Tennis Prose



Orange Bowl 2020

The Eddie Herr Championships were cancelled but the Orange Bowl proceeded last week, though restricting players to only one support person.

The boys winner was 16 year old French player Arthur Fils, who overcame a match point in the first round to American wildcard Michael Zheng of New Jersey, 36 75 62.

Fils was a wildcard in the recent French Open junior tournament, where he won two rounds to gain enough points for direct entry into this Orange Bowl. Fils was accompanied at the Orange Bowl by French Federation coach Tarik Benhabiles, who previously coached Andy Roddick in the ATP and operated an academy in South Florida.

In the second round, Fils then crushed the Austrian no. 3 seed Lukas Neumayer 61 60. Fils also escaped another Jersey boy Samir Banjernee 26 62 64. In the QF Fils beat American 8 seed Alex Bernard 61 75. In the semis Fils beat Chinese player Jerry Shang, seeded 12, 62 60.

In the final, unseeded Fils faced the top seeded Hungarian Peter Fajta and prevailed 61 46 62.

The girls draw also featured some major surprises. Top seed and ITF world no. 1 Elsa Jacquemot survived a dangerous second round encounter with American wildcard Sarah Hamner, coached by Michael Joyce, 75 46 63 and then a QF war with Belgium’s Sofia Costoulas 75 46 76. Jacquemot lost in the semis to Belarus 17 year old Jana Kolodynska 16 61 16.

In her second OB 18s final in a row, Kolodynska (lost to Robin Montgomery last year) fell to American wildcard Ashlyn Krueger 64 64.

Krueger, a tall 16 year old from Texas, who won the Orange Bowl 16s last year, stunned the no. 2 seed and Australian Open winner Victoria Kasinsteva Jiminez, the lefthander from Andorra, in the second round 64 62.

Krueger followed up that upset win by defeating American Hina Inoue 36 64 63 and then in the SF she beat Finland’s Laura Hietaranta 63 62. Krueger is now ranked 73 in the ITF.

Krueger is the first player since Bianca Andreescu to win the OB 16s and 18s in consecutive years.

The tournament was played on Har-Tru courts in Plantation, FL. Jacquemot will finish 2020 as the ITF no. 1 player because of Kasintseva Jimenez’s second round loss to Krueger.

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