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Thursday, November 30, 2017

ITF No. 1 Osuigwe Advances, but Defending Champion Carle Out at Eddie Herr ITF; Top Girls 14s Seed Inoue Survives Dramatic Ending in Four-Hour Quarterfinal

©Colette Lewis 2017--
Bradenton FL--

There was drama during the third round of the ITF Grade 1 Eddie Herr Championships, with four girls matches going three sets and No. 2 seed and defending champion Maria Carle of Argentina losing in a third set tiebreaker.

But the match that drew the biggest crowd and featured the most tension and controversy Thursday on the courts of the IMG Academy was the girls 14s quarterfinal between No. 1 seed Hina Inoue and No. 10 seed Dariya Radulova of Bulgaria, which ended with Inoue surviving all manner of challenges to claim a 6-7(5), 2-6, 7-6(8) victory.

As with all the quarterfinal matches in the 12s, 14s and 16s divisions, the match began a 9 a.m., but was still going at 1 p.m, and Inoue knew from the length of the first set that it was going to be a marathon.

"There was another girls match near us, 16s I think, and they had played two sets already and their sets were 7-6, 4-6," said the 14-year-old from Southern California, who now lives in Bradenton and trains at IMG. "Yeah, it was really long. In the second set, she just lobbed a lot and I missed a lot."

Inoue trailed Radulova 5-3 in the third set, but such was her physical and emotional fatigue that she didn't recall whether she saved any match points as she fought her way into the tiebreaker.

By then, with few if any singles matches still being played, a roving umpire was on the court most of the time, although a different umpire had relieved the first one when Radulova was overruled for a third time in the third set tiebreaker.

"She called a ball of mine out that was in at 5-all," Inoue said. "And the [the umpire] called it in, so I was up 6-5. The [umpire] thought if it was the third overrule it was a point penalty(for unsportsmanlike conduct), so she called point, game, set, match. My coaches were like, it's match then. There was a long talk, and she was crying."

That talk eventually involved calling to court the tournament referee, who is the only official allowed to default a player, and he determined that the ITF rules the tournament uses call for a warning, not an immediate point penalty, so the match resumed.  Having to readjust mentally and starting to cramp, Inoue lost the next two points, but saved a match point at 7-6, a result that produced loud cheers from the dozens of IMG coaches and fellow IMG students stacked three deep at the fence next to the court. There was no cheering when Inoue won the final point of the match however, with Radulova double faulting at 8-9 to end the draining four and-a-half-hour epic. Radulova immediately dissolved into tears, a reaction Inoue understood.

"She was actually really crying," said Inoue, who couldn't remember ever playing a longer match. "I would have been the one crying if I had lost."

Carle's 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(6) loss to unseeded 16-year-old Clara Burel of France took place on the Academy Park courts, far away from the seven main Har-Tru courts adjacent to the Academy's hard courts. With Carle's loss and 14-year-old Clara Tauson's 6-1, 7-5 win over No. 5 seed Naho Sato of Japan, No. 1 Whitney Osuigwe is the only seed remaining in the girls quarterfinals. Osuigwe, the only American girl remaining in the draw, defeated wild card Katya Townsend 6-1, 6-4 to advance against Tauson in Friday's quarterfinals.

Boys top seed Timofey Skatov of Russia also advanced to the quarterfinals with a straight-sets win, beating No. 16 seed Filip Jianu of Romania 7-5, 6-1.  He will face No. 6 seed Alexandre Rotsaert, who is playing the last junior events of his career this week and at next week's Orange Bowl.

"I thought, before the Futures in January, there's no point to not playing them," said Rotsaert, who beat No. 12 seed Carlos Lopez Montagud of Spain 6-4, 6-4. "Matches, get confidence, implement what I've been doing in practice. These tournaments are at home, there's no travel," added Rotsaert, who is now training at Pro World Tennis Academy in Delray Beach Florida.

Rotsaert got off to a rocky start this week, down 5-2 in the third against Andrew Paulson of the Czech Republic in his 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(0) first round win.

"He was serving at 15-0 and I kinda dug deep, found my way back," Rotsaert said. "I actually won the last 11 points of the match, and I think I built confidence and started playing much better."

Beating a Spaniard on clay is never easy, but Rotsaert looked comfortable throughout the match.

"That guy's really good, I thought I played really well," said the Stanford recruit. "He puts lots of balls in play, so I'm really happy with the way I played. Stayed positive, putting lots of balls in the court and attacking the short ball."

The other American in the quarterfinals is qualifier Ivan Yatsuk, who defeated Michael Heller, also a qualifier, 6-3, 6-2.  Yatsuk will battle another player with a one-handed backhand in the quarterfinals, after No. 14 seed Stefan Palosi of Romania defeated No. 2 seed Uisung Park of Korea 6-7(7), 5-7, 6-2 in a three-and-a-half-hour contest.

The doubles quarterfinals were completed Thursday, with the top two seeds in the boys draw eliminated. Park and Nicolas Mejia of Colombia, the No. 1 seeds, lost to Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria and Keenan Mayo 6-4, 6-4, and No. 8 seeds Alan Rubio Fierros of Mexico and Donstanbek Tashbulatov of Kazakhstan beat No. 2 seed Skatov and Aidan McHugh of Great Britain 2-6, 6-3, 11-9.

Girls top seeds Osuigwe and Caty McNally advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 2-0 retired win over Denisa Hindova of the Czech Republic and Oona Orpana of Finland, but No. 2 seed Carle and Layne Sleeth of Canada lost to Viktoria Dema of Ukraine and Avelina Sayfetdinova of Russia 4-6, 6-2, 14-12.

Thursday's third round results:

Girls ITF:
Whitney Osuigwe[1] (USA) d. Katya Townsend[WC] (USA) 61 64
Clara Tauson(DEN) d. Naho Sato[5] (JPN) 61 75
Ziva Falkner[Q] (SLO) d. Angelica Blake [WC] (USA) 64 64
Yasmine Mansouri (FRA) d. Georgia Drummy (IRL) 62 26 75
Viktoriia Dema (UKR) d. Abigail Forbes[Q] (USA) 75 60
Andreea Prisacariu (ROU) d. Sada Nahimana (BDI) 75 57 63
Oona Orpana (FIN) d. Avelina Sayfetdinova (RUS) 46 75 75
Clara Burel (FRA) d. Maria Lourdes Carle[2] (ARG) 16 75 76(6)

Boys ITF:
Timofey Skatov[1] (RUS) d. Fillip Jianu[16] (ROU) 7-5, 6-1
Alexandre Rotsaert[6] (USA) d. Carlos Lopez Montagud[12] (ESP) 6-4, 6-4
George Loffhagen[15] (GBR) d. Martin Damm[WC] USA 6-0, 6-0
Alan Rubio Fierros[10] (MEX) d. Ondrej Styler[7] (CZE) 6-4, 6-4
Nick Hardt (DOM) d. Jack Draper (GBR) 0-6, 6-4, 6-2
Adrian Andreev (BUL) d. Drew Baird[13] (USA) 6-0, 6-2
Ivan Yatsuk[Q] (USA) d. Michael Heller[Q] (USA) 6-3, 6-2
Stefan Palosi[14] (ROU) d. Uisung Park[2] (KOR) 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-2

Boys 12s:
Nishesh Basavareddy[1](USA) d.  Viet Tuan Minh Dinh[Q](VIE) 6-0, 6-0
Juncheng Shang[3](USA) d.  Chanhee Han(KOR) 6-1, 6-1
Learner Tien[7](USA) d. Kyle Kang[4](USA) 7-6(5), 6-4
Lennon Jones[5](JPN) d. Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez[2](MEX) 6-2, 7-5

Girls 12s:
Brenda Fruhvirtova[1](CZE) d. Clervie Ngounoue[6](USA) 6-3, 6-3
Alexandra Eala[3](PHI) d. Martyna Ostrzygalo(CAN) 6-2, 6-4
Ria Bhakta[5](USA) d. Melisa Ercan[4](TUR) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
Tsehay Driscoll[2](USA) d. Yujin Kim(KOR) 6-4, 6-1

Boys 14s:
Alex Bernard[1](USA) d. Jewon Jeon[Q](KOR) 6-4, 6-3
Aidan Mayo[3](USA) d. Joel Pierleoni[7](GBR) 6-4, 6-2
Francisco Lamas[4](VEN) d. Harry Lazell[8](GBR) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Shintaro Mochizuki[2](JPN) d. Jacobi Bain[10](BAH) 6-0, 6-2

Girls 14s:
Hina Inoue[1](USA) d. Dariya Radulova[10](BUL) 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-6(8)
Linda Fruhvirtova[4](CZE) d. Ryoko Ikeda(JPN) 6-3, 6-3
Clarine Lerby[3](NED) d. Selin Sepken[8](TUR) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Vivian Ovrootsky[2](USA) d. Kyoka Kubo[Q](JPN) 7-6(2), 6-3

Boys 16s:
Ronald Hohmann[13](USA) d. Blaise Bicknell[5](USA) 6-4, 6-4
Leighton Allen[4](USA) d. Sebastian Gima[8](ROU) 6-3, 7-5
Nicholas-David Ionel[3](ROU) d. Welsh Hotard(USA) 6-2, 7-6(1)
Thiago Pernas[Q](ARG) d. Van Phuong Nguyen[2](VIE) 7-6(8), 1-6, 6-4

Girls 16s:
Kylie Collins[6](USA) d. Maria Rivera[1](GUA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
Katrina Scott[13](USA) d. Alexandra Mikhailuk[7](CAN) 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-5
Kailey Evans(USA) d. Jenna DeFalco(USA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Gia Cohen[15](USA) d. Julia Andreach(USA) 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3