(Palm Desert, CA) Day 3 saw clear blue skies, temperatures in the high eighties and not much wind, thankfully. A lot of matches to report on from five different sites and six age groups so let’s get right to it.
First up was Loren Haukova (G14) in the round of 16 versus the girl who beat the #2 seed yesterday. Loren went up 3-2 in the first sticking to the game plan her coach Bruce Haddad mapped out after briefly scouting Loren’s opponent in her upset win. Mixing up her shots, changing speeds and varying spin, Loren had three game points to go up 4-2. However she could not convert on any of the three and found herself at 3-3. At this point, Loren strayed from the game plan just a little, but her opponent who is a year older really picked up her game. Loren did not win another game, falling 6-3, 6-0. She will play again tomorrow in the compass draw.
Next up was Jessica Golovin (G16) in her first consolation match of the day. After dropping the first set and down 3-5 love-40, Jessica went into survival mode, saving the three match points. Then, at 4-5, she saved two more match points and went on to win that set 7-5. In a nail-biting superbreak, Jessica toughed it out 10-8. A real gutty performance. She won her second consolation match of the day in a little more routine fashion 6-3, 6-4 and will play next tomorrow at 11:30 AM.
Noah Rubin (B18) took the court, after a 1st round bye, against Robbie Bellamy, a big burly Californian headed to USC to play for Peter Smith. Noah had numerous break points in the 1st set, but converted only one. Fortunately, one was enough as he closed out the first set 6-4. Noah picked it up in the second set breaking Bellamy three times. Noah was quick to point out that he did not get broken at all in the match. He gets a little sensitive when his serving prowess is not pointed out! Let’s hope that continues in the round of 16 tomorrow versus Logan Smith.
Elizabeth Tsvetkov (G16) After battling back and saving two match points yesterday, Elizabeth found herself in the same predicament today, i.e., a set down and not much hope of shifting the momentum. Again, she came back and won the second set, but wasn’t able to duplicate her magic act of yesterday and lost 4-6, 6-2 (10-4). However, the dynamic duo of Elizabeth and Sabrina Xiong combined for another thrilling doubles victory tonight 6-3, 5-7 (10-8). This team has won two consecutive national doubles titles and they are on a 12 match win streak! They play the round of 16 tomorrow afternoon.
Sabrina Xiong (G16) Took the court today with one consolation match under her belt. When the day was over, she added two more victories. Her first match was rather routine and won 6-1, 6-2 with Sabrina delivering consistent and penetrating groundstrokes that seemed shocking coming from a girl of Sabrina’s size. The second match would be just as routine were it not for the near-fisticuffs that happened after the match. Apparently, Sabrina’s opponent, after realizing that she could not beat her tried to intimidate Sabrina and the perfectly behaved representatives from the prestigious John McEnroe Tennis Academy. But Sabrina’s “Posse” (Elizabeth, Jessica and Eva) was not going to have any of that.
Eva Siskova (G16) Eva had a tough three setter coming out on the short end of a 2-6, 7-6 (1) 10-8 battle. Eva was up a set and 5-4 with a couple of match points. She had another at 6-5. She fought valiantly but lost a heartbreaking superbreaker 10-8.
Oliver Sec (B16) Oliver lost a tough consolation match to a quality player. Again, Oliver struggled a bit with his serve but competed well in a 6-2, 6-4 loss.
Victoria Sec (G14) Playing in her first national level one championship, dropped a hard-fought 6-3, 6-4 decision to the #17 seed. Victoria competed very well in all her matches and will come away with a victory and whole lot of valuable experiences.
Jamie Loeb (G18) continued her quest for a second straight ITF doubles title with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 victory. Quarters tomorrow.