Photo: Marcelo RuschelMarcelo Zormann (BRA)
The bottom half of the Grade A Porto Alegre boys’ 18 tournament has turned into a dream come true for Brazil.
Yes, Brazil is guaranteed to have a finalist in action now that sixth-seeded Orlando Luz and 10th-seeded Marcelo Zormann will face each other in the semifinals.
Luz created the upset on Friday when he upset second-seeded Johan Sebastien Tatlot of France 63 63. It took Luz one hour, 25 minutes to send Tatlot packing.
“I was really tired after all the matches I have been playing in the last weeks so I had to impose myself and my game over my opponent,” Luz said. “I knew that long rallies would be the worse for me. So my tactics worked out well.”
Zormann outlasted 13th-seeded Alex Rybakov 76 (5) 60.
“I started out a little nervous,” Zormann admitted. “I even had some chances to wrap the first set earlier but missed them. In the tiebreak I had less unforced errors and was able to play better than my opponent.”
So how have Luz and Zormann fared against each other?
They’ve played three ITF junior circuit matches in the past with Zormann winning the first two encounters back in 2012. Luz, however, scored the last win in the semifinals at last week’s Banana Bowl en route to winning the title.
In the top half of the draw, top-seeded Quentin Halys of France will face ninth-seeded Clement Geens of Belgium.
Halys won a hard fought 62 57 64 quarterfinal battle against 12th-seeded Omar Jasika of Australia. Geens also went three for a 62 36 61 win over 14th-seeded Henrik Wiersholm of USA.
The girls’ 18 semifinals will feature three European players and one American with the highest remaining seed the fifth-seeded Anna Bondar of Hungary.
Bondar earned her semifinal spot with a 62 62 upset of second-seeded Fiona Ferro of France.
“I felt really good on the court today, scored many winners, it was very good”, Bondar said.
Bondar plays wearing glasses although she did attempt to find an alternative.
“I have tried contacts, but my eyes were really dry,” she explained. “I have been playing with glasses for two years and still did not get hit by a ball or anything so I hope it doesn’t happen.”
Bondar will face 14th-seeded Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov of Spain in the bottom half semifinal. Zadoinov took out Bianca Turati of Italy 63 16 64.
Zadoinov, who was born in Moldova, comes from an athletic family. Her parents were Olympians in track and field — her mother competed in four Olympic Games and father in three. It was when they were competing at the 1992 Barcelona Games that they decided to move to Spain.
In the top half of the draw, 10th-seeded Dasha Ivanova of USA will vie for a final berth against Jil Belen Teichmann of Switzerland.
Ivanova earned her first semifinal spot in a Junior Grade A event with a 67(4) 62 76(5) over third-seeded Priscilla Hon of Australia. Ivanova was born in Russia, moved to the United States when she was four and currently resides in Florida.
Teichmann defeated eighth-seeded Usue Arconada of USA 61 76(6) in the other quarterfinal