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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Eigbedion Defeats Top Seed to Reach Boys 12s Semifinals; No. 1 and No. 2 B16s Seeds Ousted in Second Round at FILA Easter Bowl; Texas Men Claim No. 1 Spot in New D-I Rankings

©Colette Lewis 2023--
Indian Wells CA--

Tuesday was another busy and beautiful day at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, with the quarterfinals in the 12s and 14s divisions and the second round in the 16s and 18s divisions at the 55th annual FILA Easter Bowl.

Only two No. 1 seeds remain among the eight draws, with Valerie Glozman, No. 1 in the girls 18s, and Claire Hill, No. 1 in the girls 16s, winning their second round matches today. Glozman defeated Angela Huang 6-2, 6-4, while Hill had a lengthy battle with Amy Lee before claiming a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory.

The top seeds in the boys 12s and boys 16s exited today, with No. 6 seed Jason Eigbedion taking out Zesen Wang 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

Eigbedion had beaten Wang last May at a USTA Level 3 final, so he was not intimidated by Wang's higher seeding. 

"I came in with a little confidence, but it was a tough one when I played him," said the 12-year-old from Duluth Georgia. "So I knew this wasn't going to be easy. He's very aggressive; he has a good first serve, and he pumps himself up a lot."

Eigbedion said he lost sight of the pace of the match in the second set. 

"In the first set, I was definitely taking my time more," said Eigbedion, who trains at the Greater Atlanta Christian School Tennis Academy with Carlos Cobos. "In the second set, I started rushing, playing faster than I should have."

Eigbedion used the 10-minute break before the third set to re-focus on the style of play that had been successful in the first set and that reset worked perfectly.

"I'd say my groundstrokes, playing from the baseline is my strength," Eigbedion said. "Those are my weapons, especially my backhand."

This is Eigbedion's first trip to the Easter Bowl, and he was excited to be on the grounds of the recently completed BNP Paribas Open.

"This is where the pros play and I was just watching them on TV last week," said Eigbedion, whose favorite players are Roger Federer and Venus and Serena Williams. "I was really excited to play this event."

Boys 16s top seed Dominick Mosejczuk's exit was an unfortunate one, with illness causing him to retire trailing Jack Satterfield 6-3, 3-0.

"I noticed pretty early in the match that he was kind of sluggish," said Satterfield, a 15-year-old from Tampa Florida. "He wasn't running his best, so I decided I would run him from corner to corner. At 4-3, he took a medical, went to the bathroom and puked a couple of times, then he came back and I just kept running him around."

Satterfield was sympathetic, but knew he couldn't dwell on Mosejczuk's predicament. 

"I tried to focus more on myself than on his illness," said Satterfield, who trains at the Eric Dobsha Academy in Tampa. "So I just kept doing what I was doing. I came in with a game plan, and I knew I could beat him; you have to have the belief to pull through."

Mitchell Sheldon didn't have any physical issues, but he was unable to solve the riddle of Andre Alcantara, who came from a set down to oust the No. 2 seed 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a battle of left-handers.

"In the first set, I was missing a lot," said the 15-year-old from Las Vegas. "In the second set, I realized I just needed to make more balls, and he started missing. I was also stepping into the balls because I knew I had to push him back more."

In the third set, Alcantara got an early break, gave it back, but then broke again and held to take a 3-1 lead.

"I sensed he was a little frustrated, but I just focus on myself," said Alcantara, who trains at the Mike Agassi No Quit Tennis Academy in Las Vegas. 

Part of Sheldon's exasperation centered on Alcantara's lob, which caught him off guard on several important points.

"I did it once in the first set, and said, ok, that might work," Alcantara said. "Let me do that a little bit more. And it turned out pretty good."

Alcantara's doubles partner, Xavier Calvelo, also had a long second round match that extended into the evening, but he too came through, beating wild card Ford McCollum 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. After failing to serve out the match at 5-4, Calvelo, who had beaten No. 3 seed Ian Mayew in the first round, broke again to get a second chance. The 16-year-old from Las Vegas played a perfect final game, getting all four first serves in, serving and volleying for third shot winner twice, forcing an error and closing it out with a service winner.

In boys 18s singles action, 2022 16s champion Parashar Bharadwaj extended his Easter Bowl winning streak to eight matches, but it wasn't easy, as he needed over three hours to defeat Karan Raghavendra 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4. 

No. 2 seed Stephan Gershfeld was taken to three sets for the second day in a row, but got the win over Nikola Parichkov 6-2, 4-6, 6-0. 

Live streaming of Stadium Court 4 is available, with commentary by Ken Thomas, at the Easter Bowl website.

12s and 14s quarterfinal results:

Boys 12s
Jason Eigbedion[6] d. Zesen Wang[1] 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
Luca Queiros[3] d. Adrian Sharma[5] 6-4, 6-1

Carter Jauffret[4] d. Daniel Gardality[8] 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Advay Singh[7] d. Simon Lifton 6-2, 6-2

Boys 14s
Izyan Ahmad[9] d. Kimi Basamakov[9] 6-4, 2-1 ret. inj.
Roshan Santhosh d. Jordan Lee[9] 6-3, 6-3

Ryan Cozad[3] d. Tristan Dussault 6-1, 7-6(3)
Liam Alvarez[2] d. Sean Grosman[9] 6-2, 6-2

Camilla Kostik[9] d. Alena Koltsova 6-4, 6-0
Aarini Bhattacharya[7] d. Daniela Davletshina 6-2, 6-2

Raya Kotseva[4] d. Jordyn Hazelitt[9] 6-4, 6-2
Caroline Shao[2] d. Valerie Machikawa[9] 4-6, 6-2, 6-4

Anita Tu[5] d. Ellery Mendell[9] 6-1, 6-1
Aishi Bisht[9] d. Welles Newman 6-1, 6-3

Paige Wygodzki d. Catherine Rennard 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4)
Nancy Lee[2] d. Anna Bugaienko[8] 6-1, 6-3

The latest ITA Division I Team rankings were released today, with Texas moving into the top spot after the Longhorns wins over previous No. 1 TCU and USC.  The full men's rankings are here. North Carolina remains at the top of the women's rankings, which are here.