Top Seeds Brymer, Kumar Take Aim at Kalamazoo Championships
by Colette Lewis
, 2 August 2013
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Gage Brymer and Sameer Kumar are looking to add Kalamazoo championships to the Asics Easter Bowl titles they won this spring as the USTA Boys 16 and 18 Nationals begin this weekend in Kalamazoo.
The 18-year-old Brymer won the ITF Grade B1 Easter Bowl
title back in April, and has not lost a junior match since, adding the Ojai CIF championship
, followed by titles at USTA National
and USTA Regional
tournaments, all in his Southern California section. Brymer, a UCLA
recruit ranked No. 1 by the USTA, will be vying for the US Open men's main draw wild card that goes to the Kalamazoo 18s champion.
For all Brymer's success this spring and summer, No. 2 seed Noah Rubin may be coming into the tournament with even more confidence. The 17-year-old New Yorker reached the final of the $10,000 Godfrey, Illinois Futures last week, and with a semifinal finish in the 18s last year, proved he is comfortable on the big stage. If the seedings hold, he will face a tough round of 16 test in Ronnie Schneider, the 2011 Kalamazoo 16s champion. Schneider, who reached the quarterfinals of the Godfrey Futures last week and has played mostly Futures throughout the year, was a quarterfinalist in the Kalamazoo 18s last year, falling to eventual champion Dennis Novikov in three sets.
Third seed Stefan Kozlov, who is among the Top 20 in the ITF World Junior rankings, reached the quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Junior Championships last month and took Michal Przysiezny of Poland to three sets in his ATP debut at the Hall of Fame Championships just a few days later. The 15-year-old from Florida, who won April's ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, has demonstrated that the variety and touch in his all-court game can counter even the biggest hitters in junior competition.
Rounding out the top four seeds is Connor Farren, the University of Southern California recruit, who has played exclusively in Futures events and reached three quarterfinals, boosting his ATP ranking into the Top 1000. Also in the ATP Top 1000 is No. 5 seed Ernesto Escobedo, while 16-year-old Jared Donaldson, just outside the ATP Top 1000, is seeded No. 14.