Winter Nationals Week
Southern California Players Win 14s Winter Nationals Titles
by James Hill, 4 January 2017
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Two Southern Californians emerged as the singles winners of the USTA Boys and Girls 14 Winter National Championships at the Reffkin Tennis Center.
Top-seeded Maxwell McKennon
of Newport Beach captured the boys gold ball, while No. 5 Jenna DeFalco
of Tustin won the girls national title. The tournament, plagued with rain delays, finished on Monday, Jan. 2.
The inclement weather didn't seem to bother McKennon, who defeated third-seeded Matthew Robinson (Wynnewood, Pa.) 6-2, 6-2 in the final. McKennon, who trains at Advantage Tennis Academy in Irvine, Calif., did not drop a set in the week-long event.
"I served really well and put a lot of pressure on my opponents," said McKennon, who had won a gold ball in 12s doubles at the 2015 USTA Spring Team Championships at Mobile, Ala. "I got in a lot of second serves that I could attack on. Against Matthew, I just told myself to 'make all my first serves, and play steady from the baseline.'"
McKennon was a 7-5, 6-1 winner over No. 11 JJ Tracy (Hilton Head Island. S.C.) in the semifinals, while Robinson took out second-seeded Aryan Chaudhary (Santa Clara, Calif.) 6-1, 7-5. The bronze ball in singles went to Chaudhary, who gained a 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-1 decision over Tracy.