fuel U.S. hopes at Orange Bowl
Arthur Kapetanakis | December 7, 2018
Just two American boys earned a place in Thursday’s Round of 16 at the Orange Bowl, and both Cannon Kingsley and Zane Khan kept hopes alive for the first American boys’ winner since Stefan Kozlov in 2014, as they booked a pair of quarterfinal tickets.
Facing his first seeded opponent at the Grade A junior event in Plantation, Fla., No. 8 Kingsley scored a 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 10 Harold Mayot of France to maintain his perfect record in all six sets he’s played on the week. Entering the tournament, the New York-based Kingsley was concerned about how his serve – the major weapon in his game – would fare in the wind and sun of South Florida. But his power game has been right on track on the green clay courts of the Frank Veltri Tennis Center.
“Surprisingly, my first serve has been very good out here,” he said. ADVERTISEMENT “I’ve adjusted, and my serve has really kept me in a lot of matches. Also, I think my ability to stay behind the baseline and just stay in points has been really good for me.”
Just one year after losing in the second round of Orange Bowl qualifying, Kingsley will now face the unseeded Mateus Alves of Brazil, the ITF’s No. 65 junior, for a place in the semis.
Khan (pictured above) has had a more difficut path to the quarterfinals. After nearly pulling out of the event entirely with a lingering shoulder injury that forced him to retire in last week’s Eddie Herr quarterfinals, he knocked off No. 4 Deney Wassermann Monday in three opening-round sets. On Thursday, he claimed a second seeded scalp with a 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 result over No. 14 Sergey Fomin.
He will now face the highest-seeded player left in the boys’ 18s field, No. 6 Jonas Forejtek of the Czech Republic. No. 1 Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria and No. 3 Gauthier Onclin of Belgium were both knocked out in straight sets on Thursday.
In the girls’ 18s competition, five of the nine Americans in the Round of 16 progressed to the quarters. Top-seeded Coco Gauff continued her Orange Bowl theme of storming through the opening set before edging set two against an opponent with nothing to lose, intent on challenging the reigning junior French Open champ. This time, the challenge ended, 6-2, 7-5, against Ana Geller of Argentina.
No. 6 Lea Ma joins Gauff in the quarters, with neither seed having dropped a set. Ma’s low-stress, 6-1, 6-2 outing suited her laid-back personality, though she will face a sterner test against friend and Orange Bowl doubles partner Qinwen Zheng of China, the No. 2 seed.
The other three American quarterfinalists emerged from all-U.S. matchups, with all three encounters ending in two sets. Charlotte Chavatipon took out No. 5 Hurricane Tyra Black, 7-6, 6-2, Emma Navarro got past Peyton Stearns, 6-2, 6-3, and Robin Montgomery defeated Elizabeth Coleman, 6-1, 6-1.
In the boy’s 16s singles event, the top four seeds all advanced, led by Americans Dali Blanch and Alexander Bernard. The top-seeded Blanch, who dropped the first set of his campaign on Thursday, will face Japan’s Kokoro Isomura in the semis, while No. 2 Bernard, who has won all eight sets he’s played on the week, takes on Pablo Llamas Ruiz of Spain.
The girls’ 16s semifinal field includes three Americans, headed by No. 4 Madison Sieg, who topped countrywoman Elaine Chervinsky in the quarters. She will face No. 8 Yelizaveta Karlova, while India Houghton and Jaleesa Leslie battle it out in an all-American affair.
The first Orange Bowl champions will be crowned on Friday, with the boys’ and girls’ 16s doubles finals on tap. The girls’ final is an all-American matchup, pitting Ava Catanzarite and Allie Gretkowski against Carson Tanguilig and Elise Wagle. The 18s doubles competitions are set to play out the quarterfinal round.
For full complete schedules, results, live scoring and more, visit the Orange Bowl website.
Photo Credit: Andrew Ong/USTA