at the Mobile Tennis Center
Mobile, Alabama - March 11-17, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007-Day Four

It was a day full of rain and sun, indoor and outdoor matches, "Wills" and "McHales." It was quite a day at the USTA National Spring Championships.

Morning rain brought the first round of consolation matches to the Mobile Convention Center. Even though there were only three courts, things ran smoothly and transitioned back to the Mobile Tennis Center to join the main draw in the afternoon. There were a few other brief rain delays between bursts of strong sun, but in the end the matches were completed with few surprises.

Melanie Oudin continued to prove that she deserved the top billing in the girls draw, where she has only lost eight games in five rounds. Today it was Stacey Lee (15) who fell, despite a great game that has taken her through near-perfect tennis in the previous rounds. There were some long, baseline points, however, it was Melanie's match. I expect things may change tomorrow as she faces Asia Muhammed. Asia struggled a bit in the first set (7-5), but she had total control over the next one as Keri Wong (above)couldn't do anything to get past her. The points were quick as No. 3 Asia shut out No. 7 Keri in the second.

I didn't get to see the Lauren Embree (4) vs. Caroline McVeigh (8) match as it finished (just as I made my way through the other courts) in favor of the fourth seed, 6-2,6-1. And I just caught a few moments of fifth-seeded Chelsea Preeg's 6-3,6-2 loss to ninth-seeded Alison Riske.

The matches were a bit more exciting in the boys main draw, though the scores didn't really show that. In Wil vs. Will (17-32 Spencer vs. No. 8 Guzick) it was the lower seed who had the control. Wil Spencer had eliminated the top seed yesterday and wasn't about to be stopped today as he took his place in the semis with a 6-4,6-1 win. Also unstoppable was Brennan Boyajian. Last year he dominated the boys 16s, taking five national titles, and he seems to have made the transition to the 18s with ease. Today the sixth-seed eliminated the fourth-seeded Nicholas Meister, 6-1,6-2. It was a fun match to watch as both players were quick and made the points exciting despite the low score.

Eric Quigley and Steve Johnson played the longest boys quarterfinal more because of the close score than long points as the players traded winners. It was 17-32 Eric over No. 9 Johnson in the end, 7-6(7),7-5. He will be facing Dennis Nevolo in the other semifinal. The twelfth seed today was meticulous in defeating alpha seed Alex Domijian, 6-4,6-1, in another match I enjoyed catching some of.

The sisters McHale faced each other in a consolation match with the elder (Lauren) prevailing over the younger (Christina), 7-6(4),6-2. It was a display of good tennis and mild sibling rivalry that even Mom enjoyed. (In contrast to the three-hour battle between Claire Bartlett and Shinann Featherston on the court next door, with the latter the winner.)

The tournament is winding down as we head into the semifinals tomorrow. Only seeds remain in the main draw so there won't be anything shocking tomorrow, but I expect to see some first class singles and doubles play.

Until Tomorrow,
Marcia Frost
P.S. For more reporting from the National Spring Championships, check out Colette Lewis' stories & photos at Zoo Tennis.


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Nicolas Meister

Will Guzick

Stacey Lee

Steve Johnson

Chelsea Preeg

Alex Domijian

Bradley Klahn

Christina McHale

Maksim Tikhomirov

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