Top-seeded players cruise to European tennis finals
WIESBADEN-NORDENSTADT, Germany — As the only American with a chance to win a singles title Saturday in the DODDS-Europe tennis championships, Michael Sanchez of Heidelberg isn’t fazed by having to carry the flag in his first final.
“I’m trying to concentrate on playing my best,” the second-seeded Sanchez said Friday after dropping only three games while winning four sets.
Sanchez, a senior, defeated Wiesbaden’s Patrick Barrenechea in the quarterfinals, 6-0, 6-1, then routed third-seeded Roy Forberg, the Mediterranean champion from American Overseas School of Rome, 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals.
Sanchez, who finished third in Europe last year, said his two previous years of playing here have helped.
“The experience helps me build mental stability,” he said. “This game is mostly mental.”
Sanchez will face top-seeded Claudio Giraldi, a SHAPE sophomore, in the final. Like Sanchez, Giraldi cruised Friday, thumping Alex Taylor of Patch 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals and dispatching fifth-seed John Pendergrass of Bitburg 6-2, 6-2 in the semis.
“He’s insane,” Taylor said of his Italian opponent. “His serve is incredible. The only games I won were on my serve.”
Sanchez has never faced Giraldi, who’s in his first season at SHAPE.
“It’s easier playing people you’ve played before,” said Sanchez. “My mind-set [in the title match] will be to play my game and not get into playing his.”
The finalists in the girls’ singles title match Saturday had an even easier time than the boys.
Top-seeded Krista Citovska, another SHAPE newcomer, coasted into the finals at love over Jemela McKinzy of Wiesbaden in the quarters and fourth-seeded Jennica Botonis of Bitburg in the semis.
Her finals opponent, Med champ Shivani Saxena of Milan, the No. 3 seed, thumped No. 6 Lori-ann Dalley of Würzburg 6-0, 6-1 in the quarters, then hammered No. 2 Paula Glover of the International School of Brussels, 6-1, 6-2 in the semis.
American players fared better in doubles. Lakenheath’s top-seeded duo of Phil Burroughs and John Keenan dropped the first set of the semifinals to Alconbury’s Christian Felice and Max Reuning before rallying for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory.
Burroughs and Keenas are to square off against Heidelberg’s second-seeded duo, Blair Martin and Sam Pohl, in Saturday’s final. Martin and Pohl won their quarterfinal and semifinal matches in straight sets, although they were taken to a tiebreaker by Vilseck’s Chad Perkins and Byron Schaffer in the quarters.
In girls doubles, ISB’s top-seeded duo of Yuna Shibata and Izumi Takeuchi reached the final with a 6-1, 6-4 conquest of Bitburg’s fourth-seeded Ashley Fary and Jackie Ventrice. They will take on the third-seeded duo of Maggie Curry and Megan Jones of Ramstein. Curry and Jones stopped the upset run by Kaiserslautern’s unseeded duo of Abby Halpin and Jessica Gofourth 6-2, 6-1. Halpin and Goforth were coming off a 6-3, 6-3 upset of the No. 2 team, Paulina Ryan and Molly King of Heidelberg.
Saturday’s third-place matches begin at 9:30 a.m., with championship showdowns to follow.
Friday at the European championshipsWIESBADEN-NORDENSTADT, Germany — Results Friday from the three-day European high school tennis championships, which end Saturday at the Vitis Tennis Center here. Championship-bracket matches are best-of-three; consolations are single eight-game pro set. (Byes not listed. Seedings, tiebreaker scores in parentheses. Second-round matches listed were played late Thursday):
Quarterfinals—Claudio Giraldi (1, SHAPE) def. Alex Taylor (Patch) 6-2, 6-1, George Dufournier (4, International School of Brussels) def. John Pendergrass (5, Bitburg) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4; Roy Forberg (3, American Overseas School of Rome) def. Matt Puchta (Ramstein) 6-2, 6-1; Mike Sanchez (2, Heidelberg) def. Patrick Barrenechea (Wiesbaden) 6-0, 6-1.
Semifinals—Giraldi def. Dufournier 6-2, 6-2; Sanchez def. Forberg 6-0, 6-2.
Paul Maritz (6, Bamberg) def. Kevin Yatsko (Patch) 8-5; Kevin Ingraham (Heidelberg) def. Paul Moseman (Brussels) 8-3; Maritz def. Taylor 8-6; Ingraham def. Barrenechea 8-2; Matt Puchta (Ramstein) def. Nick Bottesini (Brussels) 8-1; Pendergrass def. Zac Hilliker (Hanau) 8-0; Pendergrass def. Maritz 8-4; Puchta def. Ingraham 8-5.
Semifinals—Dufournier def. Puchta 8-4; Forberg def. Pendergrass 8-1.
Quarterfinals—Phil Burroughs and John Keenan (1, Lakenheath) def. Phillip Lilland and Nemanja Ivanowski (AFNORTH) 6-4, 6-2; Christian Felice and Max Reuning (Alconbury) def. Sean Danganan and William Mori-Ramos (4, Würzburg) 7-5, 6-3; Oliver Whittle and Shota Marisaka (3, International School of Brussels) def. Ioannis Strakatos and Dimitrios Tsiakalos (6, SHAPE) 6-2, 6-3; Blair Martin and Sam Pohl (2, Heidelberg) def. Chad Perkins and Byron Schaffer (Vilseck) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
Semifinals—Burroughs and Keenan def. Felice and Reuning 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; Blair and Pohl def. Whittle and Marisaka 6-2, 6-3.
Kolby Kruse and Zach Heath (Bitburg) def. Logan Snow and Mitchell Petters (Lakenheath) 8-0; Adam Pauley and Jeremy Junker (Mannheim) def. Eric Radvanyi and Michael Quezada (Wiesbaden) 8-6; Deven Smith and John Frank (Kaiserslautern) def. Stephen Pike and Robert Taylor (Ansbach) 8-0; Trey Dulaney and Shawn Kelley (5, Ramstein) def. Sean Crowley and Maurice Rolle (Patch) 8-0; Pauley and Junker def. Smith and Frank 8-4; Dulaney and Kelley def. Michael Sexton and Travis Apling (Iceland) 8-2; Mike Zupi and Andrew Gagnon (Brussels) def. Shaun Redden and Ryan Matheson (Hohenfels) 8-1; Danagan and Mori-Ramos def. Kruse and Heath 8-4; Ioannis Stratakos and Dimitrios Tsiakalos (6, SHAPE) def. Zupi and Gagnon 9-7; Lilland and N. Ivanowski def. Pauley and Junker 8-5; Lilland and N. Ivanowski def. Danaganan and Mori-Ramos 8-2; Strakatos and Tsiakalos def. Zupi and Gagnon 8-3.
Semifinals—Lilland and N. Ivanowski def. Whittle and Morisaka 8-6; Felice and Reuning def. Stratakos and Tsiakalos 8-6.
Quarterfinals—Krista Citkovska (1, SHAPE) def. Jemela McKinzy (Wiesbaden) 6-0, 6-0; Jennica Botonis (4, Bitburg) def. Alison Luthman (5, Ramstein) 6-0, 6-0; Shivana Saxena (3, Milan) def. Lori-ann Dalley (6, Würzburg) 6-0, 6-1; Paula Glover (2, International School of Brussels) def. Kallie Hedberg (Lakenheath) 6-1, 6-2.
Semifinals—Citkovska def. Botonis 6-0, 6-0; Saxena def. Glover 6-1, 6-2.
Luthman def. Brittany Godwin (Ramstein) 8-5; McKinzy def. Dupe Babatunde (Kaiserslautern) 8-4; Dalley def. Ashley Kozell (Bamberg) 8-2; Hedberg def. Alix Rich (Hanau) 9-8 (7-1); Luthman def. McKinzy 8-6; Dalley def. Hedberg 8-6.
Semifinals—Glover def. Luthman 8-0; Botonis def. Dalley 8-4.
Quarterfinals—Yuna Shibata and Izumi Takeuchi (1, International School of Brussels) def. Arielle Cohn and Jenna Reilly (Würzburg) 6-2, 6-1; Ashley Fary and Jackie Ventrice (4, Bitburg) def. Tamara Oppliger and Michelle Whitbeck (Patch) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; Abby Halpin and Jessica Goforth (Kaiserslautern) def. Paulina Ryan and Molly King (2, Heidelberg) 6-3, 6-3; Maggie Curry and Megan Jones (3, Ramstein) def. Nancy Jensen and Katie Foxworth (6, Wiesbaden) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Semifinals—Shibata and Takeuchi def. Fary and Ventrice 6-1, 6-4; Curry and Jones def. Halpin and Gofourth 6-2, 6-1.
Kay Lichtenberger and Jenna Harris (Lakenheath) def. Jennifer Clark and Jeanette Cortez (Vilseck) 8-2; Nicole Ochinang and Ilena Jansen (SHAPE) def. Timaree Engel and Sofia Engel (Bamberg) 8-5; Ryan and King def. Ochinang and Jansen 8-6; Oppliger and Whitbeck def. Ellyn Edwards and Rachel Brown (Alconbury) 8-6; Arielle Cohn and Jenna Reilly (Würzburg) def. Kaele Way and Melanie Seitz (Giessen) 8-5; Jensen and Foxworth def. Ryan and King 8-2.
Semifinals—Oppliger and Whitbeck def. Halpin and Goforth 8-5; Jensen and Foxworth def. Fary and Ventrice 8-6.