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Radeva plants the seed

Costa Mesa resident, the top-seed in girls' 16s, breezes into Costa Mesa tourney's round of 16.

July 16, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Annie Radeva, from Newport Beach, returns a serve during a match at the Costa Mesa Tennis Club on Monday.
Annie Radeva, from Newport Beach, returns a serve during… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

COSTA MESA — Do not underestimate the power of a No. 1 seeding in a junior tennis tournament.

Last year at the Costa Mesa Summer Junior Classic, Costa Mesa resident Annie Radeva lost in her first girls' 16 singles match to top-seeded Danielle Pham of Irvine.

Back with more experience, Radeva is now the top seed in the 16s this year at the tournament. She said she knows that puts a proverbial target on her back, but she doesn't seem to mind.

"I don't think it's pressure," Radeva said. "I think it gives me a little bit more confidence. I mean, I've always been intimidated when I played the No. 1 seed, so maybe people are intimidated when they see they play me ... It's cool coming back the year after and actually being the [No.] 1 seed."

If her opponents do feel intimidated, it may be for good reason. Radeva breezed through her first match of the tournament Monday afternoon, blanking Madeline Loomis of Aliso Viejo, 6-0, 6-0, in a round of 32 match at Costa Mesa Tennis Center.

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Radeva, who will be a sophomore at Newport Harbor High but is not playing for the Sailors this upcoming season, will play Alexis Coglitore of Ladera Ranch in a round of 16 match on Wednesday. Radeva and Nicole Yermanos of Encinitas are also the No. 2 seeds in the girls' 16 doubles draw, in which they'll play Rebecca Chou of Aliso Viejo and Gressa Sempre of Laguna Niguel in a quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Radeva has been steadily improving. She has bettered her girls' 16s Southern California ranking from 91 to 66 in the most recent update. Earlier this month, she won four straight matches in the back draw to get to the consolation quarterfinals of a United States Tennis Assn. regional tournament in Irvine.

"Yeah, I'm happy," Radeva said. "I still have a lot more to work on. I think I can get [my ranking] up even more by the end of summer; that's my goal."

Radeva's parents, Bogie and Diana, watched their daughter's match on Monday. Both are former world-class athletes in kayaking; Bogie was a five-time Bulgarian national champion and Diana won two medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Diana said before the match that she was a bit nervous, because Annie recently switched racquets from Prince to Yonex. She also watched a match on an adjacent court, where No. 8-seeded Barbara Mancera of Mexico was playing a match. Mancera is a possible quarterfinal opponent.

"You never know," Diana Radeva said.

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