Thursday, December 12, 2019

Eddie Herr Recap; Rain Prevents Orange Bowl Second Round from Finishing; Quarterfinals Set in 16s Division

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Plantation FL--

Rain has made a mess of the Orange Bowl this week, making everyone appreciate the great weather we had last week at the Eddie Herr even more. My Tennis Recruiting Network recap of the 12s, 14s and 16s divisions is available today, with the ITF recap coming on Friday.

Due to heavy rain Thursday morning, it was 4 p.m. before any Orange Bowl matches were played at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center, and there was only a little more than two hours of play before another shower caused a second delay, which ranged from one to two hours before a third storm resulted in play being cancelled for the day around 9 p.m.

Although the last match in the girls 16s third round was completed just minutes before the final deluge, the quarterfinals are set in the younger age division.

In the boys draw, Gabrielius Guzauskas will meet No. 5 seed Bruno Kuzuhara in an all-American quarterfinal after both prevailed after dropping the first set more than 24 hours before. Guzauskas beat Lucas Brown 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 and Kuzuhara downed Louis Cloud 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.  No. 3 seed Marc Ktiri of Spain, who finished his third round match Wednesday, will face Daniel Cohen, who beat Nicolas Godsick 6-1, 7-6(3). Another Spaniard, No. 7 seed Daniel Rincon, defeated No. 9 seed Azuma Visaya 6-3, 6-4 and will play qualifier Giulio Perego of Italy, who finished his match on Wednesday and did not play today.  No. 2 seed Jack Anthrop of the US will face qualifier Filippos Astreinidis of Greece, another player who did not play Thursday after winning in straight sets Wednesday. Anthrop, the Eddie Herr champion, won his ninth straight match over the past two weeks, beating No. 16 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru 6-4, 7-6(6).

Seven of the eight girls 16s quarterfinalists are Americans, with No. 10 seed Victoria Mboko of Canada the other quarterfinalist. Mboko, 13, will play No. 13 seed Vivian Ovrootsky, who won her third round match Wednesday. Mboko defeated No. 6 seed Qavia Lopez of the US 6-3, 7-6(3). Ashlyn Krueger, who beat top seed Rebecca Lynn yesterday before rain cancelled play for the day, will face unseeded Gracie Epps, who defeated No. 5 seed Chelsea Fontenel of Switzerland 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. Bridget Stammel defeated No. 2 seed Ava Krug 7-5, 6-2 and will play Alexis Blokhina, who beat Anushka Khune 7-5, 7-5 Thursday. No. 14 seed Clervie Ngounoue meets Midori Castillo Meza after both won third sets Thursday to advance. Ngounoue beat No. 4 seed Nevena Carton 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 and Castillo managed to close out Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(4) just minutes before rain ended play Thursday night.

All the 18s second round matches did start Thursday evening, although a few are just a few games into the first set after several court changes due to the condition of the green clay.

Four seeds lost in the six girls matches that were completed: Saki Imamura of Japan defeated Darja Semenistaja of Latvia 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Julie Belgraver defeated No. 8 seed Savannah Broadus 7-5,6-1; Skyler Grishuk defeated No. 13 seed Yeon Woo Ku of Korea 6-3, 6-3 and qualifier Maya Pitts took out No. 6 seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra 7-5, 6-4.

The 16-year-old Pitts, who reached the semifinals of a $15,000 tournament in Cancun last month, missed most of 2016 and 2017 with a broken foot that went undiagnosed for an extended period.

"It was a lot of trial and error," said Pitts, who trains with her father in Los Angeles. "It wasn't like I was out two years straight; I kept coming back and re-injuring myself. The doctors really didn't tell me and it took me like a year to get an MRI for them to see that there were cracks in my bones. It was hard, boring and in those two years, everybody gets so much better and you have to play catch up after that."

Pitts said she was confident when she returned to competition this past February, perhaps too confident.

"I didn't have any doubts. If anything I was probably overconfident," Pitts said. "I was away for so long, I was still thinking that I'm in the same place, but then I get back and it's humbling."

Pitts didn't know anything about Jimenez Katsintseva, a 14-year-old who won the Grade A in Mexico early this month and is now 26 in the ITF World Junior rankings.

"I'd never seen her before," Pitts said. "I stuck to my game plan; I figured out what would be a good game plan. I had confidence in myself and I believed I could do it. I had to stay solid during the big points and not stray from my plan."

Pitts, who is playing in her first Grade A, did not feel the win was an especially big one for her.

"For me, it's just another match," said Pitts. "I just look to play the best I can."

Nine boys second round matches are complete, and the eight seeds who finished Thursday all won their matches, including top seed Thiago Tirante of Argentina, who beat Max Westphal of France 6-2, 6-1.

No. 2 seed Martin Damm had dropped the first set to Lilian Marmousez of France 6-4 and it was 2-2 when rain halted play.

18s second round doubles matches were cancelled after the first rain delay this evening, and the 16s doubles did not get on court before the final rain shower. Short scoring is expected to be used in doubles Friday to try to get the tournament back on schedule.

The order of play is not yet out for Friday, but will be available at the tournament website. Currently the forecast contains a 30% chance of rain for Friday.