RELATED: USTA International Spring Championships home
By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
CARSON, Calif. – Playing one of your best friends and your roommate of more than a year is never fun, but it was something Henrik Wiersholm had to deal with to get through on a windy Day 2 at the 10th annual USTA International Spring Championships, taking place at the StubHub Center.
The 17-year-old Wiersholm, from Kirkland, Wash., faltered toward the end of his boys' 18s match but ended up pulling out a 6-2, 7-5 win over 16-year-old Catalin Mateas of Braintree, Mass.
“I played solid and real well until I was up a set and 5-2, and I let off the gas a little bit,” said Wiersholm, who was a finalist last year at this event, losing to current ITF world No. 2-ranked junior Stefan Kozlov in the final. “I thought he would give it to me, but that’s not what happened, and I had to take it from him.”
Wiersholm currently trains with the USTA Player Development program in Boca Raton, Fla. “I know his game, and he knows mine,” said Weirsholm, a Virginia University recruit.
Wiersholm, who called this week’s Carson tournament a “helluva field,” next faces hometown favorite Deiton Baughman, a Carson native, on Wednesday.
It was a day of shocking upsets in the girls’ divisions, as both top seeds in the 18s and 16s fell in straight sets. In the 18s first round, unseeded Emma Higuchi of Los Angeles beat No. 1 Sandra Samir of Egypt, 6-1, 6-4. In the 16s, No. 1 Alexa Corcoleotes of Hillsborough, Calif., lost to unseeded Nami Otsuka of Norcross, Ga., 6-3, 6-2, in a second-round match.
In what was turning into the match of the day after two sets in the girls’ 18s, No. 2-seeded Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., was locked in a tight battle against unseeded USC recruit Jessica Failla, who took the first set, 7-6 (5). Both players traded baseline ground strokes in the second set, with Kenin holding on 7-5. In the third set, Kenin ran Failla ragged and took the match, 6-1.
“I saw that she was getting tired, and I moved her around a lot,” said the current ITF-ranked No. 39 player in the world, who was born in Russia but raised in the United States.
Kenin was a late entry and took a wild card into the tournament.
“I was in Brazil playing tournaments the past two weeks but didn’t do so well, so I decided to come here,” she said.
Kenin will take on Helen Altick of Monroe, La., in the next round.