RELATED: USTA International Spring Championships home
By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
CARSON, Calif. – Two sons of former world Top-10 women’s tennis players won straight-set matches Wednesday at the 10th annual USTA International Spring Championships, taking place at the StubHub Center.
Tracy Austin’s son Brandon Holt of nearby Rolling Hills, Calif., defeated Rae Lan of San Diego, 7-6(6), 6-2, in the boys’ 16s division to advance to Thursday’s quarterfinals, and Kathy May Fritz's son Taylor Fritz of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., beat Christian Langmo of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-1, 7-5, in the boys’ 18s second round.
Fritz, a 1977 Wimbledon quarterfinalist, was on hand to watch her son's win, while former two-time US Open winner (1979, 1981) Austin was busy with her other children’s athletic endeavors and was not able to attend. Fritz said she never faced Austin in a professional match, but the two practiced together many times.
“She doesn’t really coach me or anything,” Holt said of his tennis-star mom. “It’s too nerve-wracking for her. She takes my brothers to lacrosse and baseball instead.”
Holt, who was watched by father Scott Holt, is currently a sophomore at Palos Verdes High School and plays high school tennis. He said the windy conditions have played in his favor all week. Holt currently trains at the USTA Training Center-West in Carson, and one of his coaches is new USTA National Coach Stephen Amritraj, who is also the son of a famous tennis player, Anand Amritraj.
Asked if he ever got a reaction or comment from opponents being the son of a former world No. 1 player, Holt said he hasn't.
“I don’t think anyone knows or cares,” he said.
In doubles, Holt and partner Connor Hance of Torrance, Calif., lost in the round of 16. Hance played the part of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf’s son in a Genworth Financial TV commercial when he was a child.
Carson’s Deiton Baughman had match points in his boys’ 18s contest against No. 4-seeded Henrik Wiersholm but couldn’t convert on several service points, eventually falling, 6-7(3), 7-6(8), 6-1.
“I didn’t play bad points; it’s just that he came up with some nice shots on those points,” Baughman said. “In the third set, he came out smoking, and I was a little dejected. I felt some pain in my stomach, and that was it. I didn’t play a bad match. He just played better than me.”
Baughman did, however, move on in doubles with partner Daniel Kerznerman.
Another South Bay local player, 16-year-old Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., who won the girls’ 16s last year, came close to a big upset Wednesday in the 18s, as she fell to the No. 6 seed from Australia, Naiktha Bains, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(4).
Also moving on in straight sets in the 18s were seeded players Francis Tiafoe (No. 1), Sameer Kumar (No. 8) and CiCi Bellis (No. 5). Torrance’s Kenadi Hance fell in the 18s to No. 9-seeded Ravenna Kingsley, 6-0, 6-1, while in other notable girls’ 18s results, Christina Makarova defeated Emma Higuchi, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, and 13-year-old Claire Liu got past Ellyse Hamlin, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-0. Liu was a finalist last year in the girls' 16s, losing to Shibahara.