Southern California Sectionals Wrapup
by Rhiannon Potkey, 3 July 2009
FOUNTAIN VALLEY - The draws had been taken down. The leftover T-shirts were packaged in boxes. Most of the officials had called it a day.
But two trophies still remained on the table and one match still remained on the court.
The Boys' 18 singles final brought a fitting end to the 107th annual Southern California Jr. Sectional Championships on June 29th at Los Caballeros Racquet & Sports Club.
Third-seeded Daniel Kosakowski of Downey and No. 4 Zachary Leslie of San Diego engaged in a dramatic showdown that lasted nearly three hours and 30 minutes.
With both players fighting fatigue, Kosakowski edged Leslie 6-7, 7-6, 7-5.
"I almost started cramping in the third set, but I saw that he was cramping and I just didn't give up," Kosakowski said. "I just knew I had to fight hard the whole way."
SCTA's sectionals is the largest junior tournament in the United States with more than 1,800 entries, 1,500 total players and 2,000 matches played.
The Boys' 18 draw was shaken up immediately when top-seeded Lawrence Formentera of Colton was upset in the first round by Alexander Johnson of Rancho Santa Fe 6-3, 6-4.
But Formentera didn't leave empty-handed. He teamed with North Hollywood's Mousheg Hovhannisyan to win the Boys' 18 doubles title with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Axel Bouillin of San Diego and Gannon Nicoll of Chula Vista.
Kosakowski and Leslie had relatively easy marches through the draw until squaring off in the final.
One night prior, Kosakowski had received the Most Improved Player award at the SCTA's annual banquet.
Kosakowski didn't even qualify for the main draw at sectionals two years ago.