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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Top Seed Mateas Gets Revenge, Advances to Easter Bowl ITF Quarterfinals; Haskins and Greif Reach Friday's Boys 16s Final, Blake and Forbes Meet for Girls 16s Championship

©Colette Lewis 2016--
Indian Wells, California

A dramatic change in the weather Thursday wasn't a metaphor for the results in the third round of the Asics Easter Bowl ITF tournament, as the seeds continued to roll with the temperatures dropping into the 70s and occasional rain drops making an appearance in the desert.

Top seed Maria Mateas defeated No. 14 seed Abigail Desiatnikov 6-4, 6-4, but the score certainly doesn't explain all the tension and drama accompanying the match.  Just last week at the Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, Desiatnikov had come from 6-2, 3-2 down to beat third seed Mateas in a third set tiebreaker, and despite that loss, Mateas felt herself succumb to the same mindset serving for the match at 6-4, 5-3.

"I have actually never beaten her and exactly a week ago, I lost to her 7-6 in the third," said Mateas, a 16-year-old from Braintree, Mass. "I was up 6-2, 3-2 and I got a little excited I think and I let down my focus and relaxed even knowing she's one of the biggest fighters out there. It's always tough ending matches with her, because she never lets you win."

Mateas had three match points in the five-deuce game, but the 15-year-old Desiatnikov simply didn't miss when it mattered and she eventually broke to give herself another chance to replicate last week's comeback.

"It's funny, because sometimes she misses, but the exact shot that she had missed, on a really big point, she doesn't miss," Mateas said. "So you can't count on that, you have to count on what you have to do in order to win."

Serving to level the match, Desiatnikov did make several errors, with Mateas getting two more match points when Desiatnikov's forehand caught the tape after a long rally.  She saved those two match points with a forehand winner and a missed second serve return from Mateas, and saved another match point when Mateas again couldn't get a serve in play.  But a forehand winner gave Mateas her sixth match point, and she converted, when Desiatnikov netted a forehand.

"I moved into the court more, ended points closer to the net," Mateas said of her change in strategy from last week. "I have lots of respect for her, honestly, she's done really good things."

While just 16 herself, Mateas will play another younger player in Friday's quarterfinal, when she takes on 14-year-old Caty McNally for the first time. McNally defeated unseeded Ann Li 6-2, 6-2.

The other quarterfinal in the top half features No. 13 seed Ellie Douglas against unseeded Ena Shibahara. Douglas defeated Emma Higuchi 6-4, 7-6(6) and Shibahara downed Rachel Lim 6-2, 6-1.

Only two seeds remain in the bottom half of the girls draw and they play each other on Friday.  No. 8 seed Alexandra Sanford took out unseeded Sabina Dadaciu 6-4, 6-3 to set up an encounter with No. 4 seed Michaela Gordon, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Sofia Sewing.

The bottom quarterfinal will feature Hanna Chang and wild card Marlee Zein. Chang cruised past Nicole Mossmer 6-2, 6-1 and Zein won the only three-set match in the girls third round, beating Elysia Bolton 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The boys quarterfinals have only one unseeded player, Gianni Ross, who defeated Kyrylo Tsygura 6-0, 6-3 to set up a meeting with No. 13 seed Trent Bryde.  Bryde ended the run of unseeded Keegan Smith, who had beaten top seed Ulises Blanch in the first round, 5-7, 6-0 6-3.

No. 3 seed Nathan Ponwith, a finalist and semifinalist at the Easter Bowl in the past two years, will face last year's finalist, No. 5 seed Sam Riffice. Ponwith defeated No. 14 seed Andres Andrade of Ecuador 6-3, 6-4, while Riffice topped unseeded Keenan Mayo 6-2, 6-4.

Two Cincinnati residents--No. 2 seed JJ Wolf and No. 4 seed John McNally--moved into the quarterfinals with straight set wins.  McNally downed unseeded Jake Van Emburgh 7-5, 6-2 and Wolf dismissed unseeded Sangeet Sridhar 6-2, 6-2.

"I've grown up with him back in the Midwest and we've always had close matches," McNally said. "We were on serve and I played a shaky game at 2-3 in the first set and got broken.  I got the break right back, then at 5-all got another break and served it out.  I started off the second set with a break, was up 3-1, got broken back, but broke back right away and then just finished it out.  I thought I played well. It was a little bit different from yesterday, colder, windier, no sun, but it was a solid match."

Wolf said he'd never played the 16-year-old Sridhar before.
"He's a very solid player and I think he's going to end up very good pretty soon," said Wolf, 17.  "I had a lot of fun. There wasn't too much that happened in the match. There were some very long games, but it just went my way."

Wolf and McNally have recently announced verbal commitments to Ohio State University and are beginning to play doubles together regularly. As the top seeds this week, they have posted two straight-set victories, including todays' 6-3, 6-2 win over Alafia Ayeni and Sean Hill.

"We had trouble at Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl, but it was kind of a new partnership," McNally said. "We did really well in Paraguay, should have taken that Grade 1 title, held match points in the final, actually. We're starting to play better together, to mesh a little bit, so it's fun."

As for starting at their home state University together in 2017, Wolf said he was eager to continue his partnership with McNally.

"He's like the brother I never had," said Wolf. "He lives like two minutes away from me, we can drive up and drive back together. I'm excited. He's one of my best friends, like a brother, it should be fun."

The two will meet in the semifinals should both advance on Friday.  McNally takes on Carson champion and No. 10 seed Liam Caruana, while Wolf will play No. 6 seed Vasil Kirkov.  Caruana defeated No. 7 seed Zeke Clark 6-3, 6-1; Kirkov took out No. 11 seed Alexandre Rotsaert 6-3, 6-2.

While McNally and Wolf have rolled along in the draw, the No. 1 doubles team in the girls draw was eliminated today.  Mateas and Sanford were beaten by unseeded Meible Chi and Alexis Nelson 6-1, 6-2.

Only two seeded teams remain in the girls doubles quarterfinals: No. 6 seeds Victoria Emma and Sofia Sewing and No. 2 seeds McNally and Hurricane Tyra Black.  McNally and Black will face unseeded Gordon and Shibahara on Friday.  Black and Shibahara won the doubles title together last week in Carson.

Complete draws and Friday's order of play is available at the ITF Junior website.

The 16s singles championships are set for Friday.  Top seed Carson Haskins will play No. 11 seed Lukas Greif for the boys title and No. 7 seed Angelica Blake faces No. 8 seed Abigail Forbes for the girls title. Both matches will be streamed, beginning at 9 a.m. PDT, with links to the streams available at the tournament website.

The 16s doubles finals were played to close out the competition Thursday evening at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The boys title went to top seeds Trey Hilderbrand and Kevin Zhu who defeated Carson 16s champions Brandon Nakashima and Jake Sands 8-2.

Chloe Beck and Emma Navarro defeated Blake and Reilly Tran 8-5 for the girls title, with both teams unseeded.

Draws are available at the TennisLink site and today's results are below.

Boys' ITF Singles (Round of 16)
John MCNALLY (USA) [4] def. Jake VAN EMBURGH (USA) 7-5 6-2
Nathan PONWITH (USA) [3] def. Andres ANDRADE (ECU) [14] 6-3 6-4
Vasil KIRKOV (USA) [6] def. Alexandre ROTSAERT (USA) [11] 6-3 6-2
Gianni ROSS (USA) def. Kyrylo TSYGURA (USA) 6-0 6-3
Trent BRYDE (USA) [13] def. Keegan SMITH (USA) 5-7 6-0 6-3
Sam RIFFICE (USA) [5] def. Keenan MAYO (USA) 6-2 6-4
J.J. WOLF (USA) [2] def. Sangeet SRIDHAR (USA) 6-2 6-2
Liam CARUANA (ITA) [10] def. Zeke CLARK (USA) [7] 6-3 6-1

Boys’ ITF Doubles (Round 2)
John MCNALLY (USA) / J.J. WOLF (USA) [1] def. Olukayode AYENI (USA) / Sean HILL (USA) 6-3 6-2
Amit BATTA (USA) / Bryce PEREIRA (USA) def. Jarod HING (USA) / Keegan SMITH (USA) 3-6 6-0 [10-7]
Vasil KIRKOV (USA) / Sebastian KORDA (USA) def. Robert LOEB (USA) / Nathan PERRONE 3-6 6-0 [10-7]
Alexander BROWN (USA) / Sean SCULLEY (USA) def. Trent BRYDE (USA) [7] / Patrick KYPSON (USA)  6-4, 6-3
Gianni ROSS (USA) / Alexandre ROTSAERT (USA) [8] def. Aleksandar KOVACEVIC (USA) / Sebastian MERMERSKY 6-7 (4), 6-3, [10-8]
Oliver CRAWFORD (USA) [3] / Brandon HOLT (USA) def. Dominic BARRETTO (USA) / Paul BARRETTO 6-4, 6-0
Nathan PONWITH (USA) / Jake VAN EMBURGH (USA) [6] def. Brandon LAM (USA) / Cody LIN (USA) 1-6 6-2 [10-8]
Caleb CHAKRAVARTHI (USA) / Gui GOMES (USA) def. Austen HUANG (USA) / Jason LUI (USA) 6-1 6-3

Girls' ITF Singles (Round of 16)
Maria MATEAS (USA) [1] def. Abigail DESIATNIKOV (USA) [14] 6-4 6-4
Alexandra SANFORD (USA) [8] def. Sabina DADACIU (USA) 6-4 6-3
Ellie DOUGLAS (USA) [13] def. Emma HIGUCHI (USA) 6-4 7-6(8)
Ena SHIBAHARA (USA) def. Rachel LIM (USA) 6-2 6-1
Michaela GORDON (USA) [4] def. Sofia SEWING (USA) 6-1 6-4
Hanna CHANG (USA) def. Nicole MOSSMER (USA) 6-2 6-1
Caty MCNALLY (USA) [9] def. Ann LI (USA) 6-2 6-2
Marlee ZEIN (USA) def. Elysia BOLTON (USA) 3-6 6-4 6-3

Girls' ITF Doubles (Round 2)
Hurricane Tyra BLACK (USA) [2] / Caty MCNALLY (USA) def. Alexis MILUNOVICH (USA) / Anna ROGERS 6-1 7-5
Meible CHI (USA) / Alexis NELSON (USA) def. Maria MATEAS (USA) / Alexandra SANFORD [1] 6-1 6-2
Victoria EMMA (USA) [6] / Sofia SEWING (USA) def. Morgan COPPOC (USA) / Annette GOULAK  7-6(5) 6-2
Kate PAULUS (USA) / Alana SMITH (USA) def. Camille FAVERO (USA) / Darya POSSOKHOVA 7-6(4) 3-6 [10-4]
Nicole CONARD (USA) / Malkia MENGUENE (USA) def. Dalayna HEWITT (USA) [8] / Karia PIERRE-LOUIS 6-7(5) 7-5 [10-7]
Devon JACK (USA) / Kalani SOLI (USA) def. Carson BRANSTINE (USA) / Taylor JOHNSON [5] 7-6(9) 6-4
Elysia BOLTON (USA) / Chiara LOMMER (USA) def. Helen Abigail ALTICK (USA) [3] / Jade LEWIS 2-6 6-2 [10-7]
Michaela GORDON (USA) / Ena SHIBAHARA (USA) def. Ann LI (USA) / Natasha SUBHASH (USA) [7] 7-6(5) 6-1

Boys' 16 Singles (Semifinal Round)
Carson Haskins (1) (Ballwin, MO) def. Kevin Zhu (3) (Pearland, TX) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
Lukas Greif (11) (Evansville, IN) def. Trey Hilderbrand (5) (San Antonio, TX) 6-0, 7-6(4)

Boys' 16 Singles Consolation (Third Round)

Ajai Shekhera (9) (Campbell, CA) def. Bill Duo (Portage, MI) 7-6(4), 6-1
Siddharth Chari (Saratoga, CA) def. Jenson Brooksby (15) (Carmichael, CA) 6-2, 6-3
Nevin Arimilli (10) (Austin, TX) def. Axel Nefve (Hinsdale, IL) Wo (ill)
Tyler Zink (Bradenton, FL) def. Maximilian Wild (Murrieta, CA) 7-6, 7-6
Drew Baird (7) (Holly Springs, NC) def. Bradley Frye (14) (Overland Park, KS) 5-7, 6-3, 10-3
Brandon Nakashima (8) (San Diego, CA) def. Brandon Wong (Mercer Island, WA) 6-2, 6-3
William Grant (Boca Raton, FL) def. Matthew Rodriguez (Highland Beach, FL) Wo (ill)
Benjamin Gollin (Solana Beach, CA) def. Michael Sun (Livingston, NJ) 6-4, 7-6(3)
Boys' 16 Singles Consolation (Quarterfinal Round)

Ajai Shekhera (9) (Campbell, CA) def. Siddharth Chari (Saratoga, CA) 6-4, 6-2
Tyler Zink (Bradenton, FL) def. Nevin Arimilli (10) (Austin, TX) 6-3, 3-6, 10-7
Drew Baird (7) (Holly Springs, NC) def. Brandon Nakashima (8) (San Diego, CA) 3-6, 6-4, 10-6

Boys' 16 Singles (Playoff Semifinal)
Jaycer Lyeons (6) (San Antonio, TX) def. Adam Neff (Bradenton, FL) 1-6, 7-5, 10-8
Robert Maciag (4) (Sterling, VA) def. Christian Alshon (2) (Boca Raton, FL) 1-6, 6-3, 10-4

Boys' 16 Doubles (Final Round)
Trey Hilderbrand (San Antonio, TX) / Kevin Zhu (1) (Pearland, TX) def. Brandon Nakashima (San Diego, CA) / Jake Sands (Pacific Palisades, CA) 8-2

Boys' 16 Doubles (Playoff)
Christian Alshon (Boca Raton, FL) / Henry Patrick Cacciatore (6) (Tampa, FL) def. Axel Nefve (Hinsdale, IL) / William Woodall (Washington, DC) Walkover (injury)

Girls' 16 Singles (Semifinal Round)
Angelica Blake (7) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Rachel Eason (6) (Union City, CA) 6-1, 6-2
Abigail Forbes (8) (Raleigh, NC) def. Hailey Baptiste (Takoma Park, MD) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1

Girls' 16 Singles Consolation (Third Round)

Alexa Noel (12) (Summit, NJ) def. Vanessa Ong (Oklahoma City, OK) 6-3, 6-2
Emma Navarro (Charleston, SC) def. Kacie Harvey (3) (Braintree, MA) 6-0, 3-0 Ret (inj)
Ivana Corley (Albuquerque, NM) def. Luba Vasilyuk (Frisco, TX) 6-3, 6-1
Carolyn Campana (Hillsborough, CA) def. Sedona Gallagher (1) (Henderson, NV) 6-2, 2-6, 11-9
Julia Deming (Fallbrook, CA) def. Amber O'Dell (2) (New Milford, NJ) 2-6, 7-5, 10-5
Meg Kowalski (5) (La Grange, IL) def. Alexis Merrill (Fairfax, VA) 6-4, 4-6, 10-7
Cali Jankowski (10) (Carlsbad, CA) def. Gabriella Price (Montebello, NY) 7-6(5), 6-2
Jillian Taggart (Fair Oaks, CA) def. Dasha Kourkina (11) (Brooklyn, NY) 7-5, 6-7(8)

Girls' 16 Singles Consolation (Quarterfinal Round)

Alexa Noel (12) (Summit, NJ) def. Emma Navarro (Charleston, SC) 6-4, 7-6(5)
Carolyn Campana (Hillsborough, CA) def. Ivana Corley (Albuquerque, NM) 2-6, 6-3, 10-4
Meg Kowalski (5) (La Grange, IL) def. Julia Deming (Fallbrook, CA) 6-3, 6-4
Cali Jankowski (10) (Carlsbad, CA) def. Jillian Taggart (Fair Oaks, CA) 6-7(6), 6-2, 10-5

Girls' 16 Singles (Playoff Semifinal)
Chloe Beck (15) (Watkinsville, GA) def. Katie Volynets (14) (Walnut Creek, CA) 6-2, 6-1
Anika Yarlagadda (16) (West Bloomfield, MI) def. Andrea Cerdan (Bloomfield, NJ) 4-6, 6-0, 10-8

Girls' 16 Doubles (Final Round)
Chloe Beck (Watkinsville, GA) / Emma Navarro (Charleston, SC) def. Angelica Blake (Boca Raton, FL) / Reilly Tran (Dunn Loring, VA) 8-5

Girls' 16 Doubles (Playoff)
Hailey Baptiste (Takoma Park, MD) / Meghana Komarraju (Vienna, VA) def. Kolie Allen (Lombard, IL) / Meg Kowalski (1) (La Grange, IL) 8-6