The first No. 1 seed of the tournament fell today in the boys 16s, with 13-year-old qualifier Connor Hance defeating top seed Ruadhan De Bruges of Australia 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Hance, the reigning USTA Clay Court 12s champion, is most definitely a local, training with his parents at the South Bay Tennis Center in Torrance. He also had a promising career as a child actor, with his most famous role as the 5-year-old son of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, who competed against Taylor Dent in a Genworth Financial commercial.
Hance has since moved his focus to tennis, and although he has been a top player in his age group for several years, he admits to some surprise at his performance in the 16s this week.
It was the 16-year-old De Brugues who seemed to tire in the third set however, and in the final game, with Hance serving to close it out, De Brugues made the type of errors that indicate fatigue.
“I started to play more aggressive and drive the ball more,” said Hance, of what he changed after dropping the first set. “And I started getting my first serve in. That was the difference.” -Zootennis