Aug. 13, 2005
August 2005
Aug. 13, 2005
August 2005

Young & Querrey Battle for 18s Title Sunday; Forman and Schnugg Meet for 16s Crown

Sunday?s USTA Boys 18s National Championship match will feature top seed Donald Young against second seed Sam Querrey, but their counterparts in the 16s division were upset in the rain-delayed semifinals Saturday, leaving third seed Steve Forman and fifth seed Nate Schnugg to battle it out for the 16s title.

Querrey and fifth seed Jesse Levine brought gutwrenching drama to their late afternoon matchup, with Querrey ekeing out a 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-6 (5) victory. Down 3-0 and two breaks in the final set, Querrey managed to slowly climb back into the match and at 4-5, Levine teetered on the brink so many times, even the umpire lost count.

?I asked the referee,? said Querrey of the number of match points he didn?t convert, ?and he said 8 or 10 or something. It was a lot.?

And though Levine questioned several dubious line calls during that marathon game, he kept his composure when it mattered most and eventually evened the match at 5-5 and then 6-6. He even managed a sarcastic ?thank you? when one obviously long ball was called out at deuce and 5-6.

Querrey acknowledged that Levine was unlucky.

?Yesterday I had them (bad calls) against me and today he had them against him, but his were at pretty big points,? said Querrey. ?Luckily I pulled it out, because I was starting to slip from the sweat soaking through my socks and shoes.?

?That?s the way it goes sometimes,? said Levine after his equally disappointing loss later in the evening when he and partner Michael Shabaz, the top seeds, fell to fourth seeds Mykyta Kryvonos and Denis Zivkovic 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6) in the 18s doubles final. ?It wasn?t my day.?

The other 18s semifinal paled by comparison, even though it too featured a tiebreak, with Young defeating Jamie Hunt 7-6 (3), 6-2.

?In the first set I didn?t start off too well,? said Young, who was down a break most of the set. ? (I was) missing a lot, trying to go for winners and not being consistent. He was being really consistent, which surprised me.?

But after taking the tiebreak and hitting a winner from an impossible position nearly in the doubles alley of the adjacent court, the momentum clearly shifted his way.

?The second set I started to play more of my game?kept the ball in play, moved him around, came in a little.?

Despite both having played three of the last four junior Grand Slams, Querrey and Young have not face each other recently, though they both remember their head-to-head as 1-1.

Steve Forman?s record against top seed Dennis Lajola wasn?t nearly as even, with his last win dating back to a Little Mo final.

?I haven?t beaten him recently, and I?ve always had a lot of chances,? said Forman, who had taken the first set 6-3 when the rain forced a two-hour delay. ?But I?ve put in a lot of hard work and I felt I have a lot less weaknesses that he could pick on now.?

At four all, Forman, seeded third, broke and although Lajola saved four match points in the final game, the big righthander?s serve eventually proved insurmountable in the 6-3, 6-4 win.

Neither Nate Schnugg nor Wil Spencer had lost a set in reaching the semifinals, and Schnugg still hasn?t after his 6-4, 6-3 victory over the second seed.

?I think he had a hard time catching a groove with me,? said Schnugg. ?I was really trying to focus on mixing everything up.?

Spencer was unable to dent the formidable Schnugg serve during the match, rarely having a break point. Coupled with his own struggles on his serve, Spencer was unable to dictate the pace of the match.

Schnugg revealed his motivation for his impressive run.

?For the past six months, my goal has been to get in the U.S. Junior Open.? With a win on Sunday, Schnugg, who turns seventeen in October, will realize that goal, as the 16s winner is traditionally given a wild card in New York.

Schnugg had a mirror opposite of Jesse Levine?s day, as he and partner Dennis Lajola captured the 16s doubles crown with a 6-2, 6-2 win over second seeds Johnny Hamui and Tyler Hochwalt.

But they recognized that their National Championship quest was taking a back seat to the Levine-Querrey match which was being played at the same time one court away.

?I was watching the match,? Schnugg confessed, and Lajola immediately piped in with a laugh and a ?yeah, me too.?

?Especially when I saw the score at 5-4,? said Lajola, ?everyone started clapping at every point.?

Asked about the delay in receiving their gold balls due to the length of the Levine-Querrey battle, Schnugg spoke as a true tennis fan. ?It was such an unbelievable match? he said. ?I would have waited even longer.?

Source: Colette Lewis (Tournament Office)