2013 ASICS Easter Bowl Ntl Spring Champs III

Hey Tennis Friends!

Here is my final report from the 2013 USTA & ITF National Spring Championships: the ASICS Easter Bowl! Once again, there was a little wind on this day, so, please excuse some of the sound on some of the highlights:

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

(1)Sameer Kumar d. (17)Kalman Boyd 6-0, 6-0
During my interview, Sameer Kumar said, “I had to develop a game plan throughout the match . . . ” Afterward, I thought to myself, “GAME plan?!? At my level, I’m lucky if I have a SHOT plan!”

Kumar has now won his second straight USTA Supernational, with this dominating win.

“I just couldn’t hang with him,” Boyd said. “He was so fresh and mentally tough and I just got too tired after every point. I was just dead and trying to recover. I never played on Stadium and I never played in front of a crowd all week. So I think that was a factor. I’m already looking forward to my next tournament.”

Kumar said he and his coach actually hit on Stadium court late Saturday night just to get a feel for it. “We wanted to see how the conditions were,” said Kumar, who won the 16s Winternationals to start the year. “Today was tough, but obviously the scoreline doesn’t seem so. I played very well today.”

(8)Catherine “CiCi” Bellis d. (7)Caroline Dolehide 6-4, 6-1
Dolehide got down two breaks early in the match, but was able to come back and had game point at 4-all before Bellis was able close out the first set, 6-4.

“I missed a little bit too much to stay in the match,” Dolehide said. “I didn’t feel tired but I felt like I had to pick it up to stay with her. All her balls were going pretty deep.”

Dolehide said she wasn’t nervous playing in the final, just “excited.”

Gage Brymer d. (3)Luca Corinteli 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
I did not get a final tally on the length of this match, but, there were some very long games. The first game of the second set was over 10 minutes long, the seventh game in that set was over 13 minutes long!

Just because he won four of his six ASICS Easter Bowl matches after dropping the first set – and five total three-setters – doesn’t mean that Brymer enjoys playing in them.

“No, I don’t really like them,” was Brymer’s response to a question posed by USTA First Vice President Katrina Adams, who was handling Tennis Channel on-court commentating duties. Adams called Brymer the “Marathon Man”, who later added in his post-match media interviews: “I wish I could get it done it two sets every match. It’s been quite a week, quite a grind.”

For the third straight year the boys’ 18s ITF singles was won by a UCLA Bruin recruit as Marcos Giron (2011), Mackenzie McDonald (2012) and now Brymer have captured the coveted title. It’s a junior title their coach Billy Martin, who many regard as one of the best junior players of all-time, never won.

“I don’t think it’s that I’m getting warmed up because I feel good when I go on the court and I’m hitting good,” Brymer said. “I think the other guy just really comes out pumped up and it takes a little bit of time to get into the match. It’s funny because this is the first tournament where it’s been the case. It’s not that I’m known for losing the first set. It’s just been this week. It’s not too disheartening now when I lose the first set because I know I can come back.

“I can’t put my finger on it. I guess it’s a good thing because I’ll never count myself out in the second set.”

Corinteli, the No. 3 seeded player from Alexandria, Va., who trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., played a solid first set and used his big serve to take the early lead. “Maybe I thought in my head I really wouldn’t face any adversity and that it’s kind of going to go as smooth as it has the first set and a half,” he said. “But tennis is never like that and this has happened to me before. A couple of times you pass by it and think you’ve overcome it and then it happens again. You never really know what to expect in this sport because I was in cruise control and then a couple different points go his way and it’s a different match.”

Brymer also won the ASICS Easter Bowl in 2011 in the boys’ 16s. “I don’t like getting second place,” he said. “I feel like once I get to the final I’m there to win it. A couple of weeks ago at the Claremont ITF I got second and that was my first second in a while. I really can’t remember the last time I got second place. I just hate it. I can’t stand going all that way and losing.”

Brymer said he got a little nervous up 5-0 and then 5-1 in the final set. “It’s definitely an incredibly tough place to be up 5-0, 5-1, 5-2. Some people say, you’re up by so much and you’ve got nothing to lose and you’ve got nothing to be worried about, but I don’t think that’s the case at all. It’s much harder to get up 5-0 and close it out, than to get up 5-0.”

Soon after his championship win at the 2013 Asics Easter Bowl, Brymer also took the honors at the 113th Ojai Valley Championships, Boys’ CIF Interscholastic division, April 25-28. He is the first player to win three straight high school titles at The Ojai, since Bobby Riggs did it from 1934-36, playing for Franklin High School in Los Angeles. In the five rounds of that event, he dispatched all of his opponents in . . . STRAIGHT SETS!

Tennis Channel was also out there covering finals weekend of this event, and will air their program at the following times:
Sunday, May 19 at 12:30 pm ET / 9:30 am PT (Premiere)
Sunday, May 19 at 12:30 am ET (Monday morning) / 9:30 pm PT (Repeat)

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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