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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quiet Day for 18s Seeds as Orange Bowl First Round Concludes; Golovin Ousts Top Seed Renaud in Girls 16s

©Colette Lewis 2012--
Plantation, FL--

The threatening skies that surrounded the Frank Veltri Tennis Center didn't produce the expected rain, but that was one of the few surprises Tuesday at the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships.

Monday's elimination of six seeds--four in the boys 18s and two in the girls 18s--didn't prove to be a trend, with all seeded players advancing to the second round.

Top seed Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy posted the first Orange Bowl 18s victory of his career, defeating Lucas Gomez 6-2, 6-2, while No. 2 seed Frederico Silva of Portugal won a tough first set from US qualifier Henry Craig, then took control of the second set for a 7-6(3), 6-2 win.

Eddie Herr champion Christian Garin and Ana Konjuh continued their winning streaks, with No. 6 seed Garin downing Jared Donaldson of the US 6-3, 6-1 and Ana Konjuh of Croatia, the No. 7 seed, confidently moving past Tornado Black of the US 6-1, 6-3.

No. 4 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and No. 2 seed Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic were tested in their first round matches.

Rebecca Peterson of Sweden served for the match against Bencic at 5-3 in the third set, but the 15-year-old from Switzerland collected herself, eliminated her errors and won the final four games of the match for a 2-6, 6-2. 7-5 victory.

Siniakova, who according to the ITF still has an opportunity to finish the year as the ITF World Junior Champion, had trouble shaking US qualifier Nicole Frenkel before eventually posting a 7-6(4), 6-2 win. Siniakova led the first set 5-2 before the 14-year-old left-handed charged back to force a tiebreaker, but Siniakova's experience told at the end of the tiebreaker, when she maneuvered Frenkel around the court, forcing errors on the final three points.

The second set was more of the same from Siniakova, but Frenkel kept pushing, even when down 4-1, breaking Siniakova in the next game. But the 16-year-old right-hander took advantage of Frenkel's second serve on break point in the next game, blasting a return winner, and she finished it out without any problems in the next game.

Jessica Golovin surprised girls 16s top seed Johnnise Renaud in the second round Tuesday morning, taking a 7-6(0), 1-6, 6-3 decision an all-American contest on the grandstand court.

Golovin broke Renaud at 3-3 in the third set, then held for 5-3, using power and several off-pace slices and drop shots to keep Renaud guessing.

"I feel like I should mix it up," said the 15-year-old, who trains at the John McEnroe Academy on Randall's Island in New York. "If the girl's either off balance, or not expecting it. It's always great to have variety in girls tennis, because most girls just hit with a lot of power."

Renaud, who qualified for the Eddie Herr in the 18s, looked tentative throughout the later stages of the match, with Golovin controlling the bulk of the points.  It wasn't easy for Golovin to end it however, as she needed four match points before she finally hit a backhand down the line for a winner to complete the upset.

"To beat the first seed in the Orange Bowl, I guess it's pretty big for me," said Golovin, who was a semifinalist at the Easter Bowl 16s this year. "I tried to give it my all, to go for it, because I knew I had nothing to lose.  For me, it was just a great win."

The 16s Eddie Herr champions, who are changing surfaces this week, kept up their winning ways.  Top boys seed Ku Keong Kang of Korea won his 11th match in the past 12 days, beating Alex Rybakov of the US  6-3, 6-1. Marie Norris, the No. 4 seed, defeated lucky loser Nikki Kallenberg of the US 6-3, 6-4.

Boys 16 No. 2 seed Sumit Nagal of India had the toughest match of the day, needing 3 hours and 42 minutes to get past Petar Conkic of Serbia 6-7(2), 6-2, 7-5.

For complete results from Tuesday's play, as well as the order of play for Wednesday, see the tournament page at usta.com.