Sunday, April 2, 2017

Roseville's Riffice falls in Easter Bowl boys 18 semis

   Sebastian Korda has come a long way in one year.
   After getting demolished by Sacramento-area product Sam Riffice in the first round of the boys 18s in last year's Easter Bowl, No. 10 seed Korda defeated No. 4 Riffice 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday to reach the final in the prestigious tournament at Indian Wells, Calif.
   Korda, 16, improved to 1-2 against Riffice, 18, in ITF tournaments, all on hardcourts. Korda lost 6-0, 6-1 in the 2016 Easter Bowl and 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2) in the quarterfinals of the Coffee Bowl in San Juan, Costa Rica, in January.
   Korda will face No. 8 Alafia Ayeni of San Diego for the title. Ayeni beat No. 6 Patrick Kypson of Raleigh, N.C., 6-3, 7-5.
   Korda comes from a prominent sports family. His father, Petr, won the 1998 Australian Open to reach No. 2 in the world. However, he tested positive for doping at Wimbledon that year, was suspended for 12 months and retired before the ban at age 30.
   Sebastian's mother, Regina Rajchrtova, peaked at No. 26 in 1991, and his sisters, 24-year-old Jessica and 18-year-old Nelly, are playing in the LPGA's first major of the year in nearby Rancho Mirage. Jessica and Nelly are tied for 11th and tied for 19th, respectively, entering the final round of the ANA Inspiration.
   Riffice also lost in the doubles final with Brian Cernoch of North Potomac, Md. Seeded second, they fell to No. 3 Oliver Crawford of Spartanburg, S.C., and Patrick Kypson of Raleigh, N.C., 6-1, 6-4.
   Priya Nelson of Sacramento added the girls 12 sportsmanship award to her singles title.

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