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Monday, July 15, 2013

Magill Ousts No. 4 Seed Hamlin in Rain-Interrupted Day Two at USTA Girls 18s Clay Courts

©Colette Lewis 2013--
Memphis, TN--

Maia Magill didn't feel well when she took the court this morning for her second round match with No. 4 seed Ellyse Hamlin, and her racquet wasn't cooperating either. Before long, she was down 0-3, 0-40, but she came back to win that game and didn't look back from there, posting a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

"I started feeling better as I started moving," said the 16-year-old from Studio City, Calif. "And my racquet was a little loose, so I had to switch racquets. But once I got that, I started feeling the ball more, making more balls and playing my pattern really well."

Magill also had a recent 6-3, 6-2 win over Hamlin in the third round of the Claremont ITF to give her confidence, although that was on hard courts.

"In Southern California our clay courts are like hard courts with sand; it's pretty dry out there," said Magill, who trains with Craig Cignarelli at the Malibu Racquet Club. "But I've been hitting with a lot of guys lately, who hit the ball pretty heavy, and when girls come to play clay, I think they naturally start hitting with more spin as opposed to hard courts."

Magill was able to keep the ball in the court with much greater regularity than Hamlin, who often caught the tape or sent the ball  long if a rally extended past four or five strokes.

As an unseeded player, Magill had the advantage of a first round match on Sunday to find her footing on the clay, and she was far from unhappy when she saw the No. 4 seed as her next opponent.

"I actually wasn't that disappointed," Magill said of her draw. "I like to play good players. I think I play better against better players. I saw that and I was happy. I also think it shows that I'm not scared to play these girls, not intimidated. Like I said, I think I play better."

Hamlin wasn't the only Top  8 seed sent to the back draw Monday, with 2011 Girls 18s Clay Court champion Gabby Andrews, the No. 7 seed, falling to Amanda Atanasson 6-4, 7-6(4).

Courts 1, 2, 3, and 4 were under water this afternoon

No. 8 seed Brooke Broda had her struggles with local favorite Kenya Jones before posting a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory in a match that took over three hours to complete, not including a nearly three-hour rain delay.

At around 1:30 p.m., a brief but heavy shower submerged the courts at the Racquet Club of Memphis, setting back the singles matches at least two hours, while the other two sites had either no delays or much shorter ones.

No. 2 seed Peggy Porter did not take the court for her 12:30 match with Anna Feaster until around 4:45 p.m., but Porter still finished before Broda, needing just over an hour to post a 6-1, 6-0 win.

Top seed Spencer Liang kicked off her tournament with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Christiana Brigante, with the 8 a.m. start time a definite advantage with its comfortable temperatures and humidity making a tough match a bit more pleasant.

"She was a great clay court player," said Liang, who will start at Harvard this fall. "She played very smart. It's always tough, your first match, getting used to the courts."

Liang had little time to prepare for the tournament, as she was in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday to receive her USTA Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship reward.

"It's so classy and so elegant," said Liang, who was honored along with fellow juniors Hadley Berg, Xavier Gonzalez and Aaron Revzin. "Just being around such prestigious players and people, it puts things in perspective a bit. You can't help but respect every one of them, because they dedicated everything to this game."

Liang wasn't able to attend the dinner Saturday night, flying to Memphis instead, but she also had an important submission to Harvard due.

"I had to take a Harvard writing placement exam," said Liang. "They give you 72 hours, and I started it on Thursday evening. It took me hours and hours just to read the information on the sources. The prompt was on genetic engineering, and I didn't have any time to work on it when I was in Rhode Island Friday or Saturday. So yesterday, after I hit in the morning for 45 minutes, I rushed back to the hotel and worked diligently on the essay, for like five hours. I was very stressed yesterday, and I'm so relieved."

Liang will play 15-year-old Jessie Aney in Tuesday's second round.

In addition to Hamlin and Andrews, two other Top 16 seeds fell in their first matches, with Terri Fleming defeating No. 15 seed Keisha Clousing 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and Grace Tapak beating No. 13 seed Zoe Katz 6-3, 6-4.

Two No. 17 seeds fell Monday, with Felicity Maltby defeating Meredith Xepoleas 6-2, 7-6(2) and Yelizaveta Patenko downing Bennett Dunne 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

There was a major upset tonight in doubles, with top seed and Easter Bowl ITF champions Liang and Porter falling to Easter Bowl 16s doubles champion Caroline Dolehide and Brienne Minor 6-3, 6-2.

For complete results, see the TennisLink site.