Liu, Ewing Post Big Wins At Girls’ Hardcourt Nationals

It was a big day for Southern California players in an action-packed day at the Barnes Tennis Center as play continued at the prestigious USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships.

Reigning Wimbledon girls’ singles champion Claire Liu, the No. 2 seed in the Girls’ 18s singles draw, dispatched unseeded Naomi Cheong, a hard-hitting 15-year-old from Las Vegas, 6-3, 6-2 in a fourth-round match that took one-hour and 22 minutes. Afterwards, Liu admitted the match was tougher than the score indicated.

“She’s really good. She can hit a really big ball and she’s also really fast. It was a tough match,” Liu told tournament Press Aide Fred Sidhu. “I didn’t play my best, but being able to get through a really tough match is really positive for me and hopefully as the tournament goes on, I can keep getting a little bit better and better every day.”

Liu will play 15th seeded Abigail Forbes of Raleigh, N.C., in the Round of 16.

Lakewood’s Salma Ewing had a nice upset on Wednesday as she took out Redondo Beach’s No. 9-seeded Taylor Johnson, 7-6 (2), 6-2. Newport Beach’s Ashley Kratzer (No. 3) and Pepperdine sophomore Ashley Lahey (No. 5) of Hawthorne had solid wins to advance, as did Cerritos’ Kelly Chen (33), who upset No. 7 Alexandra Sanford of Ohio, 6-4, 6-1.

All matches played on Stadium Court at the Barnes Tennis Center are available on live streaming. To view matches, go to:

Tennis Channel will broadcast the Girls’ 16s singles final and both Girls’ 18s singles semifinals on Saturday, Aug. 12, and the Girls’ 18s singles final on Sunday, Aug. 13.

This weekend’s Tennis Channel coverage of the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships in San Diego will be as follows:

Saturday, Aug. 12 – Girls’ 16s singles final and both Girls’ 18s semifinals 2:30-8:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. -5:30 p.m. PT) immediately following the Rogers Cup from Canada.

Sunday, Aug. 13 – Girls’ 18s singles final 4-6 p.m. ET (1-3 p.m. PT) immediately following the Rogers Cup and Western & Southern first round.

The Girls’ 16s event concludes with the singles and doubles finals on Saturday Aug. 12. The Girls’ 18s tournament will conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, Aug. 13.

The starting time for each day of the tournament will be as follows:

8 a.m. – Thursday, August 10

9 a.m. – Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12

10 a.m. – Sunday, August 13

Admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free each day of the tournament.

For complete scores and results, go to:

KALAMAZOO UPDATE: In the Boys’ 18s and 16s National Hardcourt Nationals at Kalamazoo, several Southern California players had big days advancing on in the prestigious event that also has a US Open main draw card on the line in the 18s. This year’s two big Easter Bowl winners from San Diego were victorious in the 18s and 16, respectively, as No. 12 seed Alafia Ayeni of San Diego defeated No. 4 seed Oliver Crawford 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in the round of 16 on Wednesday. He next faces No. 8 DJ Thomas in the quarterfinals on Thursday. In another Round of 16 matchup, No. 30 seeded Timothy Sah of San Diego fell to JJ Wolf, 6-1, 6-1. In the Boys’ 16s, top-seeded Brandon Nakashima of San Diego eliminated No. 24 seed Spencer Whitaker 6-1, 6-0. He will play No. 6 seed Leighton Allen next. Meanwhile, No. 8 seed Stefan Dostanic of Irvine beat No. 10 seed Tyler Zink 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 and will play No. 2 seed Andrew Dale in the next round.


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