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Sock among winners on final day of Easter Bowl - (04/14/2008)
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – They left the best for last for the second straight year at the Easter Bowl.

In the final main-draw singles match of the tournament Sunday at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort, No. 8 seed Jack Sock fought through a tough three-setter in 98-degree heat, upsetting No. 2 seed Clay Thompson, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4), in the boys’ 16s final at the USTA Spring Nationals event.

Last year in the same 16s final – the third and final main-draw match of the day – unseeded Lawrence Formentera also needed a third-set tiebreaker to beat No. 1 seed James “Bo” Seal of Chattanooga, Tenn.

The heat was brutal for both players and fans Sunday, but Sock found a way to get through it. “The heat was really tough, but I just fought hard and pulled it out in the third-set tiebreak,” said Sock.

Sock began the match up, 4-1, but Thompson clawed his way back to 5-4, before Sock took control and closed out the set.

Thompson, a 6-foot, 5-inch serve-and-volleyer from Venice, Calif., played aggressive in the second set and tied it up. The third was a grind, as Sock battled back and pulled it out in the tiebreak.

Sock, a resident of Lincoln, Neb., who trains at the Mike Wolf Tennis Academy in Kansas City, took Thompson out of his game throughout most of the match.

“I kept him back and stayed energetic and positive, and it paid off,” said Sock.

Sock also received an American Airlines scholarship for a free round-trip ticket anywhere American flies.
There was a gold ball for Thompson on the day, however, as he unbelievably had to play a second third-set tiebreaker in doubles following his singles, this time coming out the winner with partner Nelson Vick of Grafton, Wis. The top seeds beat Warren Hardie, Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Casey MacMaster, Fort Collins, Colo., 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

Buchanan takes boys’ 18s title

It was really no contest in the boys’ 18s ITF singles final, as No. 4 seed Chase Buchanan defeated Alex Llompart, 6-1, 6-0.

Buchanan's aggressive style of play was too much for Llompart, who played on despite a lower back injury. With the victory, Buchanan will get the opportunity to play in the junior French Open, as well as junior Wimbledon. The New Albany, Ohio, resident will also compete in Belgium, as well as several Futures events in Florida in the coming months.

The desert heat was no problem for Buchanan, who served and volleyed his way to victory.

“Everyone told me it was hot, but I didn't think it was at all,” said Buchanan, who used a variety of lob shots in the win. “Those really came in handy and helped me in a couple of the close games.”

Llompart, who lives in Carolina, P.R., almost didn't come to the Easter Bowl because he wasn't playing too well in the past few weeks.

“I really didn't want to come, but I'm obviously glad I did,” said Llompart. “I had a good first match, and one of the top seeds lost, so that really opened up the draw for me, and I took advantage of it.”

Llompart will next travel to play in three tournaments in Italy.

Asked what he'll do to celebrate the victory, Buchanan said he's going to go home, relax, and go to the mall with his girlfriend.

Tsay comes back to beat Lee for gold ball in girls’ 16s
Never rattled and full of composure the entire tournament, Ellen Tsay of Pleasanton, Calif., captured her fourth and fifth gold balls, as she had to come back to beat Los Angeles’ Sarah Lee in the girls’ 16s singles final, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Tsay later teamed with Amelia Herring of Carlsbad, Calif., to win the doubles gold. The pair beat Alexandra Clay, Grayson, Ga., and Whitney Kay (5), Alpharetta, Ga., 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

It’s going to be a fun eight-hour drive home to the Bay Area for the Tsay family. “I’ll have something to talk about the whole way home,” said Tsay, who had to come back from down, 4-2, in the third set for the win against Lee.

Said Lee, who was disappointed she couldn’t pull off the upset, “After that first set, I was so pumped up and really wanted it,” she said. “After the second set, I started to lose my focus, and she slowed down the pace.”
Was this the toughest match of the tournament for Tsay? “It’s hard to tell,” she said. “It’s certainly the biggest.”

Rancho Las Palmas Resort, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Sunday’s results:

Girls' 16 Singles (Final Round)
Ellen Tsay (2), Pleasanton, CA def. Sarah Lee (12) Los Angeles, CA 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Girls' 16 Singles (Playoff)
Mary Anne MacFarlane, Ogden, UT def. Jennifer Kellner (8) Smithtown, NY 6-1, 6-1

Girls' 16 Doubles (Final Round)
Amelia Herring, Carlsbad, Calif. / Ellen Tsay (6), Pleasanton, Calif., def. Alexandra Clay, Grayson, Ga. / Whitney Kay (5), Alpharetta, Ga., 6-3, 5-7, 6-3

Girls' 16 Doubles (Playoff)
Kate Fuller, Suanee, Ga. / Rachael Hart (8), Alpharetta, Ga., def. Nikki Sanders, Chino, Calif. / Britney Sanders (7), Chino, Calif., 6-2, 6-2

Boys' 16 Singles (Final Round)
Jack Sock (8), Lincoln, NE def. Clay Thompson (2) Venice, CA 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4)

Boys' 16 Singles (Playoff)
Joshua Tchan (6), Woodland Hills, CA def. Mitchell Frank (14), Annandale, VA 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Boys' 16 Doubles (Final Round)
Clay Thompson, Venice, Calif. / Nelson Vick, Grafton, Wisc. (1) def. Warren Hardie, Laguna Niguel, Calif. / Casey MacMaster, Fort Collins, Colo., (8) 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(3)

Boys' 16 Doubles (Playoff)
Marcos Giron, Thousand Oaks, Calif. / Thomas Pham (9), San Diego def. Harry Seaborn, North Salem, N.Y. / Michael Zhu (9), Princeton, N.J., 6-1, 6-3

Boys' 18 Singles (Final Round)
Chase Buchanan (4), New Albany, OH def. Alex Llompart (13), Carolina, PR 6-1, 6-0

Boys' 18 Doubles (Final Round)
Denis Lin, Thousand Oaks, Calif. / Kyle McMorrow, Thousand Oaks, Calif., def. Alex Llompart, Carolina Puerto Rico /Jose Sierra-Short, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, 7-6(1), 2-6, 1-0(7)

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