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Tournament Feature
Lots of "Firsts" in the Winter Nationals

It is not unusual for families to go south to vacation in winter. Tennis families are no different. In late December many of the best US juniors congregate in Arizona for the USTA Winter Nationals. The older age groups go to the metropolitan Phoenix area, and the younger players head to Tucson.

A cold front arrived with the players on the day after Christmas, but the week stayed sunny and bright. The weather warmed during the week as the competition grew fiercer. With targets on their backs each match, four of the eight top seeds reached the finals on New Year's Day.

 

18 and 16 Nationals

In the boys' 18 singles, top-seeded Bradley Klahn (Poway, CA) cruised into the semifinals without dropping a set. In the semis, the Clay-court finalist met doubles partner Steve Johnson (Orange, CA). The two had an incredible three-hour match that was decided in three tiebreakers - Klahn won 6-7(5); 7-6(4); 7-6(4).

Boys' 18s Champion Bradley Klahn
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
On the other side of the draw, #22 seed Andre Dome (Arroyo Grande, CA) made it through to the final after some early scares. Dome survived a first-round challenge from Mark Schanerman (N. Miami Beach, FL) where he overcame several match points against.

The two California boys faced each other in the finals. Klahn knew ahead of time that he needed to stay focused.

"Andre hits so big - and he can hit winners from anywhere on the court. I knew I had to keep playing aggressively and control the play."

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Page updated on Wednesday, August 10, 2016
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