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Monday, November 30, 2015

Top Seeds Galfi, Ruud Post Opening Round Wins at ITF Grade 1 Eddie Herr; Yucatan Champion, Finalists Earn Victories

©Colette Lewis 2015--
Bradenton, FL--

Eddie Herr ITF seeds received a warm welcome on Monday at the IMG Academy, with 25 of the 28 in action advancing to the second round.

Top seed and defending champion Dalma Galfi of Hungary didn't need a wakeup call for her 7:45 a.m. start time, at least not in her match, as the US Open girls champion quickly took the first set from 14-year-old Yuki Naito and pulled away in the second set for a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Galfi gets another 14-year-old in the second round, Caty McNally, who defeated Nina Kruijer of the Netherlands 6-0, 6-2.

US Open girls finalist and No. 2 seed Sonya Kenin, playing on the Academy Park courts, took out Peru's Dominique Schaefer 6-1, 6-1, but No. 3 seed and Australian Open girls champion Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia had her hands full with Isolde De Jong of the Netherlands before posting a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory. De Jong double faulted twice from 30-all serving at 4-5 to end what was until that stage an ultra competitive and well played match. Kenin plays 14-year-old Olga Danilovic of Serbia, while Mihalikova will play the winner of Tuesday's match between Kelly Chen and Ali Collins of Great Britain.

The only girls seed to fall of the 13 playing Monday was No. 8 seed Pranjala Yadlapalli of India, who was defeated by Morgan Coppoc 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-3 in another lengthy match.  Coppoc, who had played both tournaments in Mexico prior to the Eddie Herr, admitted that clay is not something she trains on much, but she can use her skills on it.

 "I'm from Oklahoma and we don't have a lot of clay, so I mostly play on hard courts, mostly indoor," said the 16-year-old from Tulsa, who has already committed to Georgia. "But I slide a lot on hard courts, so clay kind of fits my physicality."

Coppoc had never played Yadlapalli, but she was anticipating a tough match.

"I asked a friend who had played her for tips, and she said [Yadlapalli] hit really flat," Coppoc said. "So I tried to play it really heavy, get it above her strike zone. She hit a lot of great shots, and in the second set, she wasn't missing many backhands. Her forehand was her stronger shot, I felt, so I was keeping everything to her backhand, but in the second set she was getting used to it, making more, and I was also double faulting because I was getting tight and nervous. But in the third set, I just went out there and said, if I lose, I'm going to lose playing my game and I pulled it all together."

Coppoc's opponent in Wednesday's second round will be lucky loser Taylor Russo, who defeated Maria Jose Portillo Ramirez of Mexico 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, in a match with many a Vamos and C'mon.

Yucatan champion Kayla Day, the No. 9 seed, defeated 14-year-old Natasha Subhash 6-2, 6-4, overcoming a second set dip to win the final five games of the match.

"I think I was a little bit fatigued in the second set," said Day, who didn't arrive in Bradenton until 8 p.m. Sunday night after playing the singles and doubles finals Saturday evening. "I got off to a really good start in the first set, but then it started wearing me down. My arm is definitely fatigued, but I was able to fight through it, just forget about it and get through this match, because I'll have a day off tomorrow."

Day, who survived a bout of food poisoning in the early days of the Yucatan Cup, gave Subhash credit for forcing her to re-energize.

"She was serving a lot better, making more first serves," Day said. "But I was hitting it shorter, so she was able to attack more. I wasn't on offense as much as I would have liked. But then I started serving better, and she started to make a few more errors, so that helped me."

No. 7 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who lost to Day in the Yucatan final, advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Panna Udvardy of Hungary.

Kenneth Raisma of Estonia, the No. 16 seed, was also a Yucatan finalist, and he too negotiated the quick turnaround, defeating wild card Nathan Perrone 6-2, 6-3.

Perrone was one of a dozen US boys to lose in the first round, while only four recorded victories.

Wild card Oliver Crawford held his own with top seed Casper Ruud of Norway, but suffered a break serving at 2-3 in the first, and couldn't find a way past the ITF's fifth-ranked player, who played well throughout the match. No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who won his first Futures title two weeks ago, looked exceptionally sharp in a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mwendwa Mbithi.

One of the four US boys wins came from Vasil Kirkov, who took out No. 11 seed Youssef Hossam of Egypt, a finalist at the Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano two weeks ago, 7-6(7), 6-4.  Unfortunately, Kirkov will face another US boy in the second round Wednesday, Zeke Clark, who defeated Yshai Oliel of Israel 6-3, 6-4.  The two seeded US boys also advanced, with No. 9 seed Nathan Ponwith beating Mattias Siimar of Estonia 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 and No. 12 seed Ulises Blanch defeating lucky loser Christos Antonopoulos of Greece 6-1, 7-6(0).

Four US boys--JJ Wolf, Trent Bryde and qualifiers Adam Ambrozy and John McNally--play their first round matches on Tuesday.

In addition to Coppoc, Russo, Day, McNally and Kenin, eight other US girls won their opening matches: Kylie McKenzie, Claire Liu, Abigail Desiatnikov, Kariann Pierre-Louis, Sofia Sewing, Michaela Gordon(11), Alexandra Sanford(15) and Abierto Juvenil Mexicano champion Amanda Anisimova.  Eight more American girls will play first round matches Tuesday: Ingrid Neel(12), Kelly Chen, Ellie Douglas and qualifiers Victoria Emma, Jessica Livianu, Hanna Chang, Sabina Dadaciu and Meibel Chi.

Doubles also begin on Tuesday, with Galfi and Mihalikova the top girls seeds, and Ruud and Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia No. 1 in the boys draw.

Draws and Tuesday's order of play can be found at eddieherr.com.

The opening round in the top half of the 12s, 14s and 16s draws was completed Monday, with one top seed eliminated. Yeonwoo Ku of Korea defeated Girls 12s No. 1 Daria Lopatetska of Ukraine 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

The bottom half of the six draws will be played on Tuesday, with doubles starting on Wednesday.

Results and Tuesday's match times can be found at the TennisLink site.