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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Top Seed Borza Saves Match Points in B14s Junior Orange Bowl Opening Round; Day Ousts Japan's No. 1 in Girls 12s

©Colette Lewis 2011--
Coral Gables, FL--

It was a beautiful day in South Florida for the start of the Junior Orange Bowl main draw, and I began my tour of three sites (the girls 14s at Key Biscayne wasn't on Saturday's itinerary) at the boys 12s, which are on the Har-Tru courts of Salvadore Park this year.

Top seed and Eddie Herr champion Artem Dubrivny of Russia was dominating Kyrylo Tsygura of the US when I left to head to the girls 12s at the Biltmore, and he posted a 6-1, 6-1 first round win. Not all the seeds had it quite as easy. No. 3 seed Alexei Popyrin of Australia needed three sets to get past Timur Chelmodeev of Russia 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, while No. 5 seed Tomas Etcheverry of Argentina didn't survive, losing to qualifier Albert Lim of the Philippines 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. Later in the day, No. 2 seed Alex del Corral and No. 4 seed Patrick Kypson of the US advanced in straight sets.

At the Biltmore, I watched several young American girls make quick work of their opponents, with Riley McQuaid taking top honors, defeating Haruka Otaya of Japan in less than forty minutes. Kylie McKenzie and Kariann Pierre-Louis also posted quick wins. There is often a disparity in the level of play between the seeds and those not seeded in the 12s division, but today Kayla Day turned that observation on its head. The left-handed Californian completely dominated Mei Ishimura of Japan, who was one of 16 No. 1 seeds, 6-1, 6-0.

I spent most of the afternoon at the University of Miami, where I watched most of the seeded US boys advance. No. 4 seed Stefan Kozlov, No. 5 seed Henrik Wiersholm and No. 2 seed Cameron Klinger all advanced in routine fashion, as did last year's 12s Junior Orange Bowl champion Michael Mmoh, who beat Filip Grbic of Serbia 6-1, 6-2. The unseeded Mmoh, who is now training full time at the IMG Bollettieri Academy, showed a stronger serve and defended well against his hard-hitting opponent.

I missed the most notable result of the day, with top seed Bogdan Borza of Romania saving match points after trailing lucky loser Kaden Funk of the US 6-4, 5-3 (thanks to @chalkflewup's tweets for that info). Borza survived 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2.

Another dramatic match that finished before I arrived saw Alfredo Perez of the US defeat Marko Osmakcic of Switzerland 6-4, 5-4 def. point penalty. Apparently there were several scoring disputes in the match, and according to the roving umpire, Osmakcic was asked three times to say the score before serving, which he failed to do. He was given a point penalty, and then accused the umpire of cheating him out of the match, which resulted in another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, this one a game penalty that ended the match.

There were several girls 12s matches going on court around 6 p.m., but I expect the complete results will be uploaded soon at the TennisLink site