Sunday, November 25, 2012

Main Draw Matches Begin in All Four Divisions Monday at Eddie Herr International

©Colette Lewis 2012--
Bradenton, FL--

Another day of perfect weather--sunny, little wind, temperatures near 70--greeted those vying for main draw spots Sunday in the final round of qualifying for the Eddie Herr International.

The ITF Grade 1 for the 18s were scheduled to play two rounds of qualifying on Sunday, but due to darkness delaying the completion of five boys and two girls first round matches Saturday, only half the qualifiers were known when play was once again suspended around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

Two US girls--No. 5 qualifying seed Johnnise Renaud and No. 11 seed Alexandra Morozova--did secure their spots in the main draw, as did unseeded Henry Craig of the US. Craig dropped only five games in his two qualifying matches Sunday, taking out No. 3 seed Kamil Majchrzak of Poland 6-1, 6-3 and cruising past fellow unseeded American Logan Smith 6-1, 6-0 in his second match of the day. Smith, who had a much longer morning match, beating Alp Horoz of Turkey 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, lacked some energy in the second set against Craig, but Craig did play very well, getting a number of free points on his serve while playing aggressively from the baseline.

Another all-American showdown for a qualifying spot, this time in the girls draw, was not completed, with Nicole Frenkel winning the first set from Maria Smith 6-3, but trailing 4-2 in the second set. Smith beat Frenkel in the semifinals of the Grade 4 ITF at the Evert Academy just over a week ago 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, so that is definitely still anyone's match.

Dan Kerznerman, who had made the overnight trip from the Yucatan Cup in order to play his first round match in qualifying on Saturday, won his second round match over Alejandro Tabilo of Canada 6-2, 6-2 Sunday. He did not have to play his fourth match in three days in two different countries because his opponent, Rafael Coutinho of Venezuela, was one of those players who did not finish his first round match on Saturday.

In the other age divisions, Russia dominated the qualifying in girls 12s, taking four of the eight available spots in the 64 draw, while Canada took four of the eight in the boys 14s.

The US had the most qualifiers in the remaining four divisions. In the boys 12s, Ivan Yatsuk, Robert Hammond, Ricardo Fernandez Paredes and Jordi Redelijk are the US qualifiers; in the boys 14s, Robert Loeb is the sole qualifier from the US. In the boys 16s, David Mitchell, Mark Epshteyn-Losev, Nikola Samardzic and Reilly Opelka are the American qualifiers.

In the girls 16s, Anna Pomyatinskaya, Jessica Failla, Isabelle Krupa and Amanda Atanasson are the US players reaching the main draw with wins Sunday. The American qualifiers in the girls 14s are M'balia Bangoura, Alexandra Angyalosy, Hanna Chang and Tate Schroeder. The US qualifiers in the girls 12s are Ulyana Shirokova and Zlata Bobyr.

My preview of the 12s and 14s division is available today at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  In case you missed it, my 16s and 18s preview was posted there on Friday.

The main draw for the 18s begins Monday with 43 main draw matches, with top seeds Taylor Townsend and Noah Rubin in action against Dominika Paterova of the Czech Republic and Thien Nguyen Hoang of Vietnam respectively.

One of the most interesting of Monday's first round matches will be 14-year-old wild card Maria Shishkina of the US against 15-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, the No. 5 seed.

The order of play and draws are available at eddieherr.com.