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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Five US Girls, Three US Boys Qualify for Eddie Herr ITF Main Draw, Burel and Gauff Withdraw; Younger Age Divisions Also Begin Main Draw Monday; Gauff and Black Claim Grade A Yucatan Doubles Title

©Colette Lewis 2018--
Bradenton FL--

Qualifying is complete at the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships, with eight players in each of the eight divisions advancing to the main draw on a warm and sunny Sunday in South Florida.

Three US boys, none of them seeded, advanced through three rounds of qualifying of the ITF Grade 1 division on the Har-Tru courts of the IMG Academy. Two rounds were played Sunday, with Hunter Heck, Alex Bancila and wild card Aidan Mayo earning spots in the main draw.

Heck defeated No. 5 seed Marcelo Sepulveda Garza of Mexico 6-0, 6-4 in the morning's second round match. In the afternoon's final round qualifying match, Heck was up 6-4, 3-0 with two breaks against Mark Mandlik, but lost five of the next seven games to drop the second set before claiming a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 victory.

"I played really well the first set and a half," said the 16-year-old from Minnesota. "I kind of faltered, got a little tight and he started playing really well. But I played my game, stayed mentally strong and finished off the match."

Heck also noticed that Mandlik was tiring in the late stages of the match.

"I think he was getting very tired, because he had a three-setter before this, went 6-3 in the third," Heck said. "So I just tried to make him play a lot of balls and I think he was definitely feeling tired and going for a little too much, trying to end the points quicker."

Heck trains at the Magallan Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, which has only Har-Tru courts, so he has become accustomed to the surface, although he still prefers hard courts.

"I've grown used to playing on clay every day," Heck said. "It's the surface I'm used to now, so hard would be a little odd. I like it, but it's not really suited to my style, I like hard court more. It is easier on the legs I guess, and I do like it."

Bancila had defeated alternate Finn Garner 6-2, 6-2 in the morning, and was able to prevail in the afternoon when Phillip Jordan retired down 4-1 in the second set, after winning the first 7-5.

"I guess he had a battle this morning and he just started cramping," Bancila said. "He won his first match 6-4 in the third. I guess I just hung tough and it worked out. I've actually been quite lucky; in my first round qualifying was against a German kid and he retired 3-2 in the first set. I've been able to spare my legs."

Bancila, 18, is closing out his junior career with these four major ITF tournaments in Mexico and the United States before he begins college in January at the University of Illinois.

"I played the last two tournaments in Mexico, qualified for both, won rounds in both," said Bancila. "Orange Bowl is my last junior tournament. I'm actually not happy it's ending. I started [ITF Junior competition] quite late, in June of 2017, so I'm actually kind of sad that it's all ending soon, but I'm happy I'm able to do well and qualify for three of my last four tournaments, so far. That's definitely some good memories I'll have once I'm in college."

Mayo, 15, also advanced to the main draw via a retirement. After beating Lorenzo Claverie of Venezuela 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), Mayo lost the first set to Adam Neff 6-3, but was leading 4-2 in the second when Neff retired.

Five US girls won two matches on Sunday to advance to the main draw: unseeded Hibah Shaikh, Abigail Forbes, Alexandra Yepifanova, wild card Gianna Pielet and No. 13 seed Nikki Redelijk.  Fiona Crawley, who lost in three sets to No. 2 seed Viktoriya Petrenko of Ukraine in the final round, received entry as a lucky loser.

In the boys 16s, the US qualifiers are: Ekansh Kumar and Gabriel Castillo-Sanchez[6].

In the boys 14s, the US qualifiers are: Robert Zhang, Luka Butera, Jack Martuccio[7], Martin Mesia[4], Phillip Dell, Jonathan Irwanto.

In the boys 12s, the US qualifiers are: Jacobus Smit[9] and Bjorn Asbjornrod.

In the girls 16s, the US qualifiers are: Adelya Mukhutdinova, Finley Kalinic[8], Vennmukiil Mathivanan[7], Nikki Yanez[3], Savanna Kollock.

In the girls 14s, the US qualifiers are: Alexia Harmon[1] and Karsyn Evans[4].

In the girls 12s, the US qualifiers are: Gabriella Lindgren[8], Olivia Chalik[15], Alex Ackman, Manuela De lorenzo.

World No. 1 junior Clara Burel of France has unofficially clinched the ITF 2018 World Junior Championship title by reaching the final of the Grade A this week in Yucatan, so she has withdrawn from the Eddie Herr and the Orange Bowl.  Coco Gauff also has withdrawn from the Eddie Herr, but is still scheduled to compete in the Orange Bowl, which is close to her home in Delray Beach.

Burel lost to No. 6 seed Diane Parry, also from France, 6-3, 6-3 in tonight's girls singles final in Yucatan.  Qualifier Santiago De La Fuente of Argentina won the boys title, beating unseeded Liam Draxl of Canada 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Gauff and Hurricane Tyra Black, who also withdrew from the Eddie Herr, won the doubles title last night. The top seeds defeated unseeded Giulia Morlet of France and Adrienn Nagy of Hungary 7-6(5), 4-6, 10-7 in the final.  The boys doubles title went to the unseeded team of Roman Burruchaga and Alejo Lingua Lavallen of Argentina, who beat No. 3 seeds Jonas Forejtek of the Czech Republic and Valentin Royer of France 3-6, 6-1, 10-6 in the championship match last night.

The girls 18s ITF seeds:
1. Alexa Noel(USA)
2. Qinwen Zheng(CHN)
3. Lea Ma(USA)
4. Margaryta Bilokin(UKR)
5. Elli Mandlik(USA)
6. Kamilla Bartone(LAT)
7. Sohyun Park(KOR)
8. Lulu Sun(SUI)
9. Diane Parry(FRA)
10. Sada Nahimana(BDI)
11. Adrienn Nagy(HUN)
12. Loudmilla Bencheikh(FRA)
13. Gabby Price(USA)
14. Chloe Beck(USA)
15. Yasmine Mansouri(FRA)
16. Georgia Drummy(IRL)

The boys 18s ITF seeds:
1. Adrian Andreev(BUL)
2. Nicolas Mejia(COL)
3. Filip Jianu(ROM)
4. Nick Hardt(DOM)
5. Gauthier Onclin(BEL)
6. Anton Matusevich(GBR)
7. Valentin Royer(FRA)
8. Jonas Forejtek(CZE)
9. Tyler Zink(USA)
10. Harold Mayot(FRA)
11. Govind Nanda(USA)
12. Otto Virtanen(FIN)
13. Eliot Spizzirri(USA)
14. Sergey Fomin(UZB)
15. Simon Ivanov(BUL)
16. Emilio Nava(USA)

The seeds for the younger age divisions are below.  Complete draws are posted here, with the girls 12s beginning at 8 a.m. Monday.

Boys 16s seeds:
1. Spencer Brachman(USA)
2. Juan Sebastian Dominguez Collado(GUA)
3. Jack Anthrop(USA)
4. Marko Stakusic(CAN)
5. Benjamin Kittay(USA)
6. Gabriel Hurtado(USA)
7. JJ Tracy(USA)
8. Bohua Dong(CHN)
9. Esteban Penagos(USA)
10. Hanamichi Carvajal Suazo(CHI)
11. Jacob Bickersteth(USA)
12. Max Fardanesh(USA)
13. Alvin Tudorica(CAN)
14. Alan Kam(MEX)
15. Peter Murphy(USA)
16. Joshua Miller(USA)

Boys 14s seeds:
1. Juncheng(Jerry) Shang(USA)
2. Fnu Nidunjianzan(USA)
3. Costantinos Koshis(CYP)
4. Adolfo Vallejo(PAR)
5. John Kim(USA)
6. Kyle Kang(USA)
7. Togan Tokac(TUR)
8. Lucas Brown(USA)
9. Kenta Nakamura(JPN)
10. Gonzalo Bueno(PER)
11. James Rico(USA)
12. Aidan Kim(USA)
13. Jackson Armistead(USA)
14. Alejandro Licea(ESA)
15. Kurt Miller(USA)
16. Miguel Larrea Sicco(ECU)

Boys 12s seeds:
1. Rudy Quan(USA)
2. Kaylan Bigun(USA)
3. Alexander Frusina(USA)
4. Atakan Karahan(TUR)
5. Quang Duong(USA)
6. Maximus Dussault(USA)
7. Andrew Rundle(USA)
8. Thomas Faurel(USA)
9. Thanaphat Boosarawongse(THA)
10. Meecah Bigun(USA)
11. Nathan Blokhin(USA)
12. Fadi Bidan(ARM)
13. Paris Pouatcha(USA)
14. Yubel Ubri(USA)
15. Jinpeng Tang(CHN)
16. Halel Ashoosh(ISR)

Girls 16s seeds:
1. Madison Sieg(USA)
2. Elaine Chervinsky(USA)
3. Yelizaveta Karlova(KAZ)
4. Rachel Gailis(USA)
5. Leena Bennetto(CAN)
6. Misa Malkin(USA)
7. Vivian Ovrootsky(USA)
8. Jaleesa Leslie(USA)
9. DJ Bennett(USA)
10. Allie Gretkoswki(USA)
11. Abigail Rencheli(USA)
12. Sarah Hamner(USA)
13. Julia Fliegner(USA)
14. Stephanie Sanchez(USA)
15. Lara Schneider(USA)
16. Elise Wagle(USA)

Girls 14s seeds:
1. Ozlem Uslu(TUR)
2. Marina Stakusic(CAN)
3. Gabriella Broadfoot(RSA)
4. Melisa Ercan(TUR)
5. Brenda Fruhvirtova(CZE)
6. Clervie Ngounoue(USA)
7. Katerina Dimitrova(BUL)
8. Angella Okutoyi(KEN)
9. Lan Mi(USA)
10. Alexis Blokhina(USA)
11. Kyoka Kubo(USA)
12. Violeta Martinez(USA)
13. Mio Kozaki(USA)
14. Gabriela Cortes Flores(BOL)
15. Vitoria Jimenez Kasintseva(AND)
16. Nevena Carton(USA)

Girls 12s seeds:
1. Brooklyn Olson(USA)
2. Valerija Kargina(LAT)
3. Ela Nala Milic(SLO)
4. Natalia Perez(USA)
5. Mia Slama(USA)
6. Sarah L'Allier(CAN)
7. Lexington Reed(USA)
8. Brook Wrigley(USA)
9. Erica Jessel(USA)
10. Anastasia Kavounov(CAN)
11. Valerie Glozman(USA)
12. Yufei Ren(CHN)
13. Naomi Xu(CAN)
14. Sasha Situe(NZL)
15. Janel Ospanova(KAZ)
16. Sophie Llewellyn(USA)