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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bilokin Beats Bolton for Belated Birthday Gift; Top Seed Bryde Begins Quest for Adidas Easter Bowl Title with First Round Win; Semis Set for 12s and 14s

©Colette Lewis 2017--
Indian Wells, CA--

Margaryta Bilokin wasn't scheduled to play her opening round match at the adidas Easter Bowl ITF until Tuesday, a bit of luck that allowed her to have her 16th birthday celebration Monday with the stress of a tennis match. The Ukrainian native gave herself a belated present today, beating No. 7 seed and International Spring Championships semifinalist Elysia Bolton 6-2, 7-6(2) at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Bilokin was pleased with her preparation and strategy in the match.

"I tried to keep it deep and play aggressive at the same time, and hit it more to her backhand," said Bilokin, who recently moved from Connecticut to the IMG Academy in Florida. "I did my homework, I was well prepared for the match and I stayed focused."

Even with that mindset, Bilokin was beginning to worry after she failed to convert four match points prior to the the tiebreaker.

"I was getting a little nervous because I wasn't really playing during those points the way I played the whole match," Bilokin said. "But eventually in the tiebreaker, I was able to come back to my game."

Bilokin is playing in her first Easter Bowl this year and the tournament has made a good first impression.  "I like the facility, I like the tennis courts, and everything is well organized."

Bolton was the only seed playing today who failed to advance to Wednesday's second round. No. 2 seed Taylor Johnson defeated qualifier Chloe Hamlin 6-1, 6-0 and 2016 finalist and No. 4 seed Ellie Douglas beat Jessica Anzo 6-3, 6-0.  Johnson will play wild card Kelly Chen, who she also met in the second round last week in Carson, with Johnson saving a match point in her nearly four-hour 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-6(3) victory.

The top three seeds in the boys ITF draw were in action Tuesday, with No. 3 seed Vasil Kirkov and 2016 champion Gianni Ross, the No. 2 seed, earning straight-sets victories over Alexander Brown and Conrad Russell respectively.  Top seed Trent Bryde defeated qualifier Benjamin Gollin 6-1, 7-6(4), a match he was happy to win after suffering a first round defeat last week as the top seed in the International Spring Championships in Carson.

"I had never heard of him," Bryde said. "I just wanted to play my game, after the tough first round last week, I just wanted to get through it.  I played solid and I was up 6-1, 4-1, a double break, and the balls were getting a little old and he was able to tee off a little more because the balls were a little slower. So it took some adjusting for me. I was down 5-4 and saved a set point, then I was up 6-5, 40-15, but he fought his way back. But in the breaker, I just played really solid."

Bryde won the first ITF single title of his career last month in Brazil, at the Grade A in Porto Alegre, moving his ranking into the ITF Top 10 for the first time. Although Bryde has played on the South American clay numerous times, he admitted his preparation for that tournament was unconventional.

"A couple of months before that and even going to Australia, I wasn't having good results," said Bryde, who trains at Lifetime Fitness in the Atlanta area. "I wasn't too confident in my game at all, actually. I was originally supposed to play the Grade 1 (Banana Bowl) before, but after Australia, I said no, I don't even want to go, I'm playing not good, I just want to train a little bit. So I didn't go in with much expectation and a lot of things went right for me.  I actually didn't train on even green clay before. I trained on indoor hard to get ready for it.  I was hitting with Donald Young, because he had Memphis coming up on indoor hard.  So when I got [to Brazil] it didn't feel bad, the ball felt slower after playing with Donald and playing indoors, so that helped me a little bit. I felt like I had a lot of time."

Bryde said hitting with Young and former NC State star James McGee, who is ranked 212, has benefited him in countless ways.

"Honestly, just hitting against those guys and asking questions, they want nothing but to just help you," said Bryde, a junior who has yet to begin exploring any college options. "They give you a lot of guidance and are really helpful and to see the ball at that high level is really incredible. It's really good for me."

Bryde and Alafia Ayeni are seeded no. 1 in doubles and they opened doubles play today with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Nevin Arimilli and Bill Duo. Girls top seeds Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe received a first round bye.

For complete results from today, see the ITF junior website.

Links to the live stream and Wednesday's order of play can be found at the tournament website.

The semifinals are set for the 12s and 14s divisions, with the results from the quarterfinals below.  The doubles finals are to follow the singles semifinals Wednesday.  Complete draws are available at the TennisLink site.

Tuesday, March 28
Boys' 12 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)
Nishesh Basavareddy (Carmel, IN) def. Nicholas Godsick (Chagrin Falls, OH) 6-3; 6-2
Cooper Williams (4) (New York, NY) def. John Kim (Sunnyvale, CA) 0-6; 6-0; 10-3
Lucas Brown (3) (Plano, TX) def. Ethan Schiffman (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) 6-1; 6-2
Kyle Kang (Fullerton, CA) def. Will Mayew (5) (Chapel Hill, NC) 6-4; 6-1

Boys' 14 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)
Maxwell McKennon (1) (Newport Beach, CA) def. Griffin Daehnke (6) (San Clemente, CA) 3-6; 6-4; 6-3
Alexander Bernard (9) (Bonita Springs, FL) def. Noah Gampel (15) (Calabasas, CA) 7-6(5); 6-0
Martin Damm (Bradenton, FL) def. Timothy Li (16) (Valley Village, CA) 6-3; 6-4
Aryan Chaudhary (2) (Santa Clara, CA) def. Alex Lin (7) (Gold River, CA) 7-6(7); 6-4

Girls' 12 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)
Matilyn Wang (1) (Scottsdale, AZ) def. Lamija Avdic (Kirkland, WA) 6-3; 6-4
Eleana Yu (Mason, OH) def. Reese Brantmeier (Whitewater, WI) 7-5; 6-4
Violeta Martinez (9) (Port Saint Lucie, FL) def. Alexis Blokhina (15) (Plantation, FL) 6-3; 3-6; 10-8
Priya Nelson (Sacramento, CA) def. Ava Krug (12) (Lakewood Ranch, FL) 6-3; 6-1

Girls' 14 Singles (Quarterfinal Round) 
Gianna Pielet (1) (El Paso, TX) def. Kimberly Hance (Torrance, CA) 6-2; 6-1
Kailey Evans (6) (Ennis, TX) def. Jennifer Kida (9) (Wilmington, CA) 6-1; 6-1
Connie Ma (14) (Dublin, CA) def. Emma Jackson (4) (LA Grange Park, IL) 6-0; 6-1
Charlotte Owensby (8) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Hina Inoue (Huntington Beach, CA) 6-1; 6-4