Trombetta Shocks Schnugg and McClune Cruises into Semis in 18s; Seal and Formentera Book Places in 16s Semis
No. 30 seed Ty Trombetta of Hallandale FL created some buzz on Wednesday when the 17-year-old right-hander edged past 2007 Clay Court champion and No. 26 seed Clint Bowles in two close sets. But the buzz became a roar on a warm and sunny Friday when Trombetta played nearly flawless tennis to upset No. 4 seed Nate Schnugg of Medford, OR, 6-4, 6-4.
Trombetta, a quarterfinalist in the 16s last year, got the only break of the first set and made it hold up, although Schnugg had two break points to even it with Trombetta serving at 5-4. Trombetta \'s first serve proved the difference and combined with pinpoint passing shots, he never allowed Schnugg to control points.
After losing the first set, Schnugg made a statement, breaking Trombetta in his first service game and taking a 3-0 lead. But Trombetta didn\'t relent, taking the next three games and then breaking Schnugg in the critical ninth game.
Serving for the match, Trombetta banged a second serve ace to make it 30-30 and in the next point needed three or four attempts at a pass before finally getting it by Schnugg at the net. It was fitting that on his first match point, Trombetta blistered a backhand winner that Schnugg could only watch, one of many outright winners from his racket
"I think my backhand worked really well," said Trombetta, who has competed primarily on the European Junior Circuit this summer. "And my serve was good today. I played pretty well. I don\'t think today was his best day."
Trombetta credits improvement on his forehand as the key to his recent success.
"I wasn\'t hitting it so hard last year," said Trombetta. "I\'m a lot stronger."
Next for Trombetta is top seed Mike McClune, who reached the semifinals with a clinical 6-1, 6-1 win over unseeded 15-year-old Ryan Harrison.
"There\'s definitely a little more nerves than normal," said the 17-year-old from Irvine, CA about playing an unseeded and much younger opponent. "But you\'ve just got to trust your shots and continue playing the way you have the whole tournament."
For McClune, that means hitting deep in the court and keeping errors to a minimum, although he admitted that Harrison\'s ability to volley made for a special challenge.
"I knew he was going to attack my second serve," McClune said. "I knew he was going to try to come in as much as he could, so I really worked on my passing shots, and making every return."
McClune and Trombetta have never played, but the stoic Trombetta promised he would be more emotional if he succeeded in pulling off his third straight upset.
The 16s singles semifinalists decided on Friday are developing quite a rivalry. No. 2 seed Lawrence Formentera beat No. 4 seed Bo Seal in a third set tiebreaker to win the Easter Bowl, and Seal, playing in the National 16s team event recently, defeated the Southern Californian in two close sets.
Formentera avenged his three-set loss at the Clay Courts to Seal\'s doubles partner Ryan Noble on Friday, taking a 6-1, 6-4 decision from the No. 5 seed.
"I was so impatient," said Formentera of his loss to Noble three weeks ago on the Delray Tennis Center\'s clay courts. "It\'s weird that I was more patient on hard. Today I got up 5-2 and I didn\'t want to miss, he started attacking and took over the net."
Noble used his forehand slice to come in to the net and down 4-1 in the second, it worked, putting more pressure on Formentera\'s passing shots. But in the end, Formentera\'s aggressive play returned and on his fourth match point, the first on his serve, he struck a perfect backhand volley to earn a spot in the semifinals against Seal.
Seal took out No. 18 seed JT Sundling 6-4, 6-1 and after the first set was 4-4, the right-hander from Chattanooga took eight of the next nine games.
"I started out a little slow, got down 2-0," Seal said of the opening set. "We had a long game on his serve and I was able to get the game, get on the scoreboard, get some momentum. The momentum helped me get into a rhythm, I got smoother and was able to play my game."
Seal, who is known for his emotional c\'mons on key points, is delighted to be playing Formentera again.
"I like playing him," said Seal. "He gives you a good ball to hit. I\'m looking forward to a good match tomorrow. It\'ll be fun."
The doubles semifinals were played Friday afternoon, or at least three of them were. Kellen Damico and Nate Schnugg, the No. 1 seeded team in 18s, received a walkover in the final when Bradley Klahn was unable to compete with partner Dennis Nevolo due to a shoulder injury.
In the 18 doubles semifinal that was played, Tyler Hochwalt and Michael McClune, the No. 5 seeds, upset 2006 U.S. Open Junior finalists Jarmere Jenkins and Austin Krajicek, the second seeded team, 6-4, 6-3.
In the 16s doubles, the top-seeded team of Noble and Seal fought back to take a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision from No. 11 seeds Chris Camillone and Ray Sarmiento. In Saturday\'s final, they will face the No. 5 seeded team of Daniel Nguyen and JT Sundling, who eliminated No. 16 seeds Sekou Bangoura and Nelson Vick 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the other semifinal.
Source: Colette Lewis (Tournament Office)