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Tiafoe, Smith, Fritz move on at ASICS Easter Bowl

April 10, 2014 07:53 AM
No. 3-seeded Logan Smith was a straight-sets winner in his second-round match against Javier Restrepo.

By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
– With potential future college coaches looking on, No. 3-seeded Logan Smith of Carlsbad, Calif., beat Javier Restrepo of Miami, 7-6(0), 6-1, on a busy Wednesday in the Boys’ 18s ITF division at the ASICS Easter Bowl, being played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Smith, a 17-year-old high school junior ranked at No. 60 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, is undecided where he will attend college but wouldn’t mind staying close to home in Southern California.

Smith said he was “definitely” aware that four-time NCAA champion USC men’s Coach Peter Smith was on hand to check out the match, as well as other Division I coaches. “USC is an option; so is UCLA,” Logan Smith said. “I have a lot of options. Not sure I’d go out of state, but I’m just not sure.”

Smith, who later teamed with Aron Hiltzik to win their round-of-16 doubles match, said he lost to Restrepo in three sets three years ago in the 14s Easter Bowl.

In the only big upset in the boys’ 18s singles draw, Eduardo Nava of Woodland Hills, Calif., beat Daniel Kerznerman, the No. 6 seed from Brooklyn, N.Y., 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Also moving on were top-seeded Francis Tiafoe of College Park, Md., who beat Alan Sweet of Naples, Fla., 6-2, 6-1, and Taylor Fritz, the No. 7-seeded player from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. He beat John Jorgeson of Bradenton, Fla., 6-0, 6-1.

If both can win their round-of-16 matches on Thursday, the two would square off in a quarterfinal match on Friday.

“I lost a tough one last week, but I just had to get it out of my mind and focus on a fresh week,” said Tiafoe, who fell in the USTA International Spring Championships final in Carson, Calif., last Sunday in a third-set tiebreaker.

Said Fritz of his last match: “I was just working on other things that may help me later in the tournament, trying to come in to the net more.”

On the girls’ 18s side, top-seeded Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., was pushed against Kelly Chen of Cerritos, Calif., but held on to advance, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. And Gabby Smith of Henderson, Nev., had a big upset, beating No. 5 seed Olivia Hauger of Tulsa, Okla., 6-2, 6-0.

Later in the day, player registration was held for the boys’ and girls’ 16s, 14s and 12s, with play in those divisions beginning on Thursday at 12 sites around the Coachella Valley.

Nicole Kalhorn was named the winner of Tuesday’s Jackie Cooper-Tory Fretz Sportsmanship Award, selected by the tournament staff, and presented with a medal and free pair of ASICS shoes. On Monday, Reilly Olpeka won the boys' sportsmanship award.

Also on Wednesday, more than 350 players attended the Laurel Springs Player Party that was catered by the Old Spaghetti Factory in Rancho Mirage, Calif. That coincided with a USTA-hosted Team USA Coaches Reception. There, four legendary coaches – Jerry Baskin, Nick Bollettieri, Robert Lansdorp and Jack Sharpe – were honored.

USTA Player Development General Manager Patrick McEnroe was on hand to present Joseph Gilbert with the 2013 USOC Developmental Coach of the Year award, and the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., was honored as the 2013 Team USA Developmental Program of the Year.

To keep up with the latest ASICS Easter Bowl news, visit the official website, and check out the tournament on Facebook and Twitter.


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