Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Miccini's Win Over King Highlights Wednesday's Boys 14s Action

©Colette Lewis 2006--
Coral Gables, FL--

To a casual observer looking at the draws, Giacomo Miccini's 7-6 (0), 5-7, 6-4 victory over No. 6 seed Evan King in the Junior Orange Bowl boys' 14s would be an upset. But Italy's Miccini had to be considered one of the favorites in the 14s, despite being unseeded, when he won the 18s Eddie Herr wild card tournament for those training at IMG/Bollettieri's and then gave finalist Philip Bester all he could handle in a first round match there.

King has been going to high school in the Chicago area, training indoors, and did not play the Eddie Herr. But although he may lack Miccini's international experience, in their third round match Wednesday there was no hint that King was at a disadvantage.

The 14-year-old left-hander had an early break over Miccini in the first set, but wasn't able to hold it, and the Italian played excellent tennis in the tiebreak. King fought back to earn a third set, playing aggressive all-court tennis and not shying away from the net on big points.

With King serving at 4-4 in the third, however, it was Miccini who feathered a drop volley winner so perfect that it brought a racquet clap and "good shot" from King, who a few points later lost his serve, and when Miccini held, the match.

Miccini will face another unseeded Italian in the round of 16, Alessandro Colella, who also took out a King on Wednesday--Sebastien King of Canada.

Top seed Ashot Khacharyan of Russia retired with back problems trailing 4-6 to Argentina's Andrea Collarini. Collarini was down 4-0, but Khacharyan, who is usually very quick around the court, was noticeably hampered by his injury, and lost six games in succession. The unseeded Collarini's next opponent will be Florida's Bob Van Overbeek, who continued his impressive play with a 6-0, 6-3 win over No. 14 seed Kyohhei Kamono of Japan. Van Overbeek's serve and forehand have put pressure on all three of his opponents this week, and none have found an answer for them.

With Dante Terenzio losing 6-1, 6-0 to Bernard Tomic and Campbell Johnson and Ridley Seguso eliminated, only three U.S. boys remain. Joining Van Overbeek in the round of 16 are No. 16 seed Junior Ore, who defeated Samuel Barry of Ireland 6-3, 6-3 and Emmett Egger, who scored a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Sebastian Lavie of New Zealand. The 13-year-old from Washington has yet to drop a set in the tournament and managed to thoroughly frustrate Lavie, who held a 2-0 first set lead but couldn't play consistently enough to regain his early momentum. Egger's next opponent is No. 9 seed Kevin Krawietz of Germany.

The boys' 12s quarterfinalists were determined on Wednesday at Tropical Park, and half of them are from the U.S.

Qualifier Justin Butsch of Florida ousted No. 1 seed and Eddie Herr finalist Liam Broady of Great Britain 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, while John Richmond of South Carolina took out No. 1 seed Luke Saville of Australia 7-6 (5), 7-5. Reo Asami of California got past fellow American Robert Livi 6-3, 6-3 and Sam Bloom of Illinois dropped Trey Strobel of Florida 6-4, 6-1. Three of the eight remaining are No. 1 seeds, Jaehwan Kim of Korea, Edward Nguyen of Canada and Ivan Levar of Croatia.

Early on Wednesday morning I stopped by the Biltmore and watched a few of the second round matches held over from Tuesday in the girls 14s, and then paid a visit to the eight clay courts at Salvadore Park, where the girls 12s are headquartered. I don't have any up-to-date information on those results however, so I'll be waiting for the scores to be posted on the TennisLink site.