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Carter an Unseeded Sharpshooter at Jr. Nationals

August 12, 2011 09:49 AM
Hayley Carter continues to impress at the USTA Girls Jr. Nationals, beating No. 7 Gabrielle Andrews.
By Marcia Frost, special to USTA.com

- It was a day full of surprises at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, California, where one of the few things that went as expected was the sunshine and 70 degree temperature.

Alyssa Smith continued to enjoy the home state advantage as she made her way into the semifinals of the Girls’ 16 singles draw. Today it was Cassandra Vasquez whom she eliminated and it wasn’t easy – at least not in the first two sets. The Houston, Texas, native took the first set 7-5 and then kept it to just one break loss in the second, but it was all Smith in the final set for the 6-0 win. She will be facing No. 14 Dasha Ivanova of Beaverton, Oregon, in the semis on Friday. Ivanova also has a tough first set, but she pulled it out at 7-5 and then took a 6-3 over No. 4 Spencer Liang of Potomac, Maryland, who appeared fatigued from a long summer of play. Liang will have a chance to get her revenge as she and partner Mariana Gould of Boise, Idaho, will be playing Ivanova and Mia King of Hendersonville, North Carolina,  in the Girls’ 16s doubles final on Friday.

The bottom half of the Girls’ 16s singles was quite different from the top. Third-seeded Peggy Porter of Dallas, Texas, had no problem getting past No. 17 Elizabeth Profit. The Bellflower, California, teen did it at 6-2,6-1, securing her place in the semis without having given up a set in the tournament. It was also another easy match for Scarsdale, New York’s Katrine Steffensen. Steffensen didn’t even have to play a second set as opponent Emma Alderman of Hingham, Massachusetts retired after the first set due to a stress fracture in her foot.

It was only the round of 16 for the Girls’ 18s, yet the level of competition was top notch with some unexpected contests, starting at the top. The final score may have been a straight set 6-3,7-5, but that doesn’t begin to tell the story of the match between No. 1 Lauren Davis of Gates Mills, Ohio, and No. 11 Liz Jeung of Kansas City, Missouri. Those two sets took about three hours and included a set point for Jeung at 5-3, before Davis came back and won four straight games for the match. The top seed will face Victoria Duval (16) of Brandenton, Florida, in the quarters. Duval and Grace Min (6) of Norcross, Georgia, both exhibited power and speed on the stadium, but it was Duval who went the extra bit for a 6-3,7-5 win.  It was a similar situation on Court One, where ninth-seeded Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Georgia, shocked third-seeded Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Florida, 6-4,6-3. Until this match, Keys had only lost one game the entire tournament.

The next opponent for Taylor Townsend is one that has definitely wrecked havoc on the draw. Unseeded Hayley Carter of Columbia, South Carolina, took out her third top player today, this time earning a place in the quarters with a 4-6,7-6,6-2 win over Gabrielle Andrews (7) of Pomona, California. With the win Carter also garnered the honor of being chosen Thursday’s Babalot Player of the Day.

In the bottom half of the draw there were less surprises, though the quality of play was still high. Sachia Vickery (5) of Miramar, Florida, beat Danielle Collins (14) of St. Petersburg, Florida, 6-4,6-1; Current Stanford player Nicole Gibbs (4) of  Santa Monica, California, defeated future Cardinal Ellen Tsay  (10) of Pleasonton, California, 6-3,6-0; Robin Anderson of Matawan, New Jersey, took out Kyle McPhillips (8) of Willoughby, Ohio, 6-3,6-2; and Krista Hardebeck (2) of Santa Ana, California, was the winner over Hannah King of Dunwoody, Georgia, 6-2,6-1

Only Robin Anderson still has the opportunity to pick up singles and doubles titles in the Girls’ 18 Nationals. Anderson and partner Tsay advanced to the semifinals with a 6-1,7-5 win over Georgians Kourtney Keegan and Megan Kurey. They will face Jennifer Brady and Kendal Woodard (9), victors over Lauren Davis and Mackenzie Craft and Chalena Scholl (7), 6-1,7-5. The second semifinal will be between Kyle McPhillips and Chanelle Van Nguyen (8), 4-6,6-2,1-0(11/9) winners over Brooke Austin and Hannah King, and Samantha Crawford and Madison Keys, who beat Denise Starr and Rohit Yurovsky, 6-4,6-3.

All remaining play will take place at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, beginning at 9:00 am PT on Friday.
For photos and updates throughout the tournament, follow @USTAGirls on Twitter, Like USTA Girls 16 & 18 Nationals on Facebook and visit the official tournament webpage. Also, check out daily updated draws from San Diego.


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