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Day 6 Wrap-Up at the 2012 Easter Bowl - (10/28/2012)

Rain Delays Put Damper on Play at

45th Annual USTA Easter Bowl Junior Spring Nationals

Special to the USTA

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (April 13, 2012) – The rains came intermittently late in the day at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort on Friday, eventually ending a day of competitive junior tennis at the 45th annual Easter Bowl.

Three boys’ ITF 18s quarterfinals were completed as No. 2 Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre, N.Y., No. 3 Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, Calif., and No. 4 Alexios Halebian of Glendale, Calif., all moved on with impressive wins.

The match providing the most intrigue will be continued on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on stadium court as No. 6 Thai Kwiatkowski of Charlotte, N.C., was down against wild-card Ronnie Schneider of Bloomington, Ind., 3-6, 6-2, 5-5 at 15-40.

The boys’ and girls’ 16 semifinal doubles, boys’ 14s semifinal doubles and girls’ 18s singles were all suspended late in the day because of rain that was forecasted finally came and washed out the day.

Halebian received a scare from 14-year-old Stefan Kozlov, but was able to pull away for a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory to advance to the semifinals.

The 14-year-old Kozlov has played well the last couple weeks, reaching the boys' 18s finals of Carson, but couldn't quite get over the hump against the 17-year-old Halebian, an experienced veteran on the junior tennis tour. 

Halebian, who won the final two points in the second-set tiebreak to keep the match going, was impressed by the play of Kozlov and says he has a great career ahead of him.

“He moves on the court very well and has great hands and is pretty solid from both sides,” Halebian said. “His serve is not his best shot but he does a good job of spreading it around and he returns very well.”

Halebian was relieved to get through the match but says he has to do a better job of taking control to have a shot at winning the title.

“It's extremely important that I stay aggressive and not lay off my forehand,” Halebain said. “I have to keep going after shots, serving well and dictating my forehand and backhand.”

In the girls’ 14s semifinal played under perfect conditions to start the day, Catherine Bellis of Atherton, Calif., pulled off an impressive victory over No. 2-seeded Raquel Pedraza of Claremont, Calif., not giving up a game, 6-0, 6-0, despite being down love-40 with Pedraza serving in the first game of the match. “I actually lost to her the last time we played,” said Bellis, who also beat Pedraza 0-0 a couple of years back on these same Rancho Las Palmas courts in a Level 3 event. “I don’t feel like I’m in Easter Bowl final right now. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

Bellis, who turned 13 on Easter Sunday, will be going for her third gold ball on Saturday having won the USTA National Clay and Hardcourts already.

Bellis will play top-seeded Emma Higuchi of Los Angeles, a 7-5, 6-3, winner over No. 4 Usue Arconada of Rio Piedras, P.R., who is currently training at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md.

In the boys’ 14s final, No. 2 Kyle Seelig of Hatfield, Pa., will face No. 14 William Blumberg of Greenwich, Conn. Seelig beat No. 4 Johnathan Small of Midland, Mich., 6-2, 6-2 and Blumberg got past top-seeded and future IMG Bollettieri Academy pupil Anudeep Kodali of Durham, N.C., 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Seelig currently trains at the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education facility in Philadelphia while Blumberg has been training for the past two years with the USTA National Training Center – East in New York.

To keep up with all the Easter Bowl news, visit the website at and check out the tournament on Facebook ( and Twitter (@easterbowl).

Sponsors include: Prince, Asics, Laurel Springs School, L’academie de Tennis, K12 Academy, Blue Water Delta, and the website

Boys' 18s ITF Singles Quarterfinals Scores

Mackenzie McDonald (3) Piedmont, CA def. Austin Siegel (5) Tarrytown, NY 6-2, 6-2

Noah Rubin (2) Rockville Centre, NY def. Jared Hiltzik Wilmette, IL 7-5, 6-4

Alexios Halebian (4) Glendale, CA def. Stefan Kozlov (9) Pembroke Pines, FL 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-2

Boys’ 16s Singles Quarterfinals Scores

Joseph Di Giulio (12) Newport Beach, CA def. Ernesto Escobedo West Covina, CA 6-2, 6-3

Thomas Fawcett (17) Winnetka, IL def. Garrett Auproux (6) Studio City, CA 7-5, 6-1

Yale Goldberg (1) Chagrin Falls, OH def. Christian Langmo Boca Raton, FL 6-4, 1-6, 6-1

Girls’ 16s Singles Quarterfinals Scores

Jessica Golovin New York, NY def. Meghan Kelley Falmouth, ME 6-0, 6-3

Kaitlyn McCarthy (17) Cary, NC def. Terri Fleming Alpharetta, GA 6-1, 6-1

Brooke Broda (8) West Chester, OH def. Mary Haffey Naples, FL 6-1, 3-0 Ret (inj)

Meredith Xepoleas Huntington Beach, CA def. Ayla Aksu San Francisco, CA 6-3, 6-3

Boys’ 14s Singles Semifinals Scores

Kyle Seelig (2) Hatfield, PA def. Johnathan Small (4) Midland, MI 6-2, 6-2

William Blumberg (14) Greenwich, CT def. Anudeep Kodali (1) Durham, NC 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Girls’ 14s Singles Semifinal Scores

Catherine Bellis (17) Atherton, CA def. Raquel Pedraza (2) Claremont, CA 6-0, 6-0

Emma Higuchi (1) Los Angeles, CA def. Usue Arconada (4) Rio Piedras, PR 7-5, 6-3

Girls' 14 Singles Gold Draw, Quarterfinal losers (Semifinal Round)

Sofia Kenin Pembroke Pines, FL def. Adriana Reami Miami, FL 6-2, 2-6, 1-0(9)

Alexandra Letzt Scottsdale, AZ def. Angela Kulikov Sun Valley, CA Wo (inj)

Girls' 14 Singles Gold Draw, Quarterfinal losers (Final Round)

Sofia Kenin Pembroke Pines, FL def. Alexandra Letzt Scottsdale, AZ 6-3, 6-1

Girls' 14 Singles (Silver Draw, 4th round losers (Final Round)

Dominique Schaefer Ventura, CA def. Jada Hart Colton, CA 4-6, 6-4, 1-0(6)

Boys' 14 Singles Gold Draw, Quarterfinal losers (Semifinal Round)

Abhin Sharma Alpharetta, GA def. Max Pham Newport Coast, CA 6-1, 6-1

Nathan Ponwith Scottsdale, AZ def. Ryan Dickerson Marlton, NJ 6-0, 6-1

Boys' 14 Singles Gold Draw, Quarterfinal losers (Final Round)

Nathan Ponwith Scottsdale, AZ def. Abhin Sharma Alpharetta, GA 6-2, 6-1

Boys' 14 Singles Silver Draw, 4th round losers (Final Round)

Taylor Fritz Rancho Santa Fe, CA def. Nikola Samardzic Bradenton, FL 6-0, 6-0

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