©Colette Lewis 2010--
Key Biscayne, FL--
It's a toss-up which is the bigger story so far at the 2010 Dunlop Orange Bowl: the weather or 13-year-old Gabrielle Andrews. The record cold continued, this time accompanied by rain and clouds, but it didn't keep Andrews from posting her second straight upset, a 7-5, 0-6, 6-3 defeat of No. 16 seed Madison Keys that finished under the lights on Court 1.
When steady morning rain persisted for several hours, the decision was made to postpone the 16s singles and doubles and the 18s doubles until Friday. Even so, with a 2:30 p.m. start, another half-hour delay due to heavy sprinkles and one other very brief stoppage, it was a challenge to finish even those 16 matches. Despite the cold breeze and the roller coaster aspects of her match, Andrews was unfazed.
"It was a pain in the neck," Andrews said of the on-again, off-again sprinkles. "I tried not to let go of the match, not do anything differently. After the first rain delay, she started hitting out and coming in more to the net, and I tried to make her hit that second ball, instead of going for too much. It was kind of windy, so I tried to mix up my game, have a big margin, and that worked well, I think."
Andrews, who turns 14 on December 23, moved Keys around the court, with her drop shot especially effective. Keys' unforced error count began to rise in the third set, and Andrews was able to take full advantage. As in her upset of No. 4 seed Irina Khromacheva of Russia on Wednesday, it was Andrews who held her nerve at the end.
Andrews voiced her admiration of Keys after the match, sounding incredulous at her own accomplishment.
"It feels great," said Andrews. "It hasn't kicked in that I've just beaten Madison Keys. It's Madison Keys. You won that match. It hasn't really kicked in yet."
Andrews's opponent in the quarterfinals is fellow American Grace Min, who also survived multiple delays and momentum changes before recording a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 win over 14-year-old Indy de Vroome of the Netherlands. De Vroome served for the first set 5-4, but was twice broken at love as Min used her variety, including two winning lobs, to snatch the opening set. De Vroome nearly let a big lead in the second set get away, but held on to force a third set, which Min won without much drama.
No. 3 seed Monica Puig, who lives in Miami and plays for Puerto Rico, was fortunate to finish her match about five minutes before the rain halted play. Down 2-0 to start the match against Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands, Puig made her adjustments and won going away.
"She was trying to hit the ball very hard, trying to move me around, a lot of down the lines," said Puig, 17. "It worked in the beginning, but then I realized I was hitting the ball really short and really low, in her sweet spot. I started hitting the ball higher, with a lot of heavy top spin, moving it around and opening up the court."
Puig enjoys playing in front of family and friends in her hometown, and on the Crandon Park courts, but there was an unfamiliar feel to the tournament this year.
"Miami is not Miami right now," said Puig, referring to the uncharacteristic weather. "It's a little bit more north than anything else, but it's always great playing here."
Puig will take on No. 4 seed An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium in the quarterfinals Friday. Mestach beat unseeded Ashley Dai in the evening's last match 6-3, 6-1.
Eddie Herr finalist Yulia Putintseva survived against unseeded Lauren Herring 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 with Herring avoiding a post-match handshake with the volatile Russian, whose shouts of c'mon could be heard a hundred yards away. The seventh-seeded Putintseva will play No. 13 seed Natalija Kostic of Serbia, who beat Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 7-5.
The fourth quarterfinal is a marquee match between top seed Daria Gavrilova of Russia and No. 8 seed Lauren Davis. Davis took out No. 11 seed Ilona Kremen of Belarus 6-3, 6-0, while Gavrilova looked extremely focused in her 6-1, 6-1 victory over wild card Vicky Duval. Friday's match will be the rubber match between the two, with Davis defeating Gavrilova in the semifinals of the Grade A Italian Open, and Gavrilova downing Davis in the first round of the U.S. Open juniors, with the score 6-3, 6-1 in both matches. Gavrilova has had the tougher week, with two three-setters to open play, while Davis has lost only five games in three matches.
Austria's Dominic Thiem and Davis are advancing stride for stride again in this tournament, having won both the Yucatan and Eddie Herr prior to the Orange Bowl. Thiem again posted a straight-set win, defeating No. 13 seed Vladyslav Manafov of Ukraine 6-2, 6-3, and will play No. 7 seed Joris De Loore of Belgium in the quarterfinals. De Loore eliminated a very vocal Mate Delic of Croatia 6-4, 6-3. No. 9 seed George Morgan of Great Britain, who came back to post a 1-6, 6-3 6-4 win over No. 5 seed and Baylor recruit Mate Zsiga of Hungary, will play No. 4 seed Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador, who had an even tougher third round match. Quiroz survived unseeded Dimitar Kuzmanov of Bulgaria 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4).
With No. 14 seed Shane Vinsant's 7-6(3), 6-4 loss to No. 3 seed Mate Pavic of Croatia, the sole American left in the boys 18s singles draw is Alexios Halebian, the 2009 16s Orange Bowl champion. Halebian took out unseeded Karue Sell 7-5, 6-1, in a ragged match that Halebian took control of early in the second set.
"In the second set he sort of went away a little bit," said Halebian, who said he began forcing the Brazilian to hit more high backhands. "He started missing a lot, and I was kind of shocked he missed so much, but it was good for me."
Halebian will play No. 8 seed Hugo Dellien of Bolivia, who downed qualifier Nik Razborsek of Slovenia 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2.
Pavic's quarterfinal opponent is No. 12 seed Jannick Lupescu of the Netherlands, who was the beneficiary of two game penalties in his 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over No. 6 seed Oliver Golding of Great Britain. Golding received one game penalty for ball abuse, which put Lupescu up 1-0 in the third set, and one game penalty at 4-4 for an audible obscenity, which gave Lupescu a 5-4 lead in the third, and Lupescu it out in the next game.
Matches begin at 8 a.m. on Friday with 16s singles quarterfinals. The 16s semifinals are scheduled for the afternoon. For complete results and order of play, see dunloporangebowl.com.
Thursday, December 9, 2010