easter bowl

Marathon Man Gage Brymer Wins Boys’ 46th Annual ASICS Easter Bowl

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (April 14, 2013) – 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 Gage 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 following the unseeded Brymer’s 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, win over Luca Corinteli in the Boy’s 18s ITF singles final on the final day of the 46th annual event that took place for the first time at the Sunrise Country Club.

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 then to get up 5-0.

Brymer doesn’t have much time to rest before he returns to play for his high school team, University High in Irvine, on Tuesday. Then it’s off to play the 113th Ojai Valley Championships Boys’ CIF Interscholastic division April 25-28. This year, Brymer is trying to be the first player since Bobby Riggs 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.

Two 14-year-olds battled for the Girls’ 16s singles title as last year’s ASICS Easter Bowl finalist CiCi Bellis, the No. 8-seeded player from Atherton, Calif., defeated No. 7 Caroline Dolehide of Hinsdale, Ill., 6-4, 6-1.

“I thought about it a little bit before the match,” Bellis said of her finals loss last year. “It was pretty disappointing. I didn’t want to think about that before the match.”

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.”

Dolehide later teamed with partner Brienne Minor to win the gold ball in doubles to go along with her singles silver as the pair beat Emma Higuchi and Rebecca Weissmann, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2

In the Boys’ 16s final, top-seeded Sameer Kumar of Carmel, Ind., won his second straight USTA Supernational with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Kalman Boyd of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

“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.”

Not even paired together until the day before the tournament, Jordi Arconada and Spencer Papa beat JC Aragone and Mackenzie McDonald, 6-1, 7-5 to win the Boys’ 18s doubles.

Weekend ASICS Easter Bowl sightings: USTA First Vice President Katrina Adams, USTA Director of Coaching Jose Higueras and former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Kathy May Fritz.

The 18s singles draws can be found here: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=122977

For 16s and 14s go to TennisLink here: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=122896

To keep up with all the ASICS Easter Bowl news, visit the website at www.easterbowl.com and check out the tournament on Facebook and Twitter @EasterBowl. For more in

Sunday’s Scores
Boys’ 18s Singles (Final)
Gage Brymer, Irvine, CA def. Luca Corinteli (3), Alexandria, VA 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

Boys’ 18s Doubles (Final)
Jordi Arconada / Spencer Papa (2) def. JC Aragone / M. Mackenzie. McDonald (4) 6-1, 7-5

Boys’ 16s Singles (Final)
Sameer Kumar (1), Carmel, IN def. Kalman Boyd (17), Rancho Santa Fe, CA 6-0, 6-0

Boys’ 16 Singles (Playoff)
Taylor Fritz (3) Rancho Santa Fe, CA def. Emil Reinberg (17) Atlanta, GA 6-3, 6-4

Girls’ 16s Singles (Final)
Catherine Bellis (8), Atherton, CA def. Caroline Dolehide (7), Hinsdale, IL 6-4, 6-1

Girls’ 16 Singles (Playoff)
Emma Higuchi (4) Los Angeles, CA def. Hanna Chang Fontana, CA 6-4; 6-4

Girls’ 16 Doubles (Final)
Caroline Dolehide / Brienne Minor (1) def. Emma Higuchi / Rebecca Weissmann (3) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2

Girls’ 16 Doubles (Playoff)
Jessie Aney / Alexis Nelson (6) def. Jada Hart / Stephanie Hazell 4-6, 6-2, 6-4

ASICS Easter Bowl: Girls’ 18s Finals and Boys’ 18s Semis Set

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (April 12, 2013) – Mayo Hibi has had quite an impressive run in her return to junior tennis over the past two weeks.

The Irvine 17-year-old is just one win away from taking the impressive back-to-back ITF double of winning Carson and the ASICS Easter Bowl as she takes on 14-year-old Tornado Ali Black in the Girls’ 18s final on Saturday at the 46th annual event taking place at the Sunrise Country Club.

Hibi, who has played just ITF Pro Circuit Futures events this year, has had just one day off over the past 12 days. Only Melanie Oudin (2008) and Krista Hardebeck (2010) have been able to pull off the Carson-Easter Bowl double.

“Yeah, I’m pretty tired,” said Hibi, who had another convincing win on Friday over 13-year-old Michaela Gordon of Los Altos Hills, Calif., 6-2, 6-0. Later in the day she fell in the doubles semifinals with Brooke Austin.

Hibi and Black have played just once before last summer in the quarterfinals of an ITF $10,000 Futures event at Hilton Head, S.C., with Hibi dropping just one game. Hibi said Black didn’t play her best match and expects a tough final on Saturday.

“I’m sure she’s going to be ready to go,” Hibi said.

Black fell down 3-1 in the first set for the second consecutive match, but was able to battle back against a tough player in Louisa Chirico in a match that was just short of three hours as the No. 6-seed recorded a tense 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) win.

Unseeded Gage Brymer of Irvine continued his impressive run advancing to the semifinals in the Boys’ 18s division. He next meets Martin Redlicki, the No. 5-seed from Boca Raton, Fla. Redlicki upset defending champion and No. 2 seeded Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, Calif., in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. In the other half of the draw, No. 3 Luca Corinteli takes on top-seeded Noah Rubin.

In the boys’ 14s final on Saturday, the seedings held almost perfect as No. 1 John McNally of Cincinnati beat No. 5 Nathan Perrone of Mount Laurel, N.J., and No. 2 Connor Hance toppled No. 3 Zeke Clark of Tulsa, Okla., also in straight sets setting up a finals matchup on Saturday between the top two seeds.

McNally is aware he would be in some impressive company if he could pull out the win in the final Saturday. “I haven’t look back at the past winners in the 14s,” he said. “I just know how prestigious a tournament this is.”

Aaron Krickstein, Justin Gimelstob and Donald Young are past 14s ASICS Easter Bowl winners.

McNally and Hance have never played each other, but did square off in a doubles match on Thursday won by Hance and his partner.

“I learned he had a gigantic forehand,” Hance said. “I have a plan, I think.”

Hance and Clark had some extremely long rallies. “The average rally was like 20 shots,” Hance said. “I was just trying to keep it deep. He doesn’t give you a lot of balls to put away. He’s a great player and I had to do a lot to keep him off balance and to throw him off. It’s hard to pass him because he’s so fast. I was just grinding with him.

“There were lots of breaks in the second set. It was just break, break, break. It’s hard to serve when you’re having 40-ball rallies because you lose your legs.”

Ashley Lahey continued what she called her “breakthrough” tournament, advancing to the final for the first time in a Supernational event. Her and her mother moved to the South Bay from Colorado a year ago to be closer to the USTA Training Center – West where she trains with best friend Ryan Peus, who she beat on Friday, 6-2, 6-2.

“I practice with Ryan every day,” the No. 11 seeded Lahey said. “We are best friends. We are inseparable. It’s tough to play your best friend but eventually you get over that barrier. Hopefully I can play one more good match.”

Her finals opponent is No. 3 Jaeda Daniel of Port Charlotte, Fla. She beat Alexa Graham of Garden City, N.Y. 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-1.

“It feels great to be in the final,” said Daniel, who trains part of the year near her hometown of Philadelphia. “It’s been a long tournament.”

Sightings on Thursday and Friday: Former ATP pros Tim Mayotte, Eliot Teltscher and former NCAA women’s singles champion Beth Herr Bellamy.

The full 18s singles results and draws can be found here: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=122977

For 16s and 14s go to TennisLink here: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=122896

To keep up with all the ASICS Easter Bowl news, visit the website at www.easterbowl.com and check out the tournament on Facebook and Twitter @EasterBowl. For more information on ASICS, check out: www.ASICSAmerica.com and follow on Twitter @ASICSAmerica.

Resurgent Taylor Dent, NCAA Champion Devin Britton, USTA Boys’ 18s National Champion Chase Buchanan Among US Open Wild Card Recipients

FLUSHING, N.Y., August 19, 2009 – The USTA announced today that a talented group of Americans consisting of Devin Britton (Jackson, Miss.),Chase Buchanan (New Albany, Ohio),Taylor Dent (Newport Beach, Calif.),Brendan Evans (Key Biscayne, Fla.), Jesse Levine (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Rajeev Ram (Carmel, Ind.), along with two international players including Australian Chris Guccione and a player to be named by the French Tennis Association, have been awarded men’s singles main draw wild card entries into the 2009 US Open Tennis Championships.  The 2009 US Open will be played August 31 – September 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King NationalTennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.6 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total potential payout of $2.6 million) based on their performance in the 2009 Olympus US Open Series.  In addition, both US Open singles champions will receive a new 2010 Lexus IS Convertible.

Britton, 18, of Jackson, Miss., burst onto the tennis scene by reaching the 2008 US Open boys’ final as a qualifier.  After winning the doubles title at the Dunlop Orange Bowl in December, he enrolled at the University of Mississippi, where in May he became the youngest man ever to win the NCAA Division I singles title.  Britton then returned to junior competition this summer, sweeping the singles and doubles titles at Roehampton, a Wimbledon warm-up, and then advancing to the semifinals of the Wimbledon juniors.  He is currently No. 14 in the ITF World Junior Rankings.

Buchanan, 18, of New Albany, Ohio, earned his wild card into the 2009 US Open main draw by winning the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships on Sunday.  Last year, he won the Easter Bowl singles title and the USTA Boys’ 18s doubles title (earning a wild card into the 2008 US Open men’s doubles main draw with partner Ryan Harrison), and peaked at No. 6 in the ITF World Junior Rankings after reaching the singles quarterfinals and the doubles final at the Dunlop Orange Bowl.  Buchanan went 17-7 (11-4 in singles) to help lead the Ohio State Buckeyes to the 2009 NCAA team final as a freshman.

Dent, 28, of Newport Beach, Calif., returned to the ATP World Tour briefly in 2008 after three back surgeries that forced him to miss two years and nearly ended his career.  This year, he played in the main draw at the 2009 Australian Open, advanced to the fourth round in Miami and qualified for Wimbledon.  Dent finished in the year-end Top 35 every year from 2003-05 and climbed to a career-high No. 21 in 2005.  He advanced to the bronze medal match at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team and reached the round of 16 at the US Open in 2003.

Evans, 23, of Key Biscayne, Fla., is currently ranked a career-high No. 122.  He recently reached the quarterfinals at the ATP World Tour event in Newport, R.I.  Also this year, Evans has won Challengers in Noumea, New Caledonia, and Nottingham, England, and he reached the final at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Dallas and qualified for the ATP World Tour event in Indian Wells.  In 2004, Evans and fellow American Scott Oudsema teamed to win three of the four Grand Slam junior doubles titles, including the US Open.

Levine, 21, of Boca Raton, Fla., broke into the Top 100 earlier this year and is currently ranked No. 112.  He had his best Grand Slam showing at Wimbledon this summer, upsetting 14th-seeded Marat Safin and reaching the third round as a qualifier.  In 2008, Levine was a quarterfinalist at Pilot Pen in New Haven,Conn., an Olympus US Open Series event, and reached the second round at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon.  He played one year of college tennis, going 24-1 as a freshman at the University of Florida in 2007

Ram, 25, of Carmel, Ind., is currently ranked No. 121.  He won his first ATP World Tour title this summer at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, in Newport, R.I., after receiving a “lucky loser” spot into the main draw, defeating Sam Querrey in the final and also winning the doubles title.  On the USTA Pro Circuit, he has won 20 doubles titles and two singles titles.  Ram played one semester at the University of Illinois in 2003 and won the NCAA doubles title.

Guccione, 24, of Australia, is ranked No. 124 and received his wild card through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, which will grant a men’s main draw wild card into the 2010 Australian Open to a player designated by the USTA.  On this year’s USTA Pro Circuit, he swept the singles and doubles titles at the $75,000 Challenger event in Aptos, Calif.

An eighth player will also receive a main draw wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation, which granted a men’s draw wild card at the 2009 French Open to John Isner. (Isner was forced to withdraw due to illness.)

In addition to the eight US Open men’s singles main draw wild cards, the USTA also announced the nine men who have been awarded wild card entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held August 25-28 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Players receiving US Open qualifying wild cards are: Lester Cook (25, Sherman Oaks, Calif.), 2008 US Open boys’ singles champion Grigor Dimitrov (18, Bulgaria), Alexander Domijan (17, Wesley Chapel, Fla.), Ryan Harrison (17, Bradenton, Fla.), Scoville Jenkins (turns 23 on Sunday, Atlanta), 2009 USTA Boys’ 18s runner-up Ryan Lipman (18, Nashville, Tenn.), Tim Smyczek (21, Milwaukee, Wis.), Blake Strode (22, St. Louis) and Michael Venus (21, Orlando, Fla.).  Strode and Venus are both members of the 2009 USTA Summer Collegiate Team.

The 2009 US Open will be held Monday, August 31 through Sunday, September 13.  Tickets for the 2009 US Open can be purchased four ways: 1) at usopen.org; 2) by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866­OPEN-TIX; 3) at all Ticketmaster outlets; or 4) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office.  American Express is the Official Card of the US Open.