Ross, Anisimova, Liu among Day 1 winners at Orange Bowl

December 6, 2016 08:46 AM

By Pat Mitsch, special to

Suffice it to say that Gianni Ross had this kind of result in mind when he moved away from Chicago.

Ross (pictured above) hatched one of the early upsets at the 70th Metropolia Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships on Monday, dusting 10th-seeded Bolivian Carols Manuel Aguilar off of the green clay courts in a 6-2, 7-6 (5), first-round triumph at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla.

A 17-year-old native of Burr Ridge, Ill., Ross moved to South Florida a little over a year ago to focus on tennis full time – a fortuitous play, if his results in big clay-court junior events are any barometer.

Ross qualified and beat 10th-seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud to reach the third round of the French Open Junior Championships this summer and now has the chance to keep building his resume on clay courts of all pigmentations.

Ross’ upset wasn’t the biggest of the day, though, at least according to the ITF World Junior Rankings. Fourteen-year-old Whitney Osuigwe, a wild-card entrant from Bradenton, Fla., upended No. 13 Yuki Naito of Japan, 6-3, 6-0. Osuigwe is ranked No. 268 in the world among players ages 18 and under. Naito? No. 25.

It was an otherwise strong opening day for seeded players in Plantation. Seeds went 13-5 on Monday, as half the first round of the Boys’ and Girls’ 18s singles draws was completed.

Five of the top six girls’ seeds played, and they all won, including Americans Amanda Anisimova (No. 2, Hallandale Beach, Fla.), No. 3 Claire Liu (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and No. 4 Taylor Johnson (Redondo Beach, Calif.), as well as No. 6 Olga Danilovic of Serbia.

Top-seeded Anastasia Potapova, the reigning Wimbledon girls’ champion, eased to a first-round win over American Maria Mateas (Braintree, Mass.), who retired, down 6-3, 2-1. And with 16th-seeded American Natasha Subhash (Fairfax, Va.) falling to Colombian Emiliana Arango, 6-3, 6-1, Potapova won’t have to play another seed until the quarterfinals at the earliest.

The first round continues on Tuesday, with Eddie Herr champions Miomir Kecmanovic, the reigning Orange Bowl Boys’ 18s champion, and Maria Lourdes Carle, the reigning Orange Bowl Girls’ 16s champion, both in action.