Wednesday, April 18, 2007

McHale Sisters Both Reach 18s Quarterfinals at Easter Bowl; Will Upsets Boserup

©Colette Lewis 2007
Rancho Mirage, CA—

The girls 18s quarterfinals Thursday will contain almost as many McHales as seeds, with the two unseeded sisters from New Jersey and only three seeds earning victories Wednesday afternoon.

Fourteen-year-old Christina McHale continued her superb play with a quick victory over Ryann Cutillo, while older sister Lauren had a considerably tougher time with Nicole Bartnik, winning 7-5, 7-5.

No. 4 seed Mallory Cecil, the highest seeded girl remaining, teetered on the edge of elimination before defeating Stefanie Nunic 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3. The match was moved to another court after the second set due to scattered debris from late afternoon wind gusts. No. 5 seed Melanie Oudin lost the first three games to unseeded Claire Bartlett, but won the next twelve in a row for a 6-3, 6-0 victory. No. 6 seed Gail Brodsky was down 5-3 in both sets against Hilary Davis but managed a 7-6 (4), 7-5 win.

Julia Boserup, the No. 7 seed, wasn’t able to hold on to a 5-1 first set lead, losing to unseeded Floridian Allie Will 7-6 (2), 6-4.

"I started to be aggressive and stop letting her dictate," said Will of her comeback over the hard-hitting Californian. "I was trying to push her back with a lot of spin and I started serving very well. think my serve is why I won the first set. I didn’t serve as great in the second set, but my serve really helped me today."

Also earning quarterfinal slots were Aeriel Ellis, the 2006 16s Easter Bowl finalist, who defeated Alison Riske 7-5, 6-4, and Nadja Gilchrist, who overcame Asia Muhammad 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in one of the day’s longest matches.

The boys 18s saw only one minor upset in the second round, with unseeded Jeff Dadamo downing 11th seed Ty Trombetta 6-4, 6-2. Sixth seed Austin Krajicek escaped with a 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory over fellow left-hander Jared Pinsky.

"I was just glad to get through that one, it was a rough battle," Krajicek said. "He played really well, there wasn’t much I could do in the first set, he played outstanding. I calmed down a little in the second and the third was just a coin flip."

Pinsky served for the match at 5-3, but couldn’t finish it, which was unfortunate for him, because the winds, which had plagued the other sites all day, arrived at Rancho Las Palmas during the tiebreak.

"It helped me a little bit," Krajicek said of the sporadic gusts, recalling Pinsky’s three double faults in the tiebreak. "I was lucky he had a little bit of trouble with his serve."

Although a third set tiebreak is a dramatic ending, it was trumped by the conclusion of the match between No. 8 seed Jarmere Jenkins and Steve Johnson. Johnson was serving at 4-3, 40-0 in the third set when he cramped, and he had to be carried off the court, giving Jenkins a 6-4, 3-6, 3-4 retired win.

Although only the 18s are exclusively at Rancho Las Palmas, selected seeds in the younger age groups play at the host site, and several were upset on Wednesday.

The No. 2 seed in boys 14s, Christian Harrison, won the first three games against No. 17 seed Sean Berman, but came out on the short end of a 6-3, 6-2 score.

Girls 14s No. 3 seed Gabrielle Desimone, a finalist in the 16s at the International Spring Championships last week, dropped a 6-3, 6-1 decision to No. 14 seed Belinda Niu.

And Kaitlyn Christian, the No. 2 seed in girls 16s, was taken out by Hideko Tachibana 6-4, 1-6, 7-6.

In doubles action Wednesday evening, the No. 4 seeds in boys 18s, Ryan Lipman and Rhyne Williams lost to Ryan Harrison and Alex Llompart 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4). And the top-seeded team in girls 18s, Gail Brodsky and Reka Zsilinzska, fell to Lindsay Clark and Shinann Featherstone 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

For complete draws in 18s, click here.
For the 14s and 16s, click here.