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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Doyle Tops Fourth Seed Andrews to Extend Her Easter Bowl Winning Streak; Haffey Takes Out Top Seed Hudson in Girls 16s Second Round Action

©Colette Lewis 2012--
Rancho Las Palmas, CA--

The good Easter Bowl memories keep getting better for 2011 16s champion Caroline Doyle, who reached the third round in the ITF Grade B1 tournament with a 6-3, 6-3 win Tuesday over 2011 ITF finalist Gabby Andrews.

"It's great. It's good to be back given that last year went so well," said Doyle, who turned 16 last month. "Obviously 16s are different, and the competitors are really strong this year, but I'm just trying to go one match at a time and stay focused and hopefully keep the streak going."

Against the fourth-seeded Andrews, Doyle knew she had to strike a delicate balance.

"I tried to stay aggressive, because obviously Gabby's a really solid player," Doyle said. "I knew that if I went on the defense she would just attack everything. So I tried to keep neutral or stay on the offense, keep her moving."

The left-hander from San Francisco, who has now won nine consecutive matches at the Easter Bowl, had a strategy that worked perfectly for her.

"I thought I was consistent, but consistently aggressive," Doyle said. "I was moving it around, not giving her too many of the same looks in a row."

Andrews was joined on the sidelines by No. 6 seed Christina Makarova, No. 12 seed Katrine Steffensen and No. 14 seed Julia Elbaba, leaving only seven seeds in the girls draw after two round of play. Breaunna Addison downed Steffensen 6-4, 6-4 and Rasheeda McAdoo eliminated Elbaba 6-4, 6-2.

Makarova was beaten by International Spring Championship quarterfinalist Mayo Hibi 6-2, 6-2. After winning the Claremont Grade 4 two weeks ago and qualifying into the ISC, Hibi welcomed the two days off, ample time to rest the aches and pains that come with so much tennis in a short time.

"My leg was bothering me in Carson, but it's fine now," said Hibi, who lives and trains in Irvine, California. "Physically, I think I'm fine."

Hibi knew she would need her legs at full strength to beat Makarova.

"She gets one more ball back than anyone else," said Hibi, who knew that even her volleys weren't sure winners against Makarova. "So it's really tough to finish it off. And from the baseline, you have to be patient and you have to be aggressive, so that balance is really hard. But I think I played well today."

Top seed Taylor Townsend took a 6-3, 6-1 decision from Ashley Dai in routine fashion, but No. 2 seed Kyle McPhillips needed three and a half hours to shake International Spring 16s champion Jessica Ho 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-3.

The boys began play in the ITF Easter Bowl Tuesday afternoon, with top seed Mitchell Krueger and No. 2 seed Noah Rubin both earning straight-set wins.

Five seeded boys lost, with No. 10 Martin Redlicki, No. 12 Robert Livi, No. 13 Carter Lin, No. 15 Ogjen Samardzic and No. 16 Charles Boyce failing to reach the second round. Redlick fell to Henry Craig 6-1, 6-2, Livi was beaten by Shane Monroe 6-4, 6-1, Lin lost to Deiton Baughman 6-4, 6-0 and Boyce was defeated by Justin Butsch 7-5, 6-1.

The top two seeds in the boys 16s--Yale Goldberg and Mitch Stewart--advanced to the third round in straight sets, but the girls 16s draw is now without its top two seeds. Yesterday second seed Olivia Sneed was beaten by Kristina Hovsepyan and today it was Mary Haffey's turn to post an upset, beating top seed Shannon Hudson 6-2, 6-2.

"I felt I've always done well in tournaments, but I haven't done the best I think I can do," said the 14-year-old from Naples, Fla. "This time I feel like I just went for it, went for my shots and I think I played up to my potential. I was just so focused. I thought I played the best I ever played."

Haffey, playing in her first Easter Bowl, is currently working with Jesse Witten, the former University of Kentucky All-American, while also relying on her parents for extra training.

"My mom helps and my dad sometimes does my fitness. We're just all in it together as a family," said Haffey, who plays 16s and 18s divisions in Florida. "I just try to work on my game when I go to tournaments. I don't feel like I have pressure to win, I just try to do my best."

The top seeds in the 14s divisions are intact, with boys No. 1 seed Anudeep Kodali surviving a tough match with No. 17 seed Riley Smith 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, and No. 2 seed Kyle Seelig downing Arash Hafezi 6-4, 6-3.

In the girls 14s, top seed Emma Higuchi and second seed Raquel Pedraza advanced to the round of 16 with wins over Sydney Riley(17) and Gaby Pollner respectively.

International Spring champion Allie Kiick and USTA Spring National champion Ronnie Schneider are blogging for usta.com on alternate days, with Kiick's first entry here.

For the 14s and 16s draws, click here.

For the ITF results, click here.