Friday, December 19, 2014

Sun Avenges Eddie Herr Loss to Mejia on Day Three of Junior Orange Bowl; Seven US Boys and Five US Girls Reach Saturday's Sweet 16 in 14s Division

©Colette Lewis 2014--
Coral Gables, FL--

Steven Sun didn't have to wait long for his opportunity to avenge his recent Eddie Herr quarterfinal loss to No. 4 seed Nicolas Mejia of Colombia. Meeting in the round of 32 (the fourth round in the new 192-draw for Boys 14s this year) on another clear and warm day at the University of Miami's Neil Schiff Tennis Center, Sun came through with a 6-4, 7-6(1) victory, without making many changes to his game.

"I got thoroughly beaten at Eddie Herr," said Sun, who lost 6-3, 6-2. "I didn't do anything differently, I just executed better."

Sun passed well all day, and on match point hit a dipping forehand pass from well behind the baseline for a clean winner. Sun said he and his new coach Andres Pedroso, the former University of Virginia men's assistant, worked hard in the week between the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl, and he is now feeling comfortable on the court.

Sun, originally from New York but now living in Boca Raton, said his two tough three-set wins prior to his victory over Mejia, helped him get his revenge.

"I think it helps, just to get in a rhythm," said the No. 17 seed, who won the Easter Bowl earlier this year. "It takes a couple of rounds to feel out the courts and stuff."

Roscoe Bellamy, the No. 7 seed, had very little opportunity to do that in his first two matches, winning both his previous matches 6-0, 6-0.  On Friday, Bellamy was tested by unseeded Luka Vukovic of Canada, but came through with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory.

Bellamy gave credit to Vukovic for breaking the string of 25 straight games won to start the tournament.

"He made a lot more balls and he was a lot more aggressive and could do more with the ball," Bellamy said, when asked how Vukovic compared to his previous two opponents.

Vukovic served for the second set at 5-4, and had set points, but Bellamy hung on to get the game when Vukovic double faulted.  In the tiebreaker, Bellamy had a slim 4-3 lead, but earned three match points with an excellent drop shot winner and a good first serve, converting the first match point when Vukovic's forehand went wide.

"I definitely didn't play my best the whole entire match," said Bellamy, who admitted he did briefly think about the loss of his first game of the tournament, "but I started competing a little better at the end."

Bellamy, a semifinalist at the Eddie Herr, was disappointed with the way that tournament ended for him.

"I thought I could have won the match I lost in the semifinals (to Mejia)," Bellamy said. "I played Nicolas, he's a good player, and had a tight match with him, but either set could have gone either way."

Sun and Bellamy are joined in the round of 16 by fellow Americans William Woodall(9), Christian Alshon(9), Brian Shi(5), Keenan Mayo(3) and unseeded Andrew Fenty, who has lost only 12 games in his first four matches.  The only all-American match on Saturday is Alshon vs. Shi. Woodall plays top seed Yshai Oliel of Israel, who beat Karlo Suevich(17) of Croatia 6-1, 6-1.

In the boys 12s, six US boys advanced to the round of 16, including all three seeds.  No. 1s Zane Khan and Nicholas Garcia advanced in straight sets, and No. 9 seed Aidan Mayo, Keenan's younger brother, moved on when Faris Khan retired with a back injury trailing 6-1, 2-1.  Unseeded Spencer Brachman and Saud Alhogbani reached the fourth round, as did qualifier Alexander Bernard. 

At the girls 14s, the Top 7 seeds all won, including No. 4 seed Taylor Johnson and No. 6 seed Caty McNally of the US.  Ninth-seeded Americans Elysia Bolton and Anna Brylin reached the fourth round, as did unseeded Amanada Anisimova, who will play top seed Olesia Pervushina of Russia in Saturday's round of 16. Bolton faces No. 2 seed Anastasia Potapova, the Eddie Herr 14s champion.

Six US girls have reached the round of 16 in the 12s at Tropical Park, including Alexa Noel, one of the eight No. 1 seeds. She is joined by No. 9 seeds Gabriella Price and Victoria Hu, and unseeded Charlotte Owensby, Whitney Osuigwe and Cori Gauff.

For complete results, see the TennisLink site.