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Halebian makes run to U.S. Open quarters

Tennis: Glendale juniors player falls to top-seed at Flushing Meadows.

September 10, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

As the top-ranked player in the United States Tennis Assn.'s Boys' 18s standings, Glendale native Alexios Halebian represented his country well against some top international competition over the past week in the 2011 U.S. Open Juniors tournament in Flushing Meadows, NY.

Halebian, 17, advanced to the quarterfinals in the singles draw, setting up a clash with No. 1 seed Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic on Friday. In a match that hinged on a close opening set, Halebian fell to Vesely, 7-5, 6-2.

"I didn't play that well. I just didn't feel that great," Halebian said in a USTA press release. "I didn't feel like I did the whole week. I wish I could serve a little better. Didn't make good decisions. He did a little better than everything I did; especially, he served better than I did."

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Halebian had three double-faults in the match and won points on 66% of his first serves, while only winning on 41% of his second serves.

After Halebian opened the tournament with a 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-5 win over Thiago Moura Monteiro of Brazil at Flushing Meadows on Monday, two days of rain suspended action until Thursday, when the second and third rounds were played at Sound Shore Indoor Tennis in Portchester, New York on Thursday.

In the second round, Halebian defeated Julian Lenz of Germany, 6-2, 6-2, before besting ninth-seeded Liam Broady of the United Kingdom 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, to advance to the quarters.

"I played really well. I was serving really well," Halebian said in a press release of his win over Lenz. "I won, 6-2, 6-2, so it was relatively easy. I played pretty well. The guy is a pretty good player. Most things were going my way, everything was going my way.

"I like the [indoor] courts; I have nothing to argue about. They play pretty quick, so I like that, helps me with my serve."

Halebian, a semifinalist at the 2010 Dunlop Orange Bowl, trains full-time at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton.

"I mean I am just going to keep working on what I need to get better," Halebian said in a press release. "My returns, my forehand, and just keep working. Get in a little better shape. For some reason, I wasn't feeling that great out there [Friday]. But [I want to] just get in better shape and keep working on things I need to work on to get better and I will be back."

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