Indian Wells Tennis Garden
March 26 - April 3, 2022
Photo By Paul Ballard/Zoo Tennis
Valerie Glozman left her best serve of the match for last. Serving to the ad side, Glozman placed a spinning ace that just caught the line and just out of Sydney Jara’s reach to put an exclamation mark on her first USTA National Gold Ball by capturing the FILA Easter Bowl Girls’ 16s singles title at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Saturday.
It was the only ace the No. 5-seeded 15-year-old Glozman from Bellevue, Wash., recorded in her 6-1, 6-0 win over unseeded recently turned 14-year-old Jara from Wenham, Mass.
“I think I played smart and just tried to stay in it,” said Glozman, who had also beaten Jara in the first round of the USTA National Indoors back in November. “I just tried to give it my all.”
Glozman, who trains with her father Igor on the public parks of the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, hits with a strong two-handed forehand that seemed to keep Jara off-balance throughout the match. Glozman was playing in just her second USTA Level 1 tournament.
Playing in his first FILA Easter Bowl, unseeded Parashar Bharadwaj of Irvine, Calif., overcame a sickness to capture his first USTA National Ball of any kind as he downed William Manning of Raleigh, N.C., 6-2, 6-4, for the coveted USTA Gold Ball.
“I’m still sick,” said Bharadwaj. “I had a sore throat yesterday and this morning I threw everything up. I’ve had so much Pedialyte, you wouldn’t believe. If I would have played another two games, I would have lost the match.”
But the 16-year-old Bharadwaj powered through it and had success passing Manning when he came to the net. He said he didn’t feel “threatened” by anyone in the draw and that it didn’t matter that he was unseeded. “A ranking is just based on how many tournaments you play,” Bharadwaj said. “I knew I was at a higher level than whatever the USTA or UTR ranking says.
Bharadwaj trains with FILA Easter Bowl Boys’ ITF singles finalist and No. 8-seeded Alex Michelsen of Aliso Viejo, Calif., at TiER1 Performance in Irvine. Saturday, Michelsen beat his second SoCal rival in as many days with a 6-1, 6-4 win over unseeded Kyle Kang of Fullerton in the semifinals.
“I play with Alex every day and lose every (tie) breaker we play,” Bharadwaj said of the 17-year-old Michelsen, a high school junior who is headed to the University of Georgia in the fall of 2023.
Michelsen will face one of the tournament’s hottest players in No. 2-seeded Nishesh Basavareddy, who ZooTennis’ Colette Lewis Tweeted is on an 18-match ITF J1/JA winning streak. Basavareddy, of Carmel, Ind., defeated Jelani Sarr of Savannah, Ga., 6-1, 6-3, to reach the final. Basavareddy has not dropped more than three games in any set during his 10 FILA Easter Bowl set wins.
Basavareddy originally lived in Irvine, Calif., before moving to the Midwest at age 8. “I remember playing him in the 10-and-unders,” said Basavareddy, who won a pair of ITF events in Brazil before heading to the FILA Easter Bowl. “I’ve seen him play a few times this tournament. He has a big serve and he’s a pretty big guy. Good backhand. I’ll talk to my coach and we’ll discuss more in detail. It will be a tough match.”
It’s the second FILA Easter Bowl final for Basavareddy, who lost to Kang in the 12s final in 2017. “I definitely remember that one,” he said. “It was a good tournament then, and hopefully I can go one step further in the 18s.”
Michelsen avenged a defeat to Kang in last week’s ITF San Diego semifinals and said he had never beaten his SoCal rival.
“It was good to finally get him with one,” Michelsen said of Kang. “I still have a losing record to him so I still have to catch up. It was a good match and I played well.”
Michelsen said his big serve was the difference in the match. He said he looked at the speed gun mph displayed on the scoreboard and got up to 115 mph. “I wanted to get to 120, but never did,” he said. “I made a lot more first serves this week than last. After I lost to Kyle I went back and worked on it and got it up to par. So that definitely helped out.”
Michelsen said he recalled playing Basavareddy as age 8 or 9 in the 10-and-unders. “I do remember that,” he said. “It was an absolute war. We used to really battle, and I think I lost in a 10-point breaker. I had to rush to a baseball game after our match.”
Later in the day, Michelsen won the Boys’ ITF doubles title with a 10-6 third-set super tiebreaker win with partner Sebastian Gorzny.
Sunday’s final day will start with Girls’ ITF singles final at 10 a.m. as No. 3 Reese Brantmeier takes on No. 4-seeded FILA athlete Alexis Blokhina in the final.
Wisconsin’s Brantmeier took out No. 2 Qavia Lopez, 6-2, 6-4 and Blokhina beat wild card Iva Jovic, 6-1, 2-6, 6-0. “I’ve been playing this tournament a long time, so I’m excited to make the final,” said Brantmeier, who is ranked No. 536 in the WTA world tour rankings.
“That was like 11th or 12th time I’ve played Qavia, so I knew she would come up with some good shots,” said Brantmeier, a high school senior who will play next year at the University of North Carolina. “I just wanted to relax and play my game.”
Later in the day, Lopez and Liv Hovde, the No. 1 seeded team, won the doubles title with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Blokhina and Sophie Williams.
Be sure to catch all the action on the live stream at here with Radio Tennis’ Ken Thomas on the call for the final day of play alongside International Tennis Hall of Famer Rosie Casals.