Riffice & Kirkov Fall on Day 1 of 18 Doubles
Sunny skies and a light breeze filled the first day of the USTA Boys’ 18 & 16 National Championships on Friday, July 31. The weather proved to be helpful for Alex Diaz (Athens, Ga.) and Zach Jennings (Snellville, Ga.) in the 18s doubles tournament. After a 6-3, 6-2 first round victory over Max Palmer (Houston, Texas) and Eric Wagner (Roslyn Heights, New York), the Georgia couple faced the Gold Ball clay court champions and the runners up in the 2015 Eater Bowl, Sam Riffice (Roseville, Calif.) and Vasil Kirkov (Tampa, Fla.). Diaz and Jennings won the first set over the No. 5 seed 6-2 and took a 5-3 lead in the second set. With Riffice serving, he and Kirkov faced triple match point at 0-40, but battled back to force a deuce. Diaz and Jennings won the next two points, however, to advance to the third round. No seeded players in the 18s played in the first round due to the top 32 players receiving byes. The 2012 16s champion Henrik Wiersholm (Kirland, Wash.) battled back from a first set loss to defeated Alexander Knight (Miami Shores, Fla.) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Wiersholm will face No. 8-seeded William Blumberg in the second round tomorrow. Scheduled for tomorrow is the first rounds of 16s singles and doubles as well as the second round of 18s singles. Play begins at 8 a.m. at both Stowe Tennis Stadium and Sorensen Courts.
Source: Mitch Blankespoor