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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ten Seeds Fall in Second Round of ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed in Tulsa

©Colette Lewis 2016--
Tulsa, OK--

After a quiet day on Monday, the winds picked up Tuesday and so did the upsets, with ten seeds--five boys and five girls--eliminated in the second round of ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed.

The biggest names to fall were No. 2 boys seed Trent Bryde, who was beaten by Alex Brown 7-6(5), 6-1 and No. 3 girls seed Morgan Coppoc, who lost to Lea Ma 7-6(2), 6-3.

Brown and Bryde had played in the second round at the Grade B1 Easter Bowl this spring, with Bryde recording a 7-5, 6-0 victory.

"The first set was kind of similar to this time, too. It was pretty close," Brown said. "And then the second set was not very close there too. This time I tried to go more from my forehand to his backhand and attack with my serve, and get into the point better off my returns. Those were the big things."

Brown trailed 4-2 in the tiebreaker, but took the last five points of the set. When the 17-year-old left-hander got back to 4-4, he began to believe that this time, the outcome of the match would be different than their last meeting.

"I was hoping so," said Brown, who has verbally committed to the University of Illinois for 2017. "I was focusing on each point and not really looking ahead, but yeah, I'm glad it turned out that way."

Next up for Brown will be unseeded 15-year-old Tristan Boyer, who defeated No. 16 seed Sangeet Sridhar 6-3, 6-2.  Also missing from that quarter of the draw is No. 8 seed Edson Ortiz Tovar of Mexico, who lost to Tristan McCormick 6-3, 7-6(3).

Qualifiers Boris Kozlov and Paul Barretto both advanced to the round of 16, with Kozlov defeating No. 15 seed Karl Poling 6-3, 6-1 and Barretto downing No. 12 seed Luis Morfin Friebel of Mexico.

Top seed Liam Caruana of Italy advanced with a 6-1, 6-2 decision over qualifier Brian Berdusco and will play Lukas Grief in the third round, after Greif took out Nicaise Muamba of Canada 6-3, 6-2.

Girls top seed Kayla Day played a qualifier for the second day in a row, beating Janice Shin 6-2, 6-4. Day will face 14-year-old Katie Volynets, who defeated fellow wild card Imani Graham 6-3, 6-4.  No. 2 seed Natasha Subhash had her hands full with qualifier Anna Zhang, but pulled out a 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 victory.

USTA 18s Clay Court champion Ann Li defeated No. 8 seed Hurricane Tyra Black 6-3, 6-4 to set up a meeting with No. 12 seed Hailey Baptiste.  The 14-year-old Baptiste trailed McCartney Kessler 5-7, 1-4 before winning six of the next seven games to claim a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 victory.

Last week's Wichita Falls Grade 4 champion Salma Ewing kept her winning streak going, beating No. 9 seed Victoria Emma 6-4, 6-3 to set up a contest with No. 5 seed Ellie Douglas.

The 15-year-old Ma, who called her win over Coppoc one of her biggest, trailed 5-1 in the first set, but gave all the credit for that lead to Coppoc.

"I thought she was playing really well," Ma said. "I didn't think I was doing stuff wrong, but I thought if I just kept making balls she would break down eventually and she did start missing a lot more.  I think at 5-3 she started to get really tight, she just stopped hitting it and really let me start stepping in more."

The wind picked up in the afternoon, with gusts of 15 mph, so that added an extra element of uncertainty into the later stages of the match, with Ma losing two straight games after taking a 4-1 lead in the second set.

"The wind on one side was blowing really hard one way," said Ma, who splits her training between the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland and the USTA National Training Center East in New York. "You really had to hit through it. I think for both of us, it was tough playing on that side."

Ma will play someone younger than herself in Wednesday's third round: 14-year-old Whitney Osuigwe, who defeated No. 15 seed Layne Sleeth of Canada 7-5, 6-3.

The fifth girls seed falling on Tuesday was No. 6 seed Carson Branstine, but it wasn't her opponent, Sabina Dadaciu, who was responsible. After an incident after her first round match on Monday, which was described to me as "blacking out," Branstine was not cleared by the doctor to return to competition. Branstine didn't want to talk about it, but did not appear pleased with the decision.

The first round of doubles was played on Tuesday afternoon, with top boys seeds Trent Bryde and Brian Cernoch and No. 2 seeds Sebastian Korda and Nicolas Mejia both advancing, although four of the eight seeds did fall.

Girls top seeds Sofia Sewing and Kayla Day had a bye, and No. 2 seeds Branstine and Douglas had to give a walkover to Alexandra Angyalosy and Ryan Peus due to Branstine's medical issue.

Third round matches begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.