In her last match at the Adidas Easter Bowl one year ago, Charlotte Owensby fought off seven match points to come back down 2-5 in the final set to dramatically win the Girls’ 14s singles final 7-5 in the third set.
The 15-year-old Owensby from Boca Raton, Fla., has graduated to the 18s ITF event at one of the most prestigious tournaments in the nation taking place this week at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, and on Monday pulled off another shocker as Owensby upset No 4-seeded Natasha Subhash, 6-4, 6-3.
Subhash of Fairfax, Va., is currently ranked No. 34 in the ITF World Junior rankings and just nine days ago she was winning her first $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures doubles title in Tampa, Fla., with partner Caty McNally.
“I came in knowing there was no pressure because she is obviously the higher ranked player and she is older,” Owensby said. “So I knew that she’d be a little nervous. I’ve been training differently recently than I have been in past years, so I knew I was ready and just wanted to start off strong from the beginning.”
Owensby said she never faced Subhash in a match, but the two had practiced together before. She added that winning the Easter Bowl 14s put her on the junior tennis map. “It was great to win the Easter Bowl last year but it was against my peers,” she said. “This year is different because I’m playing people that are ranked so much higher.”
Sixteen-year-old Cannon Kingsley has also practiced in the past with his first-round upset victim Andrew Fenty, the No. 3 seed who the unseeded Kingsley eliminated on Monday, 6-3, 6-4, in just as big an upset as Owensbys.
Kingsley is currently ranked around No. 170 in ITF, while Fenty is No. 15.
“I thought I played one of my best matches in a while,” Kingsley said. “I got a little bit tight at the end, but it was good overall and I was able to close it out in straight sets.”
He added: “He has a interesting game, good backhand and a good forehand so I just went into it hoping for the best and we’ll see what happens, and it was a pretty good result.”
Kingsley trains at Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn on Long Island, N.Y. with coach Christian de los Rios, a five-time Davis Cup competitor representing Paraguay.
“There aren’t too many guys from New York here,” Kingsley said. “I’ve been to Orlando (USTA National Training Center) a few times that the USTA has invited me, and also to the Training Center in New York (Flushing Meadows).
Southern Californians Jake Sands and Jacob Bullard both eliminated seeded players, as well, in the Boys’ ITF 18s as the wild-card entry and USC-bound Sands of Pacific Palisades beat No. 6 Emilio Nava, 6-3, 6-4, and Bullard of Calabasas upset No. 5-ranked Tyler Zink, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3. Bullard is a high school junior and has committed to the University of Texas.
Last year, Sands upset defending champion and No. 2-seeded Gianni Ross in three sets in the Round of 16. “That did kind of get me more noticed beating Gianni last year,” Sands said. “I think the all the college tennis coaches started coming around after that win, which was nice.”
Just last Friday, Sands and Bullard teamed up as a wild-card team and won a set in the first round of a USTA Pro Circuit $25,000 Futures events against fellow Americans Sekou Bangoura and Ryan Goetz, before losing 10-5 in a super tiebreaker.
In another upset on the girls’ side, unseeded Fiona Crawley beat Lea Ma, the No. 5 seed, with Crawley leading 6-3, 3-1 before Ma was forced to retire because of injury.
To keep up with all the Adidas Easter Bowl news, visit the website at www.easterbowl.com and check out the tournament on Facebook (www.facebook.com/EasterBowl) and Twitter (@easterbowl).
In addition to live streaming the Easter Bowl again this year, the tournament has a new and improved mobile app, which can be found at Match Tennis App http://www.matchtennisapp.com. The live stream commentating duties are being provided by the popular Southern California tennis commentator Marcus Tennis. Check www.easterbowl.com to watch the live stream and for all Easter Bowl news, results and schedules.