterfinals is No. 6 seed Anthony Delcore, who also was down early but finished strong. Delcore beat No. 14 seed Connor Farren 6-4, 6-1. Keeping with that same theme, No. 3 seed Nolan Paige was down 3-1 in the first set, but found his form against unseeded Zachary Mueck, earning a 6-3, 6-2 victory. No. 16 seed Tyler Gardiner won the first two games of the match, then lost the next four to No. 27 seed Howard Weiss, but emerged with a 6-4, 6-2 win.
Gardiner, from Novi, Mich., outside of Detroit, was not born the last time a Michigan player reached the quarterfinals of the 16s at Kalamazoo. In 1994, Bloomfield Hills' Michael Russell, who is still playing on the ATP World tour, won the boys 16s title. Gardiner, who turns 16 in October, is hoping to go on a similar run. As the last singles match of the day on Court 1, Gardiner knew he was going to have all eyes on him.
"I knew going in I would be the last match on, but I kind of liked it," said Gardiner. "I liked that all the focus was on our match."
In the 18s, the match between No. 6 seed Evan King and No. 9 seed Bob van Overbeek was expected to be one of the best of the day. King, who completed his freshman year at Michigan, and van Overbeek, who entered Florida this January, have been friends since the 12s and know each others games very well, although they had only met once, last year. Unfortunately, due to the rain, the match was played on court 6 rather than the front three courts, but it didn't bother van Overbeek, who served exceptionally well in his 6-4, 6-3 win.
"My strategy was to try to stay aggressive on all my service games," said van Overbeek, who also reached the quarterfinals in 2009. "Today, he definitely didn't play his best, which helped, but part of it was me putting pressure on the serve. I knew he got Big Ten freshman of the year and was one of the top picks (to win) so I didn't play with anything to lose and that was the key today."
Van Overbeek will play No. 31 seed Clay Thompson, who beat No. 13 seed Junior Ore 6-3, 6-4. Thompson faced only one break point in the match, and he saved it, getting the only two breaks he needed to advance. No. 8 seed Raymond Sarmiento looked very sharp in his 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 12 Dane Webb and will play No. 2 seed Denis Kudla, who put out the last unseeded player in the 18s, Robert Stineman, 6-4, 6-1. Those quarterfinal matches will be played on Friday.
In Thursday's quarterfinal matches, top seed Jordan Cox will play No. 29 seed Nelson Vick. Cox beat No. 21 seed Jackson Withrow 6-4, 6-2, while Vick advanced over No. 7 seed Mitchell Frank. Frank, who led 4-1 when the second rain storm came, was taken to the hospital after suffering from an irregular heartbeat that surfaced during the rain delay. He was penalized a game for being late to make the score 4-2 ret. Frank spent several hours undergoing tests in the hospital, but nothing was found and he was released Wednesday evening.
Jack Sock, seeded third, will play No. 15 seed Daniel Kosakowski in the other Thursday quarterfinal. Sock beat No. 11 seed Dennis Novikov 6-2, 7-5. With Novikov serving at 5-6 in the second set, Sock hit three consecutive drop shots, won all three points to give himself three match points, and hit a angled backhand pass to end it on the fourth. Kosakowski, the International Spring champion at Carson this spring, played just a bit steadier than No. 25 seed Marcos Giron, and came away with a 6-4, 7-5 win over his Southern Californian rival.
In the 18s doubles quarterfinals, three of the four matches were decided by the match tiebreaker.
Top seeds Cox and Kudla had a match point in the second set tiebreaker against No. 6 seed Sock and Matt Kandath, but they failed to convert it, and Sock and Kandath went on to win the tiebreaker when Cox was penalized on the last point for ball abuse. The match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set was tied at 7-7 when Kandath and Sock stepped up their games, winning the last three points. Sock hit a clean return winner off a Kudla serve to earn the 3-6, 7-6(7), 10-7 victory. Sock and Kandath will play No. 4 seed King and Sarmiento, who beat No. 12 seed Casey MacMaster and Vick 6-2, 5-7, 10-5.
Second seeds and 2009 finalists Sekou Bangoura and Nathan Pasha advanced to the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 8 seed Emmett Egger and Novikov. They will play No. 9 seed Bjorn Fratangelo and Alexios Halebian, who came from behind for a 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 win over unseeded Brandon Fickey and Vikram Hundal.
For complete results, see ustaboys.com.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010