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Thursday, April 7, 2005

Top Seed Damico Eliminated

Top Seed Damico Eliminated
©Colette Lewis 2005--
Carson CA--

Pavel Chekhov of Russia was one of only nine foreign players in the draw at the Spring International, but on Thursday he made sure that US dominance was not taken for granted, when he bested top seeded American Kellen Damico 6-7(12), 6-2, 6-3.

On another cool and blustery day at the Home Depot Center, Chekhov and Damico engaged in a spirited struggle, exemplified by the 26 point, twenty-one minute tiebreaker in the first set. Each great shot elicited a similar one across the net, with an occasional wind-induced error thrown in for dramatic effect.

Chekhov, who is now training at the IMG Bollettieri Academy, has had few notable results when he has played in the US, although his ITF ranking from European tournaments gave him the 14th seed for the Spring International. Chekhov In Thursday's match, the 16-year-old from Moscow displayed a rock solid all-around game, often surprising Damico with his ability to hit winners from normally defensive positions. Much calmer than the animated Damico, who was close to being defaulted in his match on Wednesday, Chekhov seemed unconcerned after losing the marathon tiebreaker. He jumped out to an early lead in the second set, and made an early break in the third stand up, although Damico threatened to even the final set on several occasions.
Chekhov will now face 11th seed Dylan Arnould in the quarterfinals. Arnould had no trouble dispatching the unseeded Californian Alexander Kruger Wyman. In the other match in the top half, 16th seed Matt Bruch, who upset fourth seed Alex Clayton, will face tenth seed Jamie Hunt, who took out eighth seed Marcus Fugate.

The bottom half of the Boys 18s featured several surprises, with unseeded Peter Aarts taking out fifth seed Holden Seguso and 15th seed Sam Querrey overcoming a slow start to take out third seed Philip Bester. In the only quarter to go according to form, doubles partners Jesse Levine (2) and Michael Shabaz (6) will battle each other Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

The Girls 18s singles have produced few upsets, with the notable exception of Jennifer Stevens, who has beaten 11th seed Lindsay Burdette and sixth seed Yasmin Schnack the past two days. Unseeded, Miami's Stevens has not yet lost a set, and will battle fellow Floridian and second seed Jenni Lee Heinser on Friday. Also on Friday, top seed Alexa Glatch takes on tenth seed Krysty Marcio; fourth seed Andrea Remynse faces seventh seed Liz Plotkin; and third seed Vania King plays fifth seed Julia Cohen.

For the 16s semifinal matchups and boys and girls doubles draws, please visit