Crawford Survives Another Three-Setter to Advance to Quarterfinals at ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships; Semifinals Set in 16s
©Colette Lewis 2017--
All three of his matches at this week's International Spring Championships have gone three sets, with today's victory settled in a third-set tiebreaker, but No. 5 seed Oliver Crawford has survived. On a clear and breezy day at the Stubhub Center, Crawford won a roller coaster of a third round match, beating unseeded Kyrylo Tsygura 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-6(2).
"I was playing well, was up 6-2, 3-0 deuce and had a short forehand and missed it," said the 17-year-old University of Florida recruit. "He always stays in there and fights, so credit to him. He makes a lot of balls, you don't know what he's going to do. He hits slice, drop shots, comes in on weird balls. He's crafty. He basically plays a game that makes other players play poorly."
Tsygura was able to earn a 3-1 lead in the third set, but he gave that break back and then gave Crawford another break, courtesy of two consecutive foot faults followed immediately by a more conventional double fault.
"He must have had 30 foot faults," Crawford said. "I don't know why he wouldn't take a step back, even his coach was telling him he was foot faulting. I think it was a bit of a shame she kept calling the foot faults, because I don't think he was getting any advantage from stepping on the line."
Tsygura, who will be joining the University of Virginia in the fall, was able to get that break back in the next game and hold for a 5-4 lead, but at 5-5, he was broken again, on a double fault, allowing Crawford to serve for the match. Crawford didn't get to match point, with two unforced errors on the forehand side and a shank leading to a break and a deciding tiebreaker.
The first five points of the tiebreaker went to the receiver, but Crawford broke that streak with a forehand winner and great overhead for a 5-2 lead. Tsygura needed the next two points to keep the pressure on Crawford, but he shanked a forehand and then missed a forehand way long to end the match in anticlimactic fashion.
"I was making a lot of errors today," said Crawford, who won the 16s division here two years ago and made the semifinals of the 18s last year. "Maybe it was a little bit of the wind, and I definitely didn't play my best today, but I think it was just because of the way he played; he really didn't let me play my best."
Crawford will play No. 2 seed Duarte Vale of Portugal in the quarterfinals, with Duarte beating No. 14 seed Lukas Greif 6-4, 7-6(1).
The two players who shook up the draw with upsets Monday have continued to post impressive results. Brian Shi, who beat top seed Trent Bryde in the first round, beat No. 16 seed Timothy Sah 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4. Wild card Jenson Brooksby, who took out No. 4 seed Sam Riffice in the opening round, beat No. 13 seed Juan Hernandez Serrano of Mexico 6-3, 6-1. Brooksby will face unseeded Axel Nefve, last year's 16s champion, assuring an unseeded semifinalist, after Nefve defeated Ryan Goetz 6-2, 6-2. Shi will play No. 10 seed Alexandre Rotsaert, who beat No. 6 seed Toru Horie of Japan 6-4, 6-2.
No. 9 seed Patrick Kypson will play No. 3 seed Gianni Ross after both picked up straight-sets victories today. Kypson took out 15-year-old wild card Brandon Nakashima, who had two set points serving at 6-5 in the first set, but ended up on the short end of a 7-6(3), 6-2 decision. Ross defeated No. 15 seed Sangeet Sridhar 6-4, 6-3.
All eight girls singles quarterfinalists are seeded, with top seed Taylor Johnson, No. 2 seed Carson Branstine of Canada and No. 3 seed Emiliana Arango of Colombia getting through their third round matches in straight sets today. No. 4 seed Ellie Douglas did not survive, losing to No. 14 seed Amanda Meyer 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, and No. 6 seed Caty McNally was beaten by No. 10 seed Nicole Mossmer 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
Mossmer trailed 3-1 in the final set, but Mossmer had a positive memory of a previous win over McNally to draw on.
"It was in the 14s Intersectionals, right after I had decided to quit soccer," said Mossmer, who was a top player in that sport before deciding to concentrate on tennis. "Midwest and SoCal were tied up, and it got down to my match, and I'd never played a national tournament before, and I beat Caty. I knew it was going to be a really long match, and she's just really good, so I knew it was going to be tough."
Mossmer won four straight games after falling behind 3-1, but she was unable to serve out the match, getting no closer than deuce. But McNally couldn't seize that opportunity, and was broken in the final game, hitting a double fault on match point.
"We were both having a hard time holding serve, and I think we both have good serves, but it was just so windy today," the reigning 16s National champion said. "I tried to hold my serve, but you have a better chance of breaking, at least in this match, because the wind was so tough."
Mossmer will play her friend Branstine, who defeated Vanessa Ong 6-2, 6-3, in the quarterfinals.
"We're buddies, really good buddies," Mossmer said. "She's pretty funny and we get along really well. We haven't played since the 12s in SoCal, but it will be really fun to play her."
Meyer's opponent in the quarterfinals is No. 9 seed Elysia Bolton, who defeated qualifier Annette Goulak 6-3, 6-3. Arango will take on No. 11 seed Hurricane Tyra Black, who downed Alexa Noel 6-4, 6-2. Johnson, who defeated Georgia Drummy of Ireland 6-3, 6-2, faces No. 12 seed Dominique Schaefer of Peru, who beat No. 7 seed Hailey Baptiste 6-4, 6-0.
The boys doubles finally got underway this afternoon, with two rounds completed, and top seeds Bryde and Vale advanced to the quarterfinals. No. 2 seeds Brian Cernoch and Riffice lost in the first round to Christian Alshon and Tyler Zink, and No. 3 seeds Crawford and Kypson were beaten in the second round by Boris Kozlov and Karl Poling.
Girls top seeds Branstine and Douglas and No. 2 seeds McNally and Natasha Subhash have advanced to Friday's quarterfinals.
See the ITF junior website for all the doubles scores.
The 16s semifinals are set for Friday. Unseeded Siem Woldeab will face No. 5 seed Faris Khan after both posted three-set victories. Woldeab defeated No. 10 seed Leighton Allen 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, while Khan outlasted unseeded Bradon McKinney 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. In the bottom half, No. 8 seed Stefan Leustian will play No. 6 seed Andrew Dale for a place in the final. Leustian dropped No. 14 seed Andres Martin 7-5, 6-3 and Dale defeated unseeded Stefan Dostanic 6-4, 6-3.
The girls semifinals feature three of the four top seeds. No. 1 seed Skyler Grishuk, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over unseeded Katrina Scott, will play unseeded Vivian Ovrootsky, after Ovrootsky took out No. 14 seed Maxi Duncan 6-4, 6-3. No. 3 seed Tara Malik defeated unseeded qualifier Nikita Vishwase of India 6-4, 6-4 and will play No. 2 seed Lauren Stein, who beat No. 8 seed Gianna Pielet 6-3, 6-1.
The 16s semifinals are scheduled for 9 a.m., with the 18s quarterfinals not before 10 a.m. See the tournament website for the complete order of play.