Orange Bowl 2011 – Day 4

The Podzus twins continued their excellent run at the 2011 Orange Bowl with both making it to the quarter-finals of a boys’ draw containing no American players.

The Latvian pair are ranked well outside the top 1500 and Janis produced, perhaps, the biggest win of his career as he took out Wimbledon finalist Liam Broady in straight sets. The 17-year-old won the first set on a tiebreak against the second seeded Brit and eventually the match 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 while brother Martins had to seal it in three with his victory over Germany’s Kevin Kaczynski.

Martins faces 12th seed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan following his hard-fought victory over Kai-Wen Lai and Janis will play Patrick Ofner next after the seventh seeded Austrian crushed wildcard Noah Rubin’s hopes of a quarter-final berth.

Rubin had been one of two American players left in the draw but all are now gone as 13th seed Alexios Halebian lost a tight three set match to Filip Peliwo. The Canadian takes on sixth seeded Belgian Julien Cagnina in his last eight encounter.

Cagnina was joined by fellow countryman and 10th seed Kimmer Coppejans after beating Borna Coric in three sets while top seed Dominic Thiem made light work of the lowest-ranked seed Hassan Ndayishimiye, coming out a 6-1, 6-4 winner.

Sachia Vickery (USA)

As the American boys fell, the girls thrived and created the possibility of an all-American semi-final match.

Wildcard Sachia Vickery bounced back from a first set bagel at the hands of sixth seed Zuzanna Maciejewska to claim a shock win over the reigning Osaka Mayor’s Cup champion. She now has a great chance of making the semi-finals as her potential opponent Romanian fourth seed Ilka Csoregi lost.

Russian 14-year-old Vavara Flink took total disregard of her age to claim her second seeded scalp of the tournament and Vickery should be wary as Flink knocked out home player Alexandra Kiick in the second round.

The USA were already guaranteed at least one player in the quarter-finals as Samantha Crawford won the all-American third round tie against Nadia Echeverria Alam but faces a tough task with Yulia Putintseva her next opponent.

The second seeded Russian kept up her record of not dropping a set so far as she took out Anna Danilina 7-5, 6-3 and is the only seeded player in the bottom half of the draw.

In contrast, the top half consists of the first, third, fifth and seventh seeds who all won in straight sets. Indy De Vroome knocked out the highest-ranked player left from the United States as she beat 16th seed Taylor Townsend 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

The full quarter-final line-up is as follows:

Boys’ Singles
Dominic THIEM (AUT) [1] vs. Kimmer COPPEJANS (BEL) [10]
Martins PODZUS (LAT) vs. Yoshihito NISHIOKA (JPN) [12]
Julien CAGNINA (BEL) [6] vs. Filip PELIWO (CAN)
Patrick OFNER (AUT) [7] vs. Janis PODZUS (LAT)

Girls’ Singles
Eugenie BOUCHARD (CAN) [1] vs. Donna VEKIC (CRO) [7]
Indy DE VROOME (NED) [3] vs. Anett KONTAVEIT (EST) [5]
Sachia VICKERY (USA) vs. Varvara FLINK (RUS)
Samantha CRAWFORD (USA) vs. Yulia PUTINTSEVA (RUS) [2]

All the scores and results for the boys’ and girls’ singles as well as the boys’ and girls’ doubles are available as drawsheets via the USTA website.

Osaka Mayor’s Cup 2011 – Finals

Jiri Vesely (CZE) Jiri Vesely showed why he is the world number one and all but guaranteed his place there in the year-end rankings thanks to a second Grade A title of the year at the Osaka Mayor’s Cup.

The 18-year-old became the first Czech player to win the event after being taken to three sets by Lucas Pouille. He’s now finally added to the Australian Open crown he gained in January having lost in the US Open final.

It proved to be one step too far for Frenchman Pouille, who had beaten second seed Luke Saville amongst other seeded players to get to the final.

The pair had only met on one other occasion, with Vesely recovering from a first set loss to triumph on the clay of last year’s Banana Bowl. This year on hard court, Vesely won the opener but costly mistakes in the second set meant the world number 131 levelled the scores.

An early break in the decider let the top seed in and he punished his opponent clinically to take the match 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

It was a good day all round for the Czech as him and partner Kaichi Uchida also took the boys’ doubles crown after a rain delay on Saturday postponed the match. They eventually defeated Luke Saville and Andrew Harris 1-6, 7-5 [10-4].

For the second year running a Japanese finalist lost out in the girls’ event. Miho Kowase couldn’t stop Saisai Zheng from winning in 2010 and Makoto Ninomiya suffered the same fate against Poland’s Zuzanna Maciejewska.

Seventh seed Ninomiya went into the match as favourite given her higher ranking position and support from the home crowd but 12th seed Maciejewska wasn’t overawed.

It took her a while to get going, the first set going to a tiebreak which she scraped 7-5 but after that she ran riot to win 7-6 (7-5), 6-1. She is the first Polish champion at the Osaka Mayor’s Cup after going one better than Aleksandra Olsza’s runner-up spot in 1995.

There was, however, some joy for the Japanese audience as home players Mami Adachi and Eri Hozumi edged compatriots Miyu Kato and Riko Sawayanagi 5-7, 7-5 [10-7] in the girls’ doubles final.

Osaka Mayor’s Cup 2011 – Semi-finals

Top seed Jiri Vesely ended Kaichi Uchida’s dreams of a home victory in the Osaka Mayor’s Cup after clinching a straight sets win but hopes are still alive in the girls’ draw.

Fourth seed Uchida has always done well in his home tournament, breaking through as a qualifier in 2008 and had reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon this year. But once again he failed to make his Grade A final debut despite putting up a fight in the second set losing 6-1, 7-5.

World number one Vesely has gone from strength to strength since claiming the Australian Open crown in January having reached the final of the US Open and featured in the Davis Cup alongside fellow Czechs Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek.

He’s now into his third Grade A final of the year where he will face Lucas Pouille of France. Having a junior ranking of 131 is somewhat undeserved for Pouille as he’s concentrated on the Futures this year following a quarter-final run at the Australian Open.

The 17-year-old has defeated four seeds en route to the final including second seed Luke Saville and followed that up with another win over Aussie opposition in the semis.

Nick Kyrgios, the 14th seed, put in a hard fought display having won the first set on a tiebreak before losing the second the same way. Pouille managed to gain the crucial break in the third though, to take it 6-4.

The last Japanese winner in the girls’ event was Kurumi Nara in 2007 and this year’s seventh seed is one step away from matching that triumph.

Makoto Ninomiya, from Hiroshima, defeated her sixth seeded opponent Kathinka Von Deichmann thanks to her superior shot power and grit to come back from a set down.

With just four places separating them in the rankings it was always going to be a close match and after winning a second set tiebreak 7-4, Ninomiya clinched the match 6-4 in the third.

In contrast, the other semi-final was more of a rout. Polish 12th seed Zuzanna Maciejewska disposed of 13th seed Ratnika Batra easily and if it wasn’t for the solitary game the Indian secured in the first set it would have been a double bagel.

Batra complained of an injury to her right leg after the match but accepted the loss against a player who’s only dropped one set in the whole tournament.

It will be the first Grade A final for both Ninomiya and Maciejewska.

Osaka Mayor’s Cup 2011 – Quarter-finals

World number three and junior Wimbledon champion Luke Saville provided the biggest shock of the quarter-finals and perhaps the tournament as he lost to unseeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille in straight sets.

For Pouille, it may not have been that great a surprise as the in-form 17-year-old had already taken out the likes of 12th seed Rishabdev Raman and seventh seed Herkko Pollanen before facing Aussie second seed Saville.

The two had previously met in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open where Saville came out on top but this time he was on the end of a 6-4, 6-4 defeat meaning the world number 131 is the only unseeded player in the last four of both the boys’ and girls’ draws.

Jiri Vesely is now in a prime position to add to the Australian Open crowd he secured against Saville in the final after beating another Aussie in the last eight. Andrew Harris (9) pushed the top seed close in the first set but the Czech won the tiebreak and ran away with the match 7-5, 6-0.

His opponent in the semi-finals will be tough. Home favourite and fourth seed Kaichi Uchida stands in his way of a third Grade A final of the year following his 6-3, 7-5 victory over compatriot Soichiro Moritani.

Australia does still have an interest in the event with Pouille taking on 14th seed Nick Kyrgios after he avenged his nation with a straight sets win against Gregoire Barrere of France.

There was more of a customary feel to the quarter-final matches in the girls’ event. The last four spaces have all been filled by seeds meaning the spirited runs of Katy Dunne, Justine De Sutter and in particular Japanese wildcard Yukato Noi have all ground to a halt.

Dunne was beaten by Polish 12th seed Zuzanna Maciejewska, De Sutter was crushed by Indian 13th seed Ratnika Batra while Noi put in a fighting performance but ultimately lost to fellow home player and seventh seed Makoto Ninomiya.

Kathinka Von Deichmann (6) of Liechtenstein completes the last four line-up after beating Olga Doroshina (16). She’ll take on Ninomiya with Maciejewska playing Batra.

There was better news for Saville in the doubles as him and Andrew Harris reached the final where they’ll face Jiri Vesely and Kaichi Uchida. The girls’ doubles final will be an all-Japanese affair as Miyu Kato and Riko Sawayanagi play Eri Hozumi and Mami Adachi.

All the scores and results for the boys’ and girls’ singles as well as the boys’ and girls’ doubles are available as drawsheets via the ITF Juniors website.

Osaka Mayor’s Cup 2011 – Day 2

It proved to be a successful day for Japan’s crop of home hopefuls on the second day of the Osaka Mayor’s Cup as their top seeds progressed to the second round. 

It was always going to be a decent day as Miyu Kato and Miho Kowase both defeated Japanese opposition but their chances of a home champion will be increased with second seed Kato and third seed Kowase in the draw.

Kowase reached the final last year but lost out to China’s Saisai Zheng and after beating Hayaka Murase 6-4, 6-3 she’ll be looking to go one better this year.

After Ellen Allgurin’s loss on the opening day, Kato is the higest ranked player left in the draw and showed her worth by only losing two games to Misato Hatamori but with only one place between her and Kowase she’ll be pushed all the way.

The home joy continued when Hikari Yamamoto, a player ranked 463 in the world, managed to overcome a first set bagel to beat tenth seed Emily Fanning. New Zealander Fanning had won three titles in two months during the summer but lost 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.

There was also a win for ninth seed Nao Hibino of (you guessed it) Japan and Polish 12th seed Zuzanna Maciejewska also went through.

Kaichi Uchida

The host country’s highest seed in the boys’ draw also progressed. Kaichi Uchida, the fourth seed, beat compatriot Masashi Watanabe 6-3, 6-1.

Unlike in the girls’ event, no upsets were recorded in the boys’ as Andrew Harris (9) and Jeroen Vanneste (13) defeated Japanese opposition while James Frawley (15) and Joshua Ward-Hibbert (16) were also victorious.

The latter joined fellow Brit Evan Hoyt in the second round, fresh from his title-winning exploits at the Junior Davis Cup earlier in the month.

All the scores and results for the boys’ and girls’ singles are available in a drawsheet via the ITF Juniors website.

%d bloggers like this: