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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Rain Again Stymies ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed; Boys Singles Quarterfinals, Girls Doubles Semifinals Set at Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires

©Colette Lewis 2018--
Charlotte NC--

With no lights and no indoor facility at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, the first few days of the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed needed good weather to stay on schedule.  Mother Nature did not cooperate, and as of sunset Tuesday, the girls first round of singles is not finished and just one doubles match has been decided.

After light rain hit yesterday afternoon, 15 girls first round singles matches were still in progress, with a few not even begun. Tuesday dawned overcast but dry, and the boys did finish their second round matches, but the girls were again disrupted, with rain arriving before 1 p.m.

One girl who had a typical experience was 13-year-old wild card Eleana Yu, who trailed Jennifer Gadalov 3-1 in the first set when play was called for the day on Monday.  Gadalov closed out the set 6-2 when their match resumed at 10 a.m. Tuesday, but Yu said she felt she was beginning to implement her game plan.

"I knew I had the right plan throughout the match," said USTA National 14s champion, playing in just her third ITF Junior Circuit event. "In the first set, I wasn't executing it very well. The rain delay I think helped me a lot to refocus my mind, even thought when I first got out there I lost the first set. It helped me a lot there in the second and mostly the third set."

Yu led 2-6, 6-1, 5-2 when Tuesday's heavier rains arrived, and just as the courts dried and Yu and Gadalov prepared to resume their match around 3 p.m, another rain shower popped up, delaying it another two-plus hours.

But when play finally resumed, Yu was able to close out the match with no drama.

"I was definitely prepared for anything to happen, said the Mason Ohio resident. "I was just trying to refocus my mind, tell myself it was a new start, because anything could happen from there. I was glad it took only one game, but I was prepared to play more."

Yu said nerves played a role in her shaky start Monday.

"I was definitely very nervous, I don't even know why," Yu said. "I couldn't swing through the ball and I made lots of unforced errors. Once I got in a rhythm in the second and third set, I was able to swing through the ball, attack and take control of the points."

Yu will face No. 7 seed Vanessa Ong in the second round, although rain is even more likely on Wednesday and Thursday.

The one girls first round match yet to be completed is between wild cards Allie Gretkowski and Marina Stakusic of Canada. Gretkowski served for the match twice in the second set leading 7-5, 5-4 and 6-5, but Stakusic won the tiebreaker and the match was called for darkness.

Three girls second round matches were completed in the final hour of light available, with No. 9 seed Kylie Collins, No. 4 seed Emma Navarro and unseeded Elaine Chervinsky winning in straight sets. The girls second round is being played with a match tiebreaker in a lieu of a third set. Even shorter scoring will be implemented in future rounds if the rain arrives as predicted, with no indoor play anticipated.

The boys second round was uneventful, with top seeds Tyler Zink and Govind Nanda getting through in straight sets after tough three-setters on Monday.  Zink defeated Tom LeBlanc Claverie of France 6-1, 6-1 and Nanda got by Marko Stakusic of Canada 7-6(1), 6-2. The only two seeds to fall in today's second round were No. 7 seed Blaise Bicknell and No. 14 seed Phillip Jordan.  Fifteen-year-old Joshua Lapadat of Canada defeated Bicknell 6-4, 6-3 and Andres Martin defeated doubles partner Jordan 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-2.

The boys singles quarterfinals and girls doubles semifinals are set at the ITF Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, with none of the four Americans participating remaining in any of the five draws, including mixed doubles.

Top seed Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan will play No. 8 seed Facundo Diaz Acosta of Argentina; unseeded Filip Jianu of Romania will play No. 6 seed Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria; unseeded Daniel Michalski of Poland will play No. 3 seed Hugo Gaston of France, and No. 7 seed Gilbert Soares Klier Junior of Brazil will play No. 2 seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina. Drew Baird, the only American to win a match in Buenos Aires, lost to Soares Klier 7-6(7), 6-4 in today's second round.

The medal round of the girls doubles will feature top seeds Xiyu Wang and Xinyu Wang of China against No. 4 seeds Yuki Naito and Naho Sato of Japan and unseeded Maria Carle of Argentina and Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia against No. 2 seed Kaja Juvan of Slovenia and Iga Swiatek of Poland.


AR Hacked Off said...

not a really bright idea to move the tournament to Charlotte, with no indoor back-ups, in the middle of hurricane season. Just a recipe for disaster and little tennis getting played.