Top Four Girls Seeds Advance to ITF Semifinals at Adidas Easter Bowl; Kypson Ousts Top Seed Bryde in Boys ITF Quarterfinals; 16s Finals Set for Saturday
©Colette Lewis 2017--
Indian Wells, CA--
The wind that caused an abbreviated Day Four at the adidas Easter Bowl ITF tournament on Thursday exited overnight, ushering in cooler temperatures and much better conditions for the quarterfinals.
Top seed Claire Liu was trailing Elli Mandlik 4-6, 3-1 when play resumed in the third round match this morning, but she was able to hold off the daughter of former WTA star Hana Mandlikova to record a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory and move into the quarterfinals. Her second match of the day was less taxing, with Liu beating No. 6 seed Caty McNally 6-2, 6-1.
Liu faces No. 3 seed Whitney Osuigwe, who outlasted No. 11 seed Ann Li 7-5, 7-6(5). Osuigwe, who turns 15 next month, saved three set points with Li serving at 6-5 in the second set, forcing a tiebreaker after an eight-deuce game. The tiebreaker was as close as the match, but it was Li who blinked at 5-all, hitting a forehand wide to give Osuigwe a match point, which she converted when Li netted a forehand.
"I knew I wasn't playing my best, but I knew if I kept fighting I would get through it," said Osuigwe, who didn't play last week's International Spring Championships in Carson because she could only play one more ITF junior event before her 15th birthday, deciding to make that one the Easter Bowl. "She also wasn't playing her best either, but she was hitting some good serves, so I knew there was nothing I could do."
Osuigwe had the advantage of playing on the court where she won the 14s title in 2015.
"It brought back good memories," Osuigwe said. "I told my dad (Desmond, who is also her coach) before I played that this was the court I won it on."
Osuigwe's favorite surface is clay, with the back-to-back Grade 1 titles on that surface in South America this winter boosting her confidence and her ranking.
"I definitely came in here confident," said Osuigwe, who also reached the Orange Bowl semifinals on the green clay in Plantation. "But anything can happen on any given day."
No. 4 seed Ellie Douglas, who reached the final last year, defeated No. 10 seed Hurricane Tyra Black 6-3, 6-3 to set up a meeting with No. 2 seed Taylor Johnson. Johnson defeated Douglas 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the final of the Grade A in Mexico City last November.
Johnson was two points from defeat against No. 5 seed Hailey Baptiste at 5-5 in the second set tiebreaker, but an ill-advised attempt at a drop shot, which fell well short, gave Johnson an opportunity to even the match, and she did so, hitting a good first serve that Baptiste couldn't get back in play. Johnson went up a break in the third set, lost it, but then reeled off four straight games to claim a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 victory.
No. 6 seed Patrick Kypson has yet to drop a set this week at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and he reached his first ITF Grade 1 semifinal with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over top seed Trent Bryde.
Kypson will face No. 8 seed Alafia Ayeni, who also earned his first Grade 1 semifinal with a tense 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory over No. 14 seed Kyrylo Tsygura.
Tsygura served for the match at 5-4 in the third set, but was thrown off by line calls he did not agree with, and Ayeni won the final three games of the match.
"In the heat of the moment everyone says a bunch of stuff," said the 17-year-old from San Diego. "There were a couple of calls from the ref that I think Kyrylo thought were against him at 5-4 and then at 5-all there a couple of calls I thought were suspect as well, but that's kind of how the game goes. I think he chose to focus on that, rather than try to get back into the match and that cost him the next game and pretty much the match."
Ayeni can recall beating Kypson only once previously, although he said they have played "many, many times."
"He is a very solid player," Ayeni said. "He's a complete player. He's developed his game very well. He had a strong base and he's built on it over the years. He's very talented and his ranking right now is really not an indication of how good he is. I respect him a lot as player and as a person. We're pretty good friends."
The other boys semifinal will feature No. 4 seed Sam Riffice, a finalist in the 2015 Easter Bowl ITF tournament, who beat No. 7 seed Brian Cernoch 6-1, 7-6(3). Riffice will face No. 10 seed Sebastian Korda, who eliminated the last unseeded player in the draw with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 win over Jake Sands. Riffice and Korda have played three times in the past 12 months, with Riffice winning all three contests.
The doubles finals are set after the quarterfinals and semifinals were completed today (and tonight). Top girls seeds McNally and Osuigwe defeated No. 3 seeds Douglas and Natasha Subhash 2-6, 6-2, 11-9 to reached the final against No. 2 seeds Johnson and Li. Johnson and Li finished their 7-6(3), 6-3 semifinal win over Baptiste and Black after 8 p.m. The boys final will have No. 3 seeds Oliver Crawford and Kypson facing No. 2 seeds Cernoch and Riffice. Crawford and Kypson beat top seeds Ayeni and Bryde 6-3, 6-3 and Cernoch and Riffice took out unseeded Austen Huang and Ryan Seggerman by the same score.
The order of play for Saturday's singles semifinals and doubles finals and live streaming can be found at Easterbowl.com.
The 16s singles finals are set for Saturday at 9 a.m. Top seed Brandon Nakashima will play No. 13 seed Stefan Dostanic for the boys title and unseeded Fiona Crawley will face No. 5 seed Emma Navarro for the girls championship.
The gold balls in boys 16s doubles went to unseeded Eliot Spizzirri and Spencer Whitaker, who defeated No. 4 seeds Leighton Allen and Garrett Johns 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.
The girls 16s doubles final finished after 9 p.m., with unseeded Sedona Gallagher and Jillian Taggart beating No. 4 seeds Gabriella Cusano and Jayci Goldsmith 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 7-6(5).
For complete results from the 16s action today, including consolation matches, see the TennisLink site.
Friday March 31 results: