By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
CARSON, Calif. – As if having to play top-seeded Victoria Duval wasn't a daunting enough task, Brooke Austin found herself trailing 4-0, 30-love in the third set. The 15-year-old from Indianapolis recovered to pull off a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 victory in the girls' 18s singles quarterfinals of the USTA International Spring Championships.
It was the second upset in three days for the unseeded Austin, who had beaten No. 6-seeded Lauren Herring, 6-1, 6-1, in the second round Wednesday.
"This is the furthest I've been in a Grade 1 [tournament], so I'm pretty excited," said Austin, the youngest player left in the 18s draw. "I was just trying to stay positive, stay aggressive and keep her moving. Winning that game at 4-2, it was the turning point."
Austin will try to knock off another seeded player, No. 3 Madison Keys, in Saturday's semifinals. Keys made short work of ninth-seeded Stephanie Nauta, 6-1, 6-4.
On the bottom half of the draw, No. 2 Grace Min overcame a spirited effort by unseeded Sabrina Santamaria, winning 6-2, 2-6, 6-0. Min, who lives in Duluth, Ga., but trains at the USTA Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., will take on another unseeded opponent, Samantha Crawford, in the semifinals.
"I kind of backed off some in the second set and got too passive," Min said of Friday's quarterfinal. "Once you get down to these final rounds anyone can win. I feel pretty confident but I try not to look too far ahead."
In the best match of the day, Marie Norris saved four match points and overcame a 5-2 deficit in the third set to outlast Kiah Generette, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (4) in the semifinals of the girls' 16s singles. The 13-year-old Norris is the third-youngest player in the tournament but showed poise in beating the 16-year-old Generette from nearby Long Beach.
"Being down that much actually got rid of the nerves and relaxed me," said Norris, who lives in Burdett, Kan. but trains in Wichita, Kan. and Norman, Okla. "She liked her inside-out forehand, so I was trying to take that away from her."
Norris will play unseeded Yuki Chiang of Ojai, Calif. in Saturday's 9 a.m. final. Chiang, who had upset top-seeded Katrine Steffensen in the third round, won her semifinal, 6-2, 6-4, over No. 9 Kimberly Yee of Las Vegas.
The finalists have never met but Chiang will have a home-court advantage, since she trains at the USTA Training Center – West facilities at Home Depot Center where the tournament is being held.
Chiang and partner Alexis Pereira also advanced to the doubles final with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Kenadi Hance and Elizabeth Profit. They will play No. 1-seeded Ally Miller-Krasilnikov and Julie O'Loughlin on Saturday.
In the boys’ 18s singles, unseeded Marcos Giron of Thousand Oaks got an early service break and went on to a 6-3, 7-5 upset over No. 2-seeded Nikola Milojevic of Serbia, the No. 22 player in the world in the ITF rankings.
"I came into this event thinking I could go all the way," said the UCLA-bound Giron, who came to Carson with momentum having won an ITF Grade 4 tournament in Claremont, Calif. one week before. "I'd never played [Milojevic] before but I knew he didn't have the biggest serve so I tried to attack it."
For more information on the tournament including scores and draws, log onto the website at www.usta.com/isc
FRIDAY'S SINGLES RESULTS
Note: All singles players from United States unless if noted.
Boys’ 18s Quarterfinals
Bjorn Fratangelo (1) def. Mitchell Krueger (6), 6-2, 6-4
Mac Styslinger (10) def. Shane Vinsant (4), 6-2, 6-2
Patrik Fabian (13), Slovakia, def. Yoshihito Nishioka, Japan, 6-4, 6-2
Marcos Giron def. Nikola Milojevic (2), Serbia, 6-3, 7-5
Boys’ 16s Semifinals
Nikko Madregallejo (6) def. Luca Corinteli (1), 6-4, 6-4
Noah Rubin (14) def. Ciro Riccardi, 6-1, 6-1
Girls’ 18s Quarterfinals
Brooke Austin def. Victoria Duval (1), 7-5, 3-6, 7-5
Madison Keys (3) def. Stephanie Nauta (9), 6-1, 6-4
Brooke Austin def. Lauren Herring (6) 6-1, 6-1
Samantha Crawford def. Gabrielle Andrews, 1-6, 6-2, 6-6-1
Grace Min (2) def. Sabrina Santamaria, 6-2, 2-6, 6-0
Girls’ 16s Semifinals
Yuki Chiang def. Kimberly Yee (9), 6-2, 6-4
Marie Norris (8) def. Kiah Generette, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (4)
FRIDAY'S DOUBLES RESULTS
Boys’ 18s Semifinals
Mate Cutura / Mikhail Vaks def. Marco Nunez / Alexander Petrone (5), 6-4, 6-1
Mitchell Krueger / Shane Vinsant (2) def. William Kwok / Michael Rinaldi (7), 6-4, 6-3
Boys’ 16s Semifinals
Joseph Di Giulio / Spencer Papa (1) def. Eduardo Nava / Henrik Wiersholm, 1-6, 6-1, 1-0 (8)
Robbie Bellamy / Gregory Garcia (7) def. Stefan Doehler / Tyler Lu, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (9)
Girls’ 18s Semifinals
Gabrielle Andrews / Taylor Townsend def. Brooke Austin / Skylar Morton (8), 6-3, 6-0
Ellen Allgurin / Rio Kitagawa (3) def. Kyle McPhillips / Chanelle Van Nguyen (7), 6-4, 6-4
Girls’ 16s Semifinals
Ally Miller-Krasilnikov / Julia O'Loughlin (1) def. Kareena Manji / Jwany Sherif, 6-4, 6-3
Yuki Chiang / Alexis Pereira def. Kenadi Hance / Elizabeth Profit, 6-3, 6-4