Richmond Wins 14s Junior Orange Bowl Title
Korea Takes Two Championships while de Vroome Reigns in Girls 12s
by Colette Lewis
, 29 December 2008
The Junior Orange Bowl has always been proud of its international stature, and in 2008, the Coral Gables, Florida-based event for the 12s and 14s age groups showcased Korea as a country on the rise. Hyeon Chung
, who had become Korea's first Eddie Herr champion when he took the boys 12s title earlier in the month, defeated Silas Cerqueira of Brazil 6-3, 6-4 to add another illustrious title to his resume. Chung, a No. 1 seed at the Junior Orange Bowl, where No. 1 seedings are awarded to the top player in 16 countries, was a favorite for the title, but his compatriot, So Ra Lee
, unexpectedly advanced through girls 14s qualifying all the way to the final, where she defeated Victoria Duval
of the U.S. 7-5, 6-3.
Lee put the rest of the field on notice when she stormed past girls 16s Dunlop Orange Bowl champion Chanelle Van Nguyen of the U.S. 6-4, 6-4 in the second round. From there, the victories over seeds just kept coming, as Lee took out No. 7 Xue Zhang of China, Anna Mamalat of the U.S., a No. 9, and in the quarterfinals, No. 3 Kyle McPhillips, also of the U.S.
But perhaps Lee's most impressive win was over surprisingly unseeded Sachia Vickery, the 13-year-old from Florida who has had a spectacular start to her ITF junior career, rising to just outside the top 100 in the 18-and-under international rankings in just eight months of circuit play. Lee lost the first set in their semifinal match, but it was the left-hander from Seoul who played more aggressively and consistently down the stretch, taking a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 decision over Vickery.