By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.
– Playing your "very, very, very" good friend is never easy, especially when you’re playing him on one of the biggest stages in junior tennis.
That’s what happened once again to Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, Calif., who had not seen his best friend Nikko Madregallejo of Duarte, Calif., in a tournament match since April 2009, when McDonald beat Madregallejo in the boys’ 14s final in straight sets on the same Rancho Las Palmas courts they met on Wednesday.
The No. 3-seeded McDonald took out Madregallejo again this time, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4, in the second round of the boys’ 18s ITF division. "For sure I thought about that final," McDonald said while sitting next to Madregallejo after the match. "You always think about the last time you played a guy, and that was a pretty memorable one."
He added, "There is nothing you could bring in from that match since it was so long ago. Today, we had fun in the first set, but then it started to get serious. It started to get really intense after the first set."
That same tournament in 2009, the duo also took the gold ball in doubles and, a year later, took home a bronze ball after winning the third-place doubles in 2010.
"We’ve really done well here in the past," said McDonald, who is playing doubles this year with Trey Strobel, with the No. 3-seeded pair also winning their first-round doubles match Wednesday.
McDonald’s next opponent will be Justin Butsch of Miami Beach, Fla. The last time they met? "In the 12s," McDonald said. "Don’t really remember much about that one. He’s a great player with great footwork. It should be a good match."
The big Easter Bowl rematch to look out for in the girls’ 18s on Thursday is No. 2-seeded Kyle McPhillips of Willoughby, Ohio, meeting up against unseeded Brooke Austin in a redo of the 2010 Easter Bowl girls’ 16s final, won by McPhillips, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
Both won matches on Wednesday, with McPhillips going three sets again before beating No. 15-seeded Denise Starr of Brooklyn, N.Y. 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
In a boys' 18s match, 14-year-old Stefan Kozlov of Pembroke Pines, Fla., continued his success, beating Dennis Uspensky of Atlantic Beach, N.Y, 6-4, 6-3, to move into the third round.
Kozlov, who advanced to the final of Carson last week in the boys' 18s, is hoping to continue his wave of momentum at the Easter Bowl. "Last week, I played unreal, and I'm feeling confident in my game right now, and I hope to keep playing well," Kozlov said.
Kozlov has already played in about a dozen tournaments in the 18s. At 5-feet, 7-inches, he admits it's been intimidating playing against older teenagers but is looking forward to his next growth spurt.
"Whenever my opponents have a lot of power, I try to slow down their pace instead of playing at their speed," Kozlov said. "When I get taller and stronger, it's going to help a lot on my serve and my shots, and I'll be able to put more spin on the ball."
Kozlov, who trains at the USTA National Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla., is working on specific areas of his game to do well against older players.
"I've really been working on attacking the ball more, coming in, getting quick points, placing my serve and improving my movement on the court," he said.
In the boys' 14s, No. 14 seed William Blumberg of Greenwich, Conn., defeated No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz, 6-1, 7-5, of Rancho Santa Fe, to advance to the quarterfinals. Going into the match, Blumberg said his coach wanted him to be aggressive and take every ball on the rise.
"I did a good job with that strategy in the first set, and I was able to break him early," Blumberg said. "In the second set, I was up 2-1, and I started being more defensive, and he broke me to go up 5-4, but I was able to break back and go up 6-5 before breaking him in the end to win the match."
Blumberg is also tough on himself and knows he has some work to do to achieve his goal of playing professionally some day. "I need to not slow down the pace and accelerate more on the ball so I can stay up on a player," Blumberg said. "The main key for me to get better is staying aggressive."
Sponsors include: Prince, Asics, Laurel Springs School, L’academie de Tennis, K12 Academy, Blue Water Delta and the website www.10sBalls.com
Boys' 18s ITF Singles Second-Round Scores
Ryan Shane Falls Church, VA def. Jared Donaldson (14) Cumberland, RI 6-4, 7-5
Alexios Halebian (4) Glendale, CA def. George Goldhoff Irvine, CA 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Jared Hiltzik Wilmette, IL def. Jordan Daigle (7) Lafayette, LA 6-3, 6-0
Austin Siegel (5) Tarrytown, NY def. Gage Brymer Irvine, CA 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4)
Ronnie Schneider Bloomington, IN def. Brendan McClain Ventura, CA 6-1, 6-3
Mackenzie McDonald (3) Piedmont, CA def. Nikko Madregallejo Monrovia, CA 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
Shane Monroe Ventnor City, NJ def. Roy Lederman Golden Beach, FL 6-3, 3-6, 5-3 Ret (inj)
Mitchell Krueger (1) Aledo, TX def. Grant Solomon Dallas, TX 6-2, 6-2
Henry Craig Murrieta, CA def. Paul Oosterbaan Kalamazoo, MI 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-2
Trey Strobel (8) Bradenton, FL def. Seth Stolar Encino, CA 6-4, 6-3
Noah Rubin (2) Rockville Centre, NY def. Brian Page Wheaton, IL 6-4, 6-2
Stefan Kozlov (9) Pembroke Pines, FL def. Dennis Uspensky Atlantic Beach, NY 6-4, 6-3
Luca Corinteli (11) Alexandria, VA def. Andrew Ball Palo Alto, CA 7-5, 7-6(4)
John Richmond Pawleys Isl, SC def. Deiton Baughman Carson, CA 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
Justin Butsch Miami Beach, FL def. Alexander Van Cott Unadilla, NY 3-6, 6-0, 5-0 Ret (inj)
Thai Kwiatkowski (6) Charlotte, NC def. Sean Karl Brentwood, TN 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
Girls' 18s ITF Singles Round-of-16 Scores
Kelsey Laurente (10) Miramar, FL def. Zoe Katz Los Angeles, CA 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
Kyle McPhillips (2) Willoughby, OH def. Denise Starr (15) Brooklyn, NY 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Taylor Townsend (1) Stockbridge, GA def. Rasheeda McAdoo Boca Raton, FL 6-1, 6-2
Mayo Hibi Irvine, CA def. Breaunna Addison Lake Worth, FL 7-5, 7-6(1)
Brooke Austin Indianapolis, IN def. Dasha Ivanova Beaverton, OR 7-6(5), 6-0
Chalena Scholl (3) Pompano Beach, FL def. Kiah Generette Long Beach, CA 6-1, 6-2
Allie Kiick (7) Plantation, FL def. Stephanie Nauta (9) Bradenton, FL 6-1, 6-1
Caroline Doyle San Francisco, CA def. Maegan Manasse Redondo Beach, CA 6-0, 6-1
Boys’ 16s Singles Third-Round Scores
Cameron Klinger San Jose, CA def. Alexander Solonin Tarzana, CA 6-2, 6-4
Logan Smith (16) Carlsbad, CA def. Michael Genender Los Angeles, CA 6-2, 6-1
Yale Goldberg (1) Chagrin Falls, OH def. John Mee Dallas, TX 6-4, 6-3
Joseph Di Giulio (12) Newport Beach, CA def. Sameer Kumar Carmel, IN 7-5, 6-4
Aron Hiltzik (9) Wilmette, IL def. Zandrix Acob (17) Hilo, HI 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
Daniel Kerznerman (13) Brooklyn, NY def. Will Showers (17) St Pete Beach, FL 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
Mitch Stewart (2) Federal Way, WA def. Aron Pierce Houston, TX 6-0, 6-2
Logan Staggs Tracy, CA def. Elliott Sprecher (3) Cadott, WI 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Kial Kaiser Saratoga, CA def. Sam Edwards Suwanee, GA 6-2, 6-4
Joshua Yablon (5) New York, NY def. Taiyo Hamanaka (17) Eastchester, NY 6-4, 6-2
William Griffith (15) Fresno, CA def. Jordi Arconada (17) Rio Piedras, PR 7-5, 6-1
Thomas Fawcett (17) Winnetka, IL def. Henrik Wiersholm (4) Kirkland, WA Wo (inj)
Garrett Auproux (6) Studio City, CA def. Yancy Dennis (17) Reisterstown, MD 6-4, 6-4
Christian Langmo Boca Raton, FL def. Josh Silverstein (7) Great Neck, NY 6-2, 6-4
Ernesto Escobedo West Covina, CA def. Matthew Nardella (14) Manlius, NY 6-1, 6-1
AJ Catanzariti (10) Pittsburgh, PA def. Connor Curry Wichita Falls, TX 6-4, 7-5
Girls’ 16s Singles Third-Round Scores
Ayla Aksu San Francisco, CA def. Elizabeth Stewart (17) Oakton, VA 6-2, 7-6(7)
Victoria Olivarez (17) Virginia Beach, VA def. Alexandra Bourguignon Boynton Beach, FL 6-3, 6-2
Meredith Xepoleas Huntington Beach, CA def. Amanda Atanasson Owings Mills, MD 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
Jessica Golovin New York, NY def. Skylar Holloway (5) Oxon Hill, MD 6-1, 6-2
Brooke Broda (8) West Chester, OH def. Francis Dean (17) Arcadia, CA 6-1, 6-1
Elizabeth Profit (3) Bellflower, CA def. Luisa Fernandez Pittsford, NY 6-2, 6-1
Kimmy Guerin (9) Weston, CT def. Aryn Greene (17) Alpharetta, GA 6-4, 6-1
Carolyn Xie Rancho Santa Fe, CA def. Sophie Chang Hvre De Grace, MD 6-0, 6-1
Mia Horvit (17) Parkland, FL def. Amber Park (10) La Canada, CA 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3
Mary Haffey Naples, FL def. Maria Smith (17) Houston, TX 6-2, 6-3
Rebecca Weissmann Loveland, CO def. Megen Cochran (11) Calhoun, GA 7-5, 6-0
Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (17) Chapel Hill, NC def. Ndindi Ndunda (13) Burke, VA 6-2, 6-4
Meghan Kelley Falmouth, ME def. Alexandria Chatt (4) Western Springs, IL 6-4, 6-2
Kaitlyn McCarthy (17) Cary, NC def. Kristina Hovsepyan Danville, CA 6-2, 6-4
Terri Fleming Alpharetta, GA def. Sierra Stone (14) Powell, OH 6-2, 7-5
Ellyse Hamlin (7) Fairfield, CT def. Elena Muller Dallas, TX 6-0, 6-2
Boys’ 14s Singles Round-of-16 Scores
Anudeep Kodali (1) Durham, NC def. Victor Pham (9) Saratoga, CA 6-2, 7-6(7)
Johnathan Small (4) Midland, MI def. Gianni Ross Burr Ridge, IL 6-1, 6-3
Kyle Seelig (2) Hatfield, PA def. Nikola Samardzic (10) Bradenton, FL 6-1, 7-5
Abhin Sharma (6) Alpharetta, GA def. Connor Hance (17) Torrance, CA 6-2, 6-2
Nathan Ponwith (5) Scottsdale, AZ def. Alex Phillips (12) Peachtree City, GA 6-2, 6-1
Max Pham (17) Newport Coast, CA def. Steven Karl (17) Brentwood, TN 6-4, 6-2
William Blumberg (14) Greenwich, CT def. Taylor Fritz (3) Rancho Santa Fe, CA 6-1, 7-5
Ryan Dickerson (8) Marlton, NJ def. Gabriel Pilones (15) Bradenton, FL 6-2, 6-1
Girls’ 14s Singles Round-of-16 Scores
Catherine Bellis (17) Atherton, CA def. Riley McQuaid Tustin, CA 6-3, 6-3
Adriana Reami Miami, FL def. Helen Altick (9) Monroe, LA 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
Angela Kulikov Sun Valley, CA def. Elizabeth Porter (17) Dallas, TX 6-2, 6-0
Raquel Pedraza (2) Claremont, CA def. Michaela Gordon (17) Los Altos Hills, CA 6-3, 6-1
Emma Higuchi (1) Los Angeles, CA def. Dominique Schaefer (33) Ventura, CA 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
Alexandra Letzt Scottsdale, AZ def. Ashley Lahey Boulder, CO 6-3, 6-2
Usue Arconada (4) Rio Piedras, PR def. Francesca Dilorenzo (13) New Albany, OH 6-4, 6-2
Sofia Kenin (17) Pembroke Pines, FL def. Jada Hart (17) Colton, CA 6-3, 6-4
Boys’ 18s ITF Doubles First-Round Scores
Alexios Halebian / Mitchell Krueger (1) def. Justin Butsch / Tommy Mylnikov 6-1, 6-2
Noah Rubin / Ognjen Samardzic (6) def. Charles Boyce / Jack Murray 6-4, 3-6, 1-0(7)
John Richmond / Nick Wood def. Josh Hagar / Nikko Madregallejo 6-2, 6-2
Luca Corinteli / Stefan Kozlov (5) def. Brian Patrick Foley / Shane Monroe 6-3, 6-2
Alex Lawson / Paul Oosterbaan def. William Albanese / Luke Gamble 1-6, 6-4, 1-0(11)
George Goldhoff / Ronnie Schneider def. Andrew Ball / Anthony Tsodikov 6-2, 6-3
Brendan McClain / Thomas Pura def. John Pearce / Alexander Van Cott Wo (inj)
Mackenzie McDonald / Trey Strobel (3) def. Brian Page / Ryan Shane 6-3, 6-4
Lamar Remy / Dennis Uspensky def. Jared Donaldson / Daniel Shebshayevich (8) 6-4, 6-4
Robbie Bellamy / Wyatt Houghton def. Bayo Philips / Alex Rybakov 6-1, 6-3
Henry Craig / Seth Stolar def. Trey Daniel / Will Welte 7-6(8), 6-1
Sean Karl / Maxx Lipman def. Farzin Amiri / Roberto Livi 6-1, 6-3
Jordan Daigle / Austin Siegel (2) def. Julian Childers / Stefan Menichella 6-4, 6-4
Dylan Brown / Mac Roy def. Michael Mmoh / Dylan Nunez 7-6(2), 6-2
Gage Brymer / Jared Hiltzik def. Thai Kwiatkowski / Martin Redlicki (4) 3-6, 6-2, 1-0(3)
Roy Lederman / Carter Lin (7) def. Richard Pham / Brandon Sutter Wo (inj)
Girls’ 18s Doubles Quarterfinals Scores
Zoe Katz / Maegan Manasse def. Jennifer Brady / Kendal Woodard (5) 6-7(5), 6-3, 1-0(6)
Rasheeda McAdoo / Johnnise Renaud def. Makenzie Craft / Kyle McPhillips 6-2, 3-6, 1-0(8)
Samantha Crawford / Allie Kiick (3) def. Louisa Chirico / Blair Shankle 6-4, 6-3
Breaunna Addison / Catherine Harrison (8) def. Sarah Gealer / Adesuwa Osabuohien 6-0, 6-3
Gabrielle Andrews / Taylor Townsend (1) def. Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum / Lexi Borr 6-3, 6-1
Denise Starr / Katrine Steffensen (4) def. Madeline Lipp / Jamie Loeb 6-1, 0-6, 1-0(5)
Stephanie Nauta / Chalena Scholl (2) def. Erin Larner / Cassie Mercer 6-2, 6-2
Julia Elbaba / Camila Fuentes (7) def. Courtney Colton / Sivan Krems 6-4, 6-4
Boys’ 14s Doubles Round-of-16 Scores
Alexander Hwang / Sreyas Kolachalam def. Steven Karl / Abhin Sharma (4) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0(6)
Ryan Dickerson / Kyle Seelig (2) def. Brandon Holt / Bryce Pereira 6-3, 6-1
Taylor Fritz / Riley Smith (3) def. Adam Ambrozy / Kaden Funk 6-4, 6-2
Lane Leschly / Victor Pham (7) def. Maxwell Cancilla / Chaz Downing 6-2, 6-4
Mwendwa Mbithi / Alex Ross (9) def. Trevor Croyder / Francis Yang 6-3, 6-4
Anudeep Kodali / Johnathan Small (1) def. Zeke Clark / William Genesen (9) 6-0, 6-4
Matthew Gamble / Brenden Volk (6) def. Hunter Egger / Ty Gentry (9) 6-2, 6-3
William Blumberg / Brian Tsao (8) def. Steven Christie / Alexander Poynter 6-0, 6-4
Girls’ 14s Doubles Quarterfinals Scores
Jessie Aney / Alexis Nelson (6) def. Michaela Gordon / Alexandra Letzt (9) 6-4, 2-6, 1-0(7)
Ena Shibahara / Savannah Slaysman def. Ally Miller-Krasilnikov / Sydney Riley (2) 6-2, 6-1