Tuesday, August 6, 2019

No. 2 Seed Damm, No. 3 Seed Kodat Upset in Fourth Round Kalamazoo 18s Action Tuesday

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Kalamazoo MI--

A rainy morning gave way to sunny skies Tuesday afternoon for the fourth round of the USTA Boys 18s and 16s National Championships, but it remained a gloomy day for four of the top eight 18s seeds, with upsets the order of the day at Stowe Stadium.

No. 2 seed Martin Damm lost to No. 29 seed Garrett Johns 6-4, 6-2 and No. 3 seed Toby Kodat fell to No. 33 seed Cash Hanzlik by the same score.

Clay Court champion Leighton Allen, the No. 7 seed, and Clay Court finalist Logan Zapp, the No. 8 seed, also fell in straight sets, with Allen losing to No. 33 seed Marcus McDaniel and Zapp falling to No. 27 seed Siem Woldeab 7-6(5), 7-6(5).

Originally the schedule had all the fourth round singles matches in both divisions at Stowe Stadium, but five hours of rain had officials sending the 16s fourth round matches to Western Michigan University and feed-in consolation matches indoors.

Once the courts dried, just before 2 pm, the 18s began their fourth round, and Damm, who had lost the first set in his win over Matthew Segura Monday, quickly went down 2-0. Damm had expressed disappointment in his serving in that match, and he was not able to improve in that department against Johns, who counts his return game as a strength.

"I think he's not used to someone returning all his serves," said Johns, who wasn't notified that he had received a wild card into the tournament until six days ago. "I have really good returns, I would say, and he has a really good serve, so he's probably used to getting more free points off his serve. That was probably a lot different for him."

Johns was aware that Damm had come back in his match on Monday, so he made an effort keep the pressure on the 15-year-old.

"I was up a couple of breaks, but knowing what he did yesterday, I was like, I need to focus every point," said Johns, an 18-year-old from Atlanta Georgia. "Don't give him anything, and it worked out."

Johns, who has been playing on the ITF World Tennis Tour circuit for most of the year, rather than USTA junior tournaments, was pleased with his level of play, particularly because he had only one match coming into today's fourth round.

"I think I played very well, very solid," said Johns, who will be joining the Duke team for his freshman year in a couple of weeks."It's only my second match of the tournament, because I got a bye and a walkover, so it was good to play that well."

Johns will play No. 25 seed Ronan Jachuck, who eliminated unseeded Andre Ilagan 6-0, 2-6, 6-2.
Hanzlik's defeat of Kodat followed a different pattern, with Hanzlik's power putting Kodat on the defensive throughout the match.

"I know I'm probably physically stronger than a lot of the kids that I play, so my game is always to try to overpower them," said the 17-year-old from Portland Oregon. "He has a one-handed backhand, and got to the final of the French Open Juniors, so he has a lot of variety. So I knew he was just going to try to move me around the court, but he wasn't really going to hurt me, so I just tried to be aggressive."

Yet Hanzlik knew that just using his pace wasn't enough to beat Kodat.

"It was successful when I tried to hit big and go to net," said Hanzlik, who is coached by Jonathan Stark, the Kalamazoo 18s doubles champion in 1988, with David DiLucia. "It doesn't do anything if you hit big and stay behind the baseline. He can slice me all day. But when I hit big and went to net, that worked."

Hanzlik, a rising senior who is still considering his college options, said he gained confidence for his run in here in Kalamazoo when he qualified for the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Orlando in June, then played NCAA semifinalist Aleks Kovacevic close (7-6(2), 6-4) in a first round loss.

"I knew I was capable, because I just had a really good result in a Futures," Hanzlik said. "I was confident I could, but it still felt good to win the match. I'm excited for my next round and to go farther in the tournament."

Hanzlik will face No. 12 seed Dali Blanch, who beat Easter Bowl ITF champion Ron Hohmann 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-1.

Top seed Brandon Nakashima avoided the upset bug, beating No. 18 seed Evin McDonald 6-1, 6-1, but another Kalamazoo meeting with Stefan Dostanic was derailed by No. 33 seed Ryder Jackson, who beat No. 9 seed Dostanic 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Nakashima and Dostanic played in the 16s final two years ago and in the semifinals of the 18s last year, with Nakashima winning both matches.

The only unseeded player remaining in the 18s is wild card Samuel Rubell, who advanced when No. 11 seed Tyler Zink withdrew due to illness.

No. 4 seed Cannon Kingsley also had a quick match, beating No. 33 seed Alejandro Quiles 6-0, 6-2.

The top seeds in the 16s avoided the fate of their counterparts in the 18s, with all seven of the Top 8 seeds playing today advancing to Wednesday's round of 16. No. 8 seed Jack Anthrop lost on Monday.

Top seed Alex Bernard was pushed hard by unseeded Will Mayew, but came back for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory at Western Michigan University. No. 2 seed Luke Casper beat No. 31 seed Evan Wen 6-2, 7-5; No. 3 seed Samir Banerjee defeated No. 20 seed Luke Neal 6-2, 6-3 and No. 4 seed Aidan May downed No. 29 seed John Kim.

Two unseeded players remain in the 16s: Connor Krug, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over No. 23 seed James Delgado, and Alejandro Moreno, who beat Krug's twin brother Jake, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

The 18s doubles fourth round was postponed until Wednesday, while the third round of 16s doubles was played Tuesday evening at Western Michigan University. The fourth round of doubles in both age divisions are now scheduled for Wednesday, as part of the Dinner at the Nats event in the evening.

Singles for both age divisions are scheduled to begin at 9:30 Wednesday morning and continue throughout the day, with doubles to follow.

For schedule, draws and results, see ustaboys.com.


Curious said...

Colette, don’t Kodat and Damm have to play the consolation in order to stay in the doubles draw as the #1 seeds. Or can you claim a withdrawal reason for singles and still stay in doubles?

Brent said...

Unless that is a new rule, I don't think they are required to play back draw to stay in dubs. Kypson, Danny Thomas, and Nanda all lost early in singles, dropped out of the back draw, and played in the doubles final. It should be a rule but don't believe it is. Credit to Damm and Kodat for playing to completion.

Pro or Amateur said...

Your Posting indicates that Cash "Hanzlik, a rising senior who is still considering his college options" but there has been a long time running YouTube video that is easy to find where he requests financial contributions to become the "future of American tennis." Assuming he has accepted financial contributions, doesn't that make him a professional and ineligible to play college tennis?

Colette Lewis said...

There is no such rule regarding consolation or main draw, for that matter, at any level of tennis that I'm aware of. It's not uncommon here, as Brent points out.