Southern California Tennis Camps

US Open Junior Semifinalist Dolehide Opens With Win at Carson ISC

One year ago, Caroline Dolehide didn’t have an International Tennis Federation junior ranking high enough to earn entry into the main draw of the Girls’ 18s singles at the Grade 1 USTA International Spring Championships, which started main draw play on Monday at StubHub Center.

Dolehide instead needed a USTA wild card and wasn’t able to do much with it, falling to No. 7-seeded Michaela Gordon in the first round last year in three sets.

But a lot has changed for the 16-year-old high school sophomore from Hinsdale, Ill., since last year, including a US Open semifinal appearance last fall that suddenly put her on the map and made her a future American to watch.

March 30, 2015ISC, Carson CA

And watched she was on Monday during her 6-0, 6-2 win over Meaghan Kelley. Numerous collegiate coaches were on-site to check out some of the nation’s top junior tennis talent, including schools like Michigan, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine and USC.

“I saw Michigan, and some others. Yeah, I saw them all,” said Dolehide, whose sister Courtney played at UCLA. “I haven’t really given it much thought or visited anywhere, but I have time.”

It didn’t look like Dolehide got off to a slow start looking at her 6-0 score, but she admitted it took her awhile to get used to the elements, as she trains indoors in Illinois.

“It was really windy today and was so that tough to get used to,” she said. “

Although she made it to the semifinals in the 16s in 2013 losing to Claire Liu, and advanced to the 18s doubles final in Carson last year, she said the US Open performance is what got her noticed. “I played some Pro Circuit events to start the year and didn’t do so well, but now that the summer is coming I’ll be playing more ITF juniors and going to play the junior Grand Slams this summer.

“I’ve come a long way in one year.”

The top-seed in the boys’ 18s, 17-year-old William Blumberg, from Greenwich, Conn., beat Vasil Kirkov, 6-4, 6-4, in his first-round match.

March 30, 2015ISC, Carson CA

“I was expecting it to be tough,” Blumberg said. “I’ve practiced with Vasil before and knew he was a tough player. He’s a little smaller so he can’t overpower you, but he’s scrappy and he fights for every point.”

Blumberg is the highest ranking ITF world-ranked player in the boys’ draw at No. 15 after a finalist appearance at the Grade A Campeonato Internacional in Porto Alegre in Brazil. “It’s tough for me being here one year older,” he said. “I felt nervous and tentative and wasn’t going for my shots.”

The entire first-round in the boys’ and girls’ 16s singles was completed with the top eights seeds receiving byes into the second round. Winning on day 1 was former French Open champion Michael Chang’s niece, Katie Chang. She came back to beat Jessica Aragon, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, in the Girls’ 16s.

To follow all the action this week at Carson, log onto www.radiotennis.com for Ken Thomas’ commentary and interviews. To follow the live scores online, go to www.tennis-ticker.com. For a complete run down of scores and updated draws, log onto the website at www.usta.com/isc.

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