Photo: Francesco PanunzioStefan Kozlov (USA)
Day two of the 52nd annual Metropolia Junior Orange Bowl Grade A event saw the second round draw on both the boys’ and girls’ side completed.
In the boys’ draw, US players Henrik Wiersholm and Stefan Kozlov, who are doubles partners and neighbours at the USTA’s training facility in Boca Raton, Florida, both scored wins on Tuesday. Wiersholm (16) beat Fajing Sun of China 62 64 and Kozlov overcame Grenada’s Yannick James 64 62.
After their match the Americans spoke to the esteemed US newspaper the Miami Herald, which is covering the tournament. Wiersholm told the newspaper that he and Kozlov like to joke around, not least when it comes to Kozlov’s 9-0 winning head-to-head record over his friend in singles. “He reminds me of that occasionally,” Wiersholm told the Miami Herald, “but it’s all good-natured kidding. It would be great to meet him in the final of this tournament.”Wiersholm revealed that he is set to continue his tennis and his studies at the University of Virginia. “Nothing will be given to you, you have to go out and earn it,” he said.
In other boys’ results, third seed Filippo Baldi if Italy, ninth seed Marcelo Zormann of Brazil and sixth seeded American Michael Mmoh are also amongst those through to round two.
Katarina Jokic of Bosnia Herzegovina caused a sizeable upset on the girls’ side when she knocked out American seventh seed Katrine Isabel Steffensen 7-(10) 63 in round one. Jokic’s gutsy performance set up a second round meeting with Jaqueline Adina Cristian of Romania. 15th seed Dasha Ivanova of USA is also out after losing 64 63 to Siqi Cao of China.
This year’s Honorary Chair of the Junior Orange Bowl is reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who bases himself in Florida for pre-season training and takes a keen interest in junior tennis. Murray himself is a former Orange Bowl champion, having won the 12-under boys’ title in 1999.
“Winning the Under-12 event in 1999 is still one of my happiest memories from the sport, so I’m delighted to be able to serve as Honorary Chair for this year’s event,” said Murray. “I wish everyone who takes part the best of luck, and hope that one day some of you will have the chance to be Honorary Chair. It’s a special tournament and your memories from here will stay with you, so enjoy it”.