Some players have a hard time giving it their all in the Back Draw, but not Jake Beasley nor No.3 Seed Nick Oberg. Beasley, the ASC-Florida trainee, lost his second match after taking out the No.5 Seed in his first. He was not deterred. He had to go to match tiebreaks in his first two consolation matches, winning those breakers 12-10 and 10-8 respectively before a relatively easy skirmish in the Consolation Semis. He now faces Nick Oberg in the Consolation Final.
Oberg could have packed it in after being dumped in the First Round himself. Instead, he merely buckled down and won his next four matches, including one match tiebreak of his own, taking out The 239’s fourth-seeded JanMagnus Johnson in his second consolation match. It ought to be a fun battle between those two tomorrow at 10:30am at Lexington.
One of my two dark horses in the Boys’ 18s race, unseeded Antoine Sanchez will be tossing it up in the Final against No.1 Seed Jason Legall. Antoine took out his second seed of the event, this time beating No.2 Seed Eliot Spizzirri 6-2, 7-6(8). He will be facing a player who, on set
point dropped his racquet, picked it up, and sprinted for a drop shot to win the point and the set. Legall faced his toughest test thus far when he won the first set against No.7 Seed Lucas Horve in the Semis 7-5. He backed that up with a 6-1 second. Another fun match in the making tomorrow morning at 10:30am.
What about my other unseeded dark horse, Noah Schachter? After his quarterfinal loss, he went on to take out the No.6 Seed 6-3, 6-0 in the Back Draw. Good on ya mate!
No.8 Seed Viva Laas of Bonita Springs was the last remaining representative of The 239 in a Main Draw event. She took on No.5 Seed Nicole Conard in her semifinal match and fought tooth and nail before losing in the second set tiebreak. Heck of an effort Viva!
No.4 Seed Melissa Sakar has been all business the entire event. I have not seen a more efficient, business-like approach across the board. She sent one of my tourney favorites, 14-year-old Emma Jackson, the No.7 Seed, packing with the loss of one game! She faces Nicole who brings a bigger game to the table, but I expect Melissa to go about her business tomorrow morning at 10:30am pretty much the way she has all tourney.
Tomorrow I have the pleasure of watching Viva do battle with young Emma for third place, and it will be interesting to see how Sydney Kaplan holds up against the power of No.2 Seed Sophia Edwards in their consolation match. Sneaky good Rachele Rimondini and another quality player flying under the radar, Ava Markham will contest the Consolation Final at 10:30am as well.
No.1 Seed Reed Crocker has been tested by one player in the Draw, and that was unseeded Jonah Braswell, 6-4; 4-6; 7-6(3). He lost more games in that one match than he did in his other three combined. Tomorrow morning at 8:30am he will look across the net at another unseeded Braswell with a biblical name: Micah.
Micah has yet to drop a set, including when he knocked off the No.8 Seed in Round 1. Both of these youngsters could have contended in the 18s and they should be quite entertaining when they take to the court at 8:30am.
Until the Semis, there was a good possibility that we were going to see a sister final similar to the Williams sisters, as top-seeded Sara de Oliveira and her sister Emily, the No.3 seed, were mowing down the competition. Sara had lost 11 games in three matches and received a walkover into the Final.
Emily had lost just four games in her three matches leading up to the Semis, while her semifinal opponent, Brooke Theis, had lost a set in one match and had had to win a tiebreak in another. Things were looking pretty good for the sister matchup until Brooke threw a monkey wrench in the works and ended Emily’s run with a 6-4, 6-3 victory. One can only wonder if the impending matchup had any effect on her play. In any event, Sara will seek to defend the family name tomorrow at 8:30am.
The tennis on the final day of the 2017 Florida Open USTA National Level 3 may fall just a smidge shy of the drama produced by Rafa and Muller today, but just a smidge. If you don’t have plans to be there, might think about making some. 239tennis out!