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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Top Seed Fritz Battles Back from 6-4, 5-0 to Beat Kypson in Easter Bowl ITF Third Round; Crawford, Subhash Go for Back-to-Back Titles in 16s

©Colette Lewis 2015--
Indian Wells, CA--

Down 6-4, 5-0 and being thoroughly outplayed by 15-year-old qualifier Patrick Kypson, top seed Taylor Fritz managed keep alive the hope that the physical toll he was exacting by continuing to compete could help him work his way into the match.  That, and Kypson's inexperience at the top levels of the junior game, proved Fritz right, and the world's fourth-ranked boy recorded the most improbable of comebacks to earn a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory and a place in the quarterfinals.

"The first set and a half I was just playing like awful," said Fritz, who admitted the full impact of his trip from China on Monday hit him Wednesday night. "But I don't know if it really would have made a difference, the way he was playing, so tough. He was playing me really smart, moving me a lot. He was mixing up the serve a lot, never let me get a feel, especially the second serve. He wouldn't let me run around and attack it at all."

"But the way he was playing, he was doing a lot of running and digging out a lot of balls, and I just knew eventually--he could probably play like that all day--his body would stop him from playing at that level, just because he's younger. I was doing a lot of moving him, and so I felt like eventually he would slow down a little bit. And I played a lot better when I got all the way down, stuck with it."

After getting broken serving at 4-5 in the first set, Kypson won six straight games, using his drop shot effectively and staying with Fritz in all of the baseline rallies.  Fritz held for 5-1, so Kypson would need to serve it out.

He was broken at love, but with Fritz serving at 2-5, he made two backhand errors to go down 0-30, but he picked up his serving at that crucial moment and held for 5-3. 

Serving for the match a second time, Kypson again failed to reach match point, with Fritz hitting a delicate lob winner to make it 15-30 and Kypson double faulting for 15-40. Kypson saved one break point when Fritz's forehand went wide, but the second went to Fritz courtesy of an anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better backhand drop shot winner.

That shot produced a roar of 'come on' from Fritz and some enthusiastic support from the crowd, almost all of whom were squarely in his corner, not the underdog's, due to Fritz's local connections. Fritz held at love, and a shaken Kypson immediately went down 15-40 on his serve. He gathered himself to save those two break points, but a line call on a return at deuce, which Kypson called out, much to Fritz's disgust, seemed to add even more adrenaline to Fritz's game. He broke for a 6-5 lead and held at love, and although another set remained to be played, Kypson's window had closed.

Fritz had to save a break point in his first service game of the third set, but after that he lost only three points on serve and he ended the match with a 120 mph ace.

As for his decision to come straight from China to play in the tournament, Fritz said his didn't have extremely high expectations, but
"I wanted to just come here to see if I could do it, prove it to myself, so down 6-4, 5-0, I'm thinking, I haven't come back like that in forever and I just want to do it for myself. That's what kept me in it."

Next up for Fritz is unseeded Cameron Klinger, who defeated John Jorgeson 6-1, 7-5.  

The other boys quarterfinal match in the top half is No. 4 seed and 2014 finalist Nathan Ponwith, who will play No. 7 seed Hady Habib. Ponwith outlasted No. 16 seed Vasil Kirkov 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, while Habib defeated unseeded JJ Wolf 6-3, 6-2.

No. 2 seed and last week's International Spring Championships winner Will Blumberg cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and will play No. 8 seed Catalin Mateas in the quarterfinals. No. 10 seed Mendwa Mbithi received a walkover from Jacob Brumm, due to a wrist injury sustained in a fall in his second round match. Mbithi will play No. 14 seed Sam Riffice, who took out No. 3 seed Ulises Blanch 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.

"The key was just to be aggressive," said the 16-year-old from Northern California. "In the first set, I did a really good job of executing that, attacking short balls. He had a really good forehand, and he was pushing me back in the second set and I wasn't doing enough with it, and he was just stepping in, being a lot more aggressive. It was really close in the beginning of the third and I thought I stepped up my game, a lot more aggressive in finishing the points at the net."

Mbithi and Riffice played in the Grade 4 in Coral Gables, Florida last year, with Mbithi taking a 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5 decision.

"He has a really big forehand and a good serve," said Riffice. "So the key is to get the first ball, be aggressive off the first ball, so I can dictate."

In the girls draw, No. 4 seed Raveena Kingsley and No. 8 seed Caroline Dolehide will play in another Grade 1 quarterfinal, with Dolehide winning the first 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4) last December at the Eddie Herr. Dolehide defeated her doubles partner Ena Shibahara 6-3, 6-0 and Kingsley downed Caroline Lampl 6-0, 7-6(1).

After defeating top seed Usue Arconada on Wednesday, 13-year-old wild card Caty McNally was unable to follow up on that win, falling to Abi Altick 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-1.  Altick will play No. 12 seed Claire Liu, who defeated No. 7 seed Ingrid Neel 7-5, 6-1.

No. 2 seed Katie Swan continued her outstanding play this week, defeating Meible Chi 6-2, 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal meeting with No. 9 seed Kayla Day.  Day downed unseeded Emma Higuchi 7-5, 6-3.

Carson champion Sonya Kenin, the No. 3 seed, was hit off the court in the first set by No. 14 seed Sofia Sewing, but the Orange Bowl champion fought back to claim a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.  Kenin will play unseeded Kylie McKenzie, who eliminated No. 6 seed Francesca Di Lorenzo 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

"I was up 4-1 in the first set, finishing off the points pretty quickly, returning serve, first ball," said the 16-year-old from Arizona, who is the reigning 16s USTA National champion. "But she's a good fighter, she gets a lot back, heavy topspin, so she's tough to play, especially with the way I play, so aggressive. I backed off a little bit, but in the second set, I played pretty strong, really worked the points to finally get my rhythm again and in the end be attacking."

McKenzie closed out Di Lorenzo in the final game, which is not easy to do, with her serve, keeping Di Lorenzo out of the points, and finished with a huge ace.

The 16s singles finals are set for Friday morning with Oliver Crawford and Natasha Subhash, the Carson champions last week, going for back-to-back titles.

Crawford, the top seed, defeated No. 7 seed Jason Lui 6-1, 6-1, and will play No. 11 seed Brian Cernoch, who downed Sean Sculley 7-6(6), 6-3 in a considerable longer contest, with the first set alone lasting nearly 90 minutes.

Subhash, who is unseeded this week, beat unseeded Stephanie Schrage 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals, and will play No. 2 seed 
Samantha Martinelli, who downed No. 14 seed Hannah Lairmore 6-2, 6-0.

One of the 16s finals will be live streamed at easterbowl.com, starting at 9 a.m. PDT.

The 16s doubles champions were crowned on Friday, with Martinelli assuring herself of at least one title this week. She and Delaney Nothaft, the No. 4 seeds, defeated Victoria Flores and Madeline Meredith, seeded third, 8-4.

Bryce Pereira and Ivan Thamma won the boys doubles title, beating Peter Conklin and Matthew Lord  8-2.

Boys' 18 Doubles (Quarterfinal Round)
Jake DeVine (Los Altos Hills, CA) / Patrick Kypson (Greenville, NC) def. Taylor Fritz (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) / Catalin Mateas (1) (Braintree, MA) 6-3; 6-2
Cameron Klinger (Elk Grove, CA) / Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale, AZ) def. Zeke Clark (Tulsa, OK) / Nathan Perrone (7) (Bluffton, SC) 6-4; 6-4
Trent Bryde (Suwanee, GA) / Emil Reinberg (5) (Atlanta, GA) def. Alex Ross (La Grange, IL) / Eric Rutledge (Fort Worth, TX) 6-3; 7-5 
Vasil Kirkov (Tampa, FL) / Sam Riffice (6) (Roseville, CA) def. Ulises Blanch (Deerfield Beach, FL) / Liam Caruana (2) (New Braunfels, TX) 7-6(0); 6-2

Boys' 18 Singles (Round of 16)
Taylor Fritz (1) (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) def. Patrick Kypson (Greenville, NC) 4-6; 7-5; 6-2 
Cameron Klinger (Elk Grove, CA) def. John Jorgeson (Bradenton, FL) 6-1; 7-5
Nathan Ponwith (4) (Scottsdale, AZ) def. Vasil Kirkov (16) (Tampa, FL) 6-3; 1-6; 6-2 
Hady Habib (7) (Bradenton, FL) def. Jeffrey Wolf (Cincinnati, OH) 6-3; 6-2

Mwendwa Mbithi (10) (Deerfield Beach, FL) def. Jacob Brumm (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) Wo (inj)
Sam Riffice (14) (Roseville, CA) def. Ulises Blanch (3) (Deerfield Beach, FL) 6-1; 3-6; 6-2
Catalin Mateas (8) (Braintree, MA) def. Nicholas Borchenko (Studio City, CA) 6-4; 6-1
William Blumberg (2) (Greenwich, CT) def. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (13) (London, Surrey) 6-2; 6-1

Girls' 18 Doubles (Quarterfinal Round)

Sofia Kenin (Pembroke Pines, FL) / Katie Swan (1) (Wichita, KS) def. Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, ME) / Gabriella Pollner (6) (Boca Raton, FL) 7-6(4); 6-4
Morgan Coppoc (Tulsa, OK) / Alexandra Sanford (8) (Westerville, OH) def. Jessica Failla (Ramona, CA) / Jada Hart (Colton, CA) 6-4; 6-1 Caroline Dolehide (Hinsdale, IL) / Ena Shibahara (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) def. Annette Goulak (Oak Park, CA) / Alaina Miller (Saratoga, CA) 6-1; 6-3
Usue Arconada (Rio Piedras, PR) / Francesca Dilorenzo (2) (New Albany, OH) def. Andie Daniell (Douglasville, GA) / Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, CA) 6-3; 6-3

Girls' 18 Singles (Round of 16)
Helen Altick (Monroe, LA) def. caty mcnally (Cincinnati, OH) 6-2; 6-7(3); 6-1
Claire Liu (12) (Thousand Oaks, CA) def. Ingrid Neel (7) (Bradenton, FL) 7-5; 6-1
Raveena Kingsley (4) (Fulton, MD) def. Caroline Lampl (Bluemont, VA) 6-0; 7-6(1)
Caroline Dolehide (8) (Hinsdale, IL) def. Ena Shibahara (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) 6-3; 6-0 
Kylie McKenzie (Anthem, AZ) def. Francesca Dilorenzo (6) (New Albany, OH) 5-7; 6-3; 6-2 
Sofia Kenin (3) (Pembroke Pines, FL) def. Sofia Sewing (14) (Doral, FL) 1-6; 6-4; 6-1
Kayla Day (9) (Santa Barbara, CA) def. Emma Higuchi (Los Angeles, CA) 7-5; 6-3
Katie Swan (2) (Wichita, KS) def. Meible Chi (Weston, FL) 6-2; 6-1

Boys' 16 Singles (Semifinal Round)
Oliver Crawford (1) (Spartanburg, SC) def. Jason Lui (7) (Bellevue, WA) 6-1, 6-1
Brian Cernoch (11) (North Bethesda, MD) def. Sean Sculley (3) (Hilton Head Island, SC) 7-6(6), 6-3

Boys' 16 Doubles (Final Round)
Bryce Pereira (San Gabriel, CA) / Ivan Thamma (San Diego, CA) def. Peter Conklin (Fairfield, CT) / Matthew Lord (Bloomfield, CT) 8-2

Boys' 16 Doubles (Playoff)
Jackson Suh (Bellevue, WA) / Danny Thomas (Pickerington, OH) def. Robert Baylon (Buena Park, CA) / Andrew Ton (Milpitas, CA) 8-6

Boys' 16 Singles Consolation (Third Round)
William Woodall (Washington, DC) def. Charles Deng (Temple City, CA) 7-6(5), 6-2
Conrad Russell (Palo Alto, CA) def. Ajai Shekhera (16) (Campbell, CA) Wo (inj)
Brady Draheim (Omaha, NE) def. Matthew Lord (5) (Bloomfield, CT) 6-2, 7-5
Paul Barretto (12) (Tiburon, CA) def. Mac Kiger (10) (Katonah, NY) 6-3, 6-2
Steven Sun (Boca Raton, FL) def. Austen Huang (2) (Elk Grove, CA) Wo (ill)
Kevin Ma (San Ramon, CA) def. Sam Turchetta (14) (Pound Ridge, NY) Wo (ill)
Jackson Suh (15) (Bellevue, WA) def. Spencer Brown (Spartanburg, SC) 6-3, 6-2
Christian Alshon (Boca Raton, FL) def. Bryce Pereira (San Gabriel, CA) 6-4, 4-6, 10-5

Boys' 16 Singles Consolation (Quarterfinal Round)
Conrad Russell (Palo Alto, CA) def. William Woodall (Washington, DC) 7-5, 7-6(5)
Brady Draheim (Omaha, NE) def. Paul Barretto (12) (Tiburon, CA) 6-3, 6-4
Steven Sun (Boca Raton, FL) def. Kevin Ma (San Ramon, CA) 6-3, 3-6, 10-7
Christian Alshon (Boca Raton, FL) def. Jackson Suh (15) (Bellevue, WA) 6-3, 6-2

Boys' 16 Singles (Playoff Semifinal)
Danny Thomas (Pickerington, OH) def. Daunte Harris (Lomita, CA) 6-2 Ret (inj)
Abhijeet Joshi (6) (Millington, NJ) def. Chambers Easterling (Spartanburg, SC) Wo (inj)

Girls' 16 Doubles (Final Round)
Samantha Martinelli (Denver, CO) / Delaney Nothaft (4) (Tempe, AZ) def. Victoria Flores (Fort Dodge, IA) / Madeline Meredith (3) (Vestavia, AL) 8-4

Girls' 16 Doubles (Playoff)
Cameron Corse (Baltimore, MD) / Nadia Gizdova (2) (Columbia, MD) def. Ally Bojczuk (Franklin, TN) / Madison Hwang (Frisco, TX) 8-5

Girls' 16 Singles (Semifinal Round)
Natasha Subhash (Fairfax, VA) def. Stephanie Schrage (Millburn, NJ) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
Samantha Martinelli (2) (Denver, CO) def. Hannah Lairmore (14) (Mobile, AL) 6-2, 6-0

Girls' 16 Singles Consolation (Third Round)
Hannah Zhao (8) (San Diego, CA) def. Meg Kowalski (15) (La Grange, IL) 6-2, 6-3
Nadia Gizdova (5) (Columbia, MD) def. Nicole Mossmer (La Jolla, CA) 4-6, 6-0, 10-7
Tatum Rice (Hot Springs, AR) def. Ann Li (Devon, PA) 6-2, 6-2
Taylor Bridges (Mesa, AZ) def. Rachel Lim (11) (Briarcliff Manor, NY) 7-5, 7-5
Taylor Johnson (Redondo Beach, CA) def. Ally Bojczuk (7) (Franklin, TN) 6-3, 6-1
Dalayna Hewitt (Pepper Pike, OH) def. Carolyn Campana (Hillsborough, CA) 6-1, 6-3
Abigail Chiu (16) (Austin, TX) def. Delaney Nothaft (Tempe, AZ) 7-5, 6-3
Isabella Lorenzini (10) (Clarendon Hills, IL) def. Janice Shin (9) (Houston, TX) 6-3, 6-4

Girls' 16 Singles Consolation (Quarterfinal Round)
Nadia Gizdova (5) (Columbia, MD) def. Hannah Zhao (8) (San Diego, CA) 7-5, 6-4
Taylor Bridges (Mesa, AZ) def. Tatum Rice (Hot Springs, AR) 2-6, 7-5, 10-1
Dalayna Hewitt (Pepper Pike, OH) def. Taylor Johnson (Redondo Beach, CA) 5-7, 6-2, 12-10
Isabella Lorenzini (10) (Clarendon Hills, IL) def. Abigail Chiu (16) (Austin, TX) 6-3, 7-5

Girls' 16 Singles (Playoff Semifinal)
Victoria Flores (4) (Fort Dodge, IA) def. Anna Brylin (Short Hills, NJ) 6-3, 2-6, 10-7
Victoria Emma (12) (Naples, FL) def. Salma Ewing (Long Beach, CA) 6-1, 7-6(3)