©Colette Lewis 2012--
Key Biscayne, FL--
I spent the day watching the girls 14s second round at Crandon Park today, the site of the Sony Open, and the former site of the 16s and 18s Orange Bowl.
It didn't take me long to recall why I liked the site: all matches chaired, easy to photograph every court, and why I didn't: courts too far apart to generate any excitement and nasty, stealthy bugs. But the weather was pleasant, with partly cloudy skies, a slight breeze, and temperatures in the the low 80s, so I began to check out players I knew, and others who were just names in draws to me.
The first court I happened upon was court 1, where top seed Dalma Galfi of Hungary was trailing Nadia Gizdova of the US 5-2. Gizdova closed out the first set 6-2, with Galfi missing more balls than she made, most of the them into the net.
Gizdova, who trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park Maryland, served for the match in the second set at 5-2, but was unable to get to match point. Galfi was still making unforced errors, but not as frequently, and she held for 5-4.
Gizdova served for the match again, and started well, getting all her first serves in to take a 40-15 lead, and she had to chances for the upset. On the first match point, Galfi pounded a backhand winner down the line. On the second, Gizdova double faulted, and two errors later, Galfi had evened the match.
The top seed held again, then was up 0-40 on Gizdova's serve at 5-6, but Gizdova saved all three set points in that game to force a second set tiebreaker.
There weren't many winners in the tiebreaker, but it was extremely close. Galfi missed an overhead badly, standing within five feet of the net, making it 5-4, but although Gizdova again had the match on her racquet, she lost both her serves, with two forehand errors giving Galfi another set point.
Galfi thought she had hit an ace that the chair umpire, a beat late, called it long, and although she seemed agitated by the call, she refocused and hit a second serve ace to take the tiebreaker 7 points to 5.
The third set was all Galfi, who left her poor play in the first set behind to record a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 victory.
No. 2 seed Aleksandra Pospelova of Russia had lost in the first round late Monday, but No. 3 seed Jazzi Plews of Great Britain and No. 4 seed Emma Higuchi of the United States had no difficulty advancing to the third round.
Another tense and entertaining match ended with Angela Kulikov of the US, a 17 seed, defeating Martina Zerulo of Italy 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Zerulo has style and variety in her game, leaving her opponent constantly guessing as to which shot she will use, but she was unable to serve out the match at 5-4, and Kulikov took advantage. She held serve for 6-5, then stayed steady as Zerulo began to feel the pressure and failed to execute her shots. Down 15-40, Zerulo saved one match point with a perfect volley winner, but on the second, Kulkov gave her a tough ball to handle at the net, and Zerulo couldn't react quickly enough, giving the 2012 14s USTA Clay Court finalist the victory.
Kulikov is in a section of the draw that includes four Americans: Higuchi, Caroline Dolehide and CC Bellis, a No. 9 seed, whom Kulikov plays on Wednesday.
Eddie Herr champion and No. 5 seed Fanni Stollar of Hungary advanced to the third round, as did the player she beat in the Eddie Herr final--Sofia Kenin of the US. Kenin, the No. 6 seed, defeated Constanza Gorches of Mexico 7-5, 6-4.
In the boys 14s at the University of Miami, top seed Michael Mmoh of the US, No. 2 seed Chanyeong Oh of Korea, No. 3 seed Nathan Ponwith of the US and No. 4 seed Mikael Ymer of Sweden all made it through to the Wednesday's third round.
In the girls 12s at the Biltmore Tennis Center, No. 1 seeds Abigail Desiatnikov and Ellie Douglas of US and Eddie Herr finalist Anastasia Potapova of Russia all advanced to the third round.
The boys 12s at Salvadore Park saw US No. 1 seeds Roscoe Bellamy, Keenan Mayo, Andrew Fenty and Boris Kozlov advance to the third round in straight sets. Five qualifiers, two of them from Korea, have advanced to the final 32.
For complete results, see the TennisLink site.