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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Top Seed Ramazzotti Survives Scare; Second Seed Kecmanovic Eases into Eddie Herr Final Rematch with Kypson

©Colette Lewis 2013--
Coral Gables, FL--

Top seed Samuele Ramazzotti was in a precarious position in his third round boys 14s match Thursday against Trent Bryde, a No. 17 seed. Serving at 3-4 in the third set, the 14-year-old Italian had seen a 40-0 lead disappear, and he was cramping.

Bryde had blasted two straight forehand return winners off Ramazzotti's second serve, then fired a perfect forehand pass down the line to earn a break point. A blustery crosswind added to the challenge, but Ramazzotti managed to come up with a big shot when he needed it, hitting a backhand overhead winner to save the break point.  Bryde, from Suwanee, Georgia, earned another break point, but netted the second serve return he had twice hit for winners earlier in the game. Ramazzotti closed out the game with a difficult overhead, and Bryde's chance was gone. He was broken in the next game, when Ramazzotti hit a backhand drop volley winner that Bryde could only applaud.

Ramazzotti served out the final game at love, but admitted after the match that he was struggling physically, and he had an extensive stretching session later.

One player who showed no signs of physical problems is 13-year-old Nicaise Muamba of Canada, who defeated Juan Otegui, a No. 5 seed from Argentina, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.  Muamba, a No. 17 seed, has now won three straight three-set matches, two from a set down.

"I played very well," said Muamba, who lost to Otegui last week in the semifinals of the Nike Junior Tour International Masters tournament in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, but brought a new strategy into this contest. "I played more on his forehand, because his backhand is better. I'm happy to beat him; he's a pretty good player."

Muamba, who has been at Tennis Canada's National Training Centre in Montreal for three years, is playing in his first Junior Orange Bowl.

"It's a good tournament, tough matches, and it's a very big draw," Muamba said.

Otegui was one of three No. 5 seeds to exit in third round play at the Schiff Tennis Center at the University of Miami.  Ergi Kirkin of Turkey fell to qualifier Jonas Ziverts of Sweden 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, and Brian Cernoch, the reigning USTA boys 14s champion, suffered a hip injury and had to retire to Rudolf Molleker of Germany. Leading 7-5, 1-0, Cernoch had extensive wrapping on his right hip, but was only able to dink serves in, with the big left-hander losing the next six games before retiring.

While I was watching the Ramazzotti - Bryde match, which was engrossing and well played, there was drama on another court when No. 17 seed Nicolas Mejia of Colombia was defaulted in his match with Kento Perera of the United States, with Perera leading 6-3, 1-2.  I didn't see the progression of point penalities, but according to reports, it was an overrule on a line call that sent Mejia over the edge and he was defaulted. There was then an argument between the two players' coaches that resulted in the police being called, but when the officer arrived, Perera's coach lodged his complaint against Mejia's coach and asked for an escort off the property, and the matter was considered closed.

Three of the matches in the boys 14s Thursday were all-American affairs between No. 9 seeds and No. 17 seeds, with the 9 seeds winning all three.

Sam Riffice defeated Vasil Kirkov 6-4, 7-5, Kyrylo Tsygura beat William Howells 6-1, 2-6, 6-2, and Patrick Kypson downed Gianni Ross 6-4, 6-1.

Tsygura said he went away from his usual game style to overcome Howells.

"I was moonballing and hitting drop shots," said Tsygura, a semifinalist at both the USTA Clay Courts and Hard Courts this year. "It's my usual style, but it was working against who I was playing. I was giving him short balls, because he was struggling putting them away. I was giving him no pace, and it worked."

Tsygura figures he will have to adjust against his opponent Friday, qualifier Ziverts.

"I'm going to have to play differently," Tsygura said. "I'm going to have to change the pace more and I'm going to have to hit it deep, because I know my opponent is a big hitter."

On Friday, Kypson will be facing No. 2 seed Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia for the second time in three weeks, eager to get another shot at Kecmanovic after losing to him in the Eddie Herr final 6-2, 6-1.

"I didn't play very well the last time we played," said Kypson. "At 2-all in the first set, we played a long point and I got tired. My fitness was kind of lacking, but I'm ready for tomorrow, fresh."

Kypson escaped in his second round match Wednesday with Andrew Fenty 4-6, 6-1, 7-5, and he admitted he hadn't seen his opponent as a serious threat.

"Going into the match, I kind of doubted my opponent a little bit," said Kypson, who often trains with Fenty at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland. "I thought it was going to be a little bit easier than it was. I kind of took him lightly, and I definitely learned a lesson from that. But I actually don't mind playing long matches. I like being out on the court, so keep me out there as long as you want."

Kecmanovic advanced to the rematch with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Alafia Ayeni on one of the site's back courts.

The top two seeds in the girls 14s, Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic and Claire Liu, had straightforward wins Thursday at Crandon Park, but No. 4 seed Olesia Pervushina of Russia was beaten by qualifier Tatiana Pieri of Italy 7-6(4), 7-5.  That quarter of the draw, which includes Americans Jada Robinson and 12-year-old Abigail Desiatnikov, the Junior Orange Bowl 12s champion last year, has no seeded players left in it.

The top four seeds in the girls 12s continued to breeze, with Anastasia Potapova of Russia, Hurricane Tyra Black, Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and Amanda Anisimova all winning their third round matches in straight sets. Natasha Subhash(9), Lea Ma, Jessi Muljat, Sanyukta Gawande and Sophia Edwards(9) also won, giving the United States seven of the players in the final 16.

The three remaining No. 1 seeds in the boys 12s advanced, with Adam Neff, Brandon Nakashima and Bulgaria's Adrian Andreev advancing to Friday's round of 16 in straight sets. Nathan Han(9), William Grant and Cannon Kingsley(9) are the three other Americans in the round of 16.

For complete results, see the TennisLink site.