Tag Archives: ISC Tournament

Jamie Loeb won the 18s Doubles & was runner-up in18s Singles

ISC Doubles Winners

Jamie Loeb & Maegan Manasse

“Mayo Hibi didn’t care for the parallels she was seeing at the International Spring Championships.  Three years ago, Hibi had reached the 16s doubles final, lost that, and then lost the 16s singles final the next day to Alyssa Smith.

On Saturday, Hibi again lost in the doubles final, but the similarities ended there, when she played a nearly perfect match in the girls 18s final, beating No. 5 seed Jamie Loeb 6-2, 6-1 on a cool and overcast morning at the Home Depot Center.

The scoreline is a poor indicator of the length and quality of the match, which extended for over an hour and forty-five minutes.  Games were long, and the majority of the rallies saw the ball cross the net a dozen times, with some points two or three times that length.

The unseeded Hibi, who turned 17 durning the tournament, is known for her varied game and one-handed backhand, and although she didn’t abandon the slice against Loeb, she elected to stay back and trade ground strokes with the 18-year-old from New York.

“After yesterday’s match I was mentally prepared to rally for thirty shots in one point,” said Hibi, who defeated top seed and noted counterpuncher Christina Makarova 6-4, 6-1. “My ground strokes were working really well today. She did make a few more unforced errors than me today, and overall, I think I played well.”

Loeb is know for her precision and mental toughness, but with Hibi giving her virtually nothing in the unforced error department, Loeb had nowhere to turn.

“She missed like four balls all day,” said Loeb. “She played very well, very steady. We had a lot of long points and a lot of long games and she just didn’t give me any free points at all. If I felt I hit a good shot, she would come up with a better shot. It was tough. She played a very good match.”

Loeb expressed surprise that Hibi didn’t come to the net more, as that had been Hibi’s preferred style in their previous matches.

“It didn’t throw me off, but I expected her to come in more, because the past two times I played her she did serve and volley more,” Loeb said. “But from the baseline, she was very solid today, hitting her forehand well, hitting good passing shots. Her slice, I think she maybe missed one.”

Hibi lives in Irvine, California and takes private lessons from Debbie Graham, the former NCAA champion from Stanford and Top 30 WTA Professional, and Chris Lewis, the former Wimbledon finalist. Hibi believes having coaches with a professional background can only help her in achieving her goals.

“She knows what it takes to get to that level,” Hibi said of Graham.  What kind of players you play, what kind of mentality you need, what kind of game you need to beat them.”

Hibi also takes inspiration from the former champions of the International Spring Championships who have gone on to successful professional careers, like Vania King, Melanie Oudin and Sloane Stephens.

“It’s cool to watch someone on TV that you’ve actually played,” said Hibi, who is a Japanese citizen, but moved to Southern California when she was two and a half years old. “It encourages you, that you can also do the same thing if you work hard and go chase your dreams. That’s what they’ve been doing, they went through the same path.”

Hibi had not played a junior tournament this year, concentrating instead on the Pro Circuit, but said the opportunity to play so many matches while not incurring the expense of travelling made sense. After winning all six matches this week in straight sets, Hibi will be a favorite at the Easter Bowl, which begins Monday for the girls.

“It’s going to be tough, it’s always tough,” said Hibi of the quick turnaround. “Last year I played Claremont, won that, got to the quarterfinals here and semis of Easter Bowl. It’s really tiring, but you know on the tour, I usually play two or three weeks in a row, because you’re traveling. You just have to get used to it.”

Loeb thinks playing again on Monday might be good for her.

“Sometimes I tend to think about my losses too much, too long, spend too much time on it,” said Loeb. “So having a match tomorrow just makes me forget about it and have another tournament. This was a really good tournament, definitely compared to last year. I just have to forget about it. It’s not like I played horrible, I played decent, pretty well, but Mayo just played better. I have to give her the credit.”

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Article written by Colette Lewis – Tenniskalamazoo.blogspot.com

Noah Rubin & Jamie Loeb are on a roll!

“Top seed Noah Rubin survived some impressive play by unseeded JC Aragone, taking a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory that featured some of the best rallies of the tournament. Rubin, back to competition after a long injury layoff, used his speed to hang with Aragone’s big ground strokes, raising his game as the match reached its conclusion.  Rubin will play unseeded Henrik Wiersholm, a 6-0, 6-3 winner over unseeded Ciro Riccardi.  Rubin defeated Wiersholm in straight sets in the second round of last fall’s Pan American Closed…Loeb4-4-13

Loeb, who had lost only one game in her previous two matches, led No. 11 seed Maria Shishkina of Kazakhstan 6-3, 5-1 on Thursday, but was broken in two consecutive attempts to serve out the win. Shishkina wasn’t sharp throughout most of the match, making unforced errors early in rallies, but once the end was near, she began hitting out, eliminating mistakes and pressing Loeb.

Loeb was broken serving at 5-1 and at 5-3, but she kept calm and put with the pressure back on Shishkina. Down 15-40 after netting a forehand, Shishkina thought Loeb’s shot was beyond the baseline, but it was Shishkina’s reply that was called out, giving Loeb the win, despite Shishkina’s protests.

“I was kind of on the defense and not stepping up and controlling the points,” Loeb said of her failure to end the match earlier. “The last game I focused in on one point at a time and she was making the errors, so I pulled through.”

Loeb admits that in addition to her goal of winning here in Carson and at next week’s Easter Bowl, she hopes to gain enough points to play the junior slams this summer.

“I do want to get my ranking high enough so I can make main draw of junior French and junior Wimbledon and junior US Open,” said Loeb, who has committed to play for the University of North Carolina this fall. “I’m not going to be playing any other ITFs before those.”

Loeb lost in the first round of both tournaments last year, and she believes she is a much better player now than she was then.

“I feel like I’m a different player from last year,” said Loeb, who trains at the John McEnroe Academy in New York. “Overall, I’ve improved, and I feel I’m much better than I was, even a couple months ago. Right now I feel pretty good, especially playing the women’s (Pro Circuit) tournaments. It’s definitely helped me, and since I’ve been playing against them and getting experience there, coming here, I feel good about how I’m playing.”

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Artice provided by COLETTE LEWIS – Tenniskalmazootennis.blogspot.com