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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Top Seed Damm Falls to Tanner in Eddie Herr ITF Second Round, Young Wild Cards Move On; Quarterfinals Set for Thursday in 12s, 14s, 16s

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Bradenton FL--

The boys seeds were able to navigate the first round of singles at the ITF Grade 1 Eddie Herr Championships with only one loss, but the second round was a different story, with three of the top four seeds, including No. 1 Martin Damm, eliminated on a cool but sunny day at the IMG Academy.

The 16-year-old Damm started out well against Gian Luca Tanner of Switzerland early Tuesday on the tournament's featured court, taking the first set 6-3. But Tanner began to find his rhythm and keep himself in points longer to take the second set 6-2. The third set came down to a couple of key points in the third set tiebreaker, with a missed approach shot and a netted backhand volley costing Damm late in the tiebreaker, giving Tanner the 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) victory.

"I was just trying to loosen up a little bit, to get into my rhythm, because I was playing quite tense," said the 18-year-old from Klosters, where the European Championships are played every July. "I had a really good start into the second set and everything started going better from there on."

Tanner knew that if he could relax, he could keep Damm from moving forward and taking control of points that way.

"I think he was playing really aggressive and my shots were not deep enough," said Tanner, who had won only three Grade 1 level matches in his career before this week. "He could dictate the points and I was running a lot. But in the second set, I was playing a little bit deeper and a little bit harder so I could also dictate the points some times."

Tanner had heard that Damm had recently made the final of an $25,000 tournament in Naples Florida two weeks ago, but he also had gained confidence recently.

"I've been playing quite good the last couple of weeks," said Tanner, who has trained with Andr√© van der Merwe at Alpine Tennis Academy in Klosters for the past three years. "And I was quite confident I could compete with him today. It's obviously my best junior win, the highest ranked junior I have beaten. It's also really important for me to win after such a long third set, because I've lost a couple of them in the past, so it was really quite a big relief."

Tanner said he thought Damm was not serving particularly well today, and he managed to break the 6-foot-7 left-hander twice in the third set. At 5-5 in the tiebreaker, Damm netted a backhand approach shot, to give Tanner a match point, which he immediately converted with a backhand return winner.

Tanner decided to come to Florida for the last two big tournaments of his junior career, and he's happy that he did.

"I was thinking about playing pro tournaments, but we decided to come here to compete with the best guys in the world our age," said Tanner, whose career-high ITF ranking is 132. "It's worked out pretty well."

No. 3 seed Shunsuke Mitsui of Japan lost a three-hour battle of attrition with Max Alcala Gurri of Spain 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-1 and No. 4 seed Pedro Vives Marcos of Spain, who was seeded based on his ATP ranking, lost to Lilian Marmousez of France 6-3, 6-2.

American boys went 0-7 today in the second round, with qualifiers Max McKennon, JJ Tracy and Logan Zapp seeing their runs come to an end. Aidan Mayo, Micah Braswell and Andrew Dale also lost.

Dale went out to 14-year-old wild card Juncheng "Jerry" Shang of China in a match that Dale could not complete, with the score 6-4, 3-6, 5-2 ret.

And while Shang has made an impressive Grade 1 debut this week, he is not the youngest wild card to reach the third round, with two 13-year-old girls, Clervie Ngounoue and Canadian Victoria Mboko, beating seeds today to advance.

Ngounoue defeated No. 15 seed Diane Shnaider of Russia 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 and Mboko beat No. 14 seed Ana Geller of Argentina 6-3, 6-1.
While the American boys struggled today, five US girls have reached the round of 16, including qualifier Fiona Crawley and lucky loser Victoria Hu, who met in the final round of qualifying on Sunday. Three of the five US girls who advanced did so at the expense of another American: Crawley beat Hibah Shaikh 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, Hu beat wild card Isabelle Kouzmanov 6-3, 6-3 and Ellie Coleman beat No. 7 seed Savannah Broadus 6-4, 6-2.

Coleman trailed 4-2 in the first set and 2-0 in the second set, putting together streaks of four and six games to earn the win.

"Savannah's a great opponent, a great competitor and I knew it was going to be close going into it," said the 16-year-old Coleman. "I really just wanted to keep calm mentally, and stay within myself, not get too worked up about a point or a game here and there. I think I did a nice job with that and that's why I was able to come back in each set."

Coleman lives in Michigan, so she does not have much opportunity to train on green clay, but she did play last week's Grade A tournament in Merida, winning the doubles title there.

"I like clay," Coleman said. "I like sliding around. I was in Mexico last week, so I kind of got used to clay there, but it's not a huge deal to change back and forth for me."

The fifth American girl to advance to the third round is Elvina Kalieva, who defeated No. 5 seed Dayeon Back of Korea 6-2, 6-0.

Top seed Alexandra Eala of the Philippines had a tough match with Skyler Grishuk, but the 14-year-old was able to come away with a 6-4, 7-5 victory.

The quarterfinals of doubles are set for Thursday, with the only two seeded teams in the girls draw playing each other, as No. 1 Linda Fruhvirtova and Kristyna Lavickova of the Czech Republic face No. 5 seeds Shnaider and Giulia Morlet of France.  Wild cards Reese Brantmeier and Allie Gretkowski advanced to the quarterfinals, as did Broadus and Kylie Collins. Shaikh, playing with Barbora Palicov of the Czech Republic, is the fifth American girl in the doubles last eight.

Five seeded teams remain in the boys doubles, including top seeds Mikolaj Lorens of Poland and Mitsui; none of the three American boys in the second round advanced today.

Thursday's order of play

Girls singles draw

Boys singles draw

Girls doubles draw

Boys doubles draw

The quarterfinals are set for the 12s, 14s, and 16 divisions, with the top two seeds in all six divisions still alive for the titles. See the TennisLink site for complete draws.

All matches below are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday.

Girls 12s
Mirra Andreeva[1](RUS) v Maya Iyengar(USA)
Sapir Cohen(ISR) v Yifei Huang[5](CHN)
Mariia Masiianskaia[6](RUS) v Brooke Wrigley[4](USA)
JiaYi Wang(CHN) v Alina Korneeva[2](RUS)

Boys 12s
Alejandro Arcila[1](COL) v Amir Omarkhanov[9](KAZ)
Maxwell Exsted[3](USA) v Fumin Jiang(CHN)
Matthew Jingtao Yang[10](USA) v Manas Dhamne[4](USA)
Aarav Samrat Hada[11](NPL) v Changmin Ryu[2](KOR)

Girls 14s
Kayla Cross[1](CAN) v Luciana Moyano(ARG)
Nikola Daubnerova[3](SVK) v Karsyn Evans[8](USA)
Aya El Aouni[6](MAR) v Lucciana Perez[10](PER)
Sara Saito[13](JPN) v Brooklyn Olson[2](USA)

Boys 14s
Coman Mihai Alexandru[1](ROU) v Fabio Nestola[11](GBR)
Juan Prado[4](BOL) v Majun Li[8](USA)
Tanner Povey(USA) v Benjamin Kreynes[12](USA)
Quang Dong[10](USA) v Sean Daryabeigi[2](USA)

Girls 16s
Vivian Ovrootsky[1](USA) v Lan Mi[5](CHN)
Midori Castillo[4](USA) v Qavia Lopez[7](USA)
Brenda Fruhvirtova[9](CZE) v Sarah Hamner[3](USA)
Ashlyn Krueger[8](USA) v Emma Charney[2](USA)

Boys 16s
Marko Adrejic[1](AUT) v Gabrielius Guzauskas[7](USA)
Azuma Visaya[4](USA) v Brayden Michna(USA)
Emilano Aguilera Gurrero(MEX) v Spencer Johnson[11](USA)
Jonah Braswell[16](USA) v Jack Anthrop[2](USA)