Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Vismane Defeats No. 2 Seed Anisimova, Kirkov Ousts No. 7 Seed Caruana in Second Round Metropolia Orange Bowl Action

©Colette Lewis 2016--
Plantation, FL--

On Monday, Daniela Vismane of Latvia had won a long battle of attrition against wild card Nicole Mossmer 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on a court on one of the most remote courts of the Veltri Tennis Center.  On Wednesday, on Stadium court, the 16-year-old was much happier with the style of play of her opponent, No. 2 seed Amanda Anisimova, and that comfort level translated into a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory.

"It was really hard match for me," Vismane said of her first round win on Monday. "I don't like to play with this kind of player. I like more hitting, so I really wanted to play this match."

Few juniors have the pace and depth that Anisimova possesses, so Vismane had to accept the winners blazing past her on occasion, but she was able to stay in the rallies long enough often enough for Anisimova to commit an error.  After dropping the first set, Anisimova led 3-1 in the second set, but Vismane fought back, got the break back and another won for a 5-4 lead. Serving at 4-4 30-40, Anisimova stopped play on a baseline ball she thought was out, but the chair umpire ruled it good and she lost the point.

Vismane was not able to serve out the match, although she did have a match point at 40-30, but the chair umpire's decision on another baseline ball mark went against her and two points later, Anisimova had broken back for 5-all.

"I was thinking that it was in," Vismane said. "Like on the line. But I really, really wanted to win this match, so I focused on every ball, said keep going, keep going, you can do it. And I forgot it, and played another point."

Vismane led from the first point of the tiebreaker, but even a 6-2 lead was not comfortable for her.

"I was very nervous, because I didn't believe I'm on court and up 6-2 and I can win," said Vismane, who counted the win among her top five performances. "It's really big, the first time I won with a top 10 ranking player."

Vismane will play wild card Whitney Osuigwe, who defeated fellow wild card Lea Ma 0-6, 6-2, 7-6(3).

Top seed Anastasia Potapova struggled a bit on serve, but managed a 6-3, 6-4 win over Sofia Sewing to reach the third round.  No. 3 seed Claire Liu overcame a stern challenge from 14-year-old Vanessa Ong 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 and will play Carson Branstine next.  Branstine took out No. 15 seed Dominique Schaefer 6-1 ,6-2.

No. 5 seed Xiyu Wang of China made an early exit for the second straight week, falling to Mihaela Marculescu of Romania 6-3, 2-6, 7-5. Eddie Herr champion Maria Carle extended her Orange Bowl winning streak to eight matches, with the 2015 16s champion defeating Elysia Bolton 6-4, 6-4. Carle will face No. 4 seed Taylor Johnson in Thursday's third round, with Johnson getting by Fernanda Labrana of Chile 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.  No. 7 seed Usue Arconada will play qualifier Victoria Emma on Thursday, after Arconada defeated qualifier Amanda  Meyer 7-6(3), 6-4 and Emma took out Eddie Herr semifinalist Irina Cantos Siemers of Germany 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Six US boys have advanced to the round of 16: Sam Riffice, Sangeet Sridhar, Alexandre Rotsaert, Oliver Crawford, Danny Thomas and Vasil Kirkov.

Riffice, the No. 13 seed, beat Alan Rubio Fierros of Mexico 7-6(6), 6-2 and will next play qualifier Sridhar, who came back for a 0-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Govind Nanda.  Thomas, a 6-0, 6-4 winner over Nick Hardt of the Dominican Republic, and Crawford, who took out Eddie Herr semifinalist Ergi Kirkin of Turkey 6-1, 6-2 will play in the other all-US third round match.  Rotsaert plays No. 4 seed Yuta Shimizu of Japan, who defeated wild card Lukas Greif 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1.  Rotsaert advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 16 seed Trent Bryde.

Kirkov, who won a grueling first round match over Alberto Lim of the Philippines on Tuesday, had considerably less trouble subduing No. 7 seed Liam Caruana of Italy Wednesday, taking a 6-2, 6-4 decision.

"I felt a little tired after the match, a little tight," Kirkov said of his physical condition after his 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(4) win over Lim. "My muscles were a little tired, but I had a long sleep and recovered well. Today I felt a little tired, but still went out there and just competed and it turned out ok."

Caruana had a 2-0 lead, but surrendered the next six games.

"He started very well, and I think I started a little slow," said Kirkov, 17. "I wasn't in it in the first couple games, but I started playing my game, serving and volleying a little bit and after that I started getting a rhythm. He started making a few errors and from there I just took it. He got a little disappointed in himself. There was just one break in the second, and that's all I needed."

Kirkov signed with IMG back in September, so he will not be playing collegiate tennis.

"It was a big move, the decision was really tough," said Kirkov, who reached the Kalamazoo 18s final this year. "Once I got it done, I felt kind of relieved to get it out of the way. It took the pressure off after that. I just played free. I still have one more year of juniors, but since I've turned pro, I'll focus more on pro tournaments."

Right after the US Open, Kirkov and several other boys in his age group did a six-week physical training block with Jez Green, a fitness expert who worked previously with Andy Murray.

"Six weeks is a pretty long time," Kirkov said. "We did two weeks with no tennis. I'm starting to see some of the effects already, which I didn't expect to, but I'm obviously getting stronger and more fit from those six weeks. And I think I'll see more results from the fitness in a couple of months."

In addition to Futures tournaments, Kirkov may play the Costa Rica Grade 1 at the start of next month, hoping to assure himself a ranking that will get him into the junior slams this summer.

"I'm not trying to go to South American or anything, but maybe do well in Costa Rica and hopefully I can have enough points to get in the slams," Kirkov said.

Kirkov will play 2015 16s Orange Bowl champion Sebastian Baez of Argentina in Wednesday's third round. Baez downed Gianni Ross  7-6(2), 6-4.

No. 1 seed Miomir Kecmanovic defeated Finn Bass of Great Britain 6-2 6-2 and No. 2 seed Yibing Wu of China also won in straight sets, although he was down a break in both sets to Siphosothando Montsi of South Africa before recovering for a 6-4, 6-4 win.

After the dust had settled in the third round of the 16s, only one girls seed and four boys seeds have reached Thursday's quarterfinals.

Eddie Herr champion Katie Volynets defeated No. 2 seed Oana Corneanu of Romania 7-6(4), 7-6(4) and No. 3 seed Kacie Harvey fell to Angelica Blake 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3 in a three-hour contest. No. 14 seed Imani Graham is the sole seed to reach the quarterfinals, which feature seven Americans.  Only qualifier Arabella Koller of Austria can prevent a US champion this year.

Four of the last eight in the boys draw are from the US: Drew Baird, Trey Hilderbrand, Steven Sun and No. 4 seed Brian Shi.  No. 3 seed and Eddie Herr champion Anton Matusevich of Great Britain was tested by Joseph Brailovsky, but Matusevich pulled away in the second set of his 7-6(11), 6-2 victory.

The first round of 18s doubles was completed today, with boys top seeds Kecmanovic and Benjamin Sigouin of Canada getting their second straight 6-0, 6-1 victory, this time over Nicolas Mejia of Colombia and Duarte Vale of Portugal. Kecmanovic and Sigouin won the Eddie Herr doubles championship by that same score. The girls No. 1 seeds Olga Danilovic of Serbia and Potapova barely got by Abigail Forbes and Chloe Hamlin 3-6, 6-1, 15-13.

For Thursday's order of play and the complete results, see the USTA's tournament page.


5.0 Player said...

Colette's post yesterday mentioned that Krikov signed a professional contract with IMG in September. I've looked at Kirkov's results and watched some video of him playing. He looks like a talented player with good potential (especially when he fills out) who may some day become a successful professional player. However, I don't understand the timing of his signing. Seems premature to me. He really hasn't had any impressive wins against professionals. He's not even one of the elite junior ITF players yet, but might become one next year in his final year in ITFs. It seems to me that he would be better off signing in 2-5 years from now after he's proven that he can get those top wins. If he waited for better results he also probably would have received a much more lucrative offer.

He mentioned in the article that he feels that "the pressure is off" now that he's signed, but it's been my experience that he might ultimately feel the opposite effect. Every time he loses to a junior or college player who has not turned pro he and many others may feel that he should have won that match because he's "the pro."

Maybe others on this blog who are more familiar with Kirkov can chyme in if they have any insight as to why he chose to go pro now and his talent/potential to make it.

CTF said...

Easy answer - Money and support. I don't know this player, but my guess is the generic answer would apply. It is hard to support yourself and get better. Removing that pressure is huge and allows time to get better.