Photo: Srdjan StevanovicAmanda Anisimova (USA)
Amanda Anisimova is back in the Grade A Campeonato Internacional Juvenil de Tenis de Porto Alegre girls’ final, but this time around the pressure is on the 15-year-old American to take home the winner’s trophy.
The top-seeded Anisimova, playing her first junior tournament of the season, earned her second consecutive Porto Alegre final slot with a 63 64 semifinal win over sixth-seeded Maria Camila Osoria Serrano of Colombia, who was competing in her first Grade A-level semifinal.
"I feel amazing right now, real proud of myself," Anisimova said. "I think I served really well today. I think we both played really well, but I got to move around on court more, which I know she wouldn't like."
Until the semifinals, Anisimova never lost more than four games in a match at this year’s tournament. That said, the American still enters the final without the loss of a set all week.
In order to score this year’s title, Anisimova will have to bypass fellow American and seventh-seeded Sofia Sewing in the final. Sewing pulled off a tough 46 75 60 win over fellow American Elysia Bolton in the semifinals.
Sewing arrived in Brazil having previously reached the semifinals at the Coffee Bowl tournament this year, and did win the doubles trophy of that event.
Whether Sewing pulls off a win over Anisimova in a first meeting between the two is yet to be known. But what is already a fact is that Sewing is a 2017 Porto Alegre champion. Teaming as the second-seeded duo with Maria Jose Portillo Ramiezz of Mexico, they overcame the third-seed team of Fernanda Labrana of Chile and Thaisa Grana Pedretti of Brazil 75 62 to win the title.
A rewind to last year would find a then 14-year-old Anisimova, seeded third at the tournament, facing fellow American and top-seeded Usue Maitane Arconada in the title match. Seeding order prevailed as Arconada became the Porto Alegre champion after taking a 06 64 62 decision over Anisimova.
The boys’ final finds unseeded Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi of Argentina attempting a defeat of eighth-seeded Trent Bryde of USA, which would keep the Porto Alegre title at home in South America.
The 17-year-old Grassi Mazzuchi started his tournament quest with a big 26 64 62 first round upset over fourth-seeded Sam Riffice of the USA. The Argentine seemed to get stronger each round, and landed in the final after a confident 61 61 semifinal win over seventh-seeded Oliver Crawford of the USA.
"I played really well today so I''m very happy," Grassi Mazzuchi said. "Mentally I'm stable, finding the right balance, and that was of crucial importance. It's gonna be a very tough final, I've never played him before. Hopefully I can enjoy it a lot and maybe walk out of here with the trophy."
The 17-year-old Bryde, who will play Grassi Mazzuchi for the first time, reached the Coffee Bowl semifinals last month, but fell in the first round of the Australian Open boys’ competition as well.
"I don't know him that well, but he had a nice ride today and a leftie on red clay is always tough," Bryde said of Grassi Mazzuchi. "But I'm just hoping for the best."
In a similar situation to Sewing, Bryde is also already a Porto Alegre champion this year. He teamed with fellow American Olukayode Alafia Damina Ayeni as the sixth-seeded team and won the trophy by walkover when the fifth-seeded duo of Sebastian Baez of Argentina and Ondrej Styles of Czech Repbulic stepped away from the final.