14s, 12s singles finals set
Steve Pratt | March 28, 2019
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Lucas Brown will have revenge on his mind when he takes to the courts on Thursday in the final of the boys’ 14-and-under division at the 52nd annual Adidas Easter Bowl.
The No. 3-seeded Brown (pictured above), of Plano, Texas, outlasted No. 15 Learner Tien of Irvine, Calif., on Wednesday, 6-4, 7-5, as the semifinals were completed in the boy’s and girls’ 14s and 12s singles events at the USTA Spring Super Nationals. A USTA Gold Ball is at stake during Thursday’s finals, which begin at 9 a.m. PDT with the boys’ 12s and 14s championships, with the girls’ 12s and 14s to follow at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Brown will play No. 12 Juncheng Shang of Naples, Fla., after Shang shocked top-seeded Aidan Kim of Milford, Mich., 6-0, 6-2. Brown lost to Shang in their only meeting, a few years ago in the 12s Clay Court Nationals second round.ADVERTISEMENT
“Nobody had heard of him, but he had won a couple of big tournaments going into Clays,” Brown said. “I’ll have to play my best to beat him.”
Brown said his aggressive play pushed him past Tien as the overcast skies cleared and temperatures rose on court as the day wore on. “He was a very tough opponent and he plays first-rate tennis,” said Brown, who used an early break of serve to capture the first set.
In the girls’ 14s singles semifinals, No. 3 Tsehay Driscoll (La Canada Flintridge, Calif.) defeated No. 1 Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.), 7-5, 6-3. Driscoll will play No. 2 Ria Bhakta (Saragtoga, Calif.) in the final. Bhakta survived five match points to beat No. 15 Qavia Lopez (Grand Rapids, Mich.), 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.
In the boys’ 12s singles semifinals, No. 13 Abhishek Thorat (Lithia, Fla.) defeated No. 1 Maxwell Exsted (Savage, Minn.), 6-2, 6-2, and will meet No. 2 Cooper Woestendick (Olathe, Kan.) in the final. Woestendick survived three match points in beating No. 3 Darren Huang (Whitestone, N.Y.).
The girls’ 12s finals are set, as it will be top-seed Thea Latak (Darien, Ill.) facing unseeded Daniela Borruel (Buena Park, Calif.). Latak beat No. 4 Emily Deming (Fallbrook, Calif.) in one semifinal, 6-3, 6-3 and Borruel got past No. 14 Annika Renganathan (Sammamish, Wash.), 6-3, 6-2.
The boys’ and girls’ 18s ITF divisions completed second-round matches on Wednesday, with the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 boys’ seeds all advancing. The No. 4-seeded Toby Kodat, of Bradenton, Fla., opened play with a tight 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 win over Stefan Dostanic of Irvine, Calif.
Kodat, who is the half-brother of former world No. 7 Nicole Vaidisova, will be joined in the Round of 16 by No. 2 Tyler Zink, who beat Pierce Rollins, 6-4, 7-5, and No. 3 Martin Damm, who downed Alexander Bernard, 7-5, 6-2.
Kodat is coached by father Ales Kodat, who is Vaidova’s stepfather and longtime coach, along with others at the IMG Academy. Later in the day, the top-seeded doubles team of Damm and Kodat pulled out an exciting second-round doubles match, taking out Saiprakash Goli and Presley Thieneman, 15-13, in a match tiebreaker after splitting sets.
In one of the top upsets on the day, Aidan Mayo, of Roseville, Calif., beat No. 12 Keshav Chopra, 6-2, 7-6. Other big winners in the boys’ 18s included: No. 6 Andres Martin, No. 9 Blaise Bicknell, No 11 Ronan Jachuck, No. 13 Jacob Bullard, No. 14 Mark Mandlik and unseeded players Ronald Hohmann, Frank Barnett and Michah Braswell.
There were two notable upsets in girls’ 18s play, as 15-year-old Kimmi Hance, of Torrance, Calif., took out Lauren Anzalotta Kynoch, 7-6, 6-3, to advance to the third round. Unseeded Reilly Tran, who has committed to the University of North Carolina, got past Abigail Forbes, the No. 6 seed, 6-4, 7-6. Top-seeded Tyra Black of Boca Raton, Fla., struggled against Anna Zhang of McKinney, Texas, splitting sets, 6-4, 4-6, before taking the third, 6-2.
Tran, who hits with two hands off the forehand side à la Monica Seles, didn’t play many tournaments in 2018 as she recovered from hip surgery in February of that year. Asked how she was able to upset Forbes, Tran said: “Grit. And determination. I just felt so relaxed out there on court.”
In the boys’ 16s draw, top-seeded Aryan Chaudhary, of Santa Clara, Calif., overcame a scare from fellow NorCal player and No. 14 seed Luke Neal of Larkspur, Calif., holding on, 6-3, 6-7, 7-5. No. 3-seeded Samir Banerjee, of Basking Ridge, N.J., also moved on with a straight-sets win.
In the girls’ 16s event, Vivian Ovrootsky, the No. 9 seed from San Jose, upset top-seeded Nadejda Maslova of Brooklyn, N.Y., 7-5, 7-5, to advance to the quarterfinals.
To keep up with all the Adidas Easter Bowl news, visit the official tournament website, and check out the tournament on Facebook and Twitter. Live streaming is available on the official website, and an improved mobile app, Match Tennis App, provides even more ways to follow the action.
Pictured: Lucas Brown. Photo credit: David Kenas Photography.