Sunday, April 12, 2015

Roseville's Riffice to play for Easter Bowl title

   Sam Riffice learns quickly.
   Only one week after losing to William Blumberg, the 14th-seeded Riffice crushed his second-seeded rival 6-2, 6-0 on Saturday to reach the boys 18 final at the Easter Bowl in Indian Wells.
   The Easter Bowl, for Americans only, is one of the top junior tournaments in the United States. 
   Riffice, a 16-year-old resident of Roseville in the Sacramento region, had lost to Blumberg, 17, of Greenwich, Conn., 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the round of 16 at the USTA International Spring Championships in Carson in the Los Angeles area. Blumberg, the 11th-ranked junior in the world, went on to win the title.
   "I tried to be a lot more offensive and dictate off the first point, because last week, he was being a lot more aggressive than I was, and I was running side to side," Riffice, who trains at the USTA center in Boca Raton, Fla., explained on after ending Blumberg's winning streak at 10 matches.
   Riffice will play top-seeded Taylor Fritz, 17, of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area for the title. Fritz beat fourth-seeded Nathan Ponwith of Scottsdale, Ariz., 7-6 (5), 6-0.
   Fritz has beaten Riffice easily in their two lifetime matches but expects a battle.
   "He's so much better now," Fritz said. "He won Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl (16s) and has a lot more confidence, and he just beat Will. Will's been playing great lately, so it'll be interesting."
   Another Sacramento-area player, Cameron Klinger of Elk Grove, won the boys 18 doubles crown with Ponwith. The unseeded pair outclassed sixth-seeded Vasil Kirkov of Tampa, Fla., and Riffice 6-2, 6-3.
   Ponwith and Klinger got together at the last minute, according to tenniskalamazoo, after their original partners decided not to play doubles.

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