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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Juniors Double Up Indoors at Sound Shore; Andrews and Townsend Reach Semifinals at US Open Junior Championships

©Colette Lewis 2012--
Port Chester, NY--

Another rainy morning in New York meant another day of doubles only for the juniors at the US Open, and another trip to the Sound Shore Indoor Tennis Club in Port Chester, NY.

By the time the 23rd and final match of the day (there was one walkover) finished, around 6 p.m., the semifinalists in both boys and girls doubles were set.

The only US juniors still alive in doubles are last year's US Open finalists and this year's Australian Open champions Taylor Townsend and Gabby Andrews. The fourth-seeded team picked up two wins by identical 6-4, 7-6(4) scores.

The first, over Emily Fanning of New Zealand and Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, was a struggle in the second set, with  Andrews and Townsend needing to win a deciding point in the no-ad format to save a set point with Townsend serving at 3-5. That set point went in Andrews and Townsend's favor when Kontaveit missed a return, but she still had an opportunity to send it into a match tiebreaker serving at 5-4.  Andrews and Townsend really stepped up their return game, however, making four straight great returns, with Townsend getting the break with a forehand return winner.

The tiebreaker was close, with Fanning and Kontaveit leading 4-3, but Townsend and Andrews again came through when it mattered most, claiming the last four points and the match.

"I think we have a second wind when it comes to tiebreakers," Townsend said. "I don't know why, but she and I play amazing in tiebreakers, so that's an advantage."

"We focus more on every point and know that it counts," said Andrews.

"We should do that in the set," said Townsend, laughing.

In their quarterfinal match against Camilla Rosatello of Italy and Ipek Soylu of Turkey, Andrews and Townsend again stepped up in the final few points, with Andrews delivering a second serve winner on their first match point to earn a spot in the semifinals.

"My thing is I would like to go a step ahead in every tournament," said Andrews. "So if we made the finals last year, we'll need to do better in the finals."

After nearly five months of not playing together, Andrews and Townsend are still rounding into form.

"We definitely need to go out on the practice court tomorrow nice and early and work on a few things," said Townsend, who could play two singles matches on Thursday. "It's just kind of getting a groove. These courts are a lot different than the ones at Flushing."

Andrews and Townsend will play top seeds Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan and Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia, who barely squeezed by in their two matches, needing to win second sets and match tiebreakers in both.

The other girls semifinal will feature No. 2 seeds Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and Petra Uberalova of Slovakia against No. 8 seeds Antonia Lottner of Germany and Kathinka Von Deichmann of Lichtenstein. Bencic and Uberalova received a walkover in the second round, when Barbara Haas was unable to compete due to illiness, and they defeated the Canadian team of Erin Routliffe and Carol Zhao 7-5, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.  Lottner and Von Deichmann upset No. 3 seeds Francoise Abanda of Canada and Sachia Vickery 6-2, 1-6, 11-9.

The boys semifinals will see the Australian No. 6 seeds Nick Kyrgios, the Wimbledon boys doubles champion, and Jordan Thompson against the No. 5 seeded German team of Maximilian Marterer and Daniel Masur.  Kyrgios and Thompson defeated unseeded Luke Bambridge and Liam Broady 6-4, 7-6(3) in the quarterfinals. Bambridge and Broady had taken out top seeds Filip Peliwo of Canada and Kaichi Uchida of Japan 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.

Marterer and Masur downed the unseeded team of Lucas Gomez of Mexico and Thai Kwiatkowski 7-5, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

The other boys semfinal is between the unseeded team of Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan and Jorge Panta Herreros of Peru and No. 8 seeds Kyle Edmund of Great Britain and Frederico Silva of Portugal.

Nishioka and Panta Herreros took their second round match from Noah Rubin and Alexios Halebian 6-4, 6-7(10), 10-8 and won an even more exciting 2-6, 6-3, 12-10 decision from unseeded Evan Hoyt and Joshua Ward-Hibbert of Great Britain in the quarterfinals. Nishioka and Panta Herreros were down match point at 10-9 in the tiebreaker with Ward-Hibbert serving, which is not a good position to be in, but the big serving Ward-Hibbert double faulted when his second serve clipped the netcord. He didn't get a first serve in on the next point, and Hoyt missed a volley, giving Nishioka and Panta Herreros their first match point. After a long rally, Nishioka hit a lob winner that had so much topspin that Hoyt couldn't come close to tracking it down before it veered into the back curtain.

Edmund and Silva advanced by beating No. 2 seeds Mitchell Krueger and Mackenzie McDonald 7-5, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Doubles results can be found at the ITF junior website.

There are no doubles scheduled for Thursday, but if the weather is good as expected, two round of singles will be played. See the tournament website for Thursday's schedule.


wotten wun said...

Their long-time friendship as well as partnering will serve Taylor Townsend and Gabby Andrews well. They should quickly overcome their months-long separation and round into their form as a great US Girls doubles team.

been-there said...

Interesting article about Taylor Townsend needing to get more fit. I do see both sides of it.

The USTA is providing monetary support and is almost like her boss. Obviously you need to be in shape and she apparently wasn't doing enough.

That being said, no 16 year old girl should be overly hassled about her weight/fitness. They are so sensitive at that age and need TLC, not remarks about their body. Do we want to hurt her self-esteem along the way?

I am not sure. I see both ends of the issues.

Brent said...

I don't see both sides of the issue. Is it fair for the USTA to set goals related to her fitness? Sure. Do you take it to the point of sitting her from the national championships and the US Open because her fitness isn't exactly where you want it to be, all while she's performing as the #1 junior in the world? Not in a million years. As if the USTA needed another black mark, they signed up for another one here. What in the world were they thinking? If you are crafting her schedule between Futures and juniors and so forth? Sure, that is reasonable. To try to sit her from the national championships and the US Open? Over this? Embarrassing. I like Patrick, but between these nutty junior changes, especially the small draws for nationals, and now this - yikes.

been-there said...

Good points Brent.

The only thing is, we don't know the true background. Have they worked and worked and worked with her to start on some fitness standards? Have they busted their rear-ends to get her to get going and she just won't? A defiant teenager thing? Only wants to play tournaments and not work out?

Or is she actively/eagerly trying to achieve them and just can't achieve the "Samantha Stosur" body? They set the standards too high for any teenage person, possibly?

** For the record, Stosur should have an informercial at night selling her weightlifting routine b/c her arms look so good.

information said...

orThe USTA has bent over backwards to work with Taylor's weight issue and work ethic. Obviously the family is not helping the situation as there are modern scientific methods by which an athlete can maintain proper weight and health and be able to compete. Taylor is 16 years old but she is also a world class athlete that needs to understand and what she needs to do. You don't see other girls at the Open in the same condition. Everyone is fit and ready.

At Boca, everyone now works to the 110% level. Living proof is Vicky Duval who has been there a couple of months and has taken the next step. She came at a good level and has gone to the next level.

The USTA has done many questionable things but in this case they are correct. It is time to stop coddling players and start helping the hungy ones. There are a lot of them out there. If Taylor is not willing to follow the program, she needs to go elsewhere. Plain and simple.

By the way. Taylor lost 4,4 to the #12 seed today. Allie Kiick almost beat that girl yesterday.

Brent said...

Maybe she does need to work harder. Maybe she has thumbed her nose at the USTA's challenges to work harder, eat differently, or whatever. I still cannot see the scenario under which you use essentially banning her from her own national tournaments as the proper stick/carrot to incent the behavior you are looking for. Today's result proves nothing. She can obviously play at an unbelievably high level with the existing 'shortcomings'. This is not a debate about a player on the margin between deserving a wild card / invitation or not. This is the #1 junior in the world. Their tactic wouldn't have made sense even it it got the desired result but it didn't. Townsend doesn't look dumb, the East German Tennis Association does - sorry, I meant the USTA.


Heartless, shameful treatment of world's #1 junior girl. Feel sooo awful for my girl TT. :(

Mike P said...

She was not banned. They were told that the USTA would not be paying for their travel expenses. There is a HUGE difference. I'm sorry but she has been getting FREE training and travel for the past 2 years. What is the big deal that her family was told that if they wanted to do it their way that they would have to pay for their own travel expenses? This is a case of a family who thinks their daughter is too good to follow the rules. This issue has been going on for the past 8 months, at some point both sides just need to cut ties.

Brent said...

Mike P, it isn't just that they wouldn't pay the travel expenses, they told her not to play nationals or the Open and did not give her wild cards that she very obviously deserved given her results. No one is questioning that they have a right to challenge her to improve her fitness - I think very few would agree that they went about it the right way.

Robert said...

I agree with Brent. I suggest Townsend sign with an Investor or Big Agency. Sam Stosur is the ideal body for a women on the tour but that does not guarantee Grand Slams (she only has one). If Towsend want to be 200 pounds and can win Grand Slams who cares !! She can be a model for full figure women. She is from the south where women are naturally that big but she is not slow and can volley well. If she was the #1 junior in Australia or Spain she would be receiving a lot more press and would have given a WC in the Pro Main draw. (IE Laura Robson). When Serena retires we are done in Women's tennis !! God Bless America !!