The last point was indicative of the tempo Junior Tennis Champions Center player Kyrylo Tsygura asserted throughout the match.
On a 16 ball rally, Kyrylo, the youngest player (14) in the US Open Mid-Atlantic Playoff field, counter punched Zack Zapatero’s heavy and potent topspin forehands by employing precision strokes and mixing in deadly drop shots. Zack, an 18-year-old Davidson College recruit, eventually wilted and poured an unforced error into the bottom of the net to end the three hour marathon match.
En route to the 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win, Kyrylo overcame a shaky second set. He was poised to take a commanding lead on serve and up 3-1. Down 40-30 , Zack stormed back to seize the next four games. Two consecutive foot faults in the sixth game did not even rattle Zack. The momentum shift persisted as Kyrylo took a tumble late in the set and required a medical timeout. After the brief intermission, Zack held at 40-love to even the match.
In the decisive third set, Kyrylo returned to his scrap and grind approach. In spite of Zack pummeling forehands that blistered the tape, Kyrylo channeled his inner Nadal and poked ball after ball back. At opportune moments, Kyrylo stepped into the court and picked on Zack’s weakness: a backhand slice. He also started to temper Zack’s serve and broke him three times in the final frame. On ad-out and up 5-4, Kyrylo engaged Zack in the 16 ball rally that concluded the first round upset.
Nine other JTCC players were in action on Saturday:
–Evan Zhu (JTCC) d. John Quirk (6-0, 6-0)
-Michael Fowler d. Luke Tercek (JTCC) (6-4, 6-7(3))
–Nick Bayh (JTCC) d. Samuel Berman (6-0, 6-0)
Keith Whittingham d. Paul Webster (JTCC) (6-3, 6-0)
–Jada Robinson (JTCC) d. Elvi Serrot (6-7, 6-4, 6-4)
–Raveena Kingsley (JTCC) d. Jordyn King (6-0, 6-2)
–Tamara Culibrk (JTCC) d. Janneh Kolleh (6-0, 6-0)
-Joanna Zalewski d. Amy Zhu (former JTCC) (6-3, 6-0)
–Cecilia Lynham (JTCC) d. Savannah Graham (Wd; Emerg)