The 16s singles draw took center stage on the third day of the USTA Boys’ 18 & 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo on Sunday. The top two seeds, Jeffrey Wolf (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Jake Van Emburgh (Verona, Wis.), each won second round matches despite needing three sets to do so. Wolf lost the first set 6-3 to Drew Baird (Holly Springs, N.C.) but battled back to take the second set at love. In the decisive third set, Wolf lost the first two games, but won six of the next eight to win the set 6-4. Just like his doubles partner (Wolf), Van Emburgh also lost the first set of his match against Lucas Biondi (Purchase, N.Y.). After a second set win (6-3), the two went to a third set tiebreak to decide who would face Ignacio Garcia (San Juan, Puerto Rico) in the third round. Van Emburgh did not lose a point in the tiebreak, defeating Biondi 7-0. The highest seed to lose in the 16s second round singles was Andrew Fenty (Washington D.C.) who lost to William Grattan-Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. Local product Bill Duo (Portage, Mich.) won his match over Samuel Feit (Los Angeles, Calif.) 6-3, 6-3. Fellow area native T.J. Oosterbaan (Kalamazoo, Mich.) did not enjoy the same fate, falling to Paul Hendrix (Murrells Inlet, S.C) 6-4, 6-4. In 16s doubles, seven of the top eight seeds advanced to the third round. The ninth seed, however, did not survive into the fourth day at the nationals. Maxwell Freeman (Ashland, Mass.) and Ryan Fu (Andover, Mass.) fell to unseeded Nevin Arimilli (Austin, Texas) and Alex Westbrooks (McKinney, Texas) 6-4, 6-4. The 18s doubles tournament third round also played in day three. Top-seeded Frances Tiafoe (College Park, Md.) and Michael Mmoh (Bradenton, Fla.) defeated Sam Ruchetta (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) and Brenden Volk (Dix Hills, N.Y.) 6-4, 6-3. The other seven top seeds advanced as well. Play for day four consists of 16s singles third round, 16s feed in second round, 16s doubles third round, 18s singles third round, and 18s feed ins third round.
Source: Mitch Blankespoor