Crawford’s Carson Win Streak Extended At USTA International Spring Championships

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

USTA International Spring Championships Tennis News

Oliver Crawford won his ninth consecutive singles match at the USTA International Spring Championships dating back to last year as the 16-year-old from Spartanburg, S.C., advanced to the semifinals in the boys’ 18s on Friday at the 12th annual tournament taking place at StubHub Center.

The No. 10-seeded Crawford, who won five matches on his way to winning the boys’ 16s singles title a year ago at the ISC, beat unseeded Alafia Ayeni of San Diego, 7-6 (1), 6-3. Crawford will face Liam Caruana of Austin, Texas, in Saturday’s semifinal.

“It was a great two weeks for me here last year,” said Crawford, who lost in the doubles semifinals later in the day with US Open Junior doubles finalist Brandon Holt of nearby Rolling Hills. “I had played (Ayeni) a couple of times and knew he’s just so aggressive.”

After winning Carson last year, Crawford then continued his winning ways by also winning the 16s at the ASICS Easter Bowl.

Seventeen-year-old Sam Riffice, the No. 5 seed from Granite Bay, Calif., was also feeling quite at home on the Carson hardcourts as he got off to a fast start going up 3-0 in each set to also advance to the semifinals by way of his 7-5, 6-1 win over Duarte Vale of Portugal.

Riffice was eliminated by defending champion William Blumberg in last year’s third round at Carson, but a week later exacted some sweet revenge beating Blumberg in the semifinals at the ASICS Easter Bowl before falling to Taylor Fritz in the final.

Riffice’s opponent in Saturday’s semifinal is none other than Blumberg.

“Last year’s Easter Bowl was great for me because it increased my ranking and allowed me to get straight into some bigger tournaments,” said Riffice, who trains with the USTA at Boca Raton, Fla.

“It’s great to be back in California and playing on these courts,” Riffice added. “This is my first tournament on hard courts since the U.S. Open; that’s like six or seven months straight on clay.

I’ve been training on it for a couple of years now so it’s not as bad as when I first started.”

In the girls’ 18s semifinals it will be unseeded Meible Chi of Weston, Fla., taking on No. 2-seeded Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif. In the other semifinal, No. 5 Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks, Calif., takes on top-seeded Amanda Anisimova of Hallandale Beach, Fla. All four semifinalists won in straight sets Friday.

The boys’ and girls’ 16s finals are set as No. 6 Adam Neff of Bradenton, Fla., will play No. 2 Axel Nefve of Hinsdale, Ill. Neff won the Boys’ 14s at the ASICS Easter Bowl last year.

“The scoreline doesn’t really show what a battle it was out there,” said Neff, who found himself up a set but down 0-3 against Vikash Singh before reeling off six straight games for the 6-2, 6-3 win.

Neff will also play in the boys’ 16s doubles final with fellow Bradenton resident Tyler Zink. Neff is currently being coached by former University of Georgia All-American Brandon Wagner, who was John Isner’s first pro coach after Isner left Georgia.

In the girls’ 16s singles final it will be an All-NorCal matchup as No. 14 Jessi Muljat of Sacramento, Calif., meets No. 15 Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek, Calif.



Boys’ 18 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)

Sam Riffice (Granite Bay, CA)  def.  Duarte Vale (Portugal)  7-5, 6-1
William Blumberg (Greenwich, CT)  def.  Sebastian Arcila (Paraguay)  6-1, 6-1
Oliver Crawford (Spartanburg, SC)  def.  Alafia Ayeni (San Diego, CA)  7-6(1), 6-3
Liam Caruana (Austin, TX)  def.  Patrick Kypson (Greenville, NC)  6-2, 7-6(1)


Boys’ 18 Doubles (Semifinal Round)

William Blumberg (Greenwich, CT) / Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale, AZ)  def.  Andres Andrade (Ecuador) / Duarte Vale (Portugal)  7-5, 6-2
Brian Cernoch (North Bethesda, MD) / Sam Riffice (Granite Bay, CA)  def.  Oliver Crawford (Spartanburg, SC) / Brandon Holt (Rolling Hills, CA)  7-5, 6-4


Girls’ 18 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)

Meible Chi (Weston, FL)  def.  Rosie Johanson (Canada)  6-3, 6-2
Kayla Day (Santa Barbara, CA)  def.  Michaela Gordon (Saratoga, CA)  6-4, 7-5
Claire Liu (Thousand Oaks, CA)  def.  Abigail Desiatnikov (Atlanta, GA)  6-2, 6-2
Amanda Anisimova (Hallandale Beach, FL)  def.  Carson Branstine (Orange, CA)  7-6(5), 7-5


Girls’ 18 Doubles (Semifinal Round)

Hurricane Tyra Black (Boca Raton, FL) / Ena Shibahara (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)  def.  Dalayna Hewitt (Pepper Pike, OH) / Kariann Pierre Louis (Miami, FL)  6-3, 6-4
Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) / Taylor Johnson (Redondo Beach, CA)  def.  Morgan Coppoc (Tulsa, OK) / Raquel Pedraza (Claremont, CA)  2-6, 6-2, 10-5


Boys’ 16 Singles (Semifinal Round)

Axel Nefve (Hinsdale, IL)  def.  Eric Hahn (Fullerton, CA)  6-4, 3-6, 6-0
Adam Neff (Bradenton, FL)  def.  Vikash Singh (India)  6-2, 6-3


Boys’ 16 Doubles (Semifinal Round)

Brandon Nakashima (San Diego, CA) / Jake Sands (Pacific Palisades, CA)  def.  William Grant (Bronxville, NY) / Axel Nefve (Hinsdale, IL)  6-1, 6-4
Adam Neff (Bradenton, FL) / Tyler Zink (Bradenton, FL)  def.  Eric Hahn (Fullerton, CA) / Maximilian Wild (Murrieta, CA)  6-3, 6-1


Girls’ 16 Singles (Semifinal Round)

Jessi Muljat (Sacramento, CA)  def.  Eryn Cayetano (Corona, CA)  6-3, 4-6, 6-1
Katie Volynets (Walnut Creek, CA)  def.  Hailey Baptiste (Takoma Park, MD)  6-0, 6-2


Girls’ 16 Doubles (Semifinal Round)

Hailey Baptiste (Takoma Park, MD) / Mackenzie Clark (College Park, MD)  def.  Ali Despain (Murrells Inlet, SC) / Alexis Merrill (Fairfax, VA)  6-4, 3-6, 10-5
Dasha Kourkina (Brooklyn, NY) / Michelle Sorokko (Little Neck, NY)  def.  Addison Guevara (Keller, TX) / Luba  Vasilyuk (Frisco, TX)  2-6, 6-3, 10-6

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.