News & Features
Easter Bowl Tournament Report
by Colette Lewis
, 24 April 2006
As one of the premier events in junior tennis, the Easter Bowl, now in its 39th year, serves as both a springboard and spring break - introducing young players in three age divisions to a wider audience, and providing tennis families with an opportunity to enjoy the warm sunshine and the snowcapped mountain scenery of Palm Springs.
In 2005, Tournament director Seena Hamilton converted the 18s division from a USTA Championship to an International Tennis Federation closed event, meaning entrants must be from the U.S., a change that allows competitors to earn both Level 1 USTA points and ITF points in the same tournament.
The 18s champions, Donald Young
and Kim Couts
, are regulars on the ITF circuit, but both welcomed the opportunity to compete on home soil against the nation's best. The top-seeded Young, who defeated Dennis Lajola
6-3, 6-1 in the boys final, had not played a junior event since last December, when he closed out the year as the ITF junior world champion.
When Couts took the championship match over Reka Zsilinzska 6-1, 5-7, 6-3, the sixth seed brought her ITF ranking to a career-high 54. At this year's Australia Junior Open, Couts was forced to qualify in brutal heat, but still made it through to the Round of 16. With the points she earned in Palm Springs, she may have saved herself from the qualifying grind for the upcoming French and Wimbledon junior events.
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