Monday, October 7, 2019

Charney Beats Seed in First ITF Junior Circuit Main Draw Match; Houghton Ousts No. 6 Seed Jackson on Day One at ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Nicholasville KY--

A cold rain on the first day of the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed Championships didn't have any impact on the first day of singles action, with the tournament being conducted indoors at the Top Seed Tennis Club for the first time this year.

Top seeds Alexandra Yepifanova and Andrew Dale advanced in contrasting fashion, with Yepifanova defeating Isabella Barrera Aguirre 6-2, 6-4, while Dale needed nearly three hours to get past Spencer Brachman 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Dale trailed in the first set 5-2 before reeling off five straight games, and got up an early break in the second set, but Brachman broke back then got another break with Dale serving at 4-5 to send the match to a third set. Brachman went down two breaks, giving Dale a chance to serve out the match at 5-2, but Dale couldn't close it out and Brachman held again to force Dale to serve it out a second time. Dale couldn't convert on his first two match points, missing an easy sitter on the first. Brachman made a tough forehand volley to save the second, but on the third Brachman couldn't get a second serve return back in play to allow Dale to advance.

Although Dale escaped the upset, four other boys seeds did not. No. 7 seed Lorenzo Claverie of Venezuela lost to Saiprakash Goli 6-2, 6-1; No. 9 seed Jeffrey Fradkin was beaten by Zachery Foster 7-5, 6-3; No. 14 seed Ilya Tiraspolsky of Canada lost to wild card Ben Shelton 6-4, 6-3 and No. 12 seed Jack Anthrop fell to Welsh Hotard 6-2, 7-5.

Hotard ended Anthrop's ITF winning streak at 12, as he had won the Grade 5 in Austin two weeks ago and the Grade 4 in Corpus Christi last week.

Hotard, 18, did not consider himself an underdog to the 15-year-old Anthrop.

"He's a great player, but I thought I definitely had a chance in that match," said Hotard, who lost to Anthrop last year at the ITF event in Austin. "I just had to play my game and not get upset with myself."

Down 5-2 in the second set, Hotard said he got more aggressive.

"I went for a little more, settled down and stepped into the ball a little more," said the left-hander from Louisiana, who has committed to the University of Oklahoma. "That helped me with my forehand especially, to get him off the court and finish the points. I had break chances early in the second, didn't convert, but when I settled down a little bit, it got better."

Four girls seeds also fell in the first round, including No. 5 seed Emma Jackson, who was beaten by India Houghton 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 in the last match to finish Monday evening.

"In the first set, I started out strong, but then I got tentative," said the 17-year-old from the San Francisco Bay area. "My ball started landing short and she took it and was playing really aggressive. I realized that so in the second set, I was really focusing on being more aggressive and that worked pretty well. I thought she played better in the third set than the second set, but it was really close."

The left-hander, who recently committed to Stanford, said she tried to disregard Jackson's ITF junior ranking, which is 98, compared to Houghton's 353.

"I was trying not to focus on that, and I still had confidence going in," Houghton said.
Emma Charney was playing in her first ITF Junior Circuit main draw today after qualifying over the weekend, and she used that recent experience to overcome her lack of experience in international events to defeat No. 12 seed Hina Inoue 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-1.

"It definitely helped that I had played matches in here," said the blue-chip sophomore from South Carolina. "I know the courts and she hadn't played a match, so I was warmed up and ready going in."

Charney said it was important for her to keep positive after dropping such a close first set.

"I was up 5-2 in the breaker and lost the breaker, but in the second set I started with a new mindset," said Charney, who prefers long matches and was on court for three hours to earn her first main draw win in an ITF Junior tournament. "You just can't give up. After a tight first set, when the other person wins it, they think they might have an easy second set. You just can't let them have that. Fight back, make balls, make them have a long match."

Charney needed to win a match tiebreaker in the final round of qualifying Sunday to advance to the main draw, and the girl she beat, Elisabeth Jones, got into main draw as a lucky loser when wild card Olivia Gallagher did not play. Jones also beat a seed Monday, taking out No. 16 seed Dakota Fordham 6-1, 6-0. The fourth girls seed to fall on Monday was No. 9 seed Lauren Anzalotta of Puerto Rico who lost to Malaika Rapolu 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Doubles begins on Tuesday, with Hunter Heck and Stefan Leustian the tops seeds in the boys draw and Anzalotta and Yepifanova the top seeds in the girls draw.


Update From Fairfield said...

WC Bandon Holt, USC Senior, gets a first round "W" over Past Kzoo Champ, UVA, Collin Altamirano 2,2. Did the Real C.A. Show Up for the Match? Nice to see Holt Finally Get a WC:) Holt lost today in the 2nd round of Fairfield Challenger to Taro Daniel 1,4.