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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Favorites and Surprises Reach Quarterfinals at Junior Orange Bowl

©Colette Lewis 2012--
Coral Gables, FL--

The quarterfinals are set for Friday at the 2012 Junior Orange Bowl tournament, with some expected and some unexpected players among the final eight in the four divisions.

I spent the day at the boys 12s at Salvadore Park, where only three No. 1 seeds remain of the original 16.

One of them, Yshai Oliel of Israel, had his hands full with unseeded Brian Shi of the US, who gave the left-hander fits in the second set, coming back from 4-1 down to draw even, only to lose the final two games.

Oliel will play unseeded Jenson Brooksby of the US, who reached the quarterfinals when his opponent, Blake Croyder, retired up 6-3, 5-1, 40-15.  Croyder, who has family in the Philippines, was flying there for the holidays Thursday night, so his coach told tournament officials prior to the start of the match that he was going to pull Croyder off the court at match point if Croyder reached that stage in the match. Croyder wasn't told of his coach's plan prior to the match, a plan which allowed Brooksby to advance rather than have Croyder give his next opponent a walkover.

When Croyder did reach match point, his coach asked the roving umpire to walk out on the court to announce the retirement, and when she did, Croyder didn't protest.

Brooksby was understandably in shock when he reported his score to the tournament desk, but he will play in the quarterfinals Friday, and Croyder's backdraw opponent will receive a walkover.

Nike Junior Tour International Masters champion Rudolf Molleker, a No. 1 seed, will play unseeded Nicolas Mejia of Colombia, and Roscoe Bellamy, also a No. 1 seed, will face unseeded Igor Gimenez of Brazil. Bellamy defeated fellow No. 1 seed Boris Kozlov of the US 6-4, 6-3.

The only three-set match in the boys round of 16 was unseeded Patrick Sydow's 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 7-6(2) win over No. 1 seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina. Baez, at least head shorter than Sydow, twice prevented Sydow from serving out the match in the third set, but he couldn't make that last push in the tiebreaker. Sydow, from Aruba, will play unseeded Mischa Lanz of Switzerland in Friday's quarterfinals.

The quarterfinals of the girls 12s still have five No. 1 seeds remaining, as well as two qualifiers.

Abigail Desiatnikov of the United States, Jovana Vukovic of Serbia, Lucia Kankova of the Czech Republic, Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine and Anastasia Potapova of Russia are the No. 1 seeds in the quarterfinals, with Ulyana Shirokova and Nada Dimovska of the US the two qualifiers. Dimovska defeated Eddie Herr champion Ellie Douglas 6-3, 6-4, while Shirokova beat unseeded Cherry Kim of Korea 6-0, 6-3. Neither has lost a set in the seven matches each has played in the past seven days.

The top six seeds have advanced to the quarterfinals in the boys 14s, with Michael Mmoh(1), Chan Yeong Oh(2) and Nathan Ponwith(3) all winning their fourth round matches in straight sets.  Mmoh will meet unseeded Zeke Clark of the US, who defeated his second seed in two days, taking out a No. 9 seed, Nicolas Bacella of Argentina, 6-1, 6-2 today.   Ponwith made it three Americans in the top half with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over No. 17 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, and he will play Chien Hzun Lo of Taiwan Friday.

Oh meets No. 6 seed Marko Osmakcic of Switzerland, and No. 4 seed Mikael Ymer of Sweden faces No. 5 seed Jay Clarke of Great Britain.

The girls 14s will move from Crandon Park to the University of Miami for Friday's quarterfinals, with two British, two Hungarian and two American girls among the final eight.

Gabriella Taylor of Great Britain, a 17 seed, will play No. 1 seed Dalma Galfi of Hungary, and No. 9 seed CC Bellis of the US, a finalist in the 12s Junior Orange Bowl last year, will play Eddie Herr champion and No. 5 seed Fanni Stollar of Hungary.

Alexis Nelson of the US, a No. 9 seed, will play Theo Gravouil of France, a 17 seed, and No. 8 seed Maia Lumsden of Great Britain meets unseeded Nikolina Jovic of Serbia.

For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.


Java Joe said...

Great sportsmanship by Blake Croydet!