Monday Produces Few Upsets but Plenty of Drama
It was a beautiful day in Kalamazoo for the 64 main draw tennis matches staged over eleven hours at the Stowe Stadium courts. It ended after 7 p.m with a thrilling 18s contest capping the day\\\'s nonstop action.
The 16s division took to the courts first, and there were a few surprises, but the top eight seeds advanced. Jason Smith, the ninth seed, was upset by Ty Trombetta 7-6 (4), 6-0, while 15th seed Kyle McMorrow was defeated by Daniel Nguyen 6-4, 7-6 (5). Reese Milner took out 25th seed Erik Hannah and Marcus Rebersak sent 30th seed Tyler Bowman to the back draw with a 6-4, 7-5 victory.
The 16\\\'s top seeds Brennan Boyajian and Ryan Thacher moved through in straight sets, but Boyajian was challenged in the second set by Brian Fang, who held a set point serving at 5-4. Boyajian has not lost a set in Nationals 16s competition in three tournaments, and the righthander from Weston Fla. turned back Fang\\\'s efforts to end that streak, taking the match 6-1, 7-5.
\\\"I just started missing everything,\\\" Boyajian said of his performance in the second set. \\\"I wasn\\\'t feeling too good. Hopefully I can pick it back up again tomorrow.\\\"
The 18s produced much of the day\\\'s drama, and most of that came in the late afternoon matches. Fourth seed Marcus Fugate, a finalist at the Clays two weeks ago, was down a set and a break to Zach Nichols, but released his anger by smashing his racquet and turned the match around.
\\\"They always say to keep your racquet in your hand,\\\" said the usually placid New Yorker. \\\"But I feel there are emotions that can\\\'t be endured with a racquet in your hand, so I just had to let it go.\\\"
Fugate then won nine straight games and finished \\\"by concentrating on my serve in the third.\\\"
Only two seeds fell in 18s play, with Florida\\\'s Jonathan Wolff defeating 26th seed Matt Brewer of Tennessee and Southern Californian Steve Johnson putting out Mateusz Kecki, the 22nd seed from Sacramento 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2. Once Johnson had secured his win on Stowe\\\'s Court Two, he headed to the back courts to watch his friend Steve Forman, a 2005 finalist in the 16s at Kalamazoo.
Forman\\\'s opponent, Zachary Watson of Virginia, showed no signs of being intimidated by Forman\\\'s 2005 results or his seeding (30). Using a punishing forehand, Watson took a tight first set 7-6 (5) and when Forman evened the match with a 6-3 win in the second, the stage was set.
Serving at 5-6 in the third, Forman, down 0-40, saved two match points. At 30-40, he and Watson produced the point of the tournament. Every conceivable tennis shot was struck in the rally: drop shot, swinging volley, overhead, down-the-line forehand, crosscourt backhand, lob. Each boy seemed to have won the point several times over, and the crowd that lined the benches erupted in cheers and whistles after Forman finally snatched it.
\\\"I put everything I had into that\\\" Forman said. \\\"I normally wouldn\\\'t have chased down that lob. I don\\\'t know how that even got in. I should be out right now.\\\" Watson had two more ads in the game, but Forman changed his strategy and stayed alive.
\\\"My serve is my biggest weapon, so I quit trying to kick it to his backhand and tried to just hit some big serves,\\\" Forman said. \\\"It went in, I don\\\'t know how, but it did.\\\"
Once he reached the tiebreak, Forman again lived dangerously, going from a 4-0 lead to 4-4, but the 17-year-old from Del Mar, Calif. immediately got a minibreak and won the final two points on his serve.
Top seeds Donald Young and Jesse Levine had no need of such miracles, as they again dominated; Young defeated Eric Quigley 6-2, 6-2, while Levine had an even easier time with Jeff Dadamo, taking a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
There were no 18s doubles on Monday, but the 16s played their third round matches. The top five seeded teams advanced to Tuesday\\\'s fourth round.
Source: Colette Lewis (Tournament Office)