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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Yucatan Champion Parry Finds Form to Beat Thirteen-Year-Old in Eddie Herr ITF Second Round; Martin and Harper Beat Top Boys Doubles Seeds; Both No. 1 Seeds Fall in 14s Division

©Colette Lewis 2018--
Bradenton, FL--

Diane Parry isn't difficult to pick out of a crowd of junior girls. The 16-year-old from France, who won the Yucatan Grade A title on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over ITF World Junior No. 1 Clara Burel of France, has the only one-handed backhand in the Eddie Herr International ITF Grade 1 girls draw. The novelty of that shot draws more spectators than usual to her matches, but in today's second round match with wild card Linda Fruhvirtova, the score was what drew the most interest, with the 13-year-old Czech taking the first set 6-0.

Parry, who didn't lose a set all last week, beating both Burel and 2018 French Open girls champion Coco Gauff, took a bathroom break after that shocking first set, and when she returned, her game did too, with the result a 0-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

"I was not moving, I was playing very bad," said Parry, who admitted to some stiffness in her legs before play began this morning. "She was playing well too. She's just [birth year] 2005 and for her age, she play very good, but at the start I was very bad, and just getting better and better."

Parry said Fruhvirtova's pace took some getting used to.

"She was playing very flat, with speed," Parry said. "I was trying to put every ball in court, to move more and more, to try to play my game like I want to play. She was playing very good, so maybe my experience was the difference."

Parry has not always had a one-handed backhand.

"Before I was two-handed," Parry said. "But four or five years ago I changed, because I liked that, and I'm playing good with this one."

Acknowledging that her opponents pick on that side, Parry expects to hit a lot of shots high to the backhand.

"With just one hand, it is difficult to play above the shoulders," Parry said. "So of course, every girl does that."

But that strategy gives Parry practice on improving that shot, and she has seen her backhand get better each year.

"I play faster, I can keep long points going on it," Parry said. "I think it gets better from tournament to tournament, year after year."

Parry was one of four girls seeds to go three sets in the second round Wednesday, played in unseasonably cold temperatures in the 50s.

No. 2 seed Qinwen Zheng of China dropped the first set to Manon Leonard of France, but survived 5-7, 7-5, 6-4; No. 11 seed Adrienn Nagy of Hungary ended the run of qualifier Sasha Yepifanova 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 and No. 16 seed Georgia Drummy of Ireland came back for a 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over Ana Geller of Argentina.

American girls advancing to Thursday's round of 16 are top seed Alexa Noel, who beat Diana Khodan of Ukraine 6-2, 6-4; qualifier Abigail Forbes, who defeated Helene Pellicano of Malta 6-3 ,7-5; No. 5 seed Elli Mandlik, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over qualifier Alexandra Vecic of German; Kylie Collins, who beat Else Jacquemot of France 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-1 and No. 13 seed Gabby Price, who defeated Himari Sato of Japan 7-6(5), 6-3.

No. 3 seed Lea Ma was beaten by Maria Shusharina of Russia 7-6(2), 6-2, with Ma the only seeded girl to lose Wednesday, with 13 in action.

Four US boys advanced to the round of 16, with the only unseeded player among them Zane Khan, who defeated Natan Rodrigues of Brazil 6-3, 6-3.  No. 16 seed Emilio Nava beat Cezar Cretu of Romania 7-6(5), 6-4; No. 9 seed Tyler Zink defeated Yucatan finalist Liam Draxl of Canada 6-1, 6-3 and No. 11 seed Govind Nanda came back for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Sebastian Rodriguez of Peru. 

Top seed Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria was tested in the second set of his 6-1, 6-4 win over Arthur Pantino of the Philippines and will face Nava next.  No. 2 seed Nicolas Mejia had no difficulty with Joao Ferreira of Brazil, winning 6-0, 6-1 and he will play qualifier Max Westphal of France next.

No. 13 seed Eliot Spizzirri, who won the Grade 1 in Campeche two weeks ago on hard courts, lost to Andrew Paulson of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The top two seeds in singles were also the top two seeds in doubles, but both are now out after losses in today's second round of doubles.

Mejia and Filip Jianu of Romania lost to Andres Martin and Canada's Cleeve Harper 6-2, 1-6, 13-11, with the training partners at Smith Stearns Tennis Academy saving three match points in the tiebreaker.

"It was basically the returns that made the difference for us," said Harper, who will begin playing at the University of Texas in January. "I just try to stay solid, and if they hit a winner, it's just too good."

"He was hitting all the match points," said Martin, who has committed to Georgia Tech. "I was just holding my position at the net, hoping they would hit it at me so I could hit a volley, but I thought we both played pretty good."

Although they train together, Harper and Martin are playing as a team for just the third time, and had won only one match before this tournament, but they are expecting more this week.

"I think we should [go on to win the tournament]," Martin said. "We should keep doing well at least," added Harper. "Just focus on our returns and see how it goes."

Andreev and his partner Anton Matusevich of Great Britain, the No. 2 seeds and US Open boys doubles champions, lost to Roko Horvat and Admir Kalender of Croatia 2-6, 7-6(2), 10-7. Andreev won the Eddie Herr ITF doubles title last year with Keenan Mayo.

No. 3 seeds Sergey Fomin of Uzbekistan and Gauthier Onclin of Belgium lost to Drew Baird and Aidan Mayo 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.

The girls doubles draw lost its No. 2 seeds when Alexa Noel, playing with Parry, turned her ankle early in the match with Olympe Lancelot and Lola Marandel of France. She played a few more games, but retired at 5-4 in the first set, with her status for singles Thursday unclear.

The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds also lost, with Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine and Drummy losing to Natsumi Kawaguchi of Japan and Alexandra Vagramov of Canada 6-3, 7-5 and Loudmilla Bencheikh and Yasmine Mansouri of France falling to Kacie Harvey and Natasha Subhash 3-6, 6-4, 10-1. 

Top seeds Ma and Zheng beat Ana Cruz of Brazil and Viktoriya Petrenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-0.

Both top seeds in the 14s lost in third round action today, with No. 9 seed Kenta Nakamura of Japan defeating Juncheng(Jerry) Shang, last year's Eddie Herr 12 champion, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and unseeded Kim Dainhee of Korea beating Ozlem Uslu of Turkey 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

The quarterfinals in the 14s are set for Thursday morning, with three US girls and three US boys in action.  The boys are John Kim[5], Kyle Kang[6] and Fnu Nidunjianzan[2]. Kang and Nidunjianzan play each other for a place in the semifinals.  The girls are Alexis Blokhina[10], Clervie Ngounoue[6] and Liv Hovde.

The 12s quarterfinals, also Thursday morning, feature two US girls--Brooklyn Olson[1] and Natalia Perez[4]--and five US boys: Rudy Quan[1], Thomas Faurel[8], Maximus Dussault[6], Quang Duong[5], Alexander Frusina[3].

Results from today's third round in 12s and 14s, and the second round of 16s can be found at the TennisLink site.