Kozlov Continues Dominance Over Wiersholm; Hibi Captures Girls’ 18s At USTA International Spring Championships


By Steve Pratt

CARSON, Calif., (Sunday, April 7, 2013) – Stefan Kozlov’s dominance over Henrik Wiersholm continued on one of the biggest stages in junior tennis on Sunday in the final of the ninth annual USTA International Spring Championships.
The 15-year-old Kozlov from Pembroke Pines, Fla., dominated his USTA National Training Center practice partner and buddy, 16-year-old Wiersholm from Kirkland, Wash., beating him for the eighth consecutive time, 6-2, 6-3, at the Home Depot Center to capture the coveted Carson boys’ 18s singles title.
In the girls’ final, recently turned 17-year-old Mayo Hibi of Irvine, Calif., played flawless tennis to take out Jamie Loeb of Ossining, N.Y., 6-2, 6-1, to win the girls’ 18s championship.
Kozlov was a finalist here a year ago, falling to Mitchell Krueger on the final day. He controlled the play on Sunday and overcame a mental lapse up 3-0 in the second set to record the win.
“At 3-0, 30-love I kind of made some unforced errors and thought he might be able to get back in it,” Kozlov said. “He couldn’t find his rhythm. I tried to keep him off balance and to hit a lot of winners.”
Wiersholm said losing to someone over and over again can take its toll on a player. “The more I play him the more chances I’ll have, but it’s all mental now,” he said. “Once it gets to 8-0, 7-0, whatever, it just gets into your head. You can’t really perform how you want to. It’s like, ‘I’ve lost seven times to this guy, I can’t lose again.’ You just can’t focus on winning when you haven’t won before.”
He added: “There’s not much to say. The score kind of says it all. I don’t think it was my highest level, but part of that was him throwing me off my rhythm. That’s why he’s such a good player.”
Kozlov admitted there was pressure on him to do well after making the final last year. “I kind of had a little bit of pressure too because I thought he would just come out and start spraying balls, but he played a little bit different than I thought he would,” the No. 2-seeded Kozlov said. “He had more pressure than me today but I’m starting to get better at staying loose and dealing with it.”
Kozlov said he hopes to make it into the Top 12 of the International Tennis Federation junior rankings after winning the title, and that his goals are to eventually get into the Top 10 and do well at the remaining three junior Grand Slams, as well as play some USTA Pro Circuit and ITF Futures professional tournaments.
In the girls’ final, former Carson 16s finalist Hibi just couldn’t seem to miss in her win over University of North Carolina-bound Loeb. “I haven’t played a junior event in awhile so it’s good to get a win in my first one back,” said Hibi, currently ranked around No. 370 on the WTA Tour.
Hibi said working with former WTA pro Debbie Graham has upped her game.
“She’s been on the Tour and knows what it takes to get to that level,” Hibi said. “She knows what you need to beat the top players. She’s played players like Lindsay Davenport and I’m going to have to play players like that. She knows what I have to work on.”
Loeb said Hibi didn’t give her any free points. ”If I hit a better shot she came up with an even better one,” she said. “It was tough. She played a very good match. She missed one slice all day and got to a lot of my balls.”
It’s onto the USTS Spring Nationals at the Easter Bowl next week in the desert for all four players. “I think it’s good for me to get back out there tomorrow,” Loeb said. “I tend to spend too much time on my losses and dwell on it. So having a match tomorrow gives me a chance to forget about it. It’s not that I played horrible, Mayo just played that much better.”
For a complete look at final draws, log onto the website at www.usta.com/isc.
Boys’ 18 Singles (Final)
Stefan Kozlov (2), Pembroke Pines, Fla., def. Henrik Wiersholm, Kirkland, Wash., 6-2, 6-3
Girls’ 18 Singles (Final)
Mayo Hibi, Irvine, Calif., def. Jamie Loeb (5), Ossining, N.Y., 6-2, 6-1

Connor Hance Who Played Agassi and Graf’s Son in Commercial Stuns Top Seed in at USTA International Spring Championships

By Steve Pratt
CARSON, Calif., (Wednesday, April 4, 2012) – Ever wonder what happened to the cute little boy who played Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf’s son in that 2004 Genworth Financial commercial co-starring Taylor Dent?

Well Connor Hance, who turned 13 in November and lives just eight miles away, has put the acting and commercials on hiatus and has been making some noise on the junior tennis circuit of late, especially on Wednesday when he upset No. 1-seeded Ruadhan De Bruges of Australia, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, in the third round of the boys’ 16s at the eighth annual USTA International Spring Championships being played at the Home Depot Center.
“I started to play more aggressive and drive the ball more,” said Hance, of what he changed after dropping the first set. “And I started getting my first serve in. That was the difference.”
Both Hance’s parents are teaching professionals at the South Bay Tennis Center in Torrance. His father Ken and mother Courtney were both on hand to watch him record the shocking win. “I just kept saying to myself please keep the ball in play because I knew his opponent was tiring,” Courtney said. “And he did and it worked out for him. It’s pretty exciting.”
The qualifier Hance, who won the 2011 USTA Clay Court Nationals in the 12s, will next face No. 10 seed Logan Smith of Carlsbad, Calif., in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Connor’s sister Kenadi is a top-ranked 14s player who lost in the 16s on Tuesday. During his match, she said he gave up acting and really started focusing on his tennis several years ago when he lost out on the role of actor Steve Carell’s son in the 2007 feature film “Evan Almighty,” only because he didn’t look anything like Carell.
Another 13-year-old who was turning heads but in the girls’ 18s on Wednesday was Tornado Ali Black, who was given a wild card into the tournament and is currently ranked No. 141 in the ITF world rankings.
Black, who has a younger sister who is a top-ranked 12s player named Hurricane, is from Englewood, Colo., and won the Eddie Herr 16s back in December. She has already signed a pro contract with Octagon and is being coached by USTA coach Freddie Rodriguez who was on site Wednesday to watch her upset No. 13 seeded Kelsey Laurente of Miramar, Fla., 6-3, 6-1, in the second round.
Defending 18s champion Samantha Crawford, the No. 5 seed, was beaten in straight sets by Makenzie Craft of Frisco, Texas, 7-6 (4), 6-3. The unseeded Craft said she went two full months to start the year without hitting a ball as she was recovering from three torn ligaments in her left ankle.
“I beat Kyle McPhillips last year at Claremont, but I would say this is my biggest win,” Kraft said. “I was trying to stay focused. I really wasn’t thinking about what I was doing out there. Before the match I was just hoping to keep it close. Samantha obviously didn’t play her best. It might take three or four hours for it to set in.”
For complete draws log onto the website at www.usta.com/isc.
Boys’ 18 Singles (Second Round)
Ernesto Escobedo West Covina, CA  def.  Lucas Gomez San Ysidro, CA  6-3, 6-4
Noah Rubin (3) Rockville Centre, NY  def.  Tommy Mylnikov Bradenton, FL  7-6(6), 6-0
Martin Redlicki Boca Raton, FL  def.  Deiton Baughman Carson, CA  2-6, 6-1, 7-6(2)
Henrik Wiersholm Kirkland, WA  def.  Jordan Daigle Lafayette, LA  7-6(4), 6-1
Austin Siegel (6) Tarrytown, NY  def.  Mohd Merzuki Bradenton, FL  4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Ronnie Schneider Bloomington, IN  def.  Paul Oosterbaan Kalamazoo, MI  6-1, 6-2
Mackenzie McDonald (4) Piedmont, CA  def.  Gage Brymer Irvine, CA  3-6, 6-1, 6-4
Luca Corinteli Alexandria, VA  def.  Pak Long Yeung Hong Kong,  4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Carter Lin Bradenton, FL  def.  Spencer Papa (2) Boca Raton, FL    Wo (inj)
Stefan Kozlov Pembroke Pines, FL  def.  Thomas Pura Pacific Palisades, CA  6-0, 6-2
Henry Craig Murrieta, CA  def.  Grant Solomon Dallas, TX  6-0, 6-1
Trey Strobel Bradenton, FL  def.  Chun Hun Wong  6-1, 6-4
Nikko Madregallejo Monrovia, CA  def.  Thai Kwiatkowski (7) Charlotte, NC  2-6, 6-4, 6-2
Alexios Halebian (5) Glendale, CA  def.  Alan Nunez Aguilera  6-0, 6-3
Mitchell Krueger (1) Aledo, TX  def.  Jack Murray Beverly Hills, MI  6-3, 6-4
John Richmond Pawleys Island, SC  def.  Jared Donaldson Cumberland, RI  7-6(5), 6-1
Boys’ 18 Doubles (Second Round)
Milen Ianakiev / Santiago Munoz  def.  Jack Murray /  Bayo Philips  6-4, 6-1
Brendan McClain / Thomas Pura  def.  Charles Boyce /  Ronnie Schneider  1-6, 6-4, 10-3
Carter Lin / Mohd Merzuki (8)  def.  Robbie Bellamy /  Gregory Garcia  7-5, 6-0
M. Mackenzie. McDonald / Trey Strobel (2)  def.  Maxx Lipman / John Richmond  6-4, 6-2
Alexios Halebian / Mitchell Krueger (1)  def.  Justin Butsch /  Michael Mmoh  6-4, 6-2
Thomas Colautti / Josh Hagar  def.  Eduardo Bringold /  Ivar Contreras  6-1, 6-3
Thai Kwiatkowski / Martin Redlicki (5)  def.  Jose Pablo Gil / Federico Ruiz Acevedo  6-3, 6-3
Lucas Gomez / Ricardo Medinilla (4)  def.  Ernesto Escobedo /  Javier Restrepo  1-6, 7-6(2), 10-2
Boys’ 16 Singles (Round of 16)
Connor Hance Torrance, CA  def.  Ruadhan de Bruges (1) Cherrybrook,  4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Jake Devine Boca Raton, FL  def.  Yancy Dennis Reisterstown, MD  6-0, 6-2
Aidan Jiang Ojai, CA  def.  Christian Langmo (6) Boca Raton, FL  7-6(3), 6-4
Sameer Kumar Carmel, IN  def.  Jean Thirouin Houston, TX  6-3, 6-2
Robert Levine Bedford, NY  def.  Alexandru Gozun (4) Sarasota, FL  6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2
Roman Safiullin San Diego, CA  def.  William Blumberg Greenwich, CT  6-4, 6-1
Logan Smith Carlsbad, CA  def.  Tommy Paul Deerfield Beach, FL  6-3, 6-3
Francis Tiafoe College Park, MD  def.  German Aragon Chula Vista, CA  6-2, 4-6, 6-0
Boys’ 16 Doubles (Second Round)
Tommy Paul / Aron Pierce (3)  def.  German Aragon / Riley Smith  1-6, 6-0, 10-0
Artemie Amari / Alex Rybakov (1)  def.  Oscar Janglin /  Stephen Madonia  6-1, 6-2
Carsten Fisher / Anudeep Kodali  def.  Aidan Jiang /  Fabian Schaefer (6)  4-6, 6-3, 10-5
Jake Devine / Nathan Ponwith  def.  Steven Chen / Michael Nguyen (8)  7-5, 6-2
Yancy Dennis / Francis Tiafoe  def.  Kial Kaiser /  Logan Smith (7)  7-5, 3-6, 10-7
Darius MacKenzie / Keivon Tabrizi  def.  Kevin Lam /  Ruadhan de Bruges (2)  6-2, 6-4
Augustus Ge / Jean Thirouin  def.  Nikolas Ramadan / Nikola Samardzic (5)  6-1, 6-2
Sameer Kumar / Christian Langmo (4)  def.  Kimo Barrere /  Garrett Mak  6-3, 6-2
Girls’ 18 Singles (Second Round)
Blair Shankle Comfort, TX  def.  Kendal Woodard Stockbridge, GA  6-2, 6-0
Christina Makarova (6) San Diego, CA  def.  Alexandra Morozova Plantation, FL  6-2, 6-1
Stephanie Nauta Bradenton, FL  def.  Desirae Krawczyk Rancho Mirage, CA  6-3, 6-2
Taylor Townsend (1) Stockbridge, GA  def.  Breaunna Addison Lake Worth, FL  6-3, 6-3
Mayo Hibi Irvine, CA  def.  Nadia Echeverria Alam Doral, FL  7-6(4), 2-0  Ret (inj)
Alexandra Kiick (7) Plantation, FL  def.  Jana McCord San Diego, CA  6-0, 6-1
Caroline Doyle San Francisco, CA  def.  Victoria Rodriguez Mercedes, TX  6-3, 6-4
June Lee West Windsor, NJ  def.  Catherine Harrison Germantown, TN  2-6, 7-5, 6-2
Chalena Scholl (3) Pompano Beach, FL  def.  Usue Arconada Rio Piedras, PR  6-1, 6-1
Mia King Cornelius, NC  def.  Rebecca Weissmann Loveland, CO  6-7(4), 6-1, 6-3
Alicia Blacker Englewood, CO  def.  Kelsey Laurente Miramar, FL  6-3, 6-1
Gabrielle Andrews (4) Pomona, CA  def.  Eden Silva Rancho Palos Verdes, CA  6-0, 6-0
Makenzie Craft Frisco, TX  def.  Samantha Crawford (5) Tamarac, FL  7-6(4), 6-3
Kyle McPhillips (2) Willoughby, OH  def.  Alyssa Smith Laguna Niguel, CA  2-6, 7-5, 6-0
Jennifer Brady (8) Boca Raton, FL  def.  Denise Starr Brooklyn, NY  7-5, 6-3
Belinda Bencic Bradenton, FL  def.  Brooke Austin Indianapolis, IN  6-4, 6-3
Girls’ 18 Doubles (Second Round)
Kristina Chasovskikh / Jacqueline Zuhse  def.  Caroline Doyle / Mia King  6-3, 2-6, 10-7
Stephanie Nauta / Chalena Scholl (2)  def.  Breaunna Addison / Catherine Harrison  6-2, 6-1
Kelsey Laurente / Alexandra Morozova (8)  def.  Mayci Jones /  Cassidy Spearman  6-2, 7-5
Jennifer Brady / Kendal Woodard (6)  def.  Dasha Ivanova /  Jamie Loeb  6-4, 6-2
Alexandra Kiick / Ayaka Okuno (3)  def.  Belinda Bencic /  eden silva  6-2, 6-2
Louisa Chirico / Blair Shankle  def.  Alicia Blacker /  Johnnise Renaud (7)  6-3, 2-6, 10-8
Gabrielle Andrews / Taylor Townsend (1)  def.  Christina Makarova /  Kimberly Yee  6-1, 6-1
Samantha Crawford / Josie Kuhlman (4)  def.  Usue Arconada / Marie Norris  6-2, 6-3
Girls’ 16 Singles (Round of 16)
Jessica Ho Wexford, PA  def.  Terri Fleming Alpharetta, GA  6-0, 6-0
Emma Higuchi Los Angeles, CA  def.  Mary Haffey (8) Naples, FL  6-1, 6-1
Raquel Pedraza Claremont, CA  def.  Meredith Xepoleas Huntington Beach, CA  3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4
Kaitlyn McCarthy (5) Cary, NC  def.  Ellie Zogg Dallas, TX  6-3, 6-3
Dominique Schaefer Ventura, CA  def.  Emma Critser Mountain View, CA  6-4, 2-6, 6-4
Jada Hart Colton, CA  def.  Mira Ruder-Hook Denver, CO  6-4, 6-1
Nicole Frenkel (1) Winchester, MA  def.  Ndindi Ndunda Burke, VA  6-3, 7-6(9)
Andie Daniell Douglasville, GA  def.  Bianca Moldovan Livonia, MI  6-2, 7-6(3)
Girls’ 16 Doubles (Second Round)
Nicole Frenkel / Ndindi Ndunda (1) def. Adorabol Huckleby / Bianca Moldovan  6-4, 0-6, 10-6
Hadley Berg / Isabella Heidenreich  def.  Caroline Turner /  Ellie Zogg (5)  2-6, 7-6(2), 10-6
Yuki Asami / Ilana Oleynik  def.  Terri Fleming / Olivia Myers (4)  6-3, 6-1
Madison Tedford / Camila Wesbrooks (8)  def.  Amber Park / Meredith Xepoleas  7-5, 4-6, 13-11
Kenadi Hance / Alexis Pereira  def.  Stephanie Hazell / Ally Miller-Krasilnikov (6)  6-4, 6-4
Andie Daniell / Karina Traxler (3)  def.  Caroline Dolehide / Samantha Martinelli  6-3, 6-1
Kareena Manji / Kaitlyn McCarthy (7)  def.  Christine Maddox /  Annika Ringblom  6-2, 6-2
Natalie Da Silveira / Ena Shibahara  def.  Savannah Durkin /  Mary Haffey (2)  6-0, 2-6, 10-6