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Monday, March 12, 2012

Frequent Rain Disrupts Second Round Play Monday at USTA 18s Spring Championships

©Colette Lewis 2012--
Mobile, AL--

The rain came down Monday morning, heavily, with more than two inches falling, keeping the 60 courts at the Mobile Tennis Center empty until 1 p.m. The second round boys matches were sent out then but after only 45 minutes of play, the rain began again, not heavily, but substantial enough to delay the restart for another four hours.

With humidity at 90 percent, drying was slow, and only a few players could resume their in-progress matches at 6:30 p.m. One of those was No. 5 seed Gage Brymer, who took matters into his own hands to assure he could finish the second set of his match with Dylan Brown.

"You have to squeegee your own courts, and we came out pretty much before anyone was here to try to get our court dry," said Brymer, who had won the first set 6-1 when the match was interrupted. "My parents helped out and we were out as soon as possible."

Playing on the newest courts at the highest elevation also helped Brymer, who is playing in his first Spring Nationals. The 2011 16s Easter Bowl champion knew what to expect from Brown, who is also from Southern California, although they hadn't played in some time.

"I know him pretty well from just seeing him at tournaments," Brymer said. "You get to know guys who have been in your section for a while. He hits a really good ball, and he was ball for ball with me, it was just who could keep it up longer. I felt pretty solid in the first set, that I was doing the right thing, so I just carried it on into the second set. I didn't have to change very much."

Brymer's 6-1, 6-3 win was one of 12 matches completed in the boys second round, with seeds winning 11 of them. The only match between two unseeded players that was completed saw John Patrick Mullane, a Michigan State recruit, beat Matthew Mendez 6-3, 6-3.

No. 2 seed Brett Clark, also playing on one of the four new, fast-drying courts, advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Julian Childers. Top seed Jared Hiltzik's match with Dante Saleh was not completed when rain halted play for the final time at 8:45 p.m.

Although there is a chance of rain on Tuesday, the schedule now calls for the completion of the boys second round main draw and first round consolation before the girls begin play. There were no girls matches begun on Monday.

For results from today, see the TennisLink site.

Dave "Koz" Kozlowski is doing interviews with the tournament's Players of Day for Tennis Channel, and Sunday's audio from Madison Bourguignon and Richard Del Nunzio is available by clicking on their names.