Radeva rallies to win

COSTA MESA — Nelly Radeva's cell phone battery ran out at an inopportune time Wednesday afternoon at Costa Mesa Tennis Center.

Radeva was watching her younger sister, Annie, play in the Costa Mesa Summer Junior Classic and texting updates to their parents. But the battery ran out just after Annie and her opponent, Yvonne Peters-Washington of Pine Grove Mills, Pa., had split sets.

Nelly, herself a former top junior player who recently graduated from Vanderbilt University, asked Annie if she could borrow her phone to continue texting their parents.

"I promise I won't read your texts," Nelly said to Annie with a smile.

Annie, a Costa Mesa resident, didn't return the grin. She was locked in quite a battle with Peters-Washington. But Nelly also gave younger sis some advice before the third-set super-tiebreaker.

"She told me to just stay aggressive and play my game," Annie said after rallying for a 5-7, 6-3, 10-2 win in the girls' 16s round of 16 match.

Annie Radeva, the top seed, plays Emilia Gorczyca of Laguna Niguel in a quarterfinal match Thursday at 11 a.m. A possible semifinal match would follow at 2:30.

Annie, who is ranked No. 40 in Southern California in the girls' 16s and will be a junior at Newport Harbor High, is hungry to win the title at her home tournament this year. Last year she got to the final before falling to a player from Mexico.

"My parents actually asked me if I wanted to play 18s, but I wanted to play another year of 16s, see if I can win it this year," Radeva said. "It's my third year of playing 16s. We'll see."

She was locked in quite a battle against Peters-Washington. Annie Radeva lost leads of 4-1 and 5-3 in the first set, falling in a hole.

A 4-0 second-set lead also quickly became 4-3, before Radeva steadied herself.

"I was focusing too much on the score, and not my game," she said. "I just wanted to close it out so badly, I kind of forgot about what I was supposed to do. It definitely gave her more confidence when I started missing some easier balls ... The nerves definitely got to me.

"At times, I feel like it was more hit and miss for her. I was trying to not give her balls in her strike zone. She would just hit it so hard and flat."

But Radeva had answers. She broke Peters-Washington's serve to take a 5-3 lead in the second set. Then she held her own serve in a long game that went to four deuces, setting up the super-tiebreaker, where Radeva won the first eight points and never looked back.

In other action Wednesday, No. 5-seeded Ryan Andrews of Corona del Mar High topped Ze Xi Zhao of Hong Kong, 6-1, 6-1, in a boys' 16 singles round of 16 match. Andrews plays No. 2-seeded Kyle McCann of Rossmoor in a quarterfinal match Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Top-seeded Max McKennon of Newport Beach was upset in a boys' 12 singles round of 16 match by Jian Yu Tan of Hong Kong, 6-3, 6-3.

No. 2-seeded Ashley Kratzer of Newport Beach has a girls' 18 singles quarterfinal match at 8 a.m. Thursday against Diana Aboubakare of Orange. Skyler Grishuk of Newport Beach has a girls' 12 singles quarterfinal match at 9:30 a.m. against Adithya Karunaratne of Hong Kong.

Doubles action also continues Thursday, with quarterfinal matches in some divisions and semifinal matches in all divisions.

All matches are at Costa Mesa Tennis Center.

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