Thursday, July 22, 2010

Local Girl Fights Back to Reach Quarters at Girls 18 Clay Court Championships

©Colette Lewis 2010--
Memphis TN--

As Catherine Harrison, both calves wrapped with bags of ice, made her way from the trainer's table to a shady spot to talk with reporters about her 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-1 victory over Breaunna Addison, the 16-year-old from Germantown, Tenn. stopped several times to accept the congratulations of the family members and friends who had vocally supported her for nearly three hours.

With the temperatures nearing 90 degrees and the humidity becoming more oppressive with each passing hour, the fifth-seeded Harrison was serving for the match at 5-1 in the third set when she began to cramp for the first time ever.

"I've never really cramped before, but when I hit my first serve, whoa, both my calves kind of seized up," Harrison said. "I was definitely trying to end the points early that last game. I had to go for it, because I didn't quite know what would happen if I kept on playing. I think the heat was kind of getting to her also."

Addison asked for a trainer at the changeover at 5-4 in the second set, having just broken Harrison, who couldn't capitalize on her one set point in that game. It wasn't a long visit, and there was no massage or apparent cramping. Addison didn't play well in the next game, double faulting to make it 15-30, and when a forehand that Harrison called just long was confirmed by an examination of the mark by the chair umpire, Harrison had two additional set points. Addison hit a backhand wide on the first one, and the match, already over two hours in duration, would go to a third set.

The first set had been an excellent display of tennis by both players, with only one break of serve each. There were many 30-30 points, almost all of which were won by the server, and the level was consistently high.

It was even better in the tiebreaker, where winners outnumbered errors by a wide margin. Addison had a 6-4 lead in the tiebreaker, but Harrison saved both of those set points, and another at 6-7. Addison finally prevailed on her fourth set point, to end the 70 minute set.

In the second set Addison led 3-2 and was serving at 40-0, when suddenly she lost five straight points. Harrison held then broke to take a 5-3 lead, although she expressed surprise that she was down a set and a break.

"I remember the 40-0 game, and I knew the score, I guess I just didn't realize it would have been 4-2," Harrison said.

After she extricated herself from that predicament, Harrison's confidence level seemed to rise, and after taking a 3-0 lead in the third set, she definitely looked the fresher of the two. Addison called for the trainer a second time at that stage, but lost the game after taking a 40-15 lead, and her body language was becoming increasingly negative. Harrison continued to blast two-handed ground strokes from both sides with the occasional perfect drop shot thrown in for good measure, and with a final winner had reached her first quarterfinal at a USTA National Championship.

Harrison's opponent in Friday's quarterfinal will be No. 9 seed Ronit Yurovsky, who defeated Nicole Long, a No. 17 seed, 6-3, 6-4.

The other quarterfinal in the bottom half of the draw will feature No. 13 seed Caroline Price against unseeded Whitney Ritchie. Price beat Skylar Morton 6-1, 6-4, while Ritchie battled unseeded Riko Shimizu for more than three hours in the midday 95 degree heat before earning a 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-3 victory.

In the top half, No. 1 seed Whitney Kay survived unseeded Meghan Blevins 7-6(2), 7-6(2). Both Kay and Blevins served for the first set, Kay at 5-3, Blevins at 6-5, but neither could finish the job. Kay played the more steady tiebreaker, and Blevins looked doomed when she trailed 5-2 in the second set, but she used an effective combination of defense and variety to mount her comeback. Kay served for the match at 5-2, 5-4 and 6-5, but couldn't convert. She didn't let the frustration she must have felt show however, and again played consistent, confident tennis to win the second tiebreaker.

On Friday, Kay will play unseeded Ashley Dai, who has yet to lose a set in the tournament. Dai defeated unseeded Lindsay Graff 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday. No. 4 seed Kyle McPhillips takes on 13-year-old Gabrielle Andrews in the fourth quarterfinal. McPhillips defeated unseeded Amber Li 6-2, 6-4, while the eighth-seeded Andrews downed Katie Goepel, a No. 17 seed, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

The doubles quarterfinals were played Thursday afternoon, and only one seeded team has advanced to the semifinals.

Goepel and Blair Shankle upset top seeds Emina Bektas and Jasmine Minor 4-6, 6-1, 12-10 and will face Elizabeth Begley and Alecia Kauss, who ousted No. 4 seeds Kay and Megan Kurey 2-6, 7-6(2), 10-6.

The other semifinal features Addison and partner Kelsey Laurente against Mara Schmidt and Tina Tehrani. Addison and Laurente beat unseeded Leyla Erkan and Cece Witten 6-4, 6-2, while Schmidt and Tehrani defeated Yurovsky and Ellen Silver, a No. 9 seeded team, 6-3, 6-1.

For complete results, see the TennisLink site.


Athens said...

Seems like everyone in the 18s entry list at the Zoo could benefit from at least a season of college. Saw where UVa's Jenkins beat Kudla this week in a Challenger.

David said...

I hope that's not the final list of participants. A bunch of big names are missing from it.

In the 18s: Domijan, Hovhannisyan, Fowler, Kandath, D. Lin, E. King, Collarini (if he's eligible), C. Harrison (may be injured), Halebian, Vinsant, Harrington, Petrone.

In the 16s: Corinteli, Madregallejo, Papa, Di Giulio.

Hopefully many of these players will show up on the wild card list.