2022 Boys' 18 & 16 Junior Nationals Summary
My Kalamazoo Preview; Three Seeds Fall in 18s First Round Action at Kalamazoo; All Top Eight Doubles Seeds Advance to Third Round
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 1 - Friday, August 5, 2022
Before I get into the action on opening day of the 2022 USTA Boys 18s and 16s National Championships, here's my annual preview of the tournament for the Tennis Recruiting Network. The first day is strictly for 18s and due to byes, none of the top 32 seeds play singles, so, with one exception, all the players I mention in my preview are still in contention for the titles. The exception is No. 6 seed Nishesh Basavareddy, who withdrew with an injury late Thursday.
Good weather is always appreciated when there are so many matches to complete early in the tournament, but there was a delay this afternoon at all three sites due to rain, lightning or both. All the singles matches had concluded before the rain arrived, however, so the only impact was in doubles matches, but that forced several second round matches under the lights.
While the top 32 seeds get byes, all 32 of the 33-64 seeds were in action today, with only three failing to advance to the second round. Three others withdrew before the start of play: Luke Bracks, Adam Sun and Brayden Michna.
Ohio State recruit Brandon Carpico defeated Kentucky recruit Eli Stephenson 7-5, 2-6, 6-2; Adam Bojkovic took out Yale incoming freshman Vignesh Gogineni and Purdue incoming freshman Mujtaba Ali-Khan defeated Dartmouth incoming freshman Waleed Qadir 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(6).
18s played two rounds of doubles today, with the top 16 seeds getting byes. The top eight seeds all won, with No. 1 seeds Sebastian Gorzny and Alex Michelsen getting a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Robert Cooper and Luc Piacentini and No. 2 seeds Nicholas Godsick and Ethan Quinn defeating Payton Jim On and Andre Ajed 6-2, 6-2. No. 4 seeds Samir Banerjee and Ozan (Colak) Baris had the most dramatic second round win of the top eight seeds, defeating Stephenson and David Saye 6-1, 6-7(4), 10-7.
With Basavareddy withdrawing, Bryce Nakashima was without a partner, but this morning he was able to get USC rising sophomore Ryan Colby as a replacement. They retained the No. 6 seed originally given to the Basavareddy and Nakashima (CORRECTION: Colby and Nakashima are NOT seeded), and after a slow start, came back to beat Rahulniket Konakanchi and Nicolas Arts 3-6, 6-1, 10-6.
The top 32 seeds in the 18s will begin play Saturday with second round matches, while the first round of 16s singles will be played, with those top 32 seeds having byes. There will be one round of doubles for 16s on Saturday, while the 18s doubles have the day off.
Live streaming is available on courts 1-5 at Stowe Stadium. Follow @ustaboys on twitter for information on who is playing on which of those five courts.
Quinn Among Top B18s Seeds Breezing into Third Round; 16s Championships Underway at Kalamazoo
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 2 - Saturday, August 6, 2022
The hot and humid conditions for the singles second round at the USTA Boys 18s National Championships didn't pose any problems for the top 16 seeds, all of whom advanced to the third round with routine straight-sets victories.
Eight games was the most any of those 15 seeds lost (No. 6 seed Nishesh Basavareddy withdrew before the tournament) and it was No. 1 seed Martin Damm who had the toughest match. Playing on George Acker Court, the No. 1 court at Stowe, the 2018 Boys 16s champion struggled a bit before defeating Ethan Schiffman 6-4, 6-4. The left-hander from Florida got a break at 4-all in the first set, then broke early in the second and held on to advance to the third round.
In the day's last main draw match at Stowe, No. 2 seed Ethan Quinn also was assigned to Acker Court, where he displayed the form that has resulted in two USTA Pro Circuit men's titles this summer, beating Kyle McNally 6-0, 6-1.
After a mediocre spring on the ITF Junior Circuit that led to a drop in his ranking, Quinn opted not to play qualifying for Roehampton and the Wimbledon Junior Championships, a decision that looks especially good in hindsight.
"I had been in Milan (a junior Grade A), Roland Garros and a 15K in Italy and that entire time I was pretty ill," said the 18-year-old from Fresno, who now lives in Athens after enrolling at the University of Georgia in January. "Being ill, I didn't want to stay in Europe by myself, and I saw there were these $15Ks in California, and I thought that would be a little bit better opportunity for me, for the path I want to go on."
An unabashed fan of hard courts, Quinn had great success on the SoCal Circuit, winning his first pro title in San Diego in singles by defeating NCAA singles finalist August Holmgren in the final, while also reaching the doubles final. He picked up two doubles titles the following two weeks, then made the semifinals as that six-week stretch concluded. The following week, he made his way to the Midwest for the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign and won that, boosting his ATP ranking to 509, second only to Damm in the Kalamazoo field.
He retired in the second round of the $25,000 tournament in Edwardsville last week, unwilling to jeopardize his preparations for Kalamazoo.
"Going into Edwardsville, I felt like I was fine physically," Quinn said. "In Champaign it was really hot, some days were really windy, but I felt like let's just keep riding this high. I was playing very well, I felt like I could beat anyone in that draw again and I won my first round, but I was having just a little big of discomfort in my knee and I was just like, this is not worth it. Right away, I went back to Athens and got my body feeling better. I had played six weeks straight or so, and it was nice getting a lot of massages. Rather than go back to California, I could get that all for free, in the same time zone."
Quinn admits that he often feels a different level of pressure when playing junior tournaments, but does not shy away from talking about the US Open main draw wild card on the line here.
"It's massive," saoid Quinn, who has received entry into the US Open Junior Championships via his ATP ranking. "The entire summer I had this marked on my calendar, making sure my body is ready, that I'm ready to compete at a high level, getting a lot of matches in. I want to win this, and especially, being the college guy, I want to show that it's the right choice. I want to be at the Open for sure."
The first few rounds at Kalamazoo don't compare to the competition he was facing in the Pro Circuit tournaments, but he defeated both No. 4 seed Kyle Kang and No. 7 seed Alex Michelsen during the SoCal Pro Circuit tournaments and knows just how many contenders there are for the title this year.
"I think a lot of it is going to be mental," Quinn said. "Who can handle the pressure. Anyone could win it, so every match you have to play knowing this could decide whether I go to the Open. If you're more locked in, making better decisions, and I mean, this is the best crowd I've had since my first year in 16s here, so not letting the crowd overwhelm you. Anyone can take it, but not if you're letting those things affect you."
Quinn appreciates what Kalamazoo means to the history of the sport and to the community.
"It's just the way the community supports the tennis here," Quinn said. "It really reminds me of Athens, big stadium, three front courts. Yesterday I was walking out of dinner and people stopped me and asked about the tournament, if I was playing. They were from Chicago and everyone around here knows about the tournament. I appreciate how much they support it. When you're out there, and even if you're playing someone you're kind of killing, they're still clapping, still super supportive. The boy I played today, he won a game and the crowd erupted. I loved it and it gets me ready for college that feeling. And then, of course, the blueberries and cream. I'm probably going to get one before I go back."
No. 3 seed and reigning Australian Open boys champion Bruno Kuzuhara defeated AJ Mercer 6-2, 6-0 and No. 4 seed Kyle Kang beat Ninad Raut 6-2, 6-1.
While there was no drama for the top 16 seeds, No. 17 seed Alexander Frusina wasn't as fortunate, losing to Abishek Thorat 6-2, 6-4. The last game was full of tension, after the 15-year-old from Florida had broken to serve for the match. Thorat saved a break point, then saw Frusina save five match points before he finally converted the sixth.
Two other top 32 seeds fell today, including last year's 16s champion Alexander Razeghi, who retired with an injury trailing Alejandro Jacome 1-6, 7-5, 1-0. No. 30 seed Marko Mesarovic lost to Nicholas Steiglehner 6-3, 6-3.
The first round of 16s singles began today, with none of the top 32 seeds in action until Sunday. Five No. 33 seeds lost, all in tough battles: Jacob Golden lost to Kai Villagomez 7-6(5), 6-3 and Dylan Jaen was beaten by Sibby Rodi 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Nathan Gold defeated No. 33 seed Karan Rabhavendra 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; Mateusz Gradski beat No. 33 seed Ian Mayew 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 and 14-year-old Ford McColllum defeated Cole Henceroth 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
There is no singles play for 18s on Sunday, with the third round of doubles late iin the afternoon. The main focus early in the day will be the second round of 16s singles, with the top 32 seeds in action.
Rain Forces Play Indoors to Complete Kalamazoo B16s Singles Second Round, Burnett Ousts No. 10 Seed in Three-Hour Battle
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 3 - Sunday, August 7, 2022
Many of the top 32 seeds in the 16s division of the USTA Boys National Championships were able to post their first victories in Sunday's second round of singles before the rain arrived just before 1 p.m.
No. 2 seed Quang Duong posted a quick 6-0, 6-1 win over Jack Ling before the skies opened; No. 3 seed Adhithya Ganesan, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Prathinav Chunduru, and No. 4 seed Cooper Woestendick, who beat Kenneth Chan 6-1, 6-2, also finished their matches outdoors at Stowe Stadium.
Top seed Roy Horovitz, playing on George Acker Court, the No. 1 court at Stowe Stadium, wasn't as fortunate however. The 15-year-old from Florida had taken the first set, but was sent to one of the four indoor courts at Kalamazoo's College Markin Center to complete his 6-0, 6-2 win over Arham Mefta.
No. 5 seed Darwin Blanch, a 14-year-old wild card, needed less than an hour to get past Tristan Stine 6-0, 6-1 Sunday morning.
On the other end of the match time spectrum was Evan Burnett, who survived an intense three-hour and 20 minute slugfest in high heat and humidity to beat No. 10 seed Cyrus Mahjoob 5-7, 7-6(8), 6-4.
Burnett was down a set and 5-3, but Mahjoob couldn't close the door, and Burnett converted his second set point in the tiebreaker to force a third. Breaking at 4-all in the third, Burnett had a chance to serve for the match and he took it, choosing to serve and volley on his second match point at 40-30.
That decision was based on his physical condition as much as on any strategic considerations.
"I was so tired at the end," said the 16-year-old from Woodside California. "Once we got to the third set, my legs were almost giving out, but I found a way, played smart. I've been throwing [serve and volley] in recently, but haven't done it much. I was super tired and I thought that would be the best way to finish the match. If he hit a great shot, that's fine, but I had confidence he would give me an easy ball or would miss and he did. So I felt that was the best thing to do on match point."
Burnett was on the Northern California team that won the USTA Battle of the Sections on Wednesday, and said that and three wins at the Clay Courts last month put him in a good frame of mind for this event.
"I came in with a lot of confidence and I'm playing well now," Burnett said. "I'd never seen him play, but I knew who he was, he was a high seed and got third at Easter Bowl, which was amazing. But I just played my game, stayed loose, believed I could win. When you're playing a high seed, you can get caught up in, oh he's so much better than me, so I had to just believe in my game."
Two other top 32 seeds fell in Sunday's second round, with Elliot Wasserman defeated No. 21 seed Paris Pouatcha 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 and Nathaniel Suh beating No. 29 seed Raghav Jangbahadur 6-4, 6-1.
Another long match at Stowe Stadium that featured a comeback saw Grand Rapids' Simon Caldwell defeat No. 33 seed Nolan Balthazor 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.
Caldwell, who turned 15 two weeks ago, looked much fresher than his much bigger opponent in the third set of the two-hour and 43-minute contest.
"I've done a lot of work over the summer to get my body in the best shape that I can be and I proved it today," said the rising high school freshman, who trains with Tom Walker at the Grand Rapids Racquet and Fitness club. "I've been really training hard trying to perfect my game for the biggest tournament of the year."
Competing on the show courts at Stowe Stadium is especially significant for those juniors who have attended the tournament in when they were just beginning to play, hoping someday to qualify for it.
"It's a really amazing feeling," said Caldwell, who also played at Stowe Stadium in his first round match Saturday. "Everyone that's come from Michigan to support me, it really means a lot to be there, on the big stage. I really had a great time playing, and I can't wait to play again tomorrow."
Whether matches will be played on Monday is another question, with the forecast currently calling for a 70% chance of rain and more rain this evening delaying the completion of the 18s consolation matches and many of the boys 16s first round doubles matches.
The schedule will be posted tonight at the ustaboys.com website, but times will go up later than usual due to all the matches still in progress. The 18s doubles third round matches originally scheduled for today were canceled.
Top 18s Seed Damm, No. 9 Seed Gorzny Earn Comeback Victories in Kalamazoo Third Round; Top Eight Seeds in 16s Division Advance to Fourth Round
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 4 - Monday, August 8, 2022
The dire weather forecast didn't materialize Monday for the third round of the USTA Boys 18s and 16s National Championships, but wet courts early and delays due to drizzle late in the day forced the matches in the bottom half of the B18s singles to be postponed until Tuesday.
The third round of B16s singles was completed, and seven of the top eight seeds advanced in straight sets, with No. 8 seed Ian Bracks the only one to lose a set. Bracks did keep that cohort perfect however with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 win over unseeded Dylan Fayerman.
Top seed Roy Horovitz kicked off outdoor play Monday afternoon with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Andrew Spurk and No. 2 seed Quang Duong defeated Zachary Cohen 6-3, 6-0.
The only 16s division Top 16 seed in action Monday who didn't advance was No. 11 Andrew Ena, who lost to wild card Maximus Dussault 6-2, 6-3.
In contrast to Horovitz, the top seed in the 18s, Martin Damm, had a sterner test, defeating Sean Daryabeigi, a No. 33 seed, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Damm, who lost in the fourth round last year as the No. 2 seed, said he was able to keep a positive attitude despite falling behind.
"I had a feeling, or was hoping, that his level would go down a bit," said the 18-year-old left-hander from Bradenton Florida. "I thought he was playing ridiculous tennis in the first set. Obviously, the last two years, for me, have been tough; the first few rounds have been challenging. But I just kept telling myself, hold your serve and at the worst we go to a breaker in the second."
Down break points at 1-all in the second, Damm held and was able to take control of the match from there.
"If he was going to beat me, he had to earn it, I wasn't going to give up," Damm said. "I came out with good energy and I thought for the next set and a half, I was playing great tennis. It gives me huge confidence moving forward if I get rid of the nerves early on, playing my big tennis, I like my chances against these guys."
Damm, who won the 2018 16s title when he was just 14 and the 2019 18s doubles title with Toby Kodat, has more good memories than bad from his three previous appearances in Kalamazoo.
"Those are obviously some of the best memories I've experienced on a tennis court," Damm said. "But know that as the top seed, you have a target on your back and these guys, they have nothing to lose and the two guys I've played are pretty darn good. I have a huge chance to play the US Open, and I know they say take one match at a time, but that's the ultimate goal for me. There's definitely some pressure, but at the same time you've just got to enjoy it. This is my last year to play this tournament and I've had a blast here, even the losses I've taken, it's changed me a lot."
Damm is without a coach on this trip and that is part of his effort to be more self-sufficient as he continues to pursue a professional career.
"This year has been a lot of learning, last year and a half a lot of maturing," said Damm, who won his first $25,000 ITF Men's World Tennis Tour tile in June when traveling by himself. "That was something my coaches told me, that I will go to three, four tournaments alone completely, just to figure out things for myself, not always have someone there to lean on. That's obviously great, but I need to learn to battle there on the court like I did today. I found a way, by myself to win a match."
In the fourth round Damm will play No. 26 seed Bryce Nakashima, brother of 2017 Kalamazoo 16s champion Brandon, who defeated Jonathan Gu 6-1, 6-2 today.
Damm began his comeback early in the second set, but it took much longer for No. 9 seed Sebastian Gorzny to turn around his match with Dylan Tsoi, a No. 33 seed.
Gorzny was serving down 1-4, 15-40 in the third set, but held there and got the break back before drizzle again delayed play, this time for more than a few minutes. Tsoi took a medical timeout before play resumed with what appeared to be a back issue, but Gorzny, a rising freshman at TCU, wasn't affected by the delay and he held for 4-all. Tsoi, a Yale recruit, held for 5-4 and again had medical attention on the changeover. After Gorzny made it 5-all, Tsoi couldn't convert his game point at 40-30, double faulting and making two errors to hand Gorzny a 6-5 lead. Up 40-15, Gorzny let two match points go to waste, with Tsoi hitting good passing shots as Gorzny approached the net, but on the third Tsoi missed and Gorzny had survived. He will play Evan Wen, a No. 33 seed, who beat No. 20 seed Jelani Sarr 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.
The top half will not play singles on Tuesday, with their next singles matches on Wednesday as the bottom half catches up. See the home page of ustaboys.com for more on Tuesday's revised schedule.
Although there were no major upsets in the 18s singles, that was not the case in 18s doubles, which were played indoors on Monday morning. No. 4 seeds Samir Banerjee and Ozan Baris lost to No. 19 seeds Caden Hasler and Marko Mesarovic 6-4, 5-7, 10-2 and No. 8 seeds Kyle Kang and Learner Tien lost to unseeded Alexander Chang and Noah Hernandez 7-5, 6-4.
No 16s doubles were played on Monday.
Top Seeds in Kalamazoo 16s Tested, but Survive; Perera Defeats Braswell as Round of 32 Wraps Up in 18s
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 5 - Tuesday, August 9, 2022
After several frustrating days of rain disruptions, Day Five of the USTA Boys 18s and 16s National Championships couldn't have been more perfect, with partly cloudy skies, light breezes and temperatures in the 70s.
The 16s singles has managed to stay on schedule, and they are set for the round of 16 on Wednesday morning, with seven of the top eight seeds still alive.
After two routine wins to open the tournament, top seed Roy Horovitz and No. 2 seed Quang Duong were challenged in today's fourth round, with Horovitz defeating No. 25 seed Sanjeev Chundu 7-6(5), 6-3, and Duong easing past No. 22 seed Asror Ismoilov 7-5, 6-4 on George Acker Court at Stowe Stadium.
Horovitz will play No. 14 seed Max Exsted, a 6-3, 5-7, 6-0 winner over No. 20 seed Shaurya Bharadwaj while Duong faces No. 27 seed Krish Arora. Arora defeated No. 15 seed Jordan Reznik 7-5, 6-2.
No. 7 seed Stiles Brockett was not able to hold off No. 33 seed Vincent Yang, who defeated the USTA 16s Clay Courts champion Stiles Brockett 6-3, 6-3.
While the 16s stayed on schedule in singles, they are lagging in doubles, and will play two rounds on Wednesday. That means 16s main draw singles matches will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday at Stowe Stadium.
The bottom half of the 18s singles draw couldn't be completed on Monday, so they played today, while the top half had the day off.
The number of dramatic matches was decidedly smaller than yesterday, with only three of the 16 matches in the bottom half of the 18s draw going three sets.
No. 15 seed Jack Anthrop, a redshirt freshman last semester at Ohio State, needed over three hours to get by No. 33 seed Aadarsh Tripathi 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4; No. 23 seed Ryan Colby, who played for the University of Southern California last season, defeated Anthrop's future teammate Preston Stearns 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3; and Alex Fuchs, one of just three unseeded players remaining, beat unseeded Abishek Thorat 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
No. 2 seed Ethan Quinn rolled past Andy Nguyen 6-3, 6-1, while No. 4 seed Kyle Kang battled past No. 33 seed Connor Smillie 6-4, 7-5.
The only 33 seed to beat a higher seed today was Masato Perera, who took out No. 17 seed Jonah Braswell, a rising freshman at Florida, 6-2, 6-4.
Perera is also just days away from starting his college career, as he will head east to Harvard before the end of the month, and said having his college choice settled has shown in his recent results.
"You don't feel that pressure to perform every match," said Perera, who reached the final of the Southern California sectional championships this summer, losing to Hudson Rivera, the No. 9 seed this week in Kalamazoo. "I mean, you still feel like you really want to win, but it's just one thing off your plate, so it's really nice."
Perera said his serve was the key to his win over Braswell, whom he had never played.
"Honestly, my first serve percentage was really good," said Perera, who played on the Southern California team that reached the final of the USTA's Battle of Sections last week in Grand Rapids. "I've been working on my serve for a long time and it really helped me out today, made the difference in the match."
Next up for Perera will be No. 7 seed Alex Michelsen, another Southern California 18s sectional champion, who defeated No. 33 seed Ratish Patil 6-4, 6-3.
"I've played him like four or five times," said Perera, who is from Santa Barbara. "I'll definitely have to serve well, he's a really good returner and his serve's gotten better. He's solid from the baseline and comes in really well. Actually the last two times we've played, I've won, but I'll definitely have to step up my game and I'm looking forward to it."
As for the change of venue he's facing when he heads to Cambridge in two weeks, Perera already has one thing on his shopping list.
"I'll definitely have to buy a jacket, that's for sure," Perera said.
While upsets were few in singles, the 18s doubles fourth round saw another Top 4 seed fall, with No. 3 seeds Cooper Williams and Aidan Kim losing to No. 9 seed Rivera and Braden Shick 6-3, 2-6, 10-7. Top seeds and Wimbledon boys champions Sebastian Gorzny and Michelsen defeated No. 32 seeds Vignesh Gogineni and Waleed Qadir 6-4, 6-3 and No. 2 seeds Nicholas Godsick and Quinn beat unseeded Jelani Sarr and Sean Daryabeigi 6-4, 7-6(3).
The 18s doubles quarterfinals are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, after the fourth round of singles are completed.
Exsted Upsets 16s Top Seed Horovitz; Woestendick Saves Two Match Points to Advance to Thursday's Quarterfinals
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 6 - Wednesday, August 10, 2022
A second straight day of perfect weather greeted the competitors in the round of 16 of the USTA Boys 16s National Championships at Stowe Stadium, but unlike Tuesday, the results were far from ideal for the top seeds.
No. 1 seed Roy Horovitz lost to No. 14 seed Max Exsted 7-5, 6-2 and No. 3 seed Adhithya Ganesan was beaten by No. 13 seed Calvin Baierl 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5.
Horovitz, who had a tough fourth round match on Tuesday, just couldn't get himself in a winning position against Exsted.
"The first set was a little weird," said Exsted, a 15-year-old from Minnesota who trains in Florida. "The first eight games nobody held. I think we were both a little bit nervous coming out of the gate, but when I was dictating play and looking for my forehand it was good."
As the top seed, Horovitz had played on George Acker Court, the main court at Stowe Stadium, twice already this week, while Exsted was encountering that atmosphere for the first time.
"It's a great experience but it doesn't make much of a difference in my mind," said Exsted, who had not played Horovitz before. "I try to stay in my court, but it's definitely a really cool experience."
Up 4-1 in the second set, Exsted dropped serve, but immediately broke back and was able to fight off any nerves when closing it out on his serve.
"After I got broken, I had a good attitude about it," Exsted said. "I wasn't getting like super mad. I just tried to stay calm and cool."
Exsted admitted that it wasn't peak tennis from either of them.
"We both could have played a little better," said Exsted. "But he's still a really good player. It was my first time playing him, but I'm sure we'll play so many more times. We're pretty similar, the way we play. There's pretty much no free points, and we had so many long rallies."
Exsted will play No. 9 seed Mitchell Lee, who beat No. 33 seed Vincent Yang 6-3, 6-2. "We've been friends for so long, I've known him since we were maybe 10, but it'll be a first time playing him," Exsted said. "So it should be fun."
Unlike Exsted, who reached the 14s final last year in Mobile and is making his debut in Kalamazoo this year, No. 4 seed Woestendick is a veteran, having taken third place last year as a 14-year-old.
He needed all the energy and experience he could muster today, saving two match points to beat No. 12 seed Mikel Anderson 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-6(5) in three hours and 39 minutes.
Woestendick, who turns 16 in November, managed to come up with two big serves on those match points and attributed his ability to execute when under pressure to both mental and physical strength.
"You've just got to fight the nerves and go big," said the right-hander from Kansas. "Physically I felt pretty good. This past year I've done a ton more fitness, working for matches like this, which are almost four hours. Obviously, if you're playing that long, you're going to get pretty tired, so you've just got to stay focused on each point."
In the tiebreaker, there was again almost nothing to separate the two, but at 5-all Woestendick managed a perfect drop shot to go up 6-5, and Anderson netted a forehand to end the marathon.
"I was very impressed with him all match," said Woestendick, who had not played Anderson before. "He stepped up his game late in the second set and in the third set as well, and it was good tennis overall."
Woestendick, also a doubles finalist in 2021, had enough success in the 16s to contemplate playing the 18s this year, but pointed to the difference in his position, and the US Open Junior wild card to the 16s winner, as reasons to stay in his age group.
"Last year, playing here at 14, honestly there was no expectations, just come here and play," said Woestendick. "This year's a little more pressure, you're one of the higher seeds. There's some very good opponents in 16s this year and I just want to get some good tennis in. And the US Open Junior wild card, that's definitely one of the reasons I'm playing 16s this year."
No. 12 seed Rudy Quan, who needed assistance exiting the court after his 7-6(3), 7-6(6) win over No. 8 seed Ian Bracks, will face the 15-year-old Baierl in one bottom half quarterfinal. In the other, No. 2 seed Quang Duong, the reigning 16s Orange Bowl champion, will face No. 32 seed Saahith Jayaraman, who came back to beat No. 6 seed Matthew Forbes 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
While the 16s quarterfinals are Thursday, the 18s will be playing their round of 16 matches, with most of the favorites still around. Seven of the Top eight seeds advanced today, with the only one missing No. 6 Nishesh Basavareddy, who withdrew the day before the tournament.
Two 9-16 seeds lost today, with Evan Wen, a No. 33 seed, beating No. 9 seed Sebastian Gorzny 6-1, 6-0 and No. 23 Ryan Colby beating No. 14 seed Hudson Rivera 6-4, 7-6(7).
Wen will take on Martin Damm, who beat No. 26 seed Bryce Nakashima 6-3, 6-1. Wimbledon finalist Michael Zheng, the No. 5 seed, had no trouble with No. 31 seed Sebastian Sec, posting a 6-3, 6-2 win; No. 16 seed Aidan Kim breezed to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over unseeded Mujtaba Ali-Khan to set up a rematch of their Wimbledon round of 16 match last month, which Zheng won 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
No. 3 seed Bruno Kuzuhara had to raise his level late in each set to get past 2021 16s finalist Lucas Brown 6-3, 6-4; he will play No. 10 seed Cooper Williams Thursday. Kuzuhara beat Williams 7-6(1), 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the Grade 1 Eddie Herr last December.
No. 12 seed Nicholas Godsick came from a 6-3, 3-1 down to beat No. 27 seed Alexander Visser 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Godsick will face No. 8 seed Learner Tien, who beat No. 29 seed and Clay Courts champion Nicholas Heng 6-1, 6-2. Tien defeated Godsick 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Grade 1 in Costa Rica early this year.
No. 33 seed Alexander Chang will face the second Michigan player in the round of 16 (Kim is from suburban Detroit), Ozan Baris. Chang, a rising sophomore at Cal, earned a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win over unseeded Alejandro Jacome. Baris, formerly Colak, beat No. 25 seed Adit Sinha 6-2, 6-4.
No. 4 seed Kyle Kang will play No. 13 seed Samir Banerjee after each got through the fourth round in straight sets. Kang defeated No. 19 seed Kaylan Bigun 6-2, 6-2 and Banerjee beat unseeded Alex Fuchs 6-2, 7-6(2). Kang and Banerjee met last year in the third round of the Easter Bowl, with Kang winning in a third set tiebreaker.
No. 7 seed Alex Michelsen overcame a rough start to beat No. 33 seed Masato Perera 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 and will play Colby for a place in Friday's quarterfinals.
No. 15 seed Jack Anthrop had another long three-setter today, beating No. 24 seed Braden Shick 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. He will play No. 2 seed Ethan Quinn, who got past an inspired Landon Ardila, the No. 29 seed, 7-5, 6-4. Anthrop and Quinn played two weeks ago in the second round of a $25,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in Edwardsville Illinois, with Anthrop up 5-2 when Quinn retired.
The 18s doubles quarterfinals were played Wednesday afternoon, with two routine and two exciting matches entering the crowds at Stowe Stadium.
Top seeds and Wimbledon champions Gorzny and Michelsen beat No. 10 seeds Nikita Filin and Alexander Razeghi 6-3, 6-3 and will play No. 9 seeds Shick and Rivera, who saved four match points in their 5-7, 7-6(10), 11-9 win over No. 26 seeds Chase Thompson and Aadarsh Tripathi.
Zheng and Anthrop, the No. 5 seeds, defeated No. 19 seeds Marko Mesarovic and Caden Hasler 6-3, 6-2 and will face No. 2 seeds Godsick and Quinn, who avenged their San Diego J1 lost this spring to No. 7 seeds Ardila and Brown 6-4, 2-6, 10-6.
Godsick won the 16s doubles title last year with Brown; Quinn was the 18s runnerup in doubles with Gorzny.
The quarterfinals of 16s doubles will be played Thursday afternoon, while the 18s will have the day off from doubles.
The junior boys wheelchair championships begin Thursday at Stowe and run through Saturday, so the boys 18s round of 16 will be played on the back courts at Stowe and live streaming will not be available.
Williams Takes Out No. 3 Seed Kuzuhara, Tien Saves Match Points to Advance to 18s Quarterfinals; Jayaraman Upsets No. 2 Seed Duong to Reach 16s Semifinals
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 7 - Thursday, August 11, 2022
The back courts of Stowe Stadium were buzzing Thursday, with fans enjoying another great day of weather and all kinds of drama in fifth round USTA Boys 18s Nationals matches on courts 9, 10 and 11.
Top seed Martin Damm managed to squeeze past No. 33 seed Evan Wen 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-4 on Court 10, but No. 3 seed Bruno Kuzuhara couldn't force a third set against No. 10 seed Cooper Williams on Court 9, who earned 6-3, 7-6(1) victory.
Williams, who had lost to Kuzuhara in the quarterfinals of the Grade 1 Eddie Herr last December, was able to reverse that result thanks to his first serve.
"I had my chances at Eddie Herr, but I definitely took my chances here," said the 17-year-old Harvard recruit. "I served really amazing today, faced break points and pulled out some good shots in the first set. I got the break and he handed me a couple of errors, I hit a couple of good shots and took advantage. I had looks in every return game and I just kept holding serve."
Williams went up a break twice in the second set, but both times Kuzuhara broke back, leading to the tiebreak. Rather than dwell on his ability to consolidate earlier, Williams came up with his best tennis of the match to close it out.
"I played a near-perfect breaker," Williams said. "And overall I served impeccably, pretty much. My first serve percentage was up there in the high 70s probably, had 10 plus aces, a bunch of unreturnables. My plus-one was good, and everything just flowed in the breaker. I hit an unreal backhand line at 1-all and from then on I just put a lot of balls in the court and made him work."
Williams will play No. 8 seed Learner Tien, who trailed No. 12 seed Nicholas Godsick 6-4, 5-1 before mounting a furious comeback, saving four match points in a 4-6, 7-6(9), 6-3 victory.
Godsick had two match points with Tien serving at 3-5 in the second and two more at 7-6 and 8-7 in the tiebreaker, but couldn't convert. After the 10-minute break, Godsick requested a medical timeout and early in the third set was obviously hobbled by cramps. Tien, always placid, hit a few more drop shots than usual, but otherwise didn't react, while Godsick began to move better and, hoping to shorten points, hit harder. That worked for initially, but when Tien went up a break at 3-1, Godsick couldn't find a way back into the match.
Tien and Williams played in the first round of USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 tournament this spring in Florida, with Tien posting a 6-2, 6-2 victory.
Damm was able to serve his way out of trouble in the third set, and forced Wen to serve to stay in the match at 4-5. Wen, a Princeton recruit, fell behind 15-40, but hit two excellent serves to save those match points. He double faulted however to give Damm and third match point and the 2018 Boys 16s champion converted it when Wen netted a forehand.
Damm will face No. 5 seed Michael Zheng, who came back to beat No. 16 seed Aidan Kim 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Zheng has now beaten Kim the last three times they've met this year, in a Pro Circuit qualifying match, in the round of 16 at Wimbledon Juniors and today.
The bottom half will feature the first Michigan boy in the quarterfinals since Scott Oudsema made the 18s final in 2004, with Ozan Baris, the No. 11 seed, facing Kyle Kang, the No. 4 seed.
Baris defeated No. 33 seed Alexander Chang, a Cal rising sophomore, 6-2, 6-0, buoyed by the support of friends, family and his Michigan State coaches.
"It's special, it's my favorite tournament of the year," said the 18-year-old from Okemos. "So often I'm traveling the world and playing in a foreign country or a foreign player. This feels like home. It's awesome to play here and it's a step in my journey. This is going to be one of my last junior tournaments other than the Junior US Open, so I'm just trying to make the most out of it."
Kang earned his quarterfinal berth in the most unfortunate manor possible, with No. 13 seed Samir Banerjee retiring at 3-3 in the third set after falling and injuring his wrist. Banerjee, the 2021 Wimbledon boys champion, had the wrist taped by a trainer at the 2-3 changeover, but retired after Kang won the next game.
Kang and Baris played twice at Kalamazoo last year, with Baris winning in the fourth round of the main draw, and Kang taking the consolation final.
In the last quarterfinal, current Georgia Bulldog Ethan Quinn, the No. 2 seed, will face future Georgia teammate Alex Michelsen, the No. 7 seed.
Quinn defeated Michelsen 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the semifinals of the $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in San Diego in June and last year at the Grade 1 in San Diego, with Quinn going on to win both tournaments.
The top four seeds in the 16s are now all out. Top seed Roy Horovitz and No. 3 seed Adhithya Ganesan lost in the round of 16 on Wednesday, and today No. 2 seed Quang Duong and No. 4 seed Cooper Woestendick were eliminated in contrasting fashion.
Fourteen-year-old wild card Darwin Blanch, the No. 5 seed, defeated Woestendick 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, while No. 32 seed Saahith Jayaraman posted a convincing 6-3, 6-1 victory over reigning Orange Bowl 16s champion Duong.
Jayaraman, who beat No. 6 seed Matthew Forbes 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a grueling round of 16 match Wednesday, is not surprised by his results this week.
"It doesn't surprise me, because I've always had that level and I just needed to break through, mostly prove to myself what I can do," said Jayaraman, who turns 17 in October. "Proving it to myself and to everyone here."
Jayaraman trains at JMG Academy in Sacramento California, where 2016 Kalamazoo 16s finalist and 2018 18s champion Jenson Brooksby is based.
"I see Jenson a lot, we have good conversations," Jayaraman said. "I get to hit with him sometimes and that's where I can see where my game is at. He's doing really well on the tour right now and knowing that I can win some points off of him, compete with him, gives me confidence and belief in myself."
Jayaraman will face 15-year-old Calvin Baierl, the No. 13 seed, who defeated No. 12 seed and reigning Eddie Herr 16s champion Rudy Quan 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
"I've never played Calvin before," Jayaraman said. "I've seen him around and I know he did well in the 14s. He's a great competitor and it's not going to be easy."
Blanch will play No. 9 seed Mitchell Lee, the reigning 16s Winter Nationals champion. Lee defeated No. 14 seed Maxwell Exsted 6-2, 6-1. The 16s singles semifinals are scheduled for Saturday.
The 16s doubles semifinals are set for Friday, with top seeds Chase Fralick and Forbes taking on No. 5 seeds Stiles Brockett and Cassius Chinlund and No. 4 seeds Ian Mayew and Oliver Narbut facing No. 2 seeds Lee and Woestendick.
The 18s doubles quarterfinals were played yesterday and they will play their semifinals on Friday afternoon.
Top seeds and Wimbledon champions Sebastian Gorzny and Michelsen will face No. 9 seeds Braden Shick and Hudson Rivera. No. 2 seeds Godsick and Quinn will play No. 5 seeds Jack Anthrop and Zheng.
Wheelchair round robin competition begins at 9:30 a.m. on the front courts of Stowe. Tien and Williams will play on Court 4 at 10:30 a.m., with Damm and Zheng and Michelsen and Quinn scheduled for 11:30 on Courts 2 and 3. Baris and Kang will follow to round out the singles play, with 16s doubles first, followed by 18s.
Tien and Damm, Quinn and Michigan's Baris Advance to Kalamazoo 18s Semifinals; Top Two Seeds Also Reach 18s Doubles Final with US Open Wild Card on Line
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 8 - Friday, August 12, 2022
The top two seeds in both singles and doubles continued their runs in the USTA Boys 18s National Championships, but for local fans, the story of Day Eight is Michigan State freshman Ozan Baris, who advanced to the semifinals in singles with a 6-1, 6-7(8), 6-4 victory over No. 4 seed Kyle Kang.
Baris and Kang were the final singles match of the day, so all eyes were on Court 2, with his supporters preparing to celebrate when he took a 6-1, 3-1 lead.
But he couldn't consolidate that break and lost serve at 4-all, giving Kang an opportunity to serve for the set. Kang, a 17-year-old from Fullerton California, didn't take advantage, but got to a tiebreaker, where he saved two match points at 6-5 and 7-6.
USTA rules require a 10-minute break after splitting sets, and Baris quickly forgot about those two chances.
"I felt like I did a good job of keeping a much better head out there," said the 18-year-old from Okemos, an hour and a half drive from Kalamazoo. "And I hit a lot more forehands, and I was able to reset and I'm just glad I'm out of there."
Baris said he had heard that Kang hadn't been feeling well lately, but after that sluggish start, Kang brought his level up.
"He turned it on," said the No. 11 seed, who split decisions with Kang last year in Kalamazoo, winning in the main draw, then losing to him in consolation final.
"He was a completely different player. I've been watching him play and I've heard he might be sick the past couple of days. At 6-1, 3-1 I kind of let up, had a couple of bad games and his energy went way up, a lot of my winners turned into balls he got to and it became really physical. He increased his level and I got tight for sure, but that third set was just good quality tennis, and that one break was it."
Baris got that in the third game and was able to hold on even when facing a 0-30 deficit serving for the match at 5-4. But he kept relying on his forehand, and it paid off, as he won the final four points of the match, ending it with a forehand winner.
Baris was particularly happy that he didn't have to play the consolation tournament, with the quarterfinal losers the last competitors to enter that draw.
"I didn't want to get to the same place I was the last two [Kalamazoos] I've played," Baris said. "Different way, but same draw. I'm not going to lie, I put a little pressure on myself because of that too. I wanted to have a better result than before."
Baris will play No. 2 seed Ethan Quinn, who defeated future Georgia teammate Alex Michelsen 7-6(5), 6-2, winning the final six games of the match.
"I don't think he's lost a set," Baris said. "It looks like he's playing really solid tennis recently. I've never played him, but it's going to be a good match and I'll have to bring my good tennis. I'm looking forward to it."
Unlike Quinn, top seed Martin Damm has had to fight back from a set down twice this tournament, but he was sharp on Friday in a 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Wimbledon boys finalist and No. 5 seed Michael Zheng. Damm, the 2018 Kalamazoo 16s champion, got the only break of the match in the second set, and both his serve and his volleys were in top form against Zheng.
Damm's opponent is No. 8 seed Learner Tien, who survived four match points in the fifth round on Thursday against No. 12 seed Nicholas Godsick, and played freely in today's quarterfinal against No. 10 seed Cooper Williams, earning a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory.
"I came into today with a new chance at life almost," said the 16-year-old left-hander from Irvine California. "I didn't have as much pressure, if any, coming into today, feeling fortunate to still be in the tournament. There were still some nerves and some expectations, but a lot less pressure, feeling grateful to still be playing, I guess."
Up two breaks in the second set at 4-0, Tien gave one back and had to save three break points when he served for the match at 3-5. But he eventually got to match point and made the most of it, hitting a great serve out wide that Williams had no chance to return in the court.
"As a lefty, standing on the ad side and having the flexibility of standing however far you want, being able to hit that slice, then throwing in the T, it keeps them on their toes a little bit," Tien said. "It's really useful, especially on the bigger points; they really don't know what to expect sometimes."
With Damm turning 19 next month and Tien not 17 until December, they have not competed in the same junior tournaments.
"We've never played," Tien said. "I've seen him around the older age groups, but I think I'll watch the second set of his match."
Saturday's doubles final in the 18s was decided Friday afternoon, with Wimbledon junior champions Michelsen and Sebastian Gorzny winning their 20th consecutive match. The top seeds defeated No. 9 seeds Hudson Rivera and Braden Shick 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, watching a 3-0 third set lead slip away but breaking Rivera at 4-5 to reach the final.
No. 2 seeds Quinn and Godsick came from behind to defeat Zheng and Jack Anthrop, the No. 5 seeds, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. Up a break early in the third, Quinn and Godsick saved two break points with Godsick serving at 4-3 to hold on to that lead, with Quinn serving it out.
Quinn and Gorzny were doubles finalists last year, losing to Ben Shelton and Bruno Kuzuhara in the championship match. Godsick is the 2021 16s doubles champion, with Lucas Brown.
The winner of Saturday's 18s final will be awarded a wild card into the men's doubles draw at the US Open.
The 16s didn't play singles on Friday, with the doubles semifinals the only main draw competition for 16s.
No. 5 seeds Stiles Brockett and Cassius Chinlund defeated top seeds Matthew Forbes and Chase Fralick in a thriller, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5). Brockett and Chinlund will face No. 2 seeds Cooper Woestendick and Mitchell Lee, who beat No. 4 seeds Oliver Narbut and Ian Mayew 6-4, 6-4.
Saturday's singles semifinals in the 16s will feature No. 5 seed Darwin Blanch versus No. 9 seed Mitchell Lee and No. 13 seed Calvin Baierl against No. 32 seed Saahith Jayaraman.
The weather forecast is currently calling for a 60% chance of rain, so the four days of perfect weather might come to an end on Saturday.
Blanch and Baierl Reach Boys 16s Final; 18s Semifinals Postponed Due to Rain; Quinn and Godsick Win 18s Doubles Title, US Open Wild Card; Lee and Woestendick Claim 16s Doubles Championship
©Colette Lewis 2022--
Day 9 - Saturday, August 13, 2022
Source: Colette Lewis (Zoo Tennis)