PLANTATION, Fla., Dec. 7, 2012 – One top seed stumbled at the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships on Friday. Another found its footing on top of the world.
While 10th-seeded Laslo Djere of Serbia took down No. 1 Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy, 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-1, in the Orange Bowl Boys 18s draw quarterfinals at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center, Taylor Townsend (Stockbridge, Ga.), the top seed in the Girls 18s draw, grinded out a 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(2) victory over No. 5 Carol Zhao of Canada.
With Townsend’s singles victory, and the doubles win of Great Britain’s Katy Dunne and Christina Makarova (San Diego) over Austria’s Barbara Haas and the Czech Republic’s Katerina Siniakova, the 16-year old Townsend solidified her year-end ITF No. 1 junior ranking, becoming the first American girl to hold that position since Gretchen Rush in 1982.
Only Siniakova, the current world No. 3, could have caught Townsend in the year-end rankings, by winning the singles and doubles titles.
“When I step out onto the court, I really just play tennis,” said Townsend, who will turn pro beginning in 2013. “I mean, if I just play well and do what I know I can do, everything else will take care of itself.”
Meanwhile, Djere moves on to the boys 18s semifinals, where he’ll meet No. 9 seed Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.), who had little trouble with 6-foot-5 Deiton Baughman (Carson, Calif.) in Friday’s quarterfinals, seemingly breezing to a 6-2, 6-2 win.
“For sure, he’s got a great serve, and normally my game is to hit high and heavy and get the ball above the guy’s shoulders. But when the guy’s 6-5, his shoulders are a little bit higher than the rest of the people I’m playing,” Kwiatkowski said. “So, I had to figure out what to do, and I think before the match I had a good strategy with my coach, and I feel like that went pretty well.”
An American each advanced to Saturday’s Boys and Girls 16s finals. No. 12 seed Tommy Paul (Coconut Creek, Fla.) defeated Sameer Kumar (Carmel, Ind.), 6-0, 6-7, 6-2 in the semifinals, and Chloe Michele Ouellet-Pizer (Chapel Hill, N.C.) took down Germany’s Lisa Ponomar, 7-6(6), 7-5.
“I think this whole tournament I’ve competed really well. My second round, I was down, 5-4, and 30-all in the third set, so I was two points from losing. I just think I’ve played really clutch this tournament. I think on big points, before this, I’ve been rushing too much, so I’ve been trying to keep it longer on big points and not rush it,” Ouellet-Pizer said. “I can’t believe I’m in the finals. Either way, it’s a win-win, so I’m just going to play with no pressure and just see what happens.”
One of Paul’s coaches, meanwhile, is Timothy Neilly, the last American to win the Orange Bowl Boys 18s title, in 2004, who gave his student specific, if simple, advice.
“He just said, ‘Work the forehand cross-court,’” Paul said.
In doubles play, No. 7 Lamar Remy (Roslyn, N.Y.) and Alejandro Tabilo of Canada defeated Sumit Nagal of India and Dennis Uspensky (Atlantic Beach, N.Y.), 6-3, 6-3, for the Boys 16s title, while No. 2 Ponomar and Johnnise Renaud (North Miami, Fla.) defeated No. 6 Gloria Liang and Marie-Alexandre Leduc of Canada, 6-0, 6-1, for the Girls 16s title.
For updated draws and each day’s order of play, visit http://orangebowltennis.org.
Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships
Frank Veltri Tennis Center, Plantation, Fla.
(10) Laslo Djere, SRB d. (1) Gianluigi Quinzi, ITA, 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-1
(12) Elias Ymer, SWE d. (2) Frederico Ferreira Silva, POR, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1
(9) Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, USA d. Deiton Baughman, USA, 6-2, 6-2
(8) Filippo Baldi, ITA d. (3) Yoshihito Nishioka, JPN, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
(4) Andrey Rublev, RUS d. (14) Dennis Uspensky, USA, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
(12) Tommy Paul, USA d. Sameer Kumar, USA, 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-2
(1) Taylor Townsend, USA d. (5) Carol Zhao, CAN, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(2)
(2) Katerina Siniakova, CZE d. Chalena Scholl, USA, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
(7) Ana Konjuh, CRO d. (4) Belinda Bencic, SUI, 6-4, 6-2
(6) Marcela Zacarias, MEX d. Natalia Vajdova, SVK, 6-3, 6-4
(8) Gloria Liang, CAN d. (5) Usue Maitane Arconada, USA, 6-2, 6-3
(16) Chloe Michele Ouellet-Pizer, USA d. Lisa Ponomar, GER, 7-6(6), 7-5
(1) Gianluigi Quinzi, Filippo Baldi, ITA d. (8) Anton Desyatnik/Aleksandr Ivanovich Spirin, RUS, 6-3, 2-6 (10-5)
Christian Garin, CHI/Nicolas Jarry, USA d. Skander Mansouri, TUN/Mazen Osama, EGY, 6-4, 6-4
Lukas Mugevicius, LTU/Alexander Vasilenko, RUS d. Deiton Baughman/Ronnie Schneider, USA, 3-6, 6-2 (10-6)
(2) Borna Coric, CRO/Elias Ymer, SWE d. Lucas Miedler, AUT d. Dominic Weidinger, AUT, 6-4, 6-3
(7) Lamar Remy, USA/Alejandro Tabilo, CAN d. (1) Sumit Nagal, IND/Dennis Uspensky, USA, 6-3, 6-3
Jennifer Brady/Jamie Loeb, USA d. Klaartje Liebens/Michelle Werbrouck, BEL, walkover
Katy Dunne, GBR/Christina Makarova, USA d. (4) Barbara Haas, AUT/Katerina Siniakova, CZE, 7-5, 1-6 (10-7)
Gabrielle Andrews/Taylor Townsend, USA d. Rebecca Peterson, SWE/Aldila Sutjiadi, INA, 6-2, 3-6 (11-9)
(8) Victoria Rodriguez/Marcela Zacarias, MEX d. Brooke Austin/Rasheeda McAdoo, USA, 6-4, 6-1
(2) Lisa Ponomar, GER/Johnnise Renaud, USA d. (6) Marie-Alexandre Leduc/Gloria Liang, CAN, 6-0, 6-1
Townsend photo courtesy of the USTA