Golovin Ousts Second Seed Ivanova, Top Seeds Mmoh and Black Advance in Opening Round of ITF B1 Pan American Closed
©Colette Lewis 2013--
Top seeds Michael Mmoh and Tornado Alicia Black began their quests for Pan American Closed titles Monday morning with straight set wins, but as the lights came on at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, girls No. 2 seed Dasha Ivanova was defeated by Jessica Golovin in the day's major upset.
Golovin dropped the first set to Ivanova, but stormed back for a 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory, staying positive and focused throughout the final two sets.
"She was more aggressive in the first set," said the 16-year-old Golovin, who trains at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in New York.
In the second set, I felt I started being more aggressive, going in more, using more variety, keeping her off balance. That helped me dictate the points. I had lost to her previously twice, so I got revenge."
Golovin feels her improvement in the past few months is the result of more consistency.
"I've improved my serve percentage, all my shots, and have gotten more confident," Golovin said. "It's taking my game to a new level and I'm very happy and excited to get there."
Much earlier in the day, Mmoh downed fellow IMG Bollettieri student Lamar Remy 6-1, 6-4, while Black defeated qualifier Jessie Aney 6-2, 6-2, and by the time both matches were completed the chilly morning had turned into a perfect day for tennis, with light winds, temperatures in the upper 60s and plenty of sunshine.
No. 2 seed Spencer Papa was a late afternoon winner, defeating 14-year-old qualifier Brian Cernoch 6-2, 6-1. Papa has been struggling with tendinitis in his knee for nearly a year now, missing both Kalamazoo and the US Open Juniors in the hope that complete rest would ease the pain.
"I got an MRI and everything and they just said tendinitis. I've been playing on it, playing on it, losing confidence, losing matches, so I finally just shut it down," Papa said. "I don't think it's a hundred percent, but I'm able to play. I played a match in California (the Costa Mesa Futures) one match, so this is my second match since Wimbledon."
Papa, a semifinalist here last year, lives in Boca Raton, Florida now, but is originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, so returning for this tournament made sense for several reasons.
"It's my last year (of ITF juniors) so I came back here," said Papa, who will be 18 later this month. "I'm going to visit colleges after this. It's close to some of the colleges I want to visit. I'm going to play this, Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl and then I'm done with juniors."
Three seeded players lost in the boys draw, with No. 6 Julian Zlobinsky falling to John Jorgeson 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in a contentious match that featured no hand shake at its conclusion. No. 11 seed A.J. Catanzariti lost to Vincent Lin 6-2, 7-5, and No. 10 seed Alan Nunez Aguilera of Mexico was defeated by wild card Jake DeVine 7-5, 6-3.
The No. 6 seed in the girls draw, Rianna Valdes, was beaten by 14-year-old Canadian Katherine Sebov 6-2, 6-4, and No. 15 seed Simone Pratt of the Bahamas lost to Camila Wesbrooks 6-1, 6-4.
No. 8 seed Madison Bourguignon barely escaped the fate of fellow L'Academie de Tennis student Ivanova, holding off Raveena Kingsley 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4 in a three and a half hour marathon that ended after 9 p.m. Bourguignon and Kingsley both showed pace, poise and persistence throughout the match, with Bourguignon securing the lone break in the third set and holding on for the win.
Second round singles action and first round doubles action is on the schedule for Tuesday.
For draws and order of play, see the USTA ITF tournament page.