Posts Tagged ‘Easter Bowl’

2013 ASICS Easter Bowl Ntl Spring Champs II

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Hey Tennis Friends!

Here is the second report from my coverage of the USTA & ITF National Spring Championships: the ASICS Easter Bowl! There was a little wind on this day, especially during one of my interviews, so, please bear with me:

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

GIRLS’ 14s SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
(3)Jaeda Daniel d. (11)Ashley Lahey 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
These thirteen year olds had quite the battle on their hands. Lahey, who now resides in Hawthorne, California, had not dropped a set coming into this match. Daniel, who trains half the year in Port Charlotte, Florida, had two matches that went three sets coming into the final round.

“That was definitely the toughest match of the tournament for me,” Daniel said, adding that she would go out to dinner with her mom on Saturday night, and then to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream, to celebrate her first USTA Gold Ball.

BOYS’ 14s SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
(2)Connor Hance d. (1)John McNally 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4
At nearly three hours long, this was the most exciting match on Center Court, so far! Hance overcame a match point to win his second second singles USTA Gold Ball. He previously won the Clay Court National 12s.

“I’ve been up match point before like that and lost,” Hance said. “You are just like so happy thinking you’re going to win and then then you get really tight. That happened to me at the Eddie Herr.”

Serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set, McNally double faulted on match point to make it deuce and then Hance reeled off two more points to force the tiebreak.

“In the tiebreak I was just saying get your first serve in,” Hance said. “I didn’t get them all in but I think getting most of them was the difference in the match.”

McNally was distraught after the match, but handled himself well despite the disappointment and said tennis is a lot about ups and downs and how you deal with it. “You really can’t really live like that,” he said of pondering missed opportunities. “Crap happens. That’s what my papa tells me. You’re going to have matches where you come back from match points and matches that you lose up a match point. That’s just tennis. I do look back on that match point. I’m not going to lie. On match point I just got a little bit tight.”

McNally said he looks forward to playing Hance again. “It’s like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal,” he said. “You see them and Djokovic have great matches just like we do. Of course I look forward to playing all the top kids at this high level. It’s the juniors so I don’t really have anything to lose. I’m really looking forward to playing Connor again and getting some revenge.”

Hance said he was excited to be listed among the USTA Spring National winners for the rest of his life. “I’m pretty excited. My names is like going to be in the program. Forever.”

Two weeks after his victory at the ASICS Easter Bowl, Hance made it from the Round of 64 to the semifinal of the boys’ 16 singles at the Ojai Valley Junior Trounament, in Ojai, California.

GIRLS’ 18s SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIP
(13)Mayo Hibi d. (6)Tornado Ali Black 6-3, 6-2
Mayo Hibi completed the ITF Carson-ASICS Easter Bowl double, concluding a dominating two weeks of tennis.

“I surprised myself that I was able to pull off the Easter Bowl after winning Carson,” said Hibi, who joins Krista Hardebeck (2010) and Melanie Oudin (2008) as recent players who have managed the feat. “I was pretty tired coming into the tournament and wasn’t sure how my body was going to hold up.”

Irvine’s Hibi, who lost in the doubles semifinals on Friday, dropped just 14 games total in her six singles match wins during the tournament.

Hibi said her game has really improved since she started working with former WTA player Debbie Graham, who won on hand to witness the victory.

“I think I’ve improved in a lot of areas,” Hibi said. “I still have a lot of things to work on, but I have really improved.”

She admitted to being “really, really nervous” at the start of the match and that the reality of being in the final got to her. “It’s not like a normal match. You don’t have you bag because the ball runners are carrying them, it was hot and the 14s match went really long. At first I didn’t feel like I was into the match and got down in the first set.”

But Hibi was able to come back, using her consistent slice backhand to keep Black off balance for most of the match.

“I thought I could have come into the match more prepared,” Black said. “I was really exhausted from my last two matches. I’m just happy I was able to do better this year after last year (losing in the first round).”

Hibi will next play USTA Pro Circuit events on the clay in North Carolina and Florida. She also has some celebrating to do. “I haven’t celebrated my birthday yet,” she said of turning 17 last week in Carson. “I think my mom will bake me a cake and we’ll have some ice cream.”

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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