Tiafoe, Hiltzik advance to semis; Fenty pulls off upsets

Andrew Fenty (1)

Andrew Fenty highlighted Day 5 of Easter Bowl

With two gritty three set displays, JTCC players Francis Tiafoe and Aron Hiltzik have advanced to the semifinals of the ASISC Easter Bowl.

With the heat rule still in effect at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, No. 1 Tiafoe took the court against No. 7 Taylor Fritz in the eagerly anticipated match of the day. After losing the first set 3-6, Tiafoe stormed back to win the second 7-6(5), saving two match points in the process. After the second set, the two decided not to take the 10 minute break offered by the heat rule, with Tiafoe employing his superior conditioning in a 6-2 third set to take the match. Tiafoe’s semifinal will be against No. 13 Robert Levine.

The result of Hiltzik and William Blumberg’s quarterfinal match was sure to produce a surprise semifinalist since both boys are unseeded. In a hard fought first set, Hiltzik prevailed in the tiebreak, 9-7. After losing the second set 4-6, Hiltzik took advantage of the 10 minute heat break, recomposing himself in the third to win 6-3 and advance to the semifinals. He faces yet another unseeded player, Nathan Ponwith, for a spot in the final. The two recently partnered in doubles on the ITF Pro Circuit at the F6 Futures in Boynton Beach.

In 18s doubles, No. 1 Jordi Arconada has advanced to the final with partner Daniel Kerznerman with yet another third set tiebreak, winning 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-7. They now face No. 2 team Tommy Paul and Henrik Wiersholm for the Easter Bowl ITF Doubles Championship. In girls, semifinalist Alex Letzt didn’t get on the court as she and partner Erin Larner had to withdraw due to injury.

Elsewhere around Indian Wells, JTCC athletes played in 16 matches, accumulating much of their success in doubles, with the exception of Andrew Fenty.

14-year-old Fenty, a finalist earlier this year at the prestigious Teen Tennis tournament in Bolton, England, pulled off two upsets on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the boys 14s singles division. In the early match of the day, the unseeded Fenty beat No. 4 Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-4 to make the quarterfinals. Then he upended No. 14 Bradley Frye by the same score. He now faces the daunting task of playing No. 1 Steven Sun for a spot in the final.

In 16s singles, unseeded Patrick Kypson advanced to the quarterfinals in the early match, but was then knocked out by No. 3 Matthew Gamble. In doubles, Caleb Chakravarthi and Evan Zhu have advanced to the quarterfinals.

On the girls’ side, Jada Robinson, a finalist in 16s doubles at last week’s International Spring Championships, lost in the round of 16 on Friday. Her fellow JTCC player and No. 3 seed Nadia Gizdova was more fortunate, advancing to the quarterfinals in doubles with partner Alexandra Sanford.

Other JTCC players still alive in doubles include No. 1 RJ Fresen and No. 3 William Woodall in 14s, as well as No. 3 Hailey Baptiste in 12s.

Results of Day 5 quarterfinal and semifinals involving Team JTCC are below. To find more information about the 18s tournament, including draws and the daily order of play, visit the tournament website. For the 12s, 14s, and 16s results, visit here.

18s Singles Quarterfinals
(1) Francis Tiafoe (USA) d. (7) Taylor Fritz (USA) 3-6; 7-6(5); 6-2
Aron Hiltzik (USA) d. William Blumberg (USA) 7-6(7); 4-6; 6-3
18s Doubles Semifinals
(1) Arconada (ARG)/Kerznerman (USA) d. (3) Fritz (USA)/Kodali (USA) 3-6; 7-6(5); 10-7
Ruder-Hook (USA)/Smith (USA) d. Letzt (USA)/Larner (USA) W/o (inj)
16s Singles Quarterfinals
 (3) Matthew Gamble (USA) d. Patrick Kypson (USA)  2-6; 7-5; 6-1
14s Singles Quarterfinals
 Andrew Fenty (USA) d. (14) Bradley Frye (USA)  6-4; 6-4
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