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

Thursday, December 5, 2019

November Aces; Thirteen-year-old Ngounoue into Eddie Herr ITF Quarterfinals; Semifinals on Tap for Friday in 12s, 14s and 16s Divisions

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Bradenton FL--

My update on the top performances of last month is available today at the Tennis Recruiting Network. College tennis is on a break for the next few weeks, (although coaches are out in force looking for prospects at both the Eddie Herr and next week's Orange Bowl) but 13 of those featured are future, current or former college players.

Last year at the Eddie Herr, Clervie Ngounoue made the 14s final, losing to Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic. This year, playing in only her second Grade 1 event on the ITF Junior Circuit, the 13-year-old wild card from Washington DC has reached the quarterfinals, with an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 win over No. 4 seed Melodie Collard of Canada.

Ngounoue said her first serve was a key to controlling the court today.

"My first serve percentage was really high, and that was effective," Ngounoue said. "I think I used the whole court and I wasn't just hitting down the middle. I took my chances when I had them and I think I played very confident today."

Ngounoue agreed that Collard might have run out of energy after reaching the final at the Grade A in Mexico last week and having little time to recover from that.

"She could have been tired," said Ngounoue. "We're also in Florida weather. I had a tough time staying in it yesterday (a three-set win over No. 15 seed Diana Shnaider), I was losing focus and my brain was shutting down."

Because she could not begin to play ITF Junior Circuit events until she turned 13 in July, Ngounoue has very little experience against Top 100 ITF players, but she never doubted that her game was ready.

"We mostly came into this tournament not really with much expectations, but I wanted to play freely, I didn't want to think about the scores and everything," Ngounoue said.  "I've just been playing, staying focused, staying confident. I know I can play at this level; I've seen myself play at this level."

Next up for Ngounoue is 17-year-old qualifier Eva Lys of Germany, who beat lucky loser Victoria Hu 6-2, 6-1. The other quarterfinal in the top half features top seed Alexandra Eala of the Philippines against unseeded Evialina Laskevich of Belarus.
Like Collard, Merida Grade A champion Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva was stopped in the third round, with Elvina Kalieva taking a 6-2, 6-4 decision from the 14-year-old from Andorra. Kalieva did not play in Mexico last week, opting instead for the USTA Pro Circuit $25,000 event in Naples, where she won two qualifying matches and got into the main draw as a lucky loser.

"I played some pretty good matches there and my confidence is a little bit better now," said the 16-year-old, who recently split with her private coach and will be looking for another after this Florida swing.

Kalieva, who won the 2017 Junior Orange Bowl 14s title, was up a break at 4-3 in the second set, lost serve, then won a marathon game to break Jimenez Kasintseva and serve for the match.

"I knew I had to be aggressive; I can't be defensive against her or she's going to attack me," said Kalieva, who is into her second Grade 1 quarterfinal. "So hitting to the middle wasn't a very good idea. I was trying to hit cross court more, move her around; when I had an easy ball I just went for it and it worked out."

Serving out a match can be tricky, but Kalieva, who beat No. 5 seed Dayeon Back of Korea 6-2, 6-0 Wednesday, had no problem despite some jitters.

"I was nervous, because it's 5-4, really close," Kalieva said. "But with my first serve, I just tried to place it, not go for a lot. She's really young, a 2005, and she won last week. She's really good. Maybe she was a bit tired."

Kalieva's quarterfinal opponent is No. 2 seed Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic, who beat Kalieva 6-0, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Grade A in South Africa in September.

"She's a really good player, her shots are really good," Kalieva said. "She hits the ball. I think she's a lot more aggressive than [who I played] today."

As with the top half, the bottom half also has a quarterfinal between unseeded players, with Guillermina Grant of Uruguay taking on Jana Kolodynska of Belarus. Grant defeated wild card Victoria Mboko of Canada 6-1, 6-1, while Kolodynska took out No. 6 seed Maria Timofeeva of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Five seeded boys have advanced to the quarterfinals, but only one match features two seeded players, with No. 2 seed Thiago Tirante of Argentina taking on No. 5 seed Jeffery Von Der Schulenburg of Switzerland.  No. 6 seed Arthur Cazaux of France, who lost to Tirante in the Merida Grade A final Sunday night, plays unseeded Max Alcala Gurri of Spain, who ended the run of 14-year-old wild card Jerry Shang of China 6-1, 6-1.

Gian Luca Tanner of Switzerland, who beat top seed Martin Damm Wednesday, continued his run of form, beating No. 14 seed Elmer Moller of Denmark 6-4, 6-3. Tanner will face No. 8 seed Timo Legout of France, who outlasted No. 11 seed Lukas Neumayer of Austria 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.  No. 9 seed Felix Gill of Great Britain will play unseeded Roman Burruchaga of Argentina in the other quarterfinal in the top half.

Both top-seeded doubles teams fell today in the quarterfinals. No. 5 seeds Alexander Hoogmartens of Belgium and Von Der Schulenburg beat No. 1 seeds Mikolaj Lorens of Poland and Shunsuke Mitsui of Japan 6-3, 6-4. Giulia Morlet of France and Shnaider, the No. 5 seeds, beat No. 1 seeds Fruhvirtova and Kristyna Lavickova of the Czech Republic, coming from 6-2 down in the match tiebreaker to earn a 6-3, 4-6, 10-7 win. Morlet and Shnaider will play unseeded Nanari Katsumi and Manami Ukita of Japan, who beat the unseeded team of Hibah Shaikh and the Czech Republic's Barbora Palicova 3-6, 7-5, 10-2.

Two unseeded American teams will meet in Friday's semifinals, with wild cards Reese Brantmeier and Allie Gretkowski taking on Savannah Broadus and Kylie Collins. Brantmeier and Gretkowski beat Amelia Bissett of Great Britain and Sophie Luescher of Switzerland 7-6(2), 4-6, 10-6. Broadus and Collins defeated Laura Hietaranta of Finland and Janice Tjen of Indonesia 6-4, 6-4.

Friday's order of play

Girls singles draw

Boys singles draw

Girls doubles draw

Boys doubles draw

The semifinals in the 12s, 14s, and 16s divisions are set for Friday, with today's quarterfinal results below. All No. 1 seeds, with the exception of Vivian Ovrootsky, who lost a three-and-a-half-hour battle in the girls 16s, are still alive.  For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.


Alejandro Arcila[1](COL) d. Amir Omarkhanov[9](KAZ) 6-0, 6-3

Maxwell Exsted[3](USA) d. Fumin Jiang CHN) 6-1, 6-2

Manas Dhamne[4](IND) d. Matthew Jintao Yang[16](USA) 6-2, 6-4

Changmin Ryu[2](KOR) d. Varav Samrat Hada[11](NPL) 6-2, 6-2


Mirra Andreeva[1](RUS) d. Maya Iyengar(USA) 7-5, 6-4

Yifei Huang[5](CHN) d. Sapir Cohen(ISR) 7-5, 6-1

Mariia Masiianskaia[6](RUS) d. Brooke Wrigley[4](USA) 6-1, 6-4

Alina Korneeva[2](RUS) d. JiaYi Huang(CHN) 4-6, 6-1, 10-7


Mahai Alexandru Coman[1](ROU) d. Fabio Nestola[11](GBR) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3

Juan Prado[4](BOL) d. Majun Li[8](USA) 6-4, 6-4

Benjamin Kreynes[12](USA) d. Tanner Povey(USA) 6-2, 6-3

Sean Daryabeigi[2](USA) d. Quang Duong[10](USA) 6-4, 6-2


Kayla Cross[1](CAN) d. Luciana Moyano(ARG) 6-1, 6-3

Karsyn Evans[8](USA) d. Nikola Daubnerova[3](SVK) 7-5, 6-3

Lucciana Perez[10](PER) d. Aya El Aouni[6](MAR) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2

Sara Saito[13](JPN) d. Brooklyn Olson[2](USA) 6-0, 6-2


Marko Andrejic[1](AUT) d. Gabrielius Guzauskas [7](USA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1

Azuma Visaya[4](USA) d. Brayden Michna(USA) 5-7, 6-4, 6-1

Spencer Johnson[11](USA) d. Emilano Aguilera Gurrero(MEX) 6-1, 2-6, 6-2

Jack Anthrop[2](USA) d. Jonah Braswell[16](USA) 6-4, 6-4


Lan Mi[5](CHN) d. Vivian Ovrootsky[1](USA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5

Qavia Lopez[7](USA) d. Midori Castillo[4](USA) 6-2, 6-1

Brenda Fruhvirtova [9](CZE) d. Sarah Hamner[3](USA) 6-0, 6-4

Ashlyn Krueger[8](USA) d. Emma Charney[2](USA) 6-1, 6-3


Mark said...

Correction: Her name is "Alina", and not "Ailina Korneeva".

And a question: I read that Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva´s father is from Andorra. But where is her mother from? Her name sounds rather Russian/Moldovan etc.

Another question: About Guillermina Grant. Does she have roots in USA? Father from USA? Her surname "Grant" does not sound like a normal person from Uruguay.

Thanks for you answer.