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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Andreescu Ousts Top Seed Pervushina, Bellamy and Johnson Reach 14s Semifinals at Junior Orange Bowl

©Colette Lewis 2014--
Coral Gables FL--

Bianca Andreescu had three days to rest after winning the Orange Bowl 16s title in Plantation, Florida, and she did what any snowbird would to enjoy the beautiful December weather: she went to the beach.

That day off and two days of light hitting on hard courts were all the 14-year-old Canadian needed to prepare for the Junior Orange Bowl, and on Sunday she reached the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over top seed Olesia Pervushina of Russia at the University of Miami Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

"After that tournament, I just refocused and started over in this tournament," said Andreescu. "And it's working."

Even after winning the 16s Orange Bowl on the Har-Tru clay at the Veltri Tennis Center, Andreescu said she preferred hard courts, and now that she is back on them, she's even more comfortable.

"I move better on hard court and my shots are more effective," Andreescu said. "My shots move through the court better."

Pervushina wasn't at her best, but many of her errors were forced by Andreescu, who had no trouble with the Russian's pace of shot. The fifth-seeded Andreescu played aggressively, moved in when she had the opportunity and was especially impressive with her swinging volleys.

"I was putting a lot of pressure on her and she was just missing a lot," said Andreescu, who broke Pervushina to end the match.

Next up for Andreescu is No. 4 seed Taylor Johnson of the United States, who defeated unseeded Ulyana Shirokova of Russia 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in long, physical match.  Johnson is the only US girl to survive the quarterfinals, with Iga Swiatek of Poland beating fellow No. 9 seed Anna Brylin 6-2, 6-4 and No. 2 seed Anastasia Potapova of Russia downing No. 6 seed Caty McNally 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.

Potapova had beaten McNally in three sets in the Eddie Herr final earlier this month, but this time Potapova, last year's 12s finalist, dropped the first set.  Serving for the set at 5-4, a slew of unforced errors came off Potapova's racquet and she lost the last three games of the set.  But she regrouped to dominate the final two sets, finding her rhythm and range on her big ground strokes.

Top seed Yshai Oliel of Israel has yet to drop a set in the tournament, reaching the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 5 seed Brian Shi of the United States.  Oliel, the 2012 boys 12s champion, will play another American, his third in a row, on Monday, after Roscoe Bellamy defeated unseeded Tao Mu of China 6-2, 6-4.

The seventh-seeded Bellamy, who also hasn't lost a set in advancing to the semifinals, served his way out of trouble throughout the match, and passed well when Mu approached the net.

"I thought I did a pretty good job of getting it low when he came in, doing the right thing on that," Bellamy said. "He did have good volleys, so that helped him with a few shots. He couldn't really hurt me that much from the baseline, so I think that was smart from him, actually."

Bellamy, who reached the semifinals of the Eddie Herr, called his position as the last American "a privilege."

"But I want to do something with it," Bellamy added. "I think I have a good shot at winning this and I want to do that."

No. 3 seed Keenan Mayo of the United States was ousted by unseeded Chen-jui Ho 6-3, 6-3, unable to counter the power of the left-hander from Taiwan. Ho will play No. 2 seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina, who defeated unseeded Chun-Hsin Tseng of Taiwan 6-0, 6-4.

The greatest number of American quarterfinalists were in the boys 12s division, but all four of them lost on Sunday at Salvadore Park.  Aidan Mayo fell to fellow No. 9 seed Ross Weibull of Sweden 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. Unseeded Saud Alhogbani went out to Jeffery von der Schulenburg of Switzerland, a No. 1 seed, 7-5, 7-6(0) and two No. 1 seeds from the US, Zane Khan and Nicholas Garcia lost, Khan to No. 1 seed Borna Devald of Croatia 6-3, 6-1 and Garcia to No. 9 seed Daiki Yoshimura of Japan 2-6, 6-0, 6-3.

An American finalist is the girls 12s is assured, with two unseeded players, Whitney Osuigwe and Cori Gauff, moving through to face each other in the semifinals, which will be played at the University of Miami after five days of competition at Tropical Park.  Osuigwe defeated Qinwen Zheng of China, a No. 1 seed, 6-1, 6-4 and Gauff, just 10 years old, defeated Canadian qualifier Leylah Fernandez 6-0, 3-6, 6-2.
The top half semifinal will feature Eddie Herr champion Himari Sato of Japan against Alina Charaeva of Russia. Sato, a No. 1 seed, defeated unseeded Charlotte Owensby 6-2, 6-3 and Charaeva, a No. 9 seed, beat No. 1 seed Carol Plakk of Estonia 6-2, 6-1.

Main draw matches begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday at the University of Miami and at 11:30 a.m. at Salvadore Park for the boys 12s.

Complete draws can be found at the TennisLink site.