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Bowles and Sandgren Survive Florida Heat to Claim Clay Court Crowns

The USTA Boys 18s and 16s National Clay Court Championships moved south this year, to Delray Beach, Florida, ending three years of the two age divisions playing together in Rockville, Maryland. The boys joined the girls 12s and the boys and girls 14s in South Florida, and players who had participated in those events knew that heat and humidity would play a big role in deciding the champions.

Boys 18s Champion Clint Bowles
© ZooTennis.com
Unseeded Clint Bowles of Tampa, Florida, who will join the Florida State Seminoles this fall, used his experience on the green clay to ease through the 18s draw, losing only one set, that in the first of his seven matches. By the time Bowles downed No. 6 seed Bradley Klahn of Poway, California, 6-2, 6-0 in the final, he had eliminated five seeds and had built a 19-match clay winning streak in junior competition that included the Florida State Closed 18s championship in June.

The 16s draw played out differently, with top seed Tennys Sandgren of Gallatin, Tennessee confidently handling the pressure of the favorite's role throughout the week's steam bath-like conditions in Delray Beach. Sandgren celebrated his 16th birthday Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Fairfax, Virginia's Denis Kudla, earning his first gold ball without losing a set in seven matches.

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