12 Dec 2013

Zverev survives scare to keep tournament hopes alive

Match Report

Photo: Susan MullaneAlexander Zverev (GER)

Top seed Alexander Zverev of Germany needed to dig deep to earn his place in the third round of the Metropolia Orange Bowl Under-18s event.

Zverev is regarded as one of the likely contenders for the boys’ title at the final Grade A ITF Junior event of the 2013 season but when he dropped the first set against Poland’s Phillip Gresk, his title hopes appeared to be slipping away. Sixteen-year-old Zverev, the current ITF Junior World No.1, regrouped to win 46 64 63 and set up a third round meeting with 16th seed Francisco Bahamonde of Argentina.

Zverev was not the only highly ranked player to struggle on the clay courts of Plantation, Florida on Wednesday. Third seed Filippo Baldi also had to come from a set down to overcome Maxime Janvier of France 26 63 62. Baldi now plays promising American Francis Tiafoe for a place in the quarter-finals.

Second seed Johan Sebastien Tatlot of France, fourth seed Stefan Kozlov of the USA and sixth seed Michael Mmoh (also of USA) all progressed on Wednesday. US Wildcard Reilly Opelka caused the biggest upset of the day when he beat Croatia’s Nino Serdarusic, seeded 15th, 64 64. Opelka’s reward is a last 16 encounter with Tatlot.

It was an equally busy day in the girls’ event. As top seed, Russia’s Varvara Flink must be regarded as the one to beat and she certainly looked much too strong for Ilka Csoregi of Romania in round two. Flink rolled to a 61 63 win and now plays Fanny Stollar of Hungary, who is seeded 14th. 

The biggest surprise so far in the girls’ competition has undoubtedly been the impressive form of Bulgarian qualifier Julia Terziyska. The teenager took the positive momentum from her four matches so far (three in qualifying) to beat 8th seeded American Johnnise Renaud 26, 76(4), 75 in arguably one of the most compelling and competitive matches of the week. Terziyska will now place Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

Terziyska is one of three unseeded players in the last 16 of the girls’ competition. Siqi Cao of China and Sofia Kenin of USA play each other in the third round, so guaranteeing an unseeded quarter-finalist.

In other results, the much talked-about American Tornado Alicia Black, seeded three, continued her steady progress with a 63 62 win over Jacqueline Cabaj Awad of Sweden.  She will now play Renata Zarazua of Mexico. Second seed Ivana Jorovic had to survive an early scare before beaten Emma Christine Higuchi of USA 67(2) 61 61 and now plays Great Britain’s Isabelle Wallace.