Archive for the 'Orange Bowl' Category

11
Dec
11

Austrians Dominic Thiem and Patrick Ofner set up their final-round match on the clay courts of the Frank Veltri Tennis Center on Saturday.

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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.

 

 

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10
Dec
11

Semifinalists set for Orange Bowl.

 

16-year-old wild card Sachia Vickery survived losing the first set to unseeded Varvara Flink of Russia, before closing out a tight match 26 62 76, to book her place in the semifinals. It was a tense and nervous quarterfinal encounter in which the young American player wasted two opportunities to serve for the match at 5-4 and 6-5 in the decisive set. “It was a very important match for me, so I felt a bit nervous on the ground” said Vickery. “From the beginning of the second set I decided to changed my strategy and I was able to come back from a set down, just as I did on Thursday against Maciejewska” added the determined teenager. Vickery – who trains at the Mouratoglou Academy and was mentored by Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena – is aiming to follow in the footsteps of her compatriot Lauren Davis, the 2010 Orange Bowl champion. Vickery will face second seed Yulia Putintseva of Russia in the semifinal. Putintseva also had to fight back from a set down in order to defeat American Samantha Crawford, eventually winning 75 46 63. Putintseva has had a successful 2011 campaign, which has included reaching the semifinals of a Grade A championship on no less than three occasions. However, a first Grade A title has eluded her thus far. The pair’s last encounter, at the Grade 1 Canadian Open in August, saw Vickery win in straight-sets.

In the top half of the draw, top seed Eugenie Bouchard of Canada eased past Croatian seventh seed Donna Vekic, 63 62. Bouchard remains on course to claim a second Grade A title on clay, nine months after her first triumph at the Gerdau Cup. Bouchard is clearly in good form, following on from recording her best WTA result to date at the $50.000 Toronto tournament in October, where she defeated American Alexa Glatch, ranked 152 in the WTA rankings. Bouchard’s next opponent will be fifth seed Anett Kontaveit (EST) who recorded a three set win over third seed Indy De Vroome of the Netherlands, 76 26 63.

In the boys’ event, the upset of Day 5 was Filip Peliwo’s 61 64 victory over sixth seed Julien Cagnina (BEL). The 17-year-old unseeded Canadian started brightly, winning the first set, but had to come back from 1-4 down in the second to claim his first semifinal spot in a Grade A tournament. Peliwo now faces second seed Patrick Ofner (AUT), who dominated Latvian Janis Podzus, posting a 62 60 win in their quarterfinal match. Meanwhile, Ofner’s compatriot and top seed, Dominic Thiem, was simply too strong for tenth seed Kimmer Coppejans (BEL), dropping just two games in his 61 61 win. Thiem is in sparkling form and aiming for a third consecutive title on the ITF Junior Circuit, having won the Eddie Herr and Yucatan Cup tournaments in recent weeks. His semifinal opponent is twelfth seed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, who ended the hopes of Janis Podzus twin brother, Martins, by defeating him, 61 75.

 

 

09
Dec
11

American teens unable to adapt to the Orange Bowl’s clay courts.

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Alexios Halebian won’t lie. He would rather the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship had stayed on hard courts in Key Biscayne than moved to clay in Plantation. The big-serving Californian won the 16s title at the Crandon Park Tennis Center two years ago, and reached the 18s semis there last year. Switching the tournament to the green clay at the Veltri Tennis Center “slows the points down and equalizes the big serve, which is one of my strengths,’’ he said. The trickier surface probably cost 13th-seeded Halebian a few points in his 7-6 (9-7), 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 third-round loss to unseeded Canadian Filip Peliwo on Thursday. It might also be a reason that none of the 41 American boys entered in the 16s and 18s advanced to the quarterfinals.

American girls are faring better with two in the 16s semifinals (Rasheeda McAdoo of Palmetto Bay and Kimberly Yee of Las Vegas) and two in the 18s quarterfinals (Sachia Vickery of Miramar and Samantha Crawford of Tamarac). Halebian said despite his personal surface preference, he understands the reason for the move. USTA officials want young Americans to play more on clay it will force them to learn to construct points, play better defense and get fitter.

Patrick McEnroe, the USTA general manager of Player Development, and Jose Higueras, the USTA Director of Coaching, watched as Halebian became the last American boy to go down. The other third-rounder, 15-year-old wild card Noah Rubin, lost earlier Thursday, 6-2, 6-1 to seventh-seeded Patrick Ofner of Austria. “The move to clay is a long-term plan, and initially, we might not have as good results,’’ McEnroe said. “But that’s fine. Our job as coaches and leaders in the sport is to teach our kids the right way to play and determine what’s better for American tennis. “I’m watching Halebian here, having to figure it out, work through it, and it’s good for him. Clay exposes your game more, especially at this age. We’re not trying to make better clay-court players. We’re trying to make better tennis players. Orange Bowl titles would be nice, too, but at the end of the day, we want to help develop pros. Nobody can tell me it’s not healthy for them to play a lot of tennis on clay.’’

Erin Routliffe, a 6-2 Canadian who will play McAdoo in the girls 16s semis, said she, too, prefers hard court but has benefited from adapting her power game to clay this week. “You can’t just hit big winners here,’’ she said. “And tall people aren’t as good at sliding, so I’ve had to work on that, too.’’ Routliffe beat American Caroline Doyle (San Francisco) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. McAdoo beat Lexi Borr of New Jersey 7-5, 6-2. In the 18s, top seed Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) beat No. 13 Elizaveta Kulichkova (Russia) 6-3, 6-2; No. 3 Indy De Vroome (Netherlands) beat No. 16 Taylor Townsend (Stockbridge, Ga.) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5); wild card Sachia Vickery (Miramar) defeated No. 6 Zuzanna Maciejewska (Poland) 0-6, 6-2, 6-2; and Samantha Crawford (Tamarac) beat wild card Nadia Echeverria Alam (Doral) 6-3, 6-0.

British teenage star Liam Broady bowed out of the Orange Bowl at the last-16 stage on Thursday. The 17-year-old, who reached the final of Junior Wimbledon back in the summer, was beaten 7-6 6-4 by Latvian qualifier Janis Podzus in round three of the prestigious under-18 event in Florida. George Morgan won the title 12 months ago but there will be no similar success for Great Britain as Broady, seeded second, was the the last of eight Britons left in the draw. A change of surface from hard to clay this season hardly helped the British cause. The Orange Bowl is one of the biggest tournaments on the junior circuit. Former winners include Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

 

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

12
Dec
10

Lauren Davis & George Morgan winners at the Orange Bowl.

In the 18s, American Lauren Davis beat compatriot Grace Kim 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-1 for the title, her 33rd win in her last 34 matches.

On the boys’ side, Alexios Halebian, the sole American, fell 6-1, 6-3 to Jannick Lupescu of Netherlands in the semifinals. Britain’s George Morgan won the title with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Lupescu.

 Allie Kiick, the 15-year-old daughter of former Miami Dolphins standout Jim Kiick, won the 16s with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 win over Catherine Harrison of Germantown, Tenn.

“This was more meaningful to me than winning the Super Bowl, and I mean that,” Jim Kiick told the Miami Herald. “In football, it’s 11 guys, and I expected to win those games. “To see your daughter alone out there, fighting back like that and winning the Super Bowl of junior tennis at 15 is a magnificent thing. I have goose bumps. I was way more nervous here than the Super Bowl because in football, once the first play is run, the butterflies go away. Here, I had no control, and that killed me.”

12
Dec
10

Girls & Boys Orange Bowl finalists determined.

The Dunlop Orange Bowl girls’ singles final will be an all-American affair as both eighth seed Lauren Davis from Cleveland and unseeded Grace Min from Atlanta won their semifinal rounds on the hard courts of the Crandon Park Tennis Center yesterday. For the third time this year, 17-year-old Lauren Davis had no trouble defeating third seed Monica Puig (PUR) to move into today’s final without having dropped a set so far. “I was determined to win,” said Davis. “I knew what I had to do to win and I did exactly that. My strategy was to be aggressive and try to dictate the points rather than running side to side and just being all defensive.”

Davis started strong and easily secured the first set, never letting Puig play her best tennis from the baseline, and finally triumphing 61 63. “I won the first set playing very well,” said Davis. “I was serving well, dictating the points, and being very tough mentally. I tried not to give Puig any free points but I knew she would come on strong in the second set. The first game of the second set was about 15 minutes long. She ended up winning that game. I had a few break points in that game but I did not get discouraged. I told myself to stay calm and to take one point at a time. Telling myself this really helped. Puig was playing well, but I don’t think that I gave her too many chances.” Davis will play 16-year-old Grace Min for the Orange Bowl girls’ singles title after her fellow country-woman reached the final by virtue of Serbian 13th seed Natalija Kostic’s retirement.. With Min leading 4-0 in the first set, Kostic fell victim to injury when she was forced to change directions quickly, rolling her left ankle and collapsing to the court. The Serbian had a medical timeout but she played just one more point before retiring from the match.

In the boys’ event, ninth seed George Morgan (GBR) and number 12 Jannick Lupescu (NED) will contest the final. 17-year-old Morgan from Bolton, England, who was runner-up at the Argentina Bowl last February, reached his second final of the year on the ITF Junior Circuit by defeating seventh seed Joris De Loore (BEL) in Saturday’s semifinal with an emphatic 62 61 scoreline. “I really played a good match against De Loore,” said Morgan. “I kept my calm and stayed with my tactics throughout the match. That paid off.” Lupescu, a semifinalist at both the Grade 1 Loy Yang Traralgon International and at the Open International Juniors de Beaulieu-sur-Mer this year, finished off unseeded Alexios Halebian (USA) to claimed his spot in the final round. Although Halebian had the support of the home crowd, he was unable to maintain a high level of concentration throughout the match against an impressive and solid Lupescu. The Dutchman easily won the first set and saved a break point at 4-2 in the second with a service winner. He never lost control of the match, finally recording a 61 63 win. “I was a little nervous,” said Lupescu, “and I gave Halebian a few chances to recover but he didn’t take them.”

14
Dec
09

Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski joins Gianni Mina in the winners circle!

France and Canada split the 2009 Orange Bowl singles titles as Gianni Mina and Gabriela Dabrowski were crowned champions in Key Biscayne yesterday, winning the last Grade A event of the year on the ITF Junior Circuit. It was a curious fact that in the long history of the Dunlop Orange Bowl their only forerunners on the Roll of Honour, Guy Forget and Carling Basset, both triumphed in 1982.

17-year-old top seed Mina, the double of Gael Monfils, managed to take his first Grade A trophy of the year, after two wins on clay at the Grade 2 Istres and Grade 1 Beaulieu sur Mer, by defeating his friend and doubles partner Arthur De Greef of Belgium in the final round, with a 64 64 victory. Dropping just one set en route to the title, the Parisian confirmed his tennis has improved a lot on hard courts.

World number five Mina started the match fighting hard and broke De Greef in the ninth game with a down-the-line passing shot to take a 5-4 lead that secured him the first set. Leading 4-0 in the second, Mina appeared just a bit tired after having run a lot in the fifth game and let De Greef come back to 5-4. But with a formidable forehand, Mina took the decisive point, winning the match and yelling “Vamos”. “I played the best match of the tournament on Sunday,” said Mina. “I’m very happy to enjoy a Grade A event, now I want to win a Grand Slam.”

Although she had a lower ITF ranking of 63, unseeded Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada took revenge on top seed and world number one Kristina Mladenovic with a dramatic 63 26 75 win to win the girls’ singles title. 17-year-old Dabrowski, from Ottawa, who was beaten by the French girl in the 2008 US Open first round, developed her tactics and strategy smoothly, hitting heavy deep backhands and drawing her opponent into plenty of mistakes. After having lost the first set 6-3, the Roland Garros champion recovered her serve in the second one and took a 5-4 lead in the third, when tenacious Dabrowski began to increase the pressure from the baseline, surprising the French girl once again with powerful backhands, then converting her only match-point to capture the Orange Bowl trophy.

Despite injuring her knee at the Yucatan Cup last month, the Canadian has played 17 matches in the last 20 days. Ralph Platz’s pupil was runner-up in Merida, losing to Lauren Davis of the USA in the final, and reached the semifinals at the Eddie Herr Championships just a week ago. In Key Biscayne, talented Dabrowski showed off her natural athleticism and a great maturity during her matches, and she looked ready to move on to the professional tour soon. “I had no expectations at the Orange Bowl and now I’m really very happy,” said Dabrowski . “I have tried to play aggressively in all my matches even if I didn’t enjoy my best form.”

13
Dec
09

Mina and Mladenovic favoured in Finals.

Top seed Gianni Mina reached his sixth final of 2009 on the ITF Junior Circuit after unseeded Justin Eleveld of the Netherlands retired from their semifinal match at the Dunlop Orange Bowl. 17-year-old Mina of France, who has won two juniors title on clay this year, is seeking the first Grade A trophy of his career and seems close to gaining it at Crandon Park of Key Biscayne, Florida.

Saving two break points on his serve, the French player took the first set 64 but his opponent Eleveld began to make a lot of mistakes at the beginning of the second one and was forced to retire with heat exhaustion. Even so, Mina’s quality of play has improved considerably on hard courts as he has dropped just one set en route to the final.

World number five Mina will face his doubles partner Arthur De Greef of Belgium in the final. The two have met twice previously in 2009, with the first win going to Mina in the Beaulieu sur Mer final and the second going De Greef’s way in the European Championship quarterfinals in Villach, Austria. Sixth seed De Greef destroyed American hopes of lifting Orange Bowl trophy by defeating number five Mitchell Frank with a straight sets victory, 64 62. The Belgian dominated the match, hit a lot of drops shots and served with consistency, but he also managed to attack the net, preventing Frank from developing his own game plan.

In the girls’ competition, world number one and Roland Garros champion Kristina Mladenovic came from behind to win a tight semifinal against sixth seed Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia, the winner of the Grade A Casablanca Cup. Mladenovic started slowly and suffered at the hands of Tomljanovic’s deep shots but after losing the first set she recovered, using her formidable serve to maintain her 11 match winning streak, recording a 46 64 63 victory.

If she beats her final opponent, unseeded Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada, talented Mladenovic could become the first French player to win the girls’ 18 singles at the Orange Bowl. 17-year-old Dabrowski, who was a semifinalist at last week’s Eddie Herr and runner-up at the Yucatan Cup, winning 14 of her last 16 matches, rallied bask from a set down to upset eighth seed Nastja Kolar of Slovenia with a dramatic three set victory, 57 62 76. Dabrowski showed off an impressive backhand and displayed great maturity during her campaign in Key Biscayne. She saved a match point at 4-5, 30-40 in the third set but managed to level the match with strong defensive play. Dabrowski took a 6-5 lead in the tiebreak when Kolar smashed her racquet for the second time after a forehand error. The Chair umpire punished the Slovenian with a penalty point which ended the match.

12
Dec
09

Watson & Keys lose as French players dominate both divisions.

French tennis continues on the crest of a wave as top seeded Kristina Mladenovic and Gianni Mina booked their tickets for the semifinals at the Dunlop Orange Bowl.

World number one Mladenovic blasted her way past American Madison Keys to take her place in the semis. 14-year-old Keys began very well and snatched the first set on a tiebreak but Roland Garros champion Mladenovic, who can boast an excellent WTA ranking of 201, used all her strength and wisdom to came back in the second, clinching a three-set victory 67 75 61. “I expected a very difficult match against Keys,” said Mladenovic, “because she’s a good player and very athletic.”

In the top half of the girls’ draw, the French player will now meet sixth seed Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia, who stopped third seed and US Open champion Heather Watson with a straight sets 62 63 victory. Tomljanovic is aiming to lift her second Grade A trophy following her Casablanca Cup feat earlier this year. Mladenovic and Tomljanovic have never met before on the ITF Junior Circuit.

Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski is the only unseeded semifinalist in the girls’ draw as she outplayed Adriana Perez of Venezuela with a 75 64 win. Dabrowski has been going through an exciting period in the last two months as she reached the final round at the Yucatan Cup and the semifinal at the Eddie Herr last week. Number eight Nastja Kolar of Slovenia, who won the Grade 1 Perin Memorial in her homeland last September, ended American hopes of a girls’ champion at the Dunlop Orange Bowl by defeating wild card Robin Anderson 64 36 64.

In the boys’ event, top seed Gianni Mina advanced to the semis in style with an emphatic 62 63 victory over Junior Ore of the USA. His next opponent will be unseeded Justin Eleveld of the Netherlands. 17-year-old Eleveld outplayed American Johannes Van Overbeek in a hard fought match, 63 67 62.

In the bottom half of the draw, Arthur De Greef of Belgium saved a match point in the second set against his opponent., American Sekou Bangoura, but managed to secure a 63 75 victory on the hard courts of Crandon Park. In the semifinals he will now face Mitchell Frank, the last American player competing for a singles title. Yucatan Cup champion Frank saw off his compatriot Jack Sock 64 76.

11
Dec
09

Keys to face #1 seed Mladenovic in a rematch.

French top seed Gianni Mina enjoyed a straightforward 62 61 victory over Slim Hamza of Tunisia to reach the quarterfinals of the Dunlop Orange Bowl, the last Grade A event of the year. World number five Mina had a fine clay season in 2009, winning both the tournaments of Istres and Beaulieu sur Mer and reaching the final round at the Luxemburg Junior Open, Banana Bowl and Roland Garros. In the hope of equalling Guy Forget’s feat of winning the 1982 Orange Bowl, he will now try to claim his first junior trophy outside his homeland.

Mina will next meet twelfth seed Junior Ore of the USA, who dropped the first set and battled back in the second before his opponent, sixth seed Guilherme Clezar of Brazil, was forced to retire with cramps in the fifth game of the decisive set, trailing 46 62 31. In the top half of the draw, unseeded Johannes Van Overbeek from Boca Raton, Florida, required three sets to overcome Jack Carpenter of Great Britain after the American wasted two match points in the decisive set, eventually winning 64 26 75. The boys’ competition saw the upset of the day when Eddie Herr champion, seventh seed Denis Kudla of the USA, lost to unseeded Dutch Justin Elevend. As also happened to Brazilian Clezar, Kudla was forced to retire with cramps in the third set while trailing 36 75 20.

In the bottom half of the draw, European Championships semifinalist and eighth seed Arthur De Greef of Belgium came from behind to earn victory over Dutchman Jannick Lupescu, 46 63 64. No 15 Sekou Bangoura of the USA gave the American fans a match to remember, surviving a tough encounter against big-hitting George Morgan of Great Britan. Having lost the first set, 18-year-old Bangoura came back to win the following two, but he frittered away two match points on his serve at 5-3 in the third set and had to fight hard in a dramatic tie-break before winning 46 62 76. Yucatan Cup champion, American fifth seed Mitchell Frank dispatched Oliver Golding of Great Britain with a straight sets victory, 75 75, and will play his compatriot Jack Sock, who advanced into the fourth round with an easy victory over fellow-countryman Dennis Novikov, 75 61.

In the girls’ competition, world number one 16-year-old Kristina Mladenovic of France showed her impressive form as she dismantled No 14 Valeria Solovieva of Russia 64 61. The Roland Garros champion, who has an excellent forehand, will now meet unseeded Madison Keys of the USA in a rematch of the Banana Bowl semifinal. 15-year-old Keys, who claimed the title at the Coffee Bowl last January, produced the major upset on Day 4 at Crandon Park as she knocked out last week’s Eddie Herr champion Daria Gavrilova of Russia, winning 63 46 63. Third seed Heather Watson of Great Britain continued her run with a three set win over No 13 Saisai Zheng of China, 61 36 63. Sixth seed Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia also advanced to the quarterfinals but she needed three sets to overcome aggressive Yulia Putintseva of Russia, the winner of the Grade 1 Santa Croce sull’Arno. Casablanca Cup champion Tomljanovic lost the first set but managed to dig herself out of trouble with a powerful ground game and an excellent serve, triumphing 57 60 61. In the bottom half of the girls’ draw, Adriana Perez of Venezuela outplayed Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand 06 64 63 and Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada won against American Ellen Tsay, 61 62. No 8 Nastja Kolar of Slovenia continued her great campaign in Key Biscayne as she beat Lauren Davis of the USA 62 63 and moved into the quarterfinals without losing a set. She will now face wild card Robin Anderson from Matawan, New Jersey, who defeated compatriot Nicole Gibbs for the first time in her career.

11
Dec
09

5 players ejected from Orange Bowl for fighting!

There were full-scale fisticuffs and the Miami-Dade Police were called to the courts as the Orange Bowl championship overheated in dramatic fashion.

The argument? Whether the Americans or the Russians had booked a particular court. Five players, two from the United States, two from Russia and one from the Bahamas (who apparently tried to act as a peacemaker) were thrown out of the tournament by Brad Taylor, the referee, and investigations by the two federations will follow.

The trigger came when two doubles matches, one involving Campbell Johnson and Shaun Bernstein, of the US, and another with Victor Baluda and Richard Muzaev, of Russia, had to be moved to a court with lights when darkness fell.

When the players arrived at the same court, strong words were allegedly exchanged, which spilt over into a general mêlée that also involved Rodney Carey, of the Bahamas. Johnson, Baluda and Muzaev, were also defaulted from the singles.




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