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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Players Double Up Thursday at Junior Orange Bowl

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

The weather cooperated long enough on Thursday to allow the Junior Orange Bowl to get back on schedule, and the semifinalists are set for Friday's action at the University of Miami (for boys 12s & 14s and girls 14s) and Salvadore Park (girls 12s).

The U.S. is assured a finalist in both the boys 12s and the girls 14s, but there are no Americans remaining in either the girls 12s or the boys 14s.

John Richmond of South Carolina and Reo Asami of California will meet in one of the boys 12s semifinals, while the second semifinal will feature Eddie Herr semifinalists Johan Skattum of Norway and Edward Nguyen of Canada. Richmond put an end to Florida qualifier Justin Butsch's seven-match winning streak 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 and Asami, who has yet to lose a set in his first five matches, again had no difficulty, taking out No. 1 seed Ivan Levar of Croatia 6-4, 6-1. Of the four remaining players, only Nguyen is seeded.

The girls 14s will find Floridian Sloane Stephens facing New Jersey's Christina McHale for a spot in the final. Stephens outlasted No. 3 seed Nicole Gibbs of Ohio 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, while McHale, like Stephens unseeded, upset No. 2 seed and Eddie Herr finalist Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 1-6; 6-2; 6-3. Eddie Herr champion Hanna Orlik continues to roll through the draw and will meet Chloe Babet of France in the other semifinal.

One of the semis in the girls 12s is a rematch of the Eddie Herr final, with Laura Robson hoping to repeat her victory over her fellow Brit Jessica Ren. Canada's Michelle Dandik and Germany's Christina Shakovets vie for the other place in the finals.

I spent the day as usual at the University of Miami, watching the boys 14s draw get whittled down from 16 to four. Bob Van Overbeek of Florida was the only U.S. boy to reach the quarterfinals, where he fell 6-3, 6-1 to No. 12 seed Bernard Tomic of Australia. Tomic, the 2004 Junior Orange Bowl 12s champion, will meet Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia. Basilashvili upset No. 3 seed Joao Vitor Fernandes of Brazil in the round of 16, then easily dispatched unseeded Miguel Almeida of Portugal 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

The highest seed remaining in the draw is No. 8 David Souto of Venezuela, who had two straight-set victories over seeded players on Thursday. Next up for Souto is unseeded Giacomo Miccini of Italy, who had two equally routine victories, a 6-2, 6-2 win over Alessandro Colella and a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of Bowen Ouyang of Hong Kong.

Ouyang had battled No. 16 seed Junior Ore for nearly three hours before emerging with a 7-6 (10), 4-6, 6-4 victory over his fellow left-hander, and had no energy to fight a much fresher Miccini.

The rains returned a couple of hours after the last match was completed Thursday, and with three consolation rounds to be played on Friday, if the courts are dry, action will begin at 8 a.m.

For full draws see Tennis Link.


Anonymous said...


Got a question about wild cards for Winter Nationals in Phoenix. I thought the USTA had the option of granting up to 4 wild cards before draws went from 124 (first selection) to 128 (final selection) and that it for wild cards. My son is high on the alternate list for boys 16s and three days ago Jordan Cox appeared on the competitors list. He did not quality for the tournament, never was listed as an alternate, nor was awarded a WC when they were handed out. Can the USTA just hand out wild cards at their whim after deadline and jump ahead of alternates and take away someone’s spot. I looked up that kid and he lost in first rd of boys 14 orange bowl and to a 12 year old in the back draw. Don’t mean to mention names but this is not right or fair. This reeks of nepotism.

Anonymous said...

I haveno issue w/ WCs but in this case it seems that the USTA clearly does as it wants, creating the rules as they go to beneift their players. If my kid were the #1 alternate in Boys 16 that did not get in becuase the USTA pulled a fast one, I would formally complain to the head of the USTA. This is a big year for college and a lot of college coaches will be there. My kid is an alternate in boys 18s so I see the real injustice of this.

Anonymous said...

Oh brother. USTA may do strange things from time to time, but they can't arbitrarily pick a name out of the hat and give them a wild card. That is one thing they are very adamant about. The w/c requests must be made by the deadline or its a no. Cox is an ITF player, don't know what his ranking is off the top of my head, but he's very deserving of getting in Winters. Last I remember, there were 8 w/c spots at both clays and kzoo, not 4...and the tournament directors have say as part of the w/c committee. So don't blame the USTA, they are sticklers on paperwork. I believe in the adage that a player should be in the main draw if they work hard enough, not because of luck or if someone else pulls out.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ the first post. my son is also an alternate for boys 16 winters so I kept track of any movement on the alternate list. I observed the same as post #1. After the initial 124 acceptances were posted the USTA has the option of 4 wild cards. I was told they handed out one or two and released the others and Cox was not one of them, nor was he listed as an official alternate. He was somehow placed on the competitors list several days later. I am not going to debate whether he deserves to play and I think calling him an ITF player is an overstatement, but it's wrong for the USTA to give him a wild card once players were being taking off the alternate list. I personally have written a letter complaining to the head of the USTA.

Anonymous said...

r u kidding me.. if your sons were good enough they would already be in the main draw... stop worrying about cox... he has nothing to do with what the usta decides..