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Monday, November 29, 2021

Michelsen Defeats No. 6 Seed Wong, Top Girls Seeds Roll at Eddie Herr ITF J1; Few Upsets in Eddie Herr 12s and 14s Divisions; USTA National Indoors Final Results

©Colette Lewis 2021--
Bradenton FL--

Twenty-two seeded players began their quest for the Eddie Herr ITF J1 titles Monday on the Har-Tru courts at the IMG Academy, with 17 of them posting victories.

The top two seeds in the girls draw, No. 1 Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus, the 2021 US Open girls finalist, and No. 2 seed Diana Shnaider of Russia, breezed through their opening matches under partly cloudy skies. Dmitruk defeated Ava Krug 6-0, 6-1 and Shnaider eliminated Tatum Evans 6-2, 6-2 on the courts of the main site, while No. 4 seed Petra Marcinko of Croatia also advanced in straight sets, beating Madeleine Jessup 6-0, 6-3 at the Academy Park courts.

No. 8 seed Clervie Ngounoue, one of only two seeded American girls, lost to Canadian Mia Kupres 5-1, ret. The other seeded US girl, No. 14 seed Alexis Blokhina, barely survived, winning the last three games of her two-hour, 45-minute, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory, after Canadian Kayla Cross had served for the match at 5-4 in the third.

No. 9 seed Johanne Christine Svendsen of Denmark lost to Kristyna Tomajkova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5.

Three seeded boys lost Monday, including No. 6 seed Coleman Wong of Hong Kong. Alex Michelsen, one of the last players to receive entry into the main draw, pulled off the upset, despite the 200 places in the ITF Junior rankings separating them.

Michelsen, who is from Southern California, is playing just his second event on clay this week.

"I played on clay two days before I came out here," said the 17-year-old right-hander. "This is my second ever clay tournament. I played the USTA Clay Courts this year in July for the first time. The courts here are pretty quick, which I like. The clay courts back home, they're terrible in California, it's too dry, but it was good preparation. These courts are quick, so it helped."

Michelsen said he was able to control the match in classic clay court fashion.

"I made a lot of balls, I didn't miss much," said Michelsen, a junior who recently made a verbal commitment to the University of Georgia. "I just kind of waited for him to miss. I don't think he played his best, to be honest, he was spraying some balls, so I just tried to keep it in play on every point, didn't go for too much, played smart tennis."

Michelsen said he gained a lot of confidence from his run to the final of the UTR Pro Series event in Newport Beach two weeks ago, while also noting the impact of his college decision.

"It's a weight off the shoulders for sure," Michelsen said. "I feel like it's helped me play a little better. I've been playing well since I committed; I think it's helped a lot actually."

The other two boys seeds who lost were No. 11 Abedallah Shelbayh of Jordan, the University of Florida freshman, and No. 13 seed Sebastian Dominko of Slovenia. Lennon Jones of Japan defeated Shelbayh 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-1 and Alexander Blockx of Belgium beat Dominko 6-3, 7-5.

With 42 first round singles matches played today, just 22 are on the schedule for Tuesday, but they include the top two boys seeds: Bruno Kuzuhara and Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine, both of whom take on qualifiers.

I'll be taking special note of the match between qualifier Lucas Brown and wild card Alexander Razeghi, which is a rematch of this year's Kalamazoo 16s final, which Razeghi won 6-3, 6-2.

Most of Tuesday's action in the J1 will be in doubles, with all 32 first round matches on the schedule.  Kuzuhara and Mili Poljicak of Croatia are the No. 1 seeds, with Wong and Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic the No. 2 seeds. Wong and Mensik will take on the wild card team of Juncheng Jerry Shang of China and Alexander Frusina. ITF junior No. 1 Shang, who trains at the IMG Academy, has won three $15,000 tournaments on the USTA Pro Circuit since reaching the US Open boys final. After playing the Puerto Vallarta Challenger last week, he returned to Bradenton and decided to ask for a wild card for the J1 doubles.

The top seeds in the girls doubles are Marcinko and Shnaider, with Linda and Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic the No. 2 seeds.

Unexpected rain overnight led to a two-hour delay in the start of the tournament for the 12s, 14s and 16s, which are played on the IMG Academy's hard courts. As of 9 p.m., 16s matches were still being put on court, but the 12s and 14s are complete. The top seeds all advanced, with the exception of B14s No. 4 seed Calvin Baierl, who lost to Roben Gavani of Bulgaria 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-4. and No. 5 G14s seed Katie Rolls, who lost to Ishika Khune 1-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Draws for the 12s, 14s and 16s can be found here.

The USTA National Indoor Championships concluded today, with results of the singles and doubles finals below. To view the full draws, click on the heading.

Singles: Colin McPeek[1] d. Michael Antonious[2] 6-3, 7-5
Doubles: Colin McPeek/Izyan Ahmad[1] d. Mateo Pouso/Tanishk Konduri 8-2

Singles: Nicholas Patrick[1] d. Ronit Karki[2] 6-1, 6-3
Doubles: Adrien Abarca/Jon Gamble[2] d. Nicholas Patrick/Dominick Mosejczuk 8-6

Singles: Stephan Gershfeld d. Ian Bracks 6-1, 6-3
Doubles: AJ Mercer/Matthew Forbes d. Joshua Mandelbaum/Oliver Narbut[2] 8-6

Singles: Alexander Visser[1] d. Dean Kamenev[9] 6-4, 6-4
Doubles: Cooper Woestendick/Nikita Filin d. Alexander Aney/Jason Shuler 8-2

Singles: Sophie Suh[3] d. Kalista Papadopoulos[12] 7-6(3), 6-0
Doubles: Carrie-Anne Hoo/Nancy Lee[1] d. Aubrey Meis/Sydney Barnhart[2] 8-2

Singles: Kenna Erickson d. Leena Friedman[4] 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Doubles: Kinley Vanpelt/Emerey Gross[2] d. Summer Chandler/Ahniya Vustsina[7] 8-5

Singles: Erin Ha[10] d. Amber Yin[1] 6-2, 6-2
Doubles: Savannah Webster/Olivia Center[8] d. Natasha Rajaram/Jessica Bernales[3] 8-4

Singles: Daria Smetannikov[9] d. Gayathri Krishnan 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-1
Doubles: Stephanie Yakoff/Kaitlyn Carnicella[2] d. Shannon Lam/Daria Smetannikov 8-4