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Sunday, December 28, 2014

USTA Winter Nationals Update

After two rounds at the USTA Winter Nationals, all eight No. 1 seeds remain in the running for gold balls.  B18s top seed Jacob Hansen needed a third set tiebreaker to advance to the third round, beating Adam Ambrozy 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(2), while Jessie Aney, the G18s top seed, also needed three sets to advance to the third round, beating Paris Corley 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

In Saturday's first round, B18s No. 2 seed Spencer Furman was ousted by Joseph Rotheram, and according to Universal Tennis Rating, that was a true upset, with Rotheram having a UTR rating of 11.68 to Furman's 13.06, well more than the 1.00 difference that they deem worthy of that word. B18s No. 5 seed Cameron Klinger lost in today's second round, to Nicholas Beaty, but with a difference in their UTRs of only .40, that is not considered an upset in their system of categorization.  All top 8 seeds in the girls 18s have moved into the third round.

In the B16s, two top 8 seeds lost, both in today's second round. Ben Goldberg beat No. 8 seed Caleb Chakravarthi 7-6(4), 6-2 and Paul Spencer defeat No. 7 seed Payton Holden 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. In both those instances, the difference in the opponents' UTR rankings is less than the 1.00 difference required for calling it an upset.  The same is true of the only Top 8 seed to fall in the G16s, with No. 3 seed Isabelle Lorenzini losing to Nicole Mossmer 6-2, 6-3 in the first round Saturday.

Jacob Brumm, the top seed in B16s, and Grace Joyce, the top seed in G16s, won their second round matches in straight sets.

For whatever reason, the seeds held more to form in the 12s and 14s, with only one of the Top 8 seeds in any of the four divisions losing.  No. 2 seed Billy Suarez lost to Dillon Blake 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(3) in today's second round.  I saw Blake at the Junior Orange Bowl, where the Miami resident qualified in the 12s and reached the third round, losing to semifinalist Jeffrey von der Schulenburg of Switzerland, a No. 1 seed, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(4). Although obviously raw and relatively new to the game, Blake impressed me with his size and power and is certainly one to watch.

Top seeds Aidan Mayo(B12s), Gabriella Price(G12s), Brandon Nakashima(B14s) and Marlee Zein(G14s) all advanced to the third round with straight-set wins.

Lisa Stone of Parenting Aces is out in Scottsdale for the 16s and 18s, where her son is competing, and although she isn't doing match coverage, check out her blog for more on her tournament experiences and those of her son. Unfortunately he had to retire from his second round match today with an injury, hopefully not a serious one.

Complete draws and results from the 12s and 14s in Tucson are here. Complete draws and results from the 16s and 18s in Scottsdale are here.