2015 ASICS Easter Bowl Ntl Spring Champs

April 21st, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

This year, they shifted the schedule of this event and I was unable to attend the USTA 16s finals, which I have covered in the past. As a result, I am only able to bring you the ITF (18s) portion of the National Spring Championships, known as the ASICS Easter Bowl! Here is my first report, semifinal day for the ITF singles:

Here are the scores for the matches that I featured (seedings in parenthesis):

GIRLS’ 18s SINGLES SEMIFINAL
(2) Katie Swan d. (unseeded) Kylie McKenzie 6-2, 6-3
Swan had turned sixteen on March 24th. She will now play 14-year-old Claire Liu in the final day of action at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Last year, Swan fell in the 18s final to good friend CiCi Bellis while the No. 12-seeded Liu, then just 13 years old, was playing in the final of the 16s and taken out by Katerina Stewart in three tight sets.

The two will meet for the second time in their careers with Swan, originally from Bristol, Great Britain, getting the better of Liu in the first round of the US Open Juniors in early September in their only other meeting.

On this Saturday, Swan was also the winner of the Tory Fretz/Jackie Cooper Sportsmanship award.

BOYS’ 18s SINGLES SEMIFINAL
(1) Taylor Fritz d. (4) Nathan Ponwith 7-6 (5), 6-0
The last time Fritz played rival Ponwith, he fell to him in the 2013 16s at the Kalamazoo USTA Hardcourt National Championships. “I remember we played a lot in the 12s,” said Fritz, who said that the 12s may have been the last time he beat Ponwith. “It used to be I was all forehands and no backhands. I think I have worked on my backhand a lot in the past year and it’s gotten better. That’s what made the difference.”

Fritz, currently the No. 4-ranked junior in the world, has been taken to three sets in his previous two matches before Saturday and has been taking an ice bath after each match.

He said playing a prestigious event like the ASICS Easter Bowl and being so close to home was a no-brainer when he looked at his schedule. “It would be great and so nice to win this title,” he said. “Why not play here? I’m so close to home and I’m getting good matches here. It’s not like I’m getting the same practice at home.”

Fritz will face the other finalist, Sam Riffice, in the final. He beat Riffice 6-2, 6-3 in their last meeting at the Tulsa ITF back in October. “He’s so much better than when I beat him last,” Fritz said, who added the difference in the first set and the second on Saturday was just winning the big points.

At the end of last year, Riffice became just the second junior player since Grigor Dimitrov to win both the Eddie Herr and Junior Orange Bowl 16s tournaments back to back.

GIRLS’ 18s DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
(1) Sonya Kenin / Katie Swan
def. Caroline Dolehide / Ena Shibahara 4-6, 6-4, 10-6

Additional information in this report was provided by the ASICS Easter Bowl PR Press Aide, Steve Pratt.

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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Wilson #BURNChallenge

March 10th, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

While attending the 2015 BNP Paribas Open, I had a chance to participate in an off-site event promoted by Wilson. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the #BURNChallenge, however, I certainly put forth a worthy effort:

Wilson introduced its revolutionary PlayerID system featuring the Sony Smart Sensor.

The BURN Challenge consists of the following tests:
Eight groundstrokes from baseline, alternating forehands and backhands
Touch three cones located in the left alley
Run through agility ladder
Touch three cones in right alley
Complete five (5) air squats
Complete three (3) push ups
Hit one (1) serve from Deuce court and one (1) serve from Ad court

If you REALY want to make a better effort than I did, I suggest that you set up a similar course at your local courts and practice a few times . . . that will give you quite an advantage. Don’t forget to post your efforts to social media with the hashtag: #BURNChallenge

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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“Let’s Dine Out” Appearance

March 2nd, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

This post is a little bit of a departure, as it really is more about food and traveling, and less about tennis. Recently, I was privileged to appear on a long-running local PBS restaurant review show. I have been a fan of host Allan Borgen for over twenty years, and it was quite a kick to finally get a chance to be his guest “foodie”. Enjoy!:

There were so many things edited out of the program that they probably could have made TWO shows out of all of the commentary. Fortunately, they kept a lot of the entertaining bits intact, and illustrated a good representation of the fun that was had by gorging ourselves at two restaurants in one day!

Here is the link to the Facebook page of the “Let’s Dine Out” TV (KVCR) and radio (KTIE) programs. If you’re a Southern California “foodie”, be sure to “Like” the page for updates:

Facebook.com / Let’s Dine Out Show

When you chime in, be sure to tell them that you saw it, right here, at GroundsPass.net!

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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2013 Andulka Tennis Block Party

February 17th, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

One more time-shifted BRAND NEW report for your entertainment!

On its fourth anniversary, Andulka Park Tennis Center, a facility in my local area, had their annual Tennis Block Party. I was there to file this report:

Here is the link to the Facebook page of the tennis event that I mentioned. Wether you’re a player, or a fan, be sure to “Like” the page for updates:

Facebook.com / Andulka Park Adult Tennis Open

Located in Riverside, California, here is the link where you can find more information about this facility:

AndulkaTennis.com

When you show up, be sure to tell them that you heard about it, right here, at GroundsPass.net!

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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2013 USTA Men’s League III

February 7th, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

Please enjoy this ALL NEW “time shifted” coverage of the final match of my USTA League season for 2013.

This report is from our Spring 4.0 USTA League men’s season, where the participating doubles player’s must each be at, or below, the 4.0 rating, for our particular division.

Our first set lasted 54 minutes. We were up 3-0, then 5-2, then our opponents came back to get up 6-5. We were able to take it to a tiebreak. Serving for set point at 6-5 in the tiebreak, we ended up losing the next three points, and the set, 8-6 in the tiebreak.

Our second set lasted only 17 minutes!

Our third set (we misspoke in the video and referred to it as our second set) lasted 23 minutes. After coming out strong, 5-0, we took our foot off the pedal, and our opponents kicked it up a notch to make us fight it out for the win!

We usually like, and are available to play more than three matches in a season, however, it is all up to the decision of the team’s captain. We still looked like pros in our matching gear. Go Team ASICS!

My final results for this season:

Local District/Area 4.0
2-wins, 1-loss

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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