US Open Juniors | Ireland’s Carr makes last 16
Ireland’s Simon Carr has made it through to the last 16 of the US Open Boys Championships, playing next for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Simon, the son of former Dublin Gaelic football player and manager Tommy Carr, is competing in his fourth and final Grand Slam of 2017 at Flushing Meadows in New York and recorded his best performance in progressing through to the third round.
The 17-year-old needed to bring his ‘A’ game to the match on Tuesday to be in with a shout of matching his 6’ 8’’ opponent from France, and that was exactly what he did as he recorded a straight sets victory 6-4 6-4 over Jaimee Floyd Angele.
His opponent in the next round is Timofey Skatov from Russia, who earlier defeated Jurij Rodionov the No 3 seed from Austria in straight sets.
Britain’s George Loffhagen continued his run from the qualifying by reaching the third round of the main draw with a 6-0 6-3 win over Ryan Nijboer from the Netherlands.
They will not be playing on Wednesday, however, due an unprecedented move by organisers, who issued the following statement on Tuesday: “Due to the weather forecast, no men’s doubles, mixed doubles, junior matches, or champions invitational matches are scheduled for Wednesday.
“The Arthur Ashe Stadium program will proceed as planned with two quarter-final matches during the day session and two quarter-final matches during the night session. In addition, three women’s doubles matches are scheduled for the Grandstand, weather permitting, beginning at 11 a.m.”
Top seed Axel Geller of Argentina has already settled into Palo Alto, California, where his new life as a Stanford University freshman begins later this month.
Geller by-passed American wild card recipient Brandon Nakashima, 7-5 6-4, to reach the third round in the boys’ draw on Tuesday.
“I’m happy how I reacted in the match because he started much better than me,’ Geller said. “He surprised me by breaking me early, but I managed to keep going.”
Geller believes his final showing at Wimbledon this year has assisted in his confidence.
“It always help to remember how well I did there,” he added.
“Not so much in confidence, but I learned how to handle moments better. Like today, I handled the bigger moments better than he did because I have more experience.”
Geller speaks impeccable English, which was facilitated by his attending a Scottish school in Buenos Aires, and his father, a banker with Credit Suisse, who spends a great deal of time in the United States, always speaking English to him.
With permission, Geller will take time away from school to compete in the prestigious year-end Junior Masters in Chengdu, China.
“Yeah, I’m going,” Geller said. “I already talked about it with my college coach.
“I hear it’s a great tournament from the guys who already have played it. And it brings opportunities with wildcards and things.”
The 11th-seed, America’s Oliver Crawford, a freshman at Florida, earned his place in the round of 16 with a 6-2 4-6 6-2 win over Alan Rubio Fierros of Mexico and will face Uisung Park of Korea.
Sam Riffice, another American who is slated to start at Florida next autumn, had no trouble with Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic, posting a 6-3 6-0 victory.
Riffice will play Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland, who took out No 13 seed Sebastian Korda, 6-3 6-3, while DJ Thomas defeated the 8th seed Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan, 6-2 6-4, despite not feeling well before and during the match.
“I was dizzy and felt like I was going to throw up on the court,” said Thomas, who asked for a trainer after breaking Hsu serving at 4-2 in the second set.
“I got some Pepto Bismol and something to put in my Gatorade; I’m just glad I got through it.”
Thomas held and broke, but had to save a break point serving for the match at 5-4.
Watching him close out the match were Ivan Lendl, Jose Higueras and Martin Blackman of USTA Player Development, and Thomas admitted he was aware of their presence.
“I probably tried to do a couple of things I shouldn’t have, to impress them,” Thomas said. “But it was an honour to have them there.”
Thomas will face George Loffhagen of Great Britain in the third round.
Trey Hilderbrand, also from the USA, was initially given a wild card into qualifying, but some late moves in the entries saw him upgraded to a main draw wild card.
He saved two match points in his win over Alexey Zakharov of Russia on Monday and proved that was no fluke with a 1-6 6-1 6-2 win over No 5 seed Marko Miladinovic of Serbia, last week’s champion at the Grade 1 in Quebec, on Tuesday afternoon.
Hilderbrand can throw opponents off their game when he utilises his serve and volley game, and he found that especially effective against Miladinovic.
“It’s not something I have to do, but it’s something I’m good at and it gives people some trouble,” said Hilderbrand, who has committed to the University of Central Florida for 2018.
“It works, so I might as well do it right?”
Hilderbrand’s coaching advice from his father Mark, a teaching pro, helped him take control of the match in the final two sets.
“He told me to serve and volley and come in off of everything,” Hilderbrand said.
“He saw that I was struggling a little bit from the baseline and the guy was very good from the baseline, so he told me to start coming in and all that, and it worked out.”
Hilderbrand’s opponent in the third round is No 10 seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina, who beat Alafia Ayeni 6-4 6-4.
Only five seeds remain in the boys draw, but two of them are Geller and the 2nd-seeded Yibing Wu of China, who cruised past qualifier Jesper De Jong of the Netherlands, 6-1 6-1.
The quarter-finals are set in the boys doubles with top seeds Hsu and Wu advancing, but No 2 seeds Jurij Rodionov of Austria and Michael Vrbensky of the Czech Republic were beaten by Toru Horie and Yuta Shimizu of Japan.