Thursday, June 8, 2017

Riffice gains boys doubles semis in French Open

   Sam Riffice and Gianni Ross survived another match tiebreaker today.
   Riffice, who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, and countryman Ross nipped Axel Geller of Argentina and Nicolas Mejia of Colombia 3-6, 6-2 [10-7] to reach the boys doubles semifinals in the French Open.
   Riffice and Ross, both 18 and based in Orlando, Fla., have won all three of their contests in match tiebreakers. They edged third-seeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain and Alexei Popyrin of Australia 6-2, 1-6 [10-8] in the first round.
   Riffice and Ross are scheduled to meet top-seeded Nicola Kuhn of Spain and Zsombor Piros of Hungary on Friday. Kuhn and Piros won twice in match tiebreakers today after breezing in the opening round on Wednesday.
   Ross lost to the third-seeded Popyrin 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 today in the boys singles quarterfinals. Riffice fell in the second round to 12th-seeded Jurij Rodionov of Austria.
   Riffice has verbally committed to the University of Florida. He advanced to the singles final of $15,000 Futures tournaments on clay in Vero Beach, Fla., in April and Bucharest, Romania, last month to climb to No. 806 in the world.
   In 2014, Riffice joined Grigor Dimitrov as the only players two sweep the boys 16 singles titles in the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla., and the Orange Bowl in Plantation, Fla. The tournaments are played in consecutive weeks in December.
   Dimitrov, 26, is ranked 13th after reaching a career-high No. 8 in 2014.

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