18-year-old top seed Thiem showed his best tennis, surviving a first set tie-break to defeat Japan’s seventh seed Yoshihito Nishioka 76 63 in a rematch of the Eddie Herr quarterfinals. “I knew it would be a tough encounter. I just met Nishioka last week at the Eddie Herr and this time was a close match too,” said Thiem. “Today I was a bit tired because of playing two finals in the last two weeks. However, this latest result helped me to maintain self-confidence during the semifinal match,” added the world no. 8, who will next face compatriot Patrick Ofner for the title. Seventh seed Ofner also had to work hard to beat unseeded Filip Peliwo of Canada, coming from a set down to secure his final spot in Plantation, eventually winning 36 64 76. “It was a hard and close encounter. I just think I was a little more lucky than he in the tie-break,” said Ofner. “After the first set, things went better and better and now I am happy for having reached this prestigious final. Today it was a long match, I hope to be fit tomorrow. I like very much clay, so I am happy that Orange Bowl organizers changed the surface.”
In the girls’ event, seventh seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia started very slowly but finally took advantage of the retirement of Canada’s top seed Eugenie Bouchard when leading 0-6, 6-4, 4-2 to enter her first ever Grade A final spot. Kontaveit, who won the Chang LTAT ITF Junior Championships in Thailand last March, will be looking to become the first Estonian player to win the Orange Bowl title. “In the first I did not get my game and I was probably very tired from my previous match against Indy De Vroome. Then, I found confidence in my serve and I played more aggressive,” said Kontaveit who withstood Bouchard’s comeback from 5-0 to 5-4 in the second set to level the match. In the decisive set, Gerdau Cup champion Bouchard was forced to retire at 2-4 due to a stomach injury. 15-year.old Kontaveit will play second seed Yulia Putintseva of Russia in today’s final. The two just met in last week’s Eddie Herr quarterfinals with the aggressive Russian winning a close three set encounter. “I am happy to met Putintseva again and I want to take revenge against her,” added Kontaveit. 2010 US Open runner-up Putintseva took out American tennis promise Sachia Vickery after a tough two set encounter to reach her second Grade A final on the ITF Junior Circuit. Putintseva and Vickery, both training at the Mourataglou Tennis Academy in France, had an exciting and thrilling semifinal match with the American wasting a set point at the 5-3 in the second set. Using a little more experience and keeping her head clear, Putintseva finally managed to down her opponent, 75 75.