Schedule a training visit to the prestigious Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, MD by clicking on the banner above

Friday, December 13, 2019

Eddie Herr ITF Recap; Montgomery, Pitts Reach Orange Bowl Quarterfinals; Eddie Herr 16s Champions Advance to Semis at Orange Bowl

©Colette Lewis 2019--

Plantation FL--

My recap of last week's Eddie Herr ITF is up today at the Tennis Recruiting Network, and two of the finalists are still in the running for an Orange Bowl title this week: girls finalist Jana Kolodynska and boys champion Thiago Tirante.

Girls Eddie Herr champion Eva Lys of Germany, who played nine matches in nine days in Bradenton, ran out of gas in today's second round match with Barbora Palicova of the Czech Republic, retiring after dropping the first set 7-6(3). Kolodynska is still going strong, beating No. 3 seed Alexandra Yepifanova of the US 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 in the second round and No. 15 seed Giulia Morlet of France 6-3, 6-2 in the third round.  Tirante, who had managed to complete his second round match on Thursday, won his 15th straight match today, beating No. 13 seed Felix Gill of Great Britain 7-5, 6-2.
Thankfully the rain that plagued the tournament Wednesday and Thursday did not reappear today, with many players scheduled to compete in three matches. Nearly half were required to finish their second round singles matches this morning and play their third round this afternoon, including the only unseeded player remaining in the boys draw, Lilian Marmousez of France. Marmousez had won the first set from No. 2 seed Martin Damm 6-4 on Thursday and the match began today at 2-2 in the second set. It was the 17-year-old Marmousez who held his nerve in the tiebreaker, taking it 7-6(1), with a eye-popping volley early in the tiebreaker marking the beginning of the end for Damm.  Marmousez then took on No. 14 seed Lukas Neumayer of Austria, coming back for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory.

"I played two good matches, first one is not my best, but he did a lot of mistakes," said the 17-year-old, who trains in Paris with Tarik Benhabiles. "I put the ball in the court and hit a winner when I want. In afternoon, a very odd match.  He play very good and we play maybe the same game, so it was a physical match. He pushed me in first set to play defense. He played a great first set, I played not my best."

Marmousez, who has a one-handed backhand, is just happy to be back playing after nearly four months out of competition this summer with a foot injury. He will play No. 9 seed Juan Bautista Torres of Argentina in the quarterfinals. 

Two American boys reached the round of 16, but both came up short in the third set against higher-ranked opponents. No. 16 seed Dali Blanch, the 16s finalist last year, lost to No. 4 seed Pedro Vives Marcos of Spain 7-5, 3-6, 6-0. No. 12 seed Zane Khan, a finalist last year in the 18s, lost to No. 6 seed Arthur Cazaux of France 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2.  Cazaux plays No. 15 seed Martin Krumich of the Czech Republic and Vives Marcos takes on No. 6 seed Jeffrey Von Der Schulenburg of Switzerland. Tirante's quarterfinal opponent is No. 7 seed Eliakim Coulibaly of Cote d'Ivoire. 
As was the case at the Eddie Herr Grade 1 last week, only two seeded girls have reached the quarterfinals at the Orange Bowl: No. 5 seed Robin Montgomery of the United States and No. 2 seed Alexandra Eala of the Philippines.

Montgomery defeated Eddie Herr semifinalist Elvina Kalieva 6-3, 6-3 to match her 2018 result in Plantation. The 15-year-old from Washington DC, who lost to eventual champion Victoria Jimenez Katsintseva in the second round at the Grade A in Merida and did not play Eddie Herr, was not confident going into the match with the big-hitting Kalieva.

"To be honest I thought I was going to lose," Montgomery said. "So I just came in, all right, last match of the year pretty much, but when I went up 4-1 in the first, I was like, all right, I think I actually have a chance. Then she got coaching, wins the next two games, and the same thing happened in the second set. But I was able to mentally regroup and luckily close it out. She's definitely a tough opponent."

Montgomery's serve might have been the difference in the match.

"My serve definitely pulled me out of some difficult moments," said the left-hander. "I was able to get my mind together before I went to the line to be able to hit a big first serve. At those moments I like to take risks and luckily today, those risks worked."

Montgomery will face the unseeded Palicova, who followed up her abbreviated win over Lys with another that more than made up for it, beating Saki Imamura of Japan 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(6) in a match that lasted more than three hours.

It will be an all-French quarterfinal between Celia Mohr and Julie Belgraver, who both won their third round matches in three sets. Mohr saved four match points in her 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-0 win over Hibah Shaikh of the United States, and Belgraver squeezed past Lauren Anzalotta of Puerto Rico 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(3).

Qualifier Maya Pitts continued her impressive run in her first Grade A event, beating No. 11 seed Mara Guth of Germany 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 after trailing 5-3 in the second set. Pitts takes on Kolodynska in the quarterfinals.

Eala advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over two Americans, beating Emma Jackson 6-3, 7-5 and Skyler Grishuk 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2.

Both the quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Saturday in the 18s.

The semifinals are set in the 16s singles after today's quarterfinal matches, and due to the rain, the 16s tournament will extend to Sunday for both the singles and doubles finals.

Unseeded Gabrielius Guzauskas continued his run, defeating No. 5 seed Bruno Kuzuhara 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to advance against No. 3 seed Marc Ktiri of Spain. Ktiri defeated unseeded Daniel Cohen 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. The other semifinal will also be USA vs Spain, with No. 7 seed Daniel Rincon taking on No. 2 seed Jack Anthrop. Anthrop, who won the Eddie Herr 16s title, took out qualifier Filippos Astreinidis of Greece 6-3, 6-0 to extend his winning streak over the past two weeks to 10 matches. 

Girls 16s Eddie Herr champion Ashlyn Krueger, who is unseeded this week, is also still in the running for consecutive titles. The 15-year-old from Texas came from 5-0 down in the second set to beat Gracie Epps 6-4, 7-5.  Krueger's semifinal opponent is No. 10 seed Victoria Mboko of Canada, who beat No. 13 seed Vivian Ovrootsky 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. 

Clervie Ngounoue, seeded No. 14, defeated Midori Castillo Meza 6-1, 6-0 and will face Bridget Stammel, who won a marathon of a quarterfinal over Alexis Blokhina, also from the US, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).

Because the 18s play two rounds of singles on Saturday, only the doubles quarterfinals are on the schedule, meaning both the semifinals and finals remain to be played on Sunday. Four girls and three boys are still alive in both singles and doubles going into the quarterfinals on Saturday.

For Saturday's order of play, and all doubles results, see the tournament website.