Sanon and Rinaldi Earn Tennis Plaza Cup 18s Titles
by Colette Lewis
, 21 January 2010
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Top seed Bianca Sanon and unseeded Michael Rinaldi approached the Tennis Plaza Cup in unsettled states of mind, yet the two Floridians managed to focus on the task at hand to emerge with championship trophies over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
Sanon defeated Lynn Chi
of Weston, Fla., 6-2, 6-3 in the final, while Rinaldi downed No. 3 seed Zachry Bruchmiller
of San Antonio, Texas 6-3, 6-2 on a warm and sun-splashed day on the clay courts of Coral Gables, Fla.'s Salvadore Park.
Sanon's parents are from Haiti, and when news of the catastrophic earthquake began to surface, Sanon's thoughts were understandably not on tournament preparation.
"It just came so unexpectedly," said Sanon, who lives in Plantation, Fla. "I came home from practice and the news channels were on and the phone was ringing off the hook. It was just a weird week, honestly, so I didn't really know what was going to happen coming into this tournament; I was just hoping for the best."
Sanon was relieved to hear that her relatives and family friends were safe, but acknowledged that the tragedy had shaken her. It didn't show in her approach to her matches over the tournament's three days, as the 18-year-old, who will enter Columbia in the fall, didn't drop a set in her five victories.
The USTA level 3 tournament's format included match tiebreakers in lieu of a third set, and Sunday rain pushed the completion of the girls 18s quarterfinals into Monday morning, with the semifinals and finals following.