By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.
– There was really no time to rest for Mayo Hibi just one day after capturing the Carson USTA International Spring Championships girls’ 18s singles title, as the Irvine, Calif., resident got past Olivia Sneed of Prairie Village, Kan., 6-1, 6-2, in the first round of the 46th annual ASICS Easter Bowl on Monday.
Fierce gusting winds close to 80 mph halted play for a little more than one hour about an hour after play began in the morning.
Hibi, ranked No. 368 in the WTA Tour world rankings, next faces fellow Southern Californian Kareena Manji on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the ITF event at the host site Sunrise Country Club.
Last year’s boys’ 14s finalist Kyle Seelig said he awoke pretty tired, as well, on Monday morning following a run to the boys’ 16s singles semifinals and doubles finals in Carson. The No. 2 seed from Hatfield, Pa., shook off an early first-set loss to Neel Bedekar of Saratoga, Calif., to record a, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 win. Later in the day, he and doubles partner Ryan Dickerson won a 10-point tiebreak to advance.
"Yeah, I’m feeling it," Seelig said. "It’s a long stretch, but it’s fun. I always love playing the Easter Bowl, and I always seem to do well here."
Another player who does well at the Easter Bowl, Carson boys' 18s winner and former Easter Bowl 14s champ Stefan Kozlov, pulled out of the Easter Bowl on Monday for precautionary reasons to rest an ailing right elbow. Kozlov, 15, said he was bummed to have to pull out and was going to rest for three days before getting back on the court.
"I was in South America for a month, and then to win Carson, it’s too much," he said. "I need a break and a rest so I don’t get re-injured."
The biggest upset of the day occurred in the girls’ 18s, as Keisha Clousing of Wheaton, Ill., beat No. 3-seeded Dasha Ivanova of Beaverton, Ore., 6-3, 6-4.
for the 18s singles draws.