Wiersholm Ousts No. 2 Seed Nishioka; Top Seeds Townsend and Rubin Take Contrasting Routes to Third Round at Eddie Herr International Grade 1
©Colette Lewis 2012--
Fifteen-year-old wild card Henrik Wiersholm posted the biggest win of his brief ITF junior career in the second round of the Grade 1 Eddie Herr International Wednesday, defeating No. 2 seed and US Open Junior semifinalist Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 7-6(5), 6-2.
If you found yourself at arriving at Court 1 at 5-5 in the first set, as I did, you had no reason to expect it would be another 30 minutes until the 90-minute set was completed. Nishioka, a 17-year-old left-hander, who trains at the IMG Bollettieri Academy, needed multiple deuces to hold for 6-5, but it was nothing compared to the game that followed.
Thinking I would just watch the end of the set before returning to Taylor Townsend's match with Vavara Flink, I didn't get out my pen and notebook, so I can't tell you exactly how many deuces they played or how many set points Wiersholm saved, although he put the number at six.
Finally managing to win three points in a row to force a tiebreaker, Wiersholm did it with his serve, hitting two good first serves to get to ad-in, then cracking an ace to finally end the 20-minute game.
Nishioka appeared a bit deflated by his failure to convert any of the set points and trailed 5-1 in the tiebreaker before finding his form to bring it back to 5-5. Nishioka got no closer however, with Wiersholm taking the next two points and the set.
"I was serving very well today, I don't think I got broken once," said Wiersholm, the reigning Kalamazoo 16s champion. "I knew he was a very consistent player--he hits the ball--and I knew I would have to grind him out in a really long match. He just doesn't miss, and he's very fast. So I just kept working the points and managed to get it done."
The second set went by considerably faster than the first, with Wiersholm going up 4-2, then saving two break points in the next game to shut the door.
In the final game, an increasingly frustrated Nishioka made three straight errors to give Wiersholm three matches points, but he only needed one, hitting a forehand winner for the victory.
As Wiersholm gathered his racquets and prepared to leave the court to report his score, Nishioka quickly walked into the pathway away from the court. Soon the distinctive sound of racquets meeting asphalt could be heard, with none of them surviving the encounter.
Wiersholm, who is training at the USTA National Center in Boca Raton, enjoys playing on clay.
"I've been training on the clay, and I really like clay," Wiersholm said. "I haven't had the best results on clay, but I've always really liked it. I was hoping I could do this--you can't know you're going to win--but I knew I had a legitimate shot to take him out, so I went into the match thinking I could take it."
Wiersholm, the only wild card remaining in the boys draw, will play unseeded Mazen Osama of Egypt in Thursday's third round.
Other US boys to advance to the round of 16 are No. 4 seed Mackenzie McDonald, No. 5 seed Spencer Papa, unseeded Luca Corinteli and top seed Noah Rubin.
For the second straight match Rubin dropped the opening set, but came back to win, defeating 16-year-old Rishab Agarwal of India Wednesday afternoon 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-3. Rubin found another gear in the second set and began to swing more freely, getting more depth on his shots, but Agarwal didn't go away, even after being broken for the second time in the third set with a stunning lob winner by Rubin, followed by a double fault.
Rubin served for the match at 5-2, but Agarwal made one last push with his forehand, hitting two winners from that side that Rubin could only applaud.
Agarwal couldn't force Rubin to serve for it again however, with a double fault, a forced error and a return winner giving Rubin two match points. He missed a backhand on the first, but when Agarwal's backhand went wide on the second Rubin had survived another test.
Girls top seed Townsend continued to look in fine form, defeating Flink 6-3, 6-2 with her usual assortment of touch shots and overheads clicking against the Russian. Townsend, who received a wild card into next week's Orange Bowl, will play No. 16 seed Barbara Haas of Austria in the third round.
No. 4 seed Francoise Abanda of Canada will not be adding another Eddie Herr title to her 14s title in 2010, as she was defeated by Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-3, 6-4.
In addition to Townsend, the US has three others in the round of 16: wild card Louisa Chirico, Jamie Loeb, and No. 14 seed Jennifer Brady.
All the No. 1 seeds in the younger division have advanced to the third round with 12s No. 1s Abigail Desiatnikov of the US and Yshai Oliel of Israel though in straight sets. 14s top seeds Usue Arconada of the US and Orlando Luz of Brazil posted wins, but the No. 2 seeds were both eliminated. European champion Mikael Ymer of Sweden lost to Patrick Kypson of the US 6-4, 7-5, and Ingrid Neel upset Dalma Galfi of Hungary 6-2, 6-3 to open the bottom half of those draws.
In the 16s girls top seed Ye Qiuyu of China moved through to the round of 16, as did boys top seed Ku Keon Kang of Korea. No. 2 seed Charlotte Petrick of Canada was beaten by Rebecca Weissmann of the US 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
See the TennisLink site for complete draws and results.