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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jorgeson Ousts Third Seed Blanch at International Spring Championships; 2014 16s Champion McNally Keeps Carson Winning Streak Going; Noel, 12, Takes Out Top Seed in 16s

©Colette Lewis 2015-
Carson CA--

After a relatively uneventful first round at the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships, the first top four seed exited in Wednesday's second round, with John Jorgeson saving a match point in his 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2 win over No. 3 seed Ulises Blanch.

No. 11 seed Catalin Mateas and No. 12 seed Benjamin Hannestad also lost, with wild cards John McNally and Jake Van Emburgh advancing to the third round.  The girls second round saw only one seed eliminated, with Emma Higuchi defeating No. 12 seed Claire Liu 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

The 16-year-old Jorgeson, ranked 278 to Blanch's 38, was down 5-6 in the second set tiebreaker, but with an assist from the elements, he escaped.

"I was just keeping the balls deep and the wind picked up in the middle of the point and he shanked it," said Jorgeson. "I hit an ace down the T, and another big serve, and he missed a ball long."

Jorgeson said he has learned from experience how to maintain his focus after such an adrenaline-filled end to the second set.

"I've done that so many times, I've learned my lesson," Jorgeson said of avoiding a letdown. "So I really focused hard and tried to stay active."

Jorgeson took a 4-0 lead in the third set, and Blanch, who can usually be heard exhorting himself with c'mons in several different languages, was quiet, verging on indifferent.  But he saved three break points to keep from going down 5-0, then broke Jorgeson to make it 4-2, but was broken in the next game to give Jorgeson his cushion back.

"I definitely had some nerves," said Jorgeson, who trains with Heath Turpin in Bradenton, Fla.  "I was up 4-0 and it got to 4-2, I was a little nervous there. But I played well. I hit a lot of aces today, and that's not usual for me. I'm pretty short, so I'm surprised I'm serving well, but I'm definitely feeling the serve a lot."

Jorgeson will play No. 16 seed Robert Levine in the third round. Levine defeated Jorgeson last fall in the first round of the Pan American Closed in Tulsa.

Although McNally won the International Spring Championships 16s title last year, he needed a wild card to get into the ITF tournament this year after an injury last fall brought his excellent year to a disappointing end.

"This is a big, big win for me, and two days ago was a big win, too," said McNally, who defeated Mateas 7-6(3), 6-2, saving a set point at 4-5 in the first set. "It's been a rough road back after I got hurt after the US Open. I had a couple of really bad losses, my confidence level went down, but I thought maybe I could do something here. I've never played a Grade 1 before. I'm really happy I got a wild card. I didn't really deserve a wild card, to be honest, because I really haven't had the best results, but winning these two matches makes me feel a little bit better."

Next for McNally as he aims for his ninth straight win in Carson, is qualifier Johnathan Small, who defeated Bjorn Hoffman, another qualifier, 6-4, 6-3.

Top seed William Blumberg was down 5-3 in the second set to Zeke Clark, but won the final four games of the match for a 6-1, 7-5 victory.

Girls top seed Usue Arconada also had a close call against Ulyana Shirokova of Russia before escaping with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory. Arconada led 6-1, 3-1 before Shirokova began her comeback, and the Russian was up a break at 1-0 in the third before Arconada retook control of the match. She has now won 13 straight ITF junior matches at the Grade 1 or Grade A level.

Higuchi had lost to 6-0, 6-1 to Liu last fall in the quarterfinals of the Pan American Closed in Tulsa, but it didn't take long for her to establish that this match would be different.  With its long, punishing rallies, the match was a test of physical and mental strength, and although Higuchi is much smaller than the 14-year-old Liu, she didn't let the previous match or the breezy conditions interrupt her concentration.  Liu had a 4-1 lead in the third set, but Higuchi got the break back and, as Liu began pressing, broke again to take a 5-4 lead.

Liu earned a break point to get back on serve, but hit a backhand long for deuce, then got another break point, only to have Higuchi hit a deft stop volley winner to save it.  Higuchi finally got to match point by executing a tough backhand volley putaway. Although Higuchi hit a less than crisp volley, it was deep enough to give Liu problems and her defensive shot floated long.  The friends and training partners at the USTA's Player Development Center-West, where the tournament is held, shared an affectionate hug at the net after the intense hours of competition.

Higuchi will face No. 8 seed Caroline Dolehide in Thursday's third round, after Dolehide defeated Ndindi Mwaruka 6-2, 6-1.  Dolehide defeated Higuchi 6-2, 6-1 in the third round of the Eddie Herr last November.

A day after the boys 16s No. 1 seed was beaten, the girls No. 1 seed also went out, with 12-year-old Alex Noel surprising Emma Decoste 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Noel, a wild card, had beaten No. 13 seed Maria Ross 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round, but said coming from behind is not usually her style.

"Normally I win the first set," said Noel, who trains at Centercourt Academy in New Jersey. "I started out pretty slow, but I just calmed myself down, I guess, finding way to break her down. She was a lefty, and she grinded, didn't really hit through the court, so I tried to be aggressive and step in. I was hitting a lot of winners, and also got forced errors."

Noel can be very emotional on the court, berating herself loudly, but she said she is working to control that.

"Sometimes it helps me play better, but most of the time, it kind of brings me down," Noel admitted.

She will play No. 5 seed Nicole Conard in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The other unseeded player in the girls 16s quarterfinals is Selma Ewing, who defeated No. 6 seed Marcella Cruz 6-2, 6-1.

Third seed Taylor Johnson also lost on Wednesday, beaten by No. 15 seed Natasha Subhash 6-3, 6-2.

In the boys 16s, an unseeded semifinalist is assured, with Keenan Mayo advancing to face Ryan Goetz in the quarterfinals. Goetz beat No. 11 seed Robert Baylon 6-3, 6-2.

For complete draws and Thursday's order of play, see the tournament website.
Boys' 18 Singles (Round of 32)
John McNally (Cincinnati, OH)  def.  Catalin Mateas (11) (Braintree, MA)  7-6(3), 6-2
Michael Genender (Los Angeles, CA)  def.  William Genesen (Tulsa, OK)  6-4, 6-4
Sam Riffice (Roseville, CA)  def.  Gianni Ross (La Grange, IL)  6-4, 2-6, 6-3
John Jorgeson (Bradenton, FL)  def.  Ulises Blanch (3) (Deerfield Beach, FL)  4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2
Mwendwa Mbithi (14) (Deerfield Beach, FL)  def.  Trent Bryde (Suwanee, GA)  1-6, 7-6, 6-3
Nathan Ponwith (5) (Scottsdale, AZ)  def.  Alexander Lebedev (Island Park, NY)  6-3, 6-3
Kalman Boyd (Rancho Santa Fe, CA)  def.  Jeffrey Wolf (Cincinnati, OH)  7-5, 6-1
Emil Reinberg (6) (Atlanta, GA)  def.  Nathan Perrone (Bluffton, SC)  7-5, 5-7, 6-3
Robert Levine (16) (Bedford, NY)  def.  Jakub Wojcik (Delray Beach, FL)  6-4, 6-1
Sangeet Sridhar (Glendale, AZ)  def.  Alex Phillips (Peachtree City, GA)  7-6(5), 6-4, 6-1
William Blumberg (1) (Greenwich, CT)  def.  Zeke Clark (Tulsa, OK)  6-1, 7-5
Alejandro Tabilo (4) (Etobicoke, Ontario) def.  Vincent Lin (Schaumburg, IL)  7-5, 1-6, 7-5
Liam Caruana (13) (New Braunfels, TX)  def.  Daniel Bennett  6-2, 6-1
Johnathan Small (Zionsville, IN)  def.  Bjorn Hoffmann (Newport Beach, CA)  6-4, 6-3
Miomir Kecmanovic (2) (Boca Raton, FL)  def.  Patrick Kypson (Greenville, NC)  6-1, 6-1
Jake Van Emburgh (Verona, WI)  def.  Benjamin Hannestad (12)  6-4, 6-3

Boys' 18 Doubles (Round of 16)
Miomir Kecmanovic (Boca Raton, FL) / Bjorn Thomson (4)  def.  Zeke Clark (Tulsa, OK) / Nathan  Perrone (Bluffton, SC)  6-4, 6-2
Ulises Blanch (Deerfield Beach, FL) / Liam Caruana (2) (New Braunfels, TX)  def.  Sameer Kumar (Carmel, IN) / Vincent Lin (Schaumburg, IL)  6-2, 7-5
William Blumberg (Greenwich, CT) / Nathan Ponwith (1) (Scottsdale, AZ)  def.  Brandon Holt (Rolling Hills, CA) / Riley  Smith (Long Beach, CA)  7-5, 7-6(6)
Michael Genender (Los Angeles, CA) / Emil Reinberg (7) (Atlanta, GA)  def.  Kyryll Kryvchun (West Vancouver, BC) / Sangeet  Sridhar (Glendale, AZ)  4-6, 6-2, 10-8
Benjamin Hannestad / Alejandro Tabilo (3) (Etobicoke, Ontario) def.  Daunte Harris (Lomita, CA) / Bjorn Hoffmann (Newport Beach, CA)  6-2, 6-1
Robert Levine (Bedford, NY) / Catalin Mateas (6) (Braintree, MA)  def.  Bryan Husin (Riverside, CA) / Denis Shapovalov  6-3, 6-1
Hady Habib (Bradenton, FL) / Anudeep Kodali (5) (Durham, NC)  def.  Chase Colton (Pompano Beach, FL) / Johnathan  Small (Zionsville, IN)  6-3, 6-2
Trent Bryde/Patrick Kypson  def. Mwendwa Mbithi/Nicolas Moreno de Alboran(ESP), 6-3, 6-1

Boys' 16 Singles (Round of 16)
Oliver Crawford (6) (Spartanburg, SC)  def.  Kento Perera (10) (Santa Barbara, CA)  6-1, 6-2
Andrew Fenty (5) (Washington, DC)  def.  Abhijeet Joshi (9) (Millington, NJ)  6-0, 7-5
Austen Huang (8) (Elk Grove, CA)  def.  Eric Hahn (Fullerton, CA)  6-3, 6-1
Ryan Goetz (Greenlawn, NY)  def.  Robert Baylon (11) (Buena Park, CA)  6-3, 6-2
Brian Cernoch (4) (North Bethesda, MD)  def.  Matthew Tsolakyan (13) (Glendale, CA)  3-6, 6-1, 6-2
Ryan Seggerman (Coronado, CA)  def.  Ethan Prost (Peoria, AZ)  6-1, 6-0
Kevin Ma (14) (San Ramon, CA)  def.  Diego Nava (Woodland Hills, CA)  1-6, 6-3, 6-2
Keenan Mayo (Roseville, CA)  def.  Adam Oscislawski (Scottsdale, AZ)  6-1, 6-1

Boys' 16 Doubles (Round of 16)
Robert Baylon (Buena Park, CA) / Jack Pulliam (2) (Manhattan Beach, CA)  def.  Gavin Dail (North Hollywood, CA) / Noah Morrow (Stevenson Ranch, CA)  6-3, 6-4
Ryan Goetz (Greenlawn, NY) / Ryan Seggerman (Coronado, CA)  def.  Abhijeet Joshi (Millington, NJ) / William  Peters (3) (DUXBURY, MA)  6-3, 6-2
William Grant (Santa Barbara, CA) / Govind Nanda (6) (Redlands, CA)  def.  Eric Hahn (Fullerton, CA) / Koki Takabatake (Irvine, CA)    Wo (inj)
Danny Thomas (Pickerington, OH) / Maximilian Wild (Carmel, IN)  def.  M. McCormick (Berwyn, PA) / Alex  Wesbrooks (8) (McKinney, TX)    Wo (pc)
Andrew Fenty (Washington, DC) / William Woodall (4) (Washington, DC)  def.  Blake Croyder (Marietta, GA) / Arnav  Dhingra (Darnestown, MD)  7-6, 6-1
Brian Cernoch (North Bethesda, MD) / Oliver Crawford (1) (Spartanburg, SC)  def.  Kevin Ma (San Ramon, CA) / Steven  Sun (Boca Raton, FL)  6-0, 6-3
Cody Lin (Thousand Oaks, CA) / Kento Perera (7) (Santa Barbara, CA)  def.  Adam Oscislawski (Scottsdale, AZ) / Joshua  Xu (Chandler, AZ)    Wo (inj)
Adam Sraberg (Los Angeles, CA) / Matthew Tsolakyan (Glendale, CA)  def.  Keenan Mayo (Roseville, CA) / Axel Nefve (5) (Hinsdale, IL)    Wo (inj)

Girls' 18 Singles (Round of 32)
Usue Arconada (1) (Rio Piedras, PR)  def.  Ulyana Shirokova (Boca Raton, FL)  6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, CA)  def.  Claire Liu (12) (Thousand Oaks, CA)  7-5, 3-6, 6-4
Caroline Dolehide (8) (Hinsdale, IL)  def.  Ndindi Ndunda (Burke, VA)  6-2, 6-1
Taylor Russo (Deerfield Beach, FL)  def.  Camille Favero (Sacramento, CA)  6-0, 6-0
Sofia Sewing (16) (Doral, FL)  def.  Dominique Schaefer (Ventura, CA)  7-5, 6-1
Francesca Dilorenzo (5) (New Albany, OH)  def.  Jenna Friedel (Mill Valley, CA)  6-1, 6-2
Fanni Stollar (4)  def.  Kylie McKenzie (Anthem, AZ)  6-4, 6-1
Michaela Gordon (3) (Saratoga, CA)  def.  Jessica Hinojosa Gomez  6-3, 6-1
Jade Lewis (Hilton Head Island, SC)  def.  Amanda Anisimova (Hallandale Beach, FL)  4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Maria Mateas (15) (Braintree, MA)  def.  Seira Shimizu (Ojai, CA)  7-5, 6-3
Kelly Chen (Cerritos, CA)  def.  caty mcnally (Cincinnati, OH)  6-4, 6-0
Sonya Kenin (2) (Pembroke Pines, FL)  def.  Morgan Coppoc (Tulsa, OK)  6-2, 6-1
Ingrid Neel (7) (Bradenton, FL)  def.  Abigail Desiatnikov (Atlanta, GA)  6-3, 6-4
Victoria Emma (Naples, FL)  def.  Annette Goulak (Oak Park, CA)  6-0, 7-5
Kayla Day (9) (Santa Barbara, CA)  def.  Chiara Lommer (skokie, IL)  6-4, 2-6, 6-1
Katherine Sebov (6) (Woodbridge, ON)  def.  Rachel Lim (Briarcliff Manor, NY)  7-5, 6-4

Girls' 18 Doubles (Round of 16)
Alexis Nelson (Saint Paul, MN) / Savannah Slaysman (Phoenix, AZ)  def.  Usue Arconada (Rio Piedras, PR) / Francesca Dilorenzo (1) (New Albany, OH)  6-7(4), 6-2, 10-6
Anna Dollar (Lancaster, PA) / Veronica Miroshnichenko (Aventura, FL)  def.  Andrea Kevakian (Glendale, CA) / Jaclyn  Switkes (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL)  6-2, 4-6, 12-10
Michaela Gordon (Saratoga, CA) / Raquel Pedraza (4) (Claremont, CA)  def.  Morgan Coppoc (Tulsa, OK) / Alexandra  Sanford (Westerville, OH)  6-3, 5-7, 10-8
Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, ME) / Gabriella Pollner (7) (Boca Raton, FL)  def.  Ally Miller Krasilnikov (Delray Beach, FL) / Rebecca  Weissmann (Loveland, CO)  7-5, 6-2
Helen Altick (Monroe, LA) / Caroline Lampl (Bluemont, VA)  def.  Dominique Schaefer (Ventura, CA) / Sofia Sewing (6) (Doral, FL)  6-4, 3-6, 10-4
Caroline Dolehide (Hinsdale, IL) / Ena Shibahara (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)  def.  Alexandra Letzt (Scottsdale, AZ) / Mimi Levine (Santa Monica, CA)  6-3, 6-2
Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, CA) / Katherine Sebov (5) (Woodbridge, ON)  def.  Jessica Failla (Ramona, CA) / Jada Hart (Colton, CA)  6-4, 3-6, 10-7
Kayla Day (Santa Barbara, CA) / Sonya Kenin (3) (Pembroke Pines, FL)  def.  Jessica Hinojosa Gomez / Seira Shimizu (Ojai, CA)  6-3, 6-4

Girls' 16 Singles (Round of 16)
Alexandra Belaya (2) (Melbourne, FL)  def.  Vivian Cheng (Santa Monica, CA)  6-2, 6-3
Sydney Jones (11) (Carrollton, TX)  def.  Madison Hwang (8) (Frisco, TX)  6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4
Nicole Conard (5) (Boca Raton, FL)  def.  Niluka Madurawe (Sunnyvale, CA)  6-2, 6-1
Salma Ewing (Long Beach, CA)  def.  Marcella Cruz (6) (Marlboro, NJ)  6-2, 6-1
Alexa Noel (Summit, NJ)  def.  Emma Decoste (1) (Stuart, FL)  2-6, 6-1, 6-3
Elysia Bolton (7) (Lake Forest, IL)  def.  Hannah Zhao (12) (San Diego, CA)  6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4
Victoria Flores (4) (Fort Dodge, IA)  def.  Nicole Mossmer (14) (La Jolla, CA)  6-2, 6-2
Natasha Subhash (15) (Fairfax, VA)  def.  Taylor Johnson (3) (Redondo Beach, CA)  6-3, 6-2

Girls' 16 Doubles (Round of 16)
Abigail Forbes (Raleigh, NC) / Luba Vasilyuk (Frisco, TX)  def.  Julieanne Bou (Bayamon, PR) / Madison  Gallegos (6) (Aurora, CO)  4-6, 6-0, 10-7
Madison Hwang (Frisco, TX) / McCartney Kessler (4) (Calhoun, GA)  def.  Jadie Acidera (Anaheim, CA) / Danielle Willson (Newport Beach, CA)  6-3, 6-2
Jessica Anzo (Temecula, CA) / Jenna Moustafa (8) (Los Angeles, CA)  def.  Danielle Burich (Hinsdale, IL) / Lauren  Lemonds (Indianapolis, IN)  6-2, 6-0
Alexandra Belaya (Melbourne, FL) / Emma Decoste (1) (Stuart, FL)  def.  Malkia Menguene (College Park, MD) / Natasha  Subhash (Fairfax, VA)  1-6, 6-4, 10-3
Jessica Aragon (Plano, TX) / Sydney Jones (7) (Carrollton, TX)  def.  Mackenzie Clark (College Park, MD) / Kacie Harvey (Braintree, MA)  7-6(4), 6-2
Victoria Flores (Fort Dodge, IA) / Maria Ross (2) (Lakewood Ranch, FL)  def.  Theresa Papikian (Glendale, CA) / shuchen lin (Irvine, CA)  6 0, 6 2
Marcella Cruz (Marlboro, NJ) / Alexa Noel (5) (Summit, NJ)  def.  Katherine Nguyen (Fountain Valley, CA) / Elena  Van Linge (Menlo Park, CA)  2-6, 7-5, 11-9
Elysia Bolton (Lake Forest, IL) / Ann Li (3) (Devon, PA)  def.  Carolyn Campana (Hillsborough, CA) / Niluka  Madurawe (Sunnyvale, CA)  6-3, 6-0