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Kyle McPhillips, Gordon Watson have Golden Easter Bowl

Gordon Watson: Boys 16s Champion

Gordon Watson had a long, painful and frustrating 2009. He was playing exceptional tennis one day and the next day he was out, thanks to a microscopic tick bite.

He suffered migraines, joint pain, fevers, general malaise and even lost some of his cognitive skills - symptoms that were variously diagnosed as mono, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or just plain flu.

Boys' 16s Champion Gordon Watson
But that was all so last year.

On the third Sunday of April 2010, the 16-year-old Floridian stepped onto the Stadium Court of Rancho Las Palmas Country Club and walked away with the Easter Bowl crown, overcoming top seed Nolan Paige 6-3, 6-1.

It was Watson's fourth gold ball. He has two from the 12s and one from the 14s.

Perhaps the rainbow that greeted them upon their arrival at the rented condo was a portent of things to come.

"I didn't have high expectations," said Watson, who was seeded 10th. "But everything lined up for me," including hotter conditions, which he liked.

The heat wasn't just in the desert air. It was also in Watson's game.

"He was on fire [during the finals]," said Gordy Watson, Gordon's father and longtime coach.

They've continued to work haltingly on his game during his illness, even incorporating the Djokovic slide, which eats ups the soles of his K-Swiss every two matches.

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