Monday, August 6, 2018

Rain Cancels 18s Third Round, Sends Most 16s Third Round Matches Indoors at USTA Boys 16s and 18s Nationals; US Teams Open ITF World Junior Tennis Competition with Shutouts; Klahn Clinches US Open Wild Card

©Colette Lewis 2018--
Kalamazoo, MI--

Thanks to rain that began at 8 a.m. Monday and extended into the afternoon, the boys 18s division did not play any singles matches for the second straight day.  After a planned day off from singles on Sunday, Monday's weather further delayed the third round of the 18s singles, but the 16s singles third round was completed, with 26 of the 32 matches played indoors at Kalamazoo College's Markin Racquet Center.

With only four courts and quite a few three set matches, many players who were originally scheduled for Monday morning didn't play until late in the afternoon.  When skies finally cleared and the Stowe courts dried, it was 6 p.m., but the final six matches, including those of top seeds Keshav Chopra and Max McKennon, were started and finished outdoors.

Although Chopra dropped his first set to No. 34 seed Cash Hanzlik and McKennon needed a tiebreaker in his opener, both advanced to the fourth round.  Chopra posted a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory and McKennon defeated No. 64 seed Nadim Motaghedi 7-6(6), 6-3.

No. 3 seed Alex Lee and No. 4 seed Zane Khan, who played indoors,  won easily, with Lee defeating unseeded Brian Chong 6-2, 6-1 and Khan beating No. 35 seed Trinity Grear by the same score.

No. 5 seed and Clay Court champion Logan Zapp survived a stiff challenge from unseeded Harry Yang 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4, but No. 6 seed Zachery Lim, the International Spring 16s champion fell to No. 45 seed Alexander Kiefer 6-4, 6-3.  Kiefer ran out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, with Lim struggling to find the court to start, but as Lim began to play better, Kiefer was able to sustain his level and showed no sign of nerves as victory was in his sights.  Kiefer said the last-minute change of venue was difficult at first, but he adjust quickly.

"It's not easy," said the 16-year-old. "I had an 8 a.m. match and I came here and I didn't expect it, but they told me we were going indoors. I just had to stay calm.  I live in Florida, not many indoor courts there, but I had a good warmup this morning and I felt good and I was calm."

Kiefer could tell that his ability to stay in points was frustrating Lim.

"I played a good match, I ran for every ball, and I think I broke him a little mentally, just by getting to every ball," Kiefer said. "I knew who he was, he's a great player and I respect him. He's got some good wins and good results, so I was 100 percent prepared to have a hard fight."

Kiefer lost in the third round last year in Kalamazoo, so was pleased with exceeding that result.

"I lost in this round last year, so this is even sweeter," Kiefer said. "It feels great and hopefully I can win a couple more."

Due to the rain, no 16s doubles were played Monday, so two rounds of 16s doubles are scheduled for Tuesday, as well as the fourth round of singles. All 16s main draw matches are scheduled to be played at the Western Michigan courts, with the third round of 18s singles and fourth round of 18s doubles at Stowe Tuesday.

For all results from Monday's 16s third round matches, see ustaboys.com.

The ITF's World Junior Tennis team competition is underway in the Czech Republic, with the US teams both seeded No. 2 overall in the 16-team events.  The round robin portion of the competition began today, with the US boys defeating Peru 3-0, with Victor Lilov and Evan Wen winning in singles and then partnering for the doubles victory and the sweep.  The girls defeated Venezuela 3-0, with Robin Montgomery and Reese Brantmeier getting the singles wins and Montgomery and Katrina Scott teaming up for doubles.  France is the top seed in the boys competition and the Czech Republic is No. 1 in the girls competition.

For complete results, see the ITF tournament page.  Live scoring is available here.

Bradley Klahn qualified for the ATP Masters 1000 in Toronto yesterday, then picked up his first win at that level today, beating David Ferrer of Spain 7-6(5), 6-4.  With that victory, Klahn clinched the USTA's US Open Wild Card, which goes to the player who accumulates the most points during a stretch of hard-court tournaments designated for the wild card challenge. 

For more on Klahn's wild card, and on the women's wild card, which is not yet decided, see this release from the USTA.