Kalinskaya Sweeps International Hard Courts Titles Again; Auger Aliassime Takes Boys Championship
A veteran and a newcomer were the stars of last week's ITF Grade 1
International Hard Court Championships, with top seed Anna Kalinskaya
of Russia defending her title with a 6-4, 7-6(3) win over No. 2 seed
Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia, and No. 7 seed Felix Auger Aliassime
defeating No. 15 seed Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 7-6(6) in an all-Canadian
final at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland.
US Open Qualifiers Include College and Junior Players
The US Open Qualifying event has not received the recognition it
should over the years. That changed this year - as nearly 47,000
attended the free event over a four-day period. Those who did come to
the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center were treated to top notch
tennis from both veterans and rising stars.
Smrikva Bowl - and Junior Tennis - a Decade Later
At the turn of the century, an international union was formed that
didn't get worldwide recognition. Carol Weyman, now Vice President of
the Maureen Connolly Brinker Foundation, most known for the
'Little Mo' tournaments, and Miodrag Bozovic, tournament
director of the Smrikva Bowl, formed a bond across the ocean between
the two premier 10-and-under programs in the world. Marcia Frost looks
back on the ten-year history of the relationship.
Tiafoe Outlasts Kozlov to Claim 18s Title
Upsets were as rare as rain drops during the ten days of the USTA Boys
18s Nationals at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium, with seven of the
top eight seeds reaching the quarterfinals. After nine days of mostly
expected results, the final delivered more than four hours of
excitement and drama with top seed Frances Tiafoe defeating No. 3 seed
Stefan Kozlov 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4 to claim the championship and
the US Open main draw wild card that accompanies it.
Kenin Returns, Finishes the Job at Girls 18s
Sofia Kenin was devastated last year when she lost in the semifinals
of the USTA Girls 18s Nationals. She realized how close she came to
receiving a coveted wild card into the main draw of the U.S. Open
women's singles event. Kenin, 16, returned this year determined to be
focused, and the No. 3 seeded Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., outlasted
top-seeded Tornado Alicia Black of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 to
capture the singles title in San Diego.
Kypson Rebounds from Surgery to Claim 16s Title
A ruptured appendix just two months ago isn't exactly ideal
preparation for the major national summer tournaments, but Patrick
Kypson's rapid recovery was in evidence when he sailed through the
draw without dropping a set to capture the USTA Boys 16 National
Championship at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium. The 15-year-old
from Greenville, North Carolina, seeded third, defeated No. 4 seed
Alexandre Rotsaert 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match.
Unseeded Desiatnikov Wins Girls 16 Nationals
Because she entered the tournament as an unseeded player, it was
understandable to overlook Abigail Desiatnikov as a serious threat at
the 2015 USTA Girls 16 Nationals. Desiatnikov certainly didn't see it
that way, and the 14-year-old Atlanta resident capped a brilliant
performance stretched over seven matches when she defeated 15th-seeded
Whitney Osuigwe 6-1, 7-6 (2) on Saturday to capture the Girls 16s
Nathan Han Wins USTA Boys 14 Nationals
Nathan Han is now the proud owner of a USTA Gold Ball. The Tulsa,
Okla., resident captured the coveted top singles prize of the USTA
Boys 14 National Championships Aug. 8 at McFarlin Tennis Center. The
fourth-seeded Han beat No. 5 Ronan Jachuck of Boca Raton, Fla. 6-3,
4-6, 7-5 in a two-and-a-half hour battle in the San Antonio heat.
Volynets Wins Another Gold Ball in Georgia at 14s
Georgia has been good to California's Katie Volynets. A year ago, the
13-year-old from Walnut Grove won the USTA Girls 12 Nationals in
Alpharetta, Ga., to claim her first national title. Now, Volynets has
won her second gold ball, also in Georgia. She defeated Naomi Cheong
of Las Vegas 6-3, 6-1 on Aug. 7 to win the USTA Girls 14 National
Championships at Peachtree City Tennis Center.
Saud Alhogbani Wins Second Consecutive Gold
Saud Alhogbani's strategy in every tennis match is simple: give each
point 100 percent, try to get everything back in play, and be
aggressive when the opportunity arises. Superb execution earned the
Blue Chip athlete from Alexandria, Va., the singles gold ball at the
2015 Boys 12s National Hard Court Championships in North Little Rock,
Arkansas, defeating No. 5 seed Benjamin Kittay of Potomac, Md., 6-3,
6-0 in the final.
Family Effort Propels Yanez to USTA Girls 12 Title
Sarasota, Fla., resident Nikki Yanez claimed her first national
championship this past week at the USTA Girls 12 Nationals in
Alpharetta, Ga. She wanted to improve on her performance at the Clay Court
Championships, and she did just that - winning the title 7-5, 7-6 at the
Windward Lake Club over No. 5 seed Rachel Arbitman of Hewlett, N.Y.
SoCal is Back on Top at USTA Boys 18 Team Championships
From 2004 to 2009, the Southern California section ruled the USTA
Boys 18 National Team Championships, but they haven t held the trophy
again since - until this year. USTA SoCal defeated the top-ranked Eastern
squad 5-2 to take the title.
Junior Slam Champions, World No. 1 Junior Headline Kalamazoo Field
French Open boys champion Tommy Paul, Wimbledon boys champion Reilly
Opelka and Taylor Fritz, the International Tennis Federation's No. 1
junior, are competing this year in the 73rd edition of the USTA Boys
Nationals in Kalamazoo, but the strength of the field is such that
none of the three will be the top seed in the 18s division.
Riffice Pulls Through to Claim Gold in Boys 18s
A seven-hour rain delay and a few rounds of pickle ball may have saved
Sam Riffice in the boys' 18s final of the USTA National Clay Court
Championships. Riffice trailed 5-1 in the first set of the title
match against fellow Boca Raton resident Alexandre Rotsaert before a
downpour forced the competitors off the court. When the pair returned
Riffice rallied for a 7-6 (5); 6-3 victory for the first gold ball of
Ellyse Hamlin Wins Singles, Doubles in Girls 18s
Ellyse Hamlin has some glittering hardware on display at her home in
Fairfield, Conn. Hamlin captured the gold balls of the singles and
doubles events at the USTA Girls 18 Clay Courts Championships at The
Racquet Club of Memphis. The sixth-seeded Hamlin beat No. 17 Kaitlyn
McCarthy of Cary, N.C., 6-7 (8), 6-1, 7-5 in a three-hour singles
battle. Hamlin and teamed with Katharine Fahey of Fair Haven, N.J.,
to claim the doubles title.
Danny Thomas Wins Boys 16s in South Florida
It wasn't until four years ago that Danny "DJ" Thomas first
started taking tennis seriously. Now the talented 15-year-old is
taking the sport by storm - literally. Thomas, of Columbus, OH, won
his first gold ball in singles as he captured the Boys 16s USTA
National Clay Court Championships with a 6-2; 6-4 win over Aleks Huryn
(Alpharetta, GA) at the Boca West Country Club.
Noel Sweeps Through Draw to Claim Girls 14 Clays
As the USTA Girls 14 National Clay Court Championships kicked off at
the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla., the future stars
of the game showed off their talent with intense competition. And when
the clay court dust had finally settled, new singles and doubles
champions had been crowned. In singles, top seed Alexa Noel charged
her way through the draw with ease, dropping only one set the entire
week before eventually defeating Hailey Baptiste in the final.
Martinelli Takes 16s Title in Virginia Beach
Samantha Martinelli usually enjoys clay-court tennis about as much as
swimmers and surfers enjoy seeing a shark's fin in the coastal
Virginia water. But with smart preparation, the Denver Blue Chip
recruit navigated her way through a draw of 192 to capture the title
at the USTA Girls' 16 National Clay Court Championships.
William Grant Takes Control of Boys 14s
Will Grant was the No. 7 seed seeking his first singles national
title, but the Santa Barbara, Calif., teenager didn't doubt he could
get it done last week at the USTA Boys 14 Clay Court Championships in
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Grant won three three-set matches and beat two
higher-seeded players - including No. 4 JT Brooksby of Carmichael,
Calif., 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the final - to win the title at the Jimmy
Evert Tennis Center.
Saud Alhogbani Wins USTA Boys 12 Clays
Twelfth-seeded Saud Alhogbani won the singles title of the USTA Boys
12 Clay Court Championships with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 4 Karl
Lee on July 18 at Hanes Park-Joe White Tennis Center. Alhogbani, who
hails from Alexandria, Va., captured the coveted gold ball by knocking
off four higher-seeded players in the process.
Kalieva Upsets Top Seed in Three Sets in 12s
Elvina Kalieva earned her first USTA Gold Ball at the Girls 12s
National Clay Court Championships on a sunny Saturday morning.
Kalieva, the No. 9 seed, won five three-set matches during the
tournament - four where she lost the first set. The championship match
against top-seeded Charlotte Owensby was no different, where she
pulled out a thrilling 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory against the local
Opelka Captures Wimbledon Boys Final, Zhuk Takes Girls Championship
Reilly Opelka of the United States and Sofya Zhuk of Russia were
unseeded novices at the 2015 Wimbledon Junior Championships, yet their
lack of experience on one of tennis's grandest stages proved no
impediment, with both leaving London with Wimbledon titles.
Why Tennis is the Overall Best Sport
The sport of tennis has been played since the 19th century. As simple
as the game may seem, with a simple court layout and fundamental
rules, it is in fact one the most complex sports. It is one of the few
sports that thoroughly blends mental and physical aspects and can be
played at a high level for a lifetime. Tennis is the best sport to
pick up during youth and it comes with many benefits throughout life
as well as epic experiences.
Talking About the New Balance HS Tennis Championships
We chat with Evan Zeder, Sports Marketing Manager for Tennis at New
Balance, about the 2015 edition of the New Balance High School Tennis
Championship to be held at Harvard University in July.
USA Qualifies for Finals of ITF Junior Team Championships
Representing your country at the International Tennis Federation's two
world team championships is a highlight of any junior career. The
cheers, the uniforms, the face painting and the pressure of team
competition all were on display last weekend in Boca Raton, Florida,
where the four teams from the US secured places in the 16-team world
finals this summer and fall.
Fritz, Liu Win ITF Championships at Easter Bowl
Fantastic weather and unlikely comebacks made the 2015 Asics Easter
Bowl a tournament to remember last week, with the famous Indian Wells
Tennis Garden hosting both the ITF Grade B1 competition and the later
stages of the USTA 12s, 14s, and 16s championships.
Blumberg, Kenin Take ISC Grade 1 Titles; Crawford, Subhash Claim 16s Championships
A week of beautiful Southern California weather ended on a high note
for four US players, who left the Stubhub Center in Carson with
International Spring Championship titles. Top seed William Blumberg
and No. 2 seed Sonya Kenin earned their first ITF Grade 1 titles with
victories over international opponents, while Oliver Crawford and
Natasha Subhash took the 16s singles championships in all-American
ITF International Spring Championships Mark Decade of Excellence
Many a top professional player has found success on the hard courts of
the International Tennis Federation Grade 1 International Spring
Championships, which begin next week at the StubHub Center in Carson,
California. Colette Lewis talks with tournament director John
Lansville and others about the past decade since the event has been
held in California.
Angels and Patriots Win Titles at Wet USTA Spring Team Championships
Declaring Mother Nature the winner at the second annual USTA Spring
Team Championships in Mobile, Alabama would be appropriate, as rain
disrupted play on all four days of competition, requiring shortened
formats throughout. But when a steady rain ended play on the final
day, two teams - the Angels and the Patriots - did claim their gold balls.
Xu, Safiullin Target Australian Junior Titles
Eight different players from five countries claimed junior slam titles
last year, with a similar pattern expected in 2015 as the Australian
Open junior championships kick off this weekend in Melbourne.
Osuigwe Stands Tall at Junior Orange Bowl
Whitney Osuigwe began the Junior Orange Bowl 12s tournament unseeded,
but that didn’t keep the 12-year-old from ending it as a champion last
week in sunny Miami, Florida. Osuigwe, who trains at the IMG Academy
in Bradenton, avenged a recent loss to Japan’s Himari Sato, one of
eight No. 1 seeds in the Junior Orange Bowl 12s, by posting a 6-4, 6-4
win in the championship match at the University of Miami’s Neil Schiff
American Juniors Shine at Metropolia Orange Bowl
Stefan Kozlov, Sonya Kenin and Sam Riffice made the 2014 Metropolia
Orange Bowl in Plantation, Florida a tournament to remember for US
juniors, with Kozlov and Kenin claiming their first Grade A titles and
Riffice joining exclusive company in adding the 16s championship to
his Eddie Herr title.
Opelka and Galfi Claim Eddie Herr ITF Titles
For the first time in the history of the Eddie Herr International ITF
tournament, two American boys met in the final, with unseeded Reilly
Opelka taking home the title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 2 seed
Michael Mmoh at the IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida. The girls final,
played earlier in the day, saw No. 7 seed Dalma Galfi of Hungary
defeat No. 5 seed Gabby Ruse of Romania 6-4, 7-5 to earn her second
major junior title in three weeks.
Bellis, Mmoh Highlight 2014 Eddie Herr ITF Tournament
The 2014 edition of the Eddie Herr ITF features two top American
prospects, with USTA 18s champion CiCi Bellis and recent ITF Grade A
Abierto Juvenil Mexicano champion Michael Mmoh among the contenders at
the prestigious event held annually at the IMG Academy in Bradenton,
Eddie Herr Preview 12s, 14s, 16s
As professional tennis winds down, junior competition heats up in
Florida, with the Eddie Herr International kicking off a busy month of
December for junior tennis players. As hundreds of competitors head to
the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, here's a look at who might
shine next week in one of the world's biggest junior tennis events.
Kingsley, Mmoh Claim ITF Pan American Closed Titles
Raveena Kingsley and Michael Mmoh took entirely different routes, yet
both emerged as champions at last week's ITF Grade B1 Pan American
Closed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. No. 3 seed Kingsley, who defeated unseeded
Claire Liu 6-1, 6-4 in the final, lost only one set in her six
victories, while top seed Mmoh saved match points in the quarterfinals
before taking the title with a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 9 seed William
ATA Fall Open Wrap-up
The Austin Tennis Academy/TennisRecruiting.net Fall Open, held from
Sept. 26-28, provided 370 junior players, in 33 events, the
opportunity to compete against participants from a variety of locales.
One of almost 40 tournaments in the National Showcase Series presented
by adidas adiplayer, this tournament was hosted by Austin Tennis Academy in Austin,
Unseeded Jasika, Bouzkova Capture US Open Junior Titles
Marin Cilic was undoubtedly a surprise winner of the US Open men's
title, but he was seeded. Australia's Omar Jasika of Australia, who
defeated No. 5 seed Quentin Halys of France 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the boys
final, and the Czech Republic's Marie Bouzkova, who downed No. 9 seed
Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine 6-4, 7-6(5) for the girls championship,
both won US Open junior titles last week despite being unseeded and
ranked outside the Top 30.
Americans Poised to Shine in US Open Junior Championships
While the US men and women haven't had a Grand Slam finalist in 2014,
the country's younger players have had more success in the top level
of international competition, with Noah Rubin winning the Wimbledon
boys title and Stefan Kozlov reaching the final there and at the
Australian Open. With both the top seed and the 2013 finalist in the
girls draw and six of the 16 seeds in the boys draw, the US juniors
are poised for another outstanding showing at the US Open.
Opelka, Kalinskaya Claim ITF International Hard Court Titles
Top seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia and unseeded Reilly Opelka picked
up their first ITF Grade 1 titles Saturday at the International Hard
Court Championships in College Park, Maryland. Kalinskaya won when No.
2 seed Gabby Ruse of Romania retired trailing 6-2, 2-1, while Opelka
overcame No. 2 seed Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-4,
Rubin Collects Two Titles, Two Wild Cards
Noah Rubin's summer went from great to extraordinary in the just over
a month. In July, the 18-year-old New Yorker won the Wimbledon boys
title as an unseeded qualifier. Last week he trumped that with two
titles at Kalamazoo, defeating defending champion Collin Altamirano
6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the singles final, after joining with Stefan Kozlov
to take the doubles championships, and in the process earning two US
Open main draw wild cards.
CiCi Bellis Defeats Black to Claim 18s
Before even stepping onto the court at the USTA Girls' 18s National
Championships, CiCi Bellis had her trip booked to the U.S. Open. But
Bellis wanted an upgrade in her playing status in New York. Instead
of just playing against the juniors, the 15-year-old from Atherton,
Calif., wanted a shot at the professionals. Bellis earned that chance
by capturing the hardcourt title at the Barnes Tennis Center in San
McNally Sweeps 16s Kalamazoo Titles
John McNally definitely had a target on his back entering the 16s USTA
National Championships. The Easter Bowl and Clay Courts champion was
57-1 this year entering the tournament. At the end of the week,
McNally had extended his singles record to 64-1 and earned two more USTA
Kylie McKenzie Completes Run at Girls 16s
During her early-round matches at the USTA Girls 16s National
Championships Kylie McKenzie was not only building momentum, she was
dismantling the field in impressive fashion. The 15-year-old blue chip
recruit from Anthem, Ariz., maintained that same high level of play
the rest of the week and went on to capture the title with a 6-1, 6-4
victory over No. 2 seed Kayla Day of Santa Barbara at the Barnes
William Woodall Wins Boys 14 Singles
William Woodall of Washington, D.C., put on a blue chip performance in
winning the USTA Boys 14 National Singles Championship on August 8 in San Antonio.
Woodall, the tournament's No. 5 seed, took out a scrappy 17th-seeded
Bill Duo of Portage, Mich., 6-1, 6-3 to capture his first USTA gold
Caty McNally Plays Up, Wins USTA Girls' 14s Title
At age 12, Caty McNally became one of the youngest singles and doubles
champions at the USTA Girls 14 National Championships last week in
Peachtree City, Ga. The rising seventh-grader at Madeira Middle
School in Cincinnati didn't lose a set in her seven singles matches
and defeated third-seeded Taylor Johnson of Redondo Beach, Calif.,
6-3, 6-2 in the final.
Khan Twins Dominate Boys 12s in Little Rock
They may not yet be the most famous twins in tennis, but Zane and
Faris Khan certainly are making their presence known in the junior
tennis circuit. So far, the blue chip brothers have altogether won
four gold USTA balls, three silver and four bronze. Zane has the upper
hand for now, pulling a title over Faris 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 at the 2014
Boys 12s National Hard Court Championship.
Volynets Cruises to Girls 12 National Title
When Walnut Creek, California's, Katie Volynets looked across the net
during the USTA Girls 12 National Championships last week, she saw
something she wasn't accustomed to seeing. An opponent her own age.
The 12-year old Volynets has spent a lot of time competing with older
players, and she used that experience to defeat sixth-seeded Sedona
Gallagher 6-0; 6-3, to claim a gold ball and the 12s title.
Midwest Repeats at USTA Boys Team Championship
The calendar might say 2014, but everything looked the same as last
year at the USTA Boys' 18 Team Championship at the University of
Illinois in Urbana. The Atkins Tennis Center was once again lit
brightly by the sun on a perfect 75 degree day, the Midwest team beat
the Southern team, and Northern California repeated as third place
Altamirano, Donaldson and Rubin Head Stellar Field at Kalamazoo
Collin Altamirano returns to Kalamazoo to defend his 2013 18s title,
but the fact that the 18-year-old Californian is not an overwhelming
favorite, and the fifth seed, speaks to the tremendous field gathered
for the tournament's 72nd year.
Stewart's Streak Continues in Girls 18s Clays
When Katerina Stewart lost in the quarterfinals of a pro tournament
back in March, she couldn't have known she would go the next four
months without losing a match, and only one set. When Stewart defeated
Kennedy Shaffer 6-1, 6-3 in the final of the Girls 18s Clay Courts,
she not only collected a first singles gold ball on her favorite
surface, but also extended her winning streak to 34 matches in
professional and junior competition.
Paul Repeats Win at Boys 18 Clays in Delray
Some things at the Delray Beach Tennis Center never change - high
temperatures, rain delays, and Tommy Paul winning. "I always play
really well here," said Paul at the end of the USTA Boys' 18 National
Clay Court Championships. Paul wrapped up his second consecutive USTA
Gold Ball at the Clays...
Liu Leads California Contingent in Girls' 16
A few miles from the ocean, Southern Californians dominated the USTA
Girls 16 National Clay Court Championships, taking the top three
places in singles and the runner-up honors in doubles. The ATLANTIC
Ocean, that is. Not the Pacific. During the tournament week, dozens of
spectators gathered at Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club to see
which Californian would earn the gold ball in singles - and the answer
was Claire Liu.
McNally Continues Hot 2014 at 16s Clays
It has been quite a run for John McNally. The talented teen from
Cincinnati, Ohio swept through his competition at the USTA Boys' 16
Clay Court National Championships in Delray Beach, Florida by not
losing a set all week and captured the third gold ball of his career
with a 6-2; 6-2 victory over San Diego, California's Jacob Brumm.
Unseeded Emma Sweeps Girls 14 Clay Courts
It wasn't an easy task. Victoria Emma had to fight through the
soaring temperatures, hot sun, rain, and much higher ranked opponents,
but she got past all the obstacles and took home her first two Gold
Balls from the USTA Girls' 14 Clay Court Championships.
Keenan Mayo Takes Boys 14 Clay Trophy
It was a hot, wet and muggy week in Fort Lauderdale for the USTA
National Boys 14 Clay Court Championships. It's hard to say that was
really unusual, but what was rare was that there were no players in
doubles and singles finals, not a lot of upsets, and a whole lot of
Californians in the winners' circle - including singles champion
Gauff Takes First National in Girls' 12s
While the last remaining spectators were wiping sweat from their brows
in the 96 degree heat, Cori Gauff was all smiles when she came off the
court. Winning a gold ball in singles and a silver ball in doubles
will at the Girls' 12 USTA National Clay Court Championships will
usually do that for you.
Zane Wins Battle of the Khans in the 12s
It has become common for twins and siblings to win doubles
championships in the tennis universe. But rarely do twins face each
other in a singles championship match. That was the case on July 19 as
Zane and Faris Khan battled each other for the USTA Boys 12 Clay
Courts gold ball. The winner was fifth seeded-Zane Khan, who defeated
the No. 11 Faris Khan 1-6, 6-0, 6-0 at the Randy Pate Tennis Academy.
Rubin Wins Wimbledon Title as US Boys Shine
Competitors from the United States didn't perform well in men's and
women's singles at Wimbledon, with none in the fourth round for the
first time since 1911. But American juniors picked up the slack,
claiming seven of the 16 quarterfinal berths and both finalists in the
boys championship match, won by qualifier Noah Rubin 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
over No. 6 seed Stefan Kozlov.
Southern California Junior Sectionals Wrapup
Hundreds of the best junior tennis players in Southern California
gathered at Fountain Valley, Calif., and other nearby venues last week
to compete in the 112th annual Southern California Junior Sectionals.
After Sunday's final day of competition, one talented star added to
her impressive resume, while several others also tasted victory at
this prestigious tournament.
Talking About the New Balance HS Tennis Championships
We chat with Bruce Schilling, General Manager of Tennis for New
Balance, about the first-ever New Balance High School Tennis
Championship to be held at Harvard University in July.
Tiafoe, Bellis Capture Easter Bowl ITF Titles
Francis Tiafoe and CiCi Bellis have similar international junior
accomplishments, and they both had great experiences at the Easter
Bowl earlier this month. Both the 16-year-old Tiafoe and 15-year-old
Bellis left the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the tournament's new
site, with Easter Bowl ITF singles titles.
Nakagawa, Bellis Claim ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championship Titles
Naoki Nakagawa of Japan and CiCi Bellis of the United States took
alternate routes to the final, yet both finished with titles last week
at the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships at the StubHub
Center in Carson, California.
First USTA Team Champions Crowned in Mobile
128 boys and 128 girls arrived for competition last week in Mobile,
Alabama, and each left with seven new friends - their teammates - when
the USTA's first Spring Team Championships were complete. Two 12s, two
14s, two 16s and two 18s division players were placed on each of the
32 teams. The teams had fun but competed fiercely - since a USTA gold
ball served as the ultimate prize.
Flink, Zverev Seek First Junior Slam Titles in Melbourne
Last year's Australian Open junior champions Ana Konjuh and Nick
Kyrgios graduated to the women's and men's main draw this year,
leaving all 128 players in the junior championships dreaming of
following their path from first junior slam title to professional
success in the space of just 12 months.
Liu Takes Second Junior Orange Bowl Title, Black Wins Girls 12s; Argentina Sweeps Boys Championships
Claire Liu knew what to expect. Hurricane Tyra Black, playing in her
first Junior Orange Bowl, did not. But both Americans, seeded second,
triumphed over the top seeds to claim the girls championships last
Monday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center at the University of Miami,
while two competitors from Argentina captured the boys titles.
Tiafoe Makes History as Youngest Orange Bowl Boys Champion; Flink Claims Girls Title
Crowds packed the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Florida
for the boys Metropolia Orange Bowl final Sunday, knowing they would
see history made. When Francis Tiafoe fired an ace to defeat fellow
15-year-old American Stefan Kozlov 7-6(3), 0-6, 6-3, he became the
youngest winner in the history of the boys 18s competition. In the
girls final, top seed Varvara Flink of Russia defeated No. 2 seed
Ivana Jorovic of Serbia 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Majchrzak, Ostapenko Take Eddie Herr ITF Titles; Four Americans Win Championships
Top seeds and surprise winners collected trophies last week at the
Eddie Herr International Championships, with four Americans claiming
titles at the prestigious event held at the IMG Bollettieri Academy in
Black, Kozlov Among Favorites at Eddie Herr International ITF
Since 2012, when the tournament moved to the Har-Tru courts at the IMG
Bollettieri Academy, an American has yet to reach the finals of the
Eddie Herr International. Fifteen-year-olds Stefan Kozlov and Tornado
Alicia Black, both former Eddie Herr champions, lead the US field
attempting to end that streak this year.
Sandgren Prevails at JSM Illinois Challenger
After a three year absence, the trophy at the University of Illinois
JSM Champaign Challenger returned to a player with college roots.
Former Tennessee Volunteer Tennys Sandgren won this year's event that
followed the elimination of three top seeds.
Black and Tiafoe Claim ITF Pan American Titles in Tulsa
The field for the International Tennis Federation's Grade B1 Pan
American Closed can draw competitors from as far north as Canada and
as far south as Argentina. But this year, all four titles belonged to
Americans, with Tornado Alicia Black beating compatriot Kaitlyn
McCarthy 6-0, 6-0 for the girls singles championship, and Francis
Tiafoe downing Californian Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-0 to capture one of his
two titles last weekend at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center at the
University of Tulsa.
US Open '13 Main Draw Showcases College and Junior World
The U.S. Open main draws once again showed what the country could
offer from the college and junior tennis worlds. This was especially
true in doubles events, which was filled with former college players.
Croatia's Coric and Konjuh Sweep US Open Junior Singles Titles
Competitors from 37 countries began a quest for the US Open boys and
girls singles titles, yet when the final point of the tournament was
played last Sunday, one country, Croatia, had captured them both.
No. 2 seed Ana Konjuh and No. 4 seed Borna Coric both staged comebacks
to defeat unseeded opponents in the finals, with Konjuh squeezing past
wild card Tornado Alicia Black of the United States 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6)
and Coric downing Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
"Little Mo" Internationals Celebrate Maureen Connolly's Grand Slam
Sixty years ago, 18-year-old Maureen Connolly became the first woman
to capture the Grand Slam of tennis. Connolly, also known as "Little
Mo," would end her playing career one year later due to a
horseback-riding accident. Since then, the "Little Mo" series of
tennis tournaments has been very popular among young players. This
year, in celebration of the 60th anniversary, the Maureen Connolly
Brinker foundation has created a spectacular event of its own.
Bencic, Zverev Lead US Open Junior Fields
The summer of 2013 has belonged to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic, who
aims for her third consecutive junior slam title at the US Open Junior
Championships next week. Bencic will be tested by a deep and
accomplished field that features every member of the ITF junior Top
10. On the boys' side, the draw is missing four of the current ITF Top
10, including No. 1 Nick Kyrgios of Australia.
College and Junior Players at Open '13 Qualifying
The qualifying draws at the U.S. Open were filled with young players
and those with college ties again this year. In the end, not many were
Altamirano Makes History in Kalamazoo 18s
When seventeen-year-old Collin Altamirano returns to defend the USTA
Boys 18s Nationals he won Sunday afternoon at Kalamazoo College's Stowe
Stadium, he won't be an underdog. After defeating No. 14 seed Jared
Donaldson 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in a best-of-five match, Altamirano is now in
the record books as the only unseeded player ever to win a singles
title in the 71-year history of the Kalamazoo National Championships.
Sachia Vickery Shines at Nationals in San Diego
From the moment she first picked up a tennis racket, Sachia Vickery
has wanted to play in the US Open.
That fantasy will soon become a reality. The top-seeded Miami
resident defeated second-seeded Alexandra Kiick of Plantation, Fla.,
4-6, 6-2, 6-0 to capture the singles title at the USTA Girls 18s
National Championships at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.
Tommy Paul Takes Second National 16s Title
Tommy Paul arrived in Kalamazoo as the 16s Clay Court champion in
singles and doubles, and when the wet week was over, Paul left the
USTA National Championships with a third gold ball, winning the 16s
singles championship with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over his friend and
roommate Jake DeVine.
Katerina Stewart Streaks to 16s Title
Katerina Stewart walked on to Stadium Court at the Barnes Center on
Saturday afternoon having won 12 of her last 13 matches at the USTA
Girls 16s Nationals. The only thing the Miami resident had yet to do
was earn a championship. Presented with a second opportunity, Stewart
rose to the occasion and captured the 16s singles championship with a
6-4, 6-1 victory over top-seeded Ena Shibahara.
Brian Cernoch Wins USTA Boys 14 Nationals
Brian Cernoch of North Bethesda, Md., dropped his first set in singles
of the USTA Boys 14 National Championships in the championship match
against second-seeded Maxwell Mendelsohn of Little Rock, Ark. But that
would be the only set he would lose, as Cernoch went on to win his
first USTA gold ball with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory after a 2-hour,
Day Outlasts Lahey in Girls' 14s
Kayla Day and Ashley Lahey train together back home in California, and
they hit together last week in Georgia before every match at the USTA
Girls 14 National Championships. That included the singles final,
when the two friends met for the championship. Day, of Santa Barbara,
survived four match points and won 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in Peachtree City.
Brooksby Claims First Gold in North Little Rock
Jenson "JT" Brooksby first qualified for Level-1 tournaments as a
precocious nine-year-old Californian. Now, three years and thousands
of practice balls later, the blue chip athlete finally owns his first
gold ball in singles. On the second Saturday of August 2013 in North
Little Rock, Arkansas, Brooksby defeated the fourth-seeded surprise
finalist Thomas Yu, 6-3, 6-1 in the USTA Boys' 12 Nationals.
Hurricane Tyra Black Duplicates Sister's Victory
Mild temperatures, with a few drops of rain thrown in to make things
interesting, greeted the players this week at the USTA Girls 12s
Nationals in Alpharetta, Ga. But it was a hurricane that had everyone
talking at week's end. Not a hurricane with swirling winds and
dangerous lightning, but 12-year old Hurricane Tyra Black, with a
dominating serve, quick hands, and a punishing forehand.
Midwest Reigns on Home Court at USTA National Boys' 18 Team Championship
Unseasonably cool temperatures for July at the University of Illinois
Urbana-Champaign translated into perfect tennis conditions for the
Midwest team to take the title at the USTA National Boys' 18 Team
Top Seeds Brymer, Kumar Take Aim at Kalamazoo Championships
Gage Brymer and Sameer Kumar are looking to add Kalamazoo
championships to the Asics Easter Bowl titles they won this spring as
the USTA Boys 16 and 18 Nationals begin this weekend in Kalamazoo.
Ouellet-Pizer Claims First Gold Ball at Clays
The July weather in Memphis is predictable - hot and humid - but the
results of the Girls 18s Clay Courts last week at the Racquet Club of
Memphis definitely were not. A week of upsets ended with 15-year-old
Chloe Ouellet-Pizer defeating unseeded Terri Fleming 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1
to claim her first gold ball in USTA competition.
Kerznerman Prevails in Boys 18s Clays
Danny Kerznerman entered the recent USTA Boys' 18 National Clay Court
Championships brimming with confidence. The Brooklyn native then
found himself down 6-2; 4-2 in the semifinals against second-seeded
Henrik Wiersholm before rallying for a 2-6; 7-5; 6-0 victory to
advance to the final. Kerznerman went on to capture the second gold
ball of his career with a 6-4; 6-3 victory over Mitch Stewart of
Washington in the final.
CiCi Bellis Wins Title at Girls 16s Clays
CiCi Bellis seemed so fresh in the second set, one of her post-match
comments seemed incredible. "I've never done any off-court
conditioning," the wispy Northern Californian said after wearing down
Katerina Stewart of Miami 7-5, 6-1 to win the USTA Girls 16 Clay Court
Championships' singles crown at Virginia Beach Tennis and Country
Club. "That's because my on-court drilling is so taxing and intense."
Paul Pulls Out Win in Boys 16s
Tommy Paul won more than national bragging rights with his 6-2; 6-4
victory over Reilly Opelka in the finals of the recent USTA Boys' 16
National Clay Court Championships at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.
Paul, 16, also gets bragging rights with his three roommates
from the USTA Training Center who took all four spots in the semifinals.
First Singles Gold Ball for Claire Liu
Claire Liu gained fame nearly two years ago when she won the Junior
Orange Bowl as an unseeded 11-year-old. While she has won other big
tournaments, a singles title at a USTA national championship has
evaded her. The young teenager from Thousand Oaks, Calif., took care
of some unfinished business last week in Plantation, Fla., earning a
gold ball at the USTA Girls 14 Super National Clay Court
Makarome Wins USTA Boys 14 National Clay Courts
Fifth-seeded Noah Makarome overcame heavy rain, match delays, muscle
cramps and 5-1 blown leads to capture the USTA Boys 14 National Clay
Court singles championship. Makarome, from Wesley Chapel, Fla.,
defeated No. 6 seed Sam Riffice of Roseville, Calif., 6-0, 7-6 (7-3)
on July 20 at the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center to take home the gold
Branstine Battles Foes and Weather in Girls' 12s
The old cliché says that patience is a virtue, but in tennis,
patience is a necessity. It's also a lesson junior tennis player and
new USTA Girls' 12 Clay Courts champ Carson Branstine learned from her
New York's Steven Sun shines in Winston-Salem
Steven Sun, affectionately known as "The Machine" at his club, started
a bit off-kilter and got down 5-3 in the first set, and again 2-0 in
the second of the 2013 National Clay Court Championship finals. Just
as an engine sometimes sputters, Sun momentarily stalled, but a quick
reboot allowed him to prevail over Blue Chip Brandon Nakashima 7-6(3),
Day, McNally Take 16s National Open Titles; Shaffer Claims 18s Championship
Thirteen-year-old Kayla Day came a long way from her Santa Barbara
California home last week to compete in the 16s National Open in
Kalamazoo, but her first trip to Michigan proved a successful one as
she claimed the title in her first national tournament in that
division. John McNally and Kennedy Shaffer took the boys 16s and girls
18s titles, respectively, on a warm and sunny day at the legendary
Stowe Stadium courts at Kalamazoo College.
Top-Ranked Juniors Kyrgios and Bencic Aim to Conquer Wimbledon Junior Championships
Last year the Wimbledon Junior Championships belonged to Canada, with
Eugenie Bouchard and Filip Peliwo claiming the country's first two
junior slam singles titles. Bouchard and Peliwo have now moved on to
professional careers, but another 128 competitors are eager to raise
their profiles in the tennis world with similar performances at the
All England Club.
Sanford, Oosterbaan Capture National Open Titles
Unseasonably cold temperatures didn't stop Midwesterners Anna Sanford
and Paul Oosterbaan from capturing the singles titles at the USTA 18s
National Open at the Canepa Tennis Center in East Grand Rapids,
Michigan. Sanford defeated Alexis Nelson 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, while
Oosterbaan edged Tom Fawcett 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4).
Brymer Takes Boys CIF championships at The Ojai
Having captured the last two Boys CIF championships at the Ojai Valley
Tennis Tournament, Gage Brymer really didn't have much to prove
heading into the 113th Ojai. But with a chance to join an exclusive
club, the University (Irvine, Calif.) High senior saw things
Hance and Daniel Take 14s Easter Bowl Titles; Bellis and Kumar Earn 16s Championships
Connor Hance and Jaeda Daniel both came from behind to collect USTA
Spring Nationals Easter Bowl 14s gold balls, while 16s champions CiCi
Bellis and Sameer Kumar posted straightforward wins in the finals, as
the historic tournament's 46th year came to a close earlier this month
in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Brymer and Hibi Earn Impressive Doubles at Easter Bowl ITF
Irvine, California can call itself the city of Easter Bowl champions
after residents Mayo Hibi and Gage Brymer claimed titles at the
International Tennis Federation Grade B1 tournament at the Sunrise
Country Club in Rancho Mirage.
Hibi, Kozlov Claim ITF Grade 1 Titles at International Spring Championships
Mayo Hibi and Stefan Kozlov survived tough opening round matches at
the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif.
last week, using those wins as springboards for their first Grade 1
Countdown: Hinsdale Central Claims First Championship
Twenty-four of the nation's top boys high school tennis teams competed
in the prestigious Boys DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships
this past weekend in Louisville, Ky. The finals saw Hinsdale Central
(Hinsdale, Ill.) put on a dominating performance to defeat Barron
Collier (Naples, Fla.) and win the title.
McCarthy Sweeps Titles, Orkin Claims First Gold Ball at USTA 18s National Spring Championships
A year after the Midwest section swept the boys and girls 18s National
Spring Championships' singles titles, the Southern section did the
same, with Elliott Orkin of Marietta, Georgia and Kaitlyn McCarthy of
Cary, North Carolina taking home what is likely the last gold balls
awarded by the tournament, in its ninth year at the Mobile Tennis
Countdown: DecoTurf Girls' HS Championship Wrapup
This past Saturday, the DecoTurf Girls' High School Tennis Team
Championships drew to a close in Louisville, Ky. The Baylor Red
Raiders (Chattanooga, Tenn.), who were two-time defending champions,
came back from a 3-4 deficit to defeat the Jenks Trojans (Jenks, Okl.)
and win the title for a third straight year.
DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Gets Underway Friday
The field of 40 is set for the 2013 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team
Championships. The event will be hosted in Louisville, Kentucky for
the seventh year with E.P. Sawyer State Park and Top Gun Academy
hosting the championships for the third straight year. The girls will
open tournament play on March 15-16 with the boys completing the 2013
event on March 22-23.
Mobile Ready for Ninth USTA 18s National Spring Championships
When the Easter Bowl 18s went from a USTA tournament to an
International Tennis Federation Grade 1 back in 2005, a new event was
necessary to provide a fourth gold ball opportunity for that age
group. The Mobile Tennis Center filled that gap, and has been hosting
the 128-draw National Spring Championships for boys and girls ever
since, with the ninth edition scheduled to begin Sunday and run
through Saturday March 16th.
Previewing the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships
DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Tournament Director,
Brandon Feusner, has been involved in high school tennis for nearly a
decade gradually building one of the nation's top high school tennis
tournaments. The seventh annual event will begin on March 15th in
Louisville, Kentucky. In this Q&A we check in with Feusner to discuss
what goes into hosting the tournament, as well as some of the
challenges and his best memories.
Top Seeds Langmo, Kirkov, Mateas Take Tennis Plaza Cup Titles
The weather was outstanding and so were the top seeds at the USTA
Regional Level 3 tournament in Coral Gables, Florida, with six of the
eight No. 1 seeds winning titles in the three-day, 32-draw events held
at five sites in the Miami area.
Americans Mmoh and Desiatnikov Capture Junior Orange Bowl Titles; Lumsden, Oliel Post Historic Wins
Seven days of beautiful South Florida weather at the 51st Junior
Orange Bowl provided a perfect backdrop for three new champions and
one champion collecting a second title. Michael Mmoh of the United
States, the 2010 12s champion, added the 14s title to his resume,
while Abigail Desiatnikov of the US, Maia Lumsden of Great Britain and
Yshai Oliel of Israel received their first winner's bowl of oranges
last Sunday in Coral Gables, Florida.
Konjuh, Djere Cap Two Tough Weeks with Orange Bowl Titles; Rublev, Liang Take 16s
Croatia's Ana Konjuh and Serbia's Laslo Djere finished the ITF 2012
Junior Circuit with two weeks worth of outstanding tennis, following
their success at the Eddie Herr International with Grade A Orange Bowl
titles last week on the Har-Tru courts of the Frank Veltri Tennis
Center in Plantation, Florida.
Familiar Faces at JSM Champaign Challenger
Lots of familiar faces returned to the JSM Champaign Challenger at the
University of Illinois' Atkins Tennis Center as the USTA Pro Circuit
event welcomed players that had seen these courts during both college
and junior events.
Konjuh, Garin Win ITF Eddie Herr Titles; Douglas, Norris Give US Girls Championships in 12s and 16s
At the end of a week of flawless tennis weather at the Eddie Herr
International Tennis Championships at the IMG Bollettieri Academy in
Bradenton, Fla., eight players from seven countries took home not just
the winners' trophies, but the knowledge that they can compete with and
beat the world's best.
Smaller Fields for 12s and 14s at 2012 Eddie Herr
For those starting out in international junior tennis, Florida's Eddie
Herr tournament is often their first look at the United States. This
year, with IMG taking over management of the tournament, the 12s and
14s main draws are smaller, going from 128 in the 12s and 112 in the
14s to 64, with the qualifying draws also limited to 64 players.
Townsend, Rubin Aim for Eddie Herr ITF Titles
As in 2011, when the surface used for the 18s ITF Grade 1
tournament went from hard courts to clay courts, the 2012 version of
the Eddie Herr International at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy has
some changes in store.
Juniors Shine at First USTA Collegiate Invitational for Women
Last year, the Napa Valley Classic featured eight USTA junior boys and
players from six men's college teams competing in a round robin
competition. Grant Chen, then Director of Tennis at UCLA, loved the
idea, and he wanted to organize a similar event for women. His efforts
came to fruition last weekend in Oregon, where college and junior players
participated in the USTA Collegiate Invitational, presented by Adidas.
Pan American Championships Go To Rubin, Abanda
Canadian success has been one of the top stories in junior tennis this
year, with that theme continuing last week at the ITF B1 Pan American
Closed in Tulsa, where three of the four singles finalists were from
the Land of the Maple Leaf. Francoise Abanda defeated compatriot Carol
Zhao in a marathon girls final 76(5), 4-6, 7-5, while 2011 Pan
American finalist Noah Rubin of the US prevented a Canadian sweep by
downing Hugo Di Feo 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
Success for First Nesquik "Little Mo" Internationals in Forest Hills
It was once home to the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, but the West
Side Tennis Center in Forest Hills, New York, served as the venue this
year for the inaugural Nesquik "Little Mo" Internationals. The "Little
Mo" Internationals in December have been such a big success that the
Maureen Connolly Brinker Foundation decided to add this event in
August - during the same time as the Qualifying of the U.S. Open
Crawford, Peliwo Win US Open Junior Titles
Canada's Filip Peliwo had played in more junior slam finals than
American Samantha Crawford had entered, yet when a challenging weather
week in New York drew to a close, both had claimed US Open Junior
Past and Present College and Junior Players Storm U.S. Open Main Draw
While many focused on the veterans at the U.S. Open, such as Roger
Federer and Maria Sharapova, some recent college players and teenagers
were also garnering the spotlight at the U.S. Open. Some came and left
quickly, while others made their names known to the tennis world.
Four Juniors Seek Second Slam Title at US Open
When the US Open Junior Championships kick off Sunday, two boys and
two girls will be seeking their second junior slam singles title and
with it, a boost toward the coveted year-end title of ITF World Junior
College and Junior Players at the US Open Qualifying
The U.S. Open Qualifying showcased lots of young guns for the first
year that the event was televised (on the CBS Sports Network). In the
end, a few ended up making it all the way through, while others gave
it their best shot.
Novikov Earns First Gold Balls, Wild Cards in 18s
Dennis Novikov has been a top junior since the 14s age group, but a
USTA gold ball had proved elusive until last weekend's USTA Boys 18
National Championship in Kalamazoo, when he collected two. Those two
had added luster, courtesy of the main draw US Open wild cards he
received for claiming the singles title over Alexios Halebian 7-6(3),
2-6, 6-3, 6-4, as well the doubles title a day earlier.
Duval Takes Nationals & U.S. Open Wildcard
When it comes to San Diego, you can always count on the weather.
Though it was a bit more hot and humid than expected, not a drop of
rain fell on the George E. Barnes Tennis Center. What did fall were
the seeds. It was survival of the fittest, and in the end, Victoria
Duval was the last player standing among a host of Floridians.
Wiersholm Sweeps 16s Titles in Kalamazoo Debut
When a tournament has 70 years of history, chances are any
accomplishment has a precedent. But to find a player younger than
15-year-old Henrik Wiersholm who swept both singles and doubles titles
at the USTA Boys 16 Nationals at Kalamazoo, you would have to go back
to 1971, when 14-year-old Billy Martin, the current men's head coach
at UCLA, won both championships.
Yee Sweeps Titles at Girls 16 Nationals
Kimberly Yee began her journey toward one of the most prestigious
titles in junior tennis on Sunday, Aug. 5, on the Stadium Court of the
Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. Six days later, she returned to
that same court to complete a brilliant week with a victory over
Katerina Stewart of Miami to capture the 16s championship at the USTA
Junior Girls Nationals.
Taylor Fritz Sweeps USTA Boys 14 Nationals
The home of Taylor Fritz in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is glittering
with gold balls. Fritz won his third overall top prize by sweeping
the singles and doubles titles at the USTA Boys 14 National
Championships held Aug. 5-10 at San Antonio's McFarlin Tennis Center.
Sofia Kenin Wins Sixth Gold Ball in Peachtree City
Sofia Kenin had to get through the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds last week to
win the USTA Girls 14 Nationals in Peachtree City, Ga., but it brought
the best out in the 13-year-old from Pembroke Pines, Fla. Kenin won
the title. It was her sixth career USTA Gold Ball in singles and
Roscoe Bellamy - 2012 Little Rock Champion
Top seed Roscoe Bellamy, pushed to a third set by a 17th seeded
finalist, calmly set aside the heat, humidity, fatigue, doubts, hopes
and emotions that accompany a Level-1 championship match. In doing so,
he overcame a spirited challenge by Danny (DJ) Thomas 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 to
win the gold ball at the 2012 Hardcourts in North Little Rock.
Desiatnikov Wins First Gold Ball
Abigail Desiatnikov was the No. 1 seed last week at the Girls 12
Nationals in Alpharetta, Ga., but getting her first Gold Ball in
singles was no easy sitter for the 11-year-old from Gates Mills, Ohio.
Desiatnikov beat second-seeded Ellie Douglas of McKinney, Texas, 7-6,
6-4 in the final. That's the same opponent who trounced Desiatnikov
6-1, 6-2 in the Clay Court semifinals a month earlier.
Texas Repeats at USTA Boys' 18 Team Championships
At the national level, all eyes are on the USTA National Championships
taking place this week. But last week was a week for team competition.
Marcia Frost took in the Boys' 18 Team Championships at the University
of Illinois, where USTA Texas repeated as champions when they posted a
come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Midwest section.
Krueger, Stewart Headline Kalamazoo's 70th Year
Seventy years of competition produces a long list of champions, with
Kalamazoo's honor roll including such grand slam winners as Rod Laver,
Stan Smith, Jimmy Connors and Michael Chang. Two Mitches hope to join
them this year, with 18s top seed Krueger and 16s top seed Stewart
heading their divisions when the 70th edition of the USTA National
Boys 18 and 16 Championships begins today at Kalamazoo College and
Western Michigan University.
Girls' 16 & 18 Nationals Set for San Diego
Past champions of the Girls' 16 & 18 Nationals in San Diego, Calif.,
include Lindsay Davenport, Lisa Raymond, Jennifer Capriati and Tracy
Austin. More recently, 2011 finalist Nicole Gibbs went on to capture
the NCAA singles and doubles titles. 2009 champion Christina McHale is
ranked inside the Top 30 of the WTA and represented the U.S. at the
Olympics in London. What new names will emerge from 2012?
Collins Claims Girls 18s Clay Court Championship
With her focus on senior activities and graduating with her class at
Northeast High in St. Petersburg, Fla. in June, Danielle Collins
didn't play a tournament for five months. When Collins did return to
the Girls' 18 Clays, she showed few signs of rust, claiming her third
singles gold ball in the 18s division with a 6-1, 6-4 win over
fourth-seeded Jamie Loeb in the final.
Weather is the Real Winner at Boys 18 Clays
Summertime rain in Florida is not unexpected, but it certainly left
its mark on the USTA Boys' 18 Clay Court Championships. Rain ended the
final matches prematurely - which meant that the gold ball was awarded
by coin flip. Singles finalists Jared Hiltzik and George Goldhoff were
among several players who suffered that fate.
Mia Horvit Wins First Gold Ball in 16s
The compelling matchup of birthday girls featured almost everything
except a cake for the winner. No. 10 seed Mia Horvit of Parkland,
Fla., earned her first U.S. Tennis Association gold ball, overcoming
unseeded Francesca Dilorenzo of New Albany, Ohio, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to win
the Girls 16 National Clay Court Championships.
Stewart Takes Boys 16s Title at the Beach
Prior to the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Boys' 16s
National Clay Court Championships, Mitch Stewart had a fairly small
bucket list. He wanted to win a gold ball in a USTA event and he
wanted to play tennis in college. Cross one of those off after the
third-seeded Stewart dispatched 13th-seeded Baker Newman, 6-1; 6-2 at
the Delray Beach International Tennis Center on July 22.
Higuchi wins Battle of California in 14s
For years, Emma Higuchi and Angela Kulikov often talked or texted
about playing in a final of a tennis tournament. This past weekend,
the two best friends found themselves competing for a gold ball at the
National Clay Court Girls' 14s Championships at the Veltri Tennis
Center at Plantation Central Park.
Zhu Takes Title at Boys' 14 Clays
Evan Zhu was the gold ball winner and star of the show at the Boys' 14
USTA National Clay Court Championship, but Johnathan Small was also
front and center and he took home a trio of trophies.
Victoria Emma Comes Back for More Gold
In 2011, Victoria Emma left the Girls' 12 USTA National Clay Court
Championships with a plaque for winning the Gold Consolation. This
year she came back to try again, and this time she left with a
different gold prize. Emma defeated Ellie Douglas in the final by a
score of 6-1, 6-7(2), 6-2 to claim her first national title.
Georgia's Bryde Reigns Supreme in Winston-Salem
In the battle of wills and forehands between a pair of blue chips,
Trent Bryde of Georgia emerged victorious over Californian Roscoe
Bellamy in a dazzling display of grace, athleticism, sportsmanship and
maturity from each competitor in the Boys 12s Clay Court National
Bouchard and Peliwo Claim Canada's First Junior Slam Championships at Wimbledon
When the Wimbledon Junior Championships began, Canada was still
seeking its first singles title in junior grand slam history. When the
cool and damp week of continual rain delays was over, Canada had two,
with Eugenie Bouchard defeating Elina Svitolina for the girls title,
and Filip Peliwo downing defending champion Luke Saville to claim the
boys title at the All England Club.
Robbie Bellamy Captures Southern California 18s Title
Brilliant sunshine bathed the courts at Los Caballeros Racquet &
Sports Club in Fountain Valley, Calif., for the final four days of the
110th annual Southern California Junior Sectionals, providing the
perfect atmosphere for some spectacular and entertaining tennis.
Southern California Sectionals Wrapup
This past Monday, the Southern California Section wrapped up its 110th
annual championships. Twelve champions emerged from the 1,860 entries
at nine sites across Orange County. Rhiannon Potkey talked with all of
the newest champions.
Wimbledon Juniors: Saville Aims for Second Wimbledon Boys Title, Townsend Top Seed in Girls Draw
The world's top two juniors have contrasting histories as they
approach the Wimbledon Junior Championships, which begin Saturday at
the All England Club. Eighteen-year-old Australian Luke Saville is the
defending champion, winning the first of his two junior slams there
last year, while 16-year-old American Taylor Townsend has never played
a match on the world's most famous grass courts.
Ojai Wrapup Part II: Whittle, Ho, and Brymer Win Titles
Every spring except one since 1899, the tradition-steeped Ojai
competition - the nation's oldest amateur tournament - has attracted
some of the country's finest tennis players. The 2012 edition
was held last weekend with more than 1,500 participants. Eli Whittle,
Alison Ho, and Gage Brymer are among the newest champions.
Schaefer, Hafezi, and Pelletier Win Titles at The Ojai
Hardcore tennis competitors know it simply as "The Ojai," a rite of
passage in American amateur tennis. Champions include names like King,
Ashe, Connors, Austin, Chang, Sampras, and Davenport. This year,
Dominique Schaefer and Arash Hafezi, and Jacqueline Pelletier can add
their names to that list by winning junior titles.
Higuchi and Blumberg Claim Easter Bowl 14s Titles; Broda and DiGiulio are 16s Champions
The 45th Easter Bowl USTA National Spring Championships had its share
of surprises. Only one No. 1 seed, Emma Higuchi in girls 14s, making
it through to the finals. Champions Higuchi, William Blumberg, Joe
DiGiulio and Brooke Broda overcame all the week's obstacles, leaving
Rancho Mirage with six gold balls in tow.
ITF Easter Bowl Titles are Early Birthday Gifts for McDonald and Townsend
Mackenzie McDonald and Taylor Townsend were both born on April 16th,
one year apart. Last weekend, one day apart, they claimed ITF Easter
Bowl titles at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage,
Krueger and Kiick Claim International Spring Championships in Carson
Top seed Mitchell Krueger and seventh seed Allie Kiick punctuated an
impressive week of tennis with superb performances in the finals at
the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif.
last week. Krueger downed 14-year-old Stefan Kozlov 6-3, 6-4, while
Kiick defeated longtime rival Chalena Scholl 6-0, 6-2 in the Easter
morning championship matches at the Home Depot Center.
Austin, Schneider Give Indiana Sweep of Spring National Singles Titles
When Brooke Austin and Ronnie Schneider play their next practice set
in Indianapolis, expect the fiercely competitive pair to bring even
more intensity to their workout. After each captured a gold ball at
last week's USTA 18s Spring National Championships, that next set
could determine the overall champion among the 256 boys and girls who
competed in Mobile, Ala.
Unseeded Wiersholm, Daniel Take Tennis Plaza Cup Titles
While many of the USTA Level 3 Regional Tournament Segments in other
parts of the country were plagued by rain last weekend, the Tennis
Plaza Cup in Coral Gables had nothing but warm temperatures and sunny
skies for its eight divisions, held at four different sites.
World No. 1s Take Aim at Australian Open Junior Titles
The Australian Open Junior Championships, which begin Sunday, don't
regularly attract all the world's best juniors, with the long and
expensive trip Down Under a primary reason many opt for other
competitive options this time of year. But in 2012, ITF World Junior
No. 1s Irina Khromacheva of Russia and Luke Saville of Australia will
be competing in Melbourne, hoping to secure their places at the top
with an Australian Open title.
Stewart and Liu Claim Junior Orange Bowl Titles; Hong and Dubrivny Add to Championship Resumes
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Junior Orange Bowl is
often the first international experience for the hundreds of 12- and
14-year-old competitors who flock to Miami in mid-December. Of this
year's champions, however, only one - girls 12s winner Claire Liu of the
United States - was new on the global junior tennis scene.
Thiem and Kontaveit Take Grade A Orange Bowl Titles; Chung and Routliffe Win 16s Championships
The global nature of tennis was on full display at last week's Orange
Bowl, with Austria, Estonia, Korea and Canada claiming the four
singles titles, each one the country's first championship in that age
Thiem Makes History, Three Young Americans Take Titles at Eddie Herr International
Familiar faces and newcomers were among the eight champions crowned at
the Eddie Herr International last week, as over 2200 players descended
on the IMG/Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton Florida to test their
games against the world's best junior players.
New Twist for 18s Tournament at Eddie Herr International
Once again over 1000 junior tennis players will descend on the
IMG/Bollettieri Academy for the Eddie Herr International tournament,
but the 128 competitors in the Grade 1 ITF event will head for a
different part of the sprawling campus in Bradenton, Fla. The desire
for consistency with the A Orange Bowl has put the Eddie Herr 18s
tournament on clay for the first time.
Krueger and Townsend Take Titles in Tulsa
Winning the ITF Grade B1 Pan American tournament is an important step
in securing entry to the junior slams for the following year. During
last week's tournament 17-year-old Mitchell Krueger and 15-year-old
Taylor Townsend set themselves up for trips to Melbourne, Paris,
London and New York in 2012, with impressive performances throughout
the week, culminating in straight-set wins over fellow Americans.
Andrews Wins All-Cal Final at Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic
Rain on the final day couldn't dampen the prospects of the University
of California-Berkeley competitors at the 11th annual Land Rover Napa
Valley Tennis Classic. When the eight participants in the Wild Card
Shootout had been decided, three Bears had moved into the
quarterfinals, and in the final, it was senior Nick Andrews defeating
sophomore teammate Ben McLachlan 10-7 to claim the title and the Pro
Circuit wild card that goes to the tournament's champion.
Min, Golding Oust Top Seeds in US Open Junior Championships
Frustrating, waterlogged, exhausting - the word association adjectives
for the 2011 US Open Junior Championships aren't particularly positive
ones. But champions Grace Min of the United States and Oliver Golding
of Great Britain conquered the multiple rain delays and compressed
match schedule to capture their first Grand Slam singles titles - Min
with a 7-5, 7-6(3) win over top seed Caroline Garcia and Golding with
a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 decision over top seed Jiri Vesely.
Gavrilova Back to Defend US Open Girls Title; Vesely Hopes to Bookend Year with Second Junior Slam
While many eyes today are on names like Sock, McHale, and Falconi at
the Open, next week the juniors take the courts. Last year's finalists,
Gavrilova and Putintseva, return to challenge for the girls' title. For
the boys, all the big names internationally are in New York. Colette Lewis
of Zootennis previews the field.
Sock Repeats as National Champion
Jack Sock added USTA gold balls number 22 and 23 to his collection
last weekend, defending his 18s singles title with a 6-3, 6-0 victory
over Mitchell Frank while also capturing the doubles championship
during an aggravating 10 days of wet weather in Kalamazoo. Ronnie
Schneider won his first singles gold ball when he claimed the 16s
championship with a 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-2 win over Luca Corinteli, and he
too swept both titles - one indoors and one outdoors.
Davis and Porter Take Top Prizes, Open Wildcards
The George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, California, was the
home of the USTA Girls' 16 and 18 Nationals for the second straight
year. 17-year-old Lauren Davis defeated familiar opponent Nicole
Gibbs, 7-6(3), 1-6, 6-4, to take the 18s title and U.S. Open Wildcard,
while Peggy Porter continued her winning ways with a 7-6, 6-4 match
against Alyssa Smith to win the 16s crown.
Bellis wins Northern California Final in 12s
Catherine "C.C." Bellis and Michaela Gordon brought a slice of Northern
California to Alpharetta, Ga., last week at the USTA Girls' 12
Nationals. The girls - who occasionally practice together and live
about 10 minutes apart in the Palo Alto area - reached the singles
final, with Bellis winning 6-1, 6-1 at the Windward Lake Club.
Klinger Wins Double Gold at USTA Boys' 14s
Cameron Klinger of San Jose, Calif., fought his way to two titles at
the USTA Boys 14 National Championships Aug. 7-12 at McFarlin Tennis
Center in San Antonio, Texas. Klinger won his first USTA gold ball in
doubles with Tommy Paul of Greenville, N.C. The next morning, the
second-seeded Klinger beat No. 14 Jake DeVine (Boca Raton, Fla.) 7-6
(8), 4-6, 6-1 to capture the top prize in singles in a
Del Corral Plays Golden Encore in Little Rock
In the final stretch of a grueling 2011 summer schedule marked by
record-breaking heat, Alexander del Corral emerged as the top
12-year-old boy in the U.S. by collecting his second consecutive Level
1 singles crown of the year. He defeated 2011 Clays doubles champion
Nathan Perrone, 6-2, 6-2 in North Little Rock during a week of
Second Time a Charm for Goodman in 14s
They say nobody remembers who finishes second. Lauren Goodman of Fort
Wayne, Ind., can't forget the 2010 runner-up from the USTA Girls 14
Nationals - it was Goodman. Determined not to repeat the memory,
Goodman, the No. 1 seed, defeated No. 6 Mia Horvit of Parkland, Fla.,
6-2, 6-2 to claim her first Super National singles title.
Texas Finally Takes Boys' 18 Team Championships
At the national level, all eyes are on the USTA National Championships
taking place this week. But last week was a week for team competition.
Marcia Frost took in the Boys' 18 Team Championships at the University
of Illinois, where USTA Texas defeated the Southern section by a 4-3
Sock Returns to Kalamazoo to Defend Title
With his eye on a return trip to the US Open main draw, 2010 USTA Boys
18s champion Jack Sock is back in Kalamazoo this year, both to defend
his title and begin his professional career.
Talented Field Heads to San Diego
What do Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati have in
common with Christina McHale and Melanie Oudin? Each one has been a
highly-ranked American tennis player, but they share something else in
common - they have all picked up trophies at the Girls' Nationals.
Andrews Makes Herself at Home with 18s Title
Southern Californian Gabby Andrews is comfortable in Memphis, and not
just because she reached the semifinals of the USTA Girls 18s Clay
Court Championships in 2010 as a 13-year-old. Andrews calls Memphis,
where her father Mike grew up, her second home, and when the top seed
completed her 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over unseeded Denise Starr in the
final, many family members were on hand at the Racquet Club of Memphis
to witness the victory.
Second Chance is a Winner for Alexios Halebian
It was a year ago on this very court at the Delray Beach Tennis Center
that Alexios Halebian lost the Boys' 18 Clay Court Championship to
Bjorn Fratangelo. A lot can change in a year. Upon his return to
this tournament he went from being unseeded to the top seed, and this
time he was able to take home the Gold Ball with a 7-6, 6-4 win over
Fourth-seeded Corinteli Wins 16s Title at The Beach
The state of Florida has been very kind to Luca Corinteli. In May, he
won an International Tennis Federation event in Plantation on a clay
surface. He nearly won back-to-back ITF events after winning five
matches and making it to the final of another event at the Delray
Beach Tennis Center. And on July 24, Corinteli won his first gold ball at the
USTA Boys' 16 Clay Court Championships in Delray Beach.
Catherine Bellis Comes Home with Gold
The 12 and under division is the first opportunity a junior player has
to compete on the national level, and it is the time for top players
to set goals. For Catherine Bellis, that goal was to win the top
prize, and she kept her eye on it. Bellis won the USTA Girls' 12
National Clay Court Championships with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Kayla Day
in the final.
Madison Bourguignon Wins First Gold Ball
Unseeded Madison Bourguignon went deep into the Girls; 14 National
Clay Court Championships, taking on the country's top-ranked Girls 14
player, Katerina Stewart in the title match. Waiting out multiple
weather delays, Bourguignon took out Stewart with a 6-3, 6-2 victory,
erasing two previous losses to Stewart earlier this year.
Opelka Survives Heat for Title at 14s Clays
The Jimmy Evert Tennis Center at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, was once again the home of the USTA Boys' 14 Clay Court
Championships. In singles, Reilly Opelka posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over
Cameron Klinger in the title match.
Porter earns two titles at 16s Clays
It's hard to tell which was higher at the USTA Girls' 16 National Clay
Court Championships: the record-threatening temperatures or Peggy
Porter's confidence. Porter, from Dallas and seeded sixth in a field
of 192, earned her first USTA gold ball with a breakthrough
performance at Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club.
Hance upsets hometown favorite in Winston-Salem
Kenneth Connor Hance, a 12-year-old Californian who once played
Agassi's son in a TV ad, dashed North Carolina's dream for a
three-peat when he beat Greenville's Patrick Kypson in a dominating
6-2, 6-1 finals performance at the 2011 USTA National Clay Court
Oosterbaan and Solovyev Capture Singles Titles at 16s National Open in Kalamazoo
Tournament director Tom Walker brought one of the Boys' and Girls' 16s
National Opens to Kalamazoo College's famous Stowe Stadium courts.
The boys got a preview of the venue where the USTA Boys' 16s and 18s
Nationals are played, and the girls got to compete there as well. Zootennis
blogger (and Kalamazoo local) Colette Lewis attended the event - and
she was nice enough to provide us with a wrap-up.
Quigley, Tedjakusuma Win Midwest Sectional Event to Return to US Open National Qualifying Playoffs
Dream Big is the USTA's marketing slogan for its US Open National
Playoffs. Offering the prize of a US Open qualifying wild card, the
USTA established sectional tournaments throughout the country open to
all USTA members. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com took in the Midwest
event, where Eric Quigley and Romana Tedjakusuma advanced in their
pursuit of a coveted wild card.
Escobedo and Shishkina Win 14s, Brymer and Doyle Take 16s Titles at 44th Easter Bowl
The four singles champions in the 14s and 16s divisions at the 2011
Easter Bowl didn't come into the tournament as favorites; none of them
were seeded among the Top 4. Yet the quartet of Maria Shishkina,
Ernesto Escobedo, Caroline Doyle and Gage Brymer were able to overcome
the scorching temperatures and highly-ranked opponents to collect gold
balls at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Giron's Streak Continues, McPhillips Claims Second Straight Title at ITF Easter Bowl
Two impressive streaks were on the line when Marcos Giron and Kyle
McPhillips took the court last weekend for championship matches at the
ITF Grade B1 Easter Bowl in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Giron had won 17
consecutive ITF junior matches, and McPhillips had won 17 straight
Easter Bowl matches. Those singles streaks will continue, as they
won the Easter Bowl titles.
Giron and Crawford Claim First ITF Grade 1 Titles at International Spring Championships
There wasn't much international about the late stages of the ITF Grade
1 International Spring Championships last week, with Americans
claiming all four singles and doubles titles at the Home Depot Center
in Carson, Calif. In the 18s, unseeded Marcos Giron and wild card
Samantha Crawford took home the singles crowns, while Yuki Chiang
Noah Rubin won in the 16s.
Floridians Sweep Titles at USTA 18s National Spring Championships
Three weeks ago, Danielle Collins and Zack McCourt had suffered early
losses at the National Open in their home state of Florida, so the
thought of taking home gold balls at the USTA 18s National Spring
Champions less than a month later seemed nothing more than a fantasy.
But the gregarious and talkative teenagers won titles over the
weekend, showing just how quickly fortunes can change in the sport of
Sweeps Down Under While Americans Impress
American players made a great showing at the Australian Open Junior
Championships, but in the end it was two tiny countries that claimed
the crowns. An-Sophie Mestach and Jiri Vesely both left Melbourne
winners of both the singles and doubles titles.
Townsend and Clark Capture Plaza Cup 18s Championships
The route was different, but the destination was the same for
14-year-old Taylor Townsend and 16-year-old Brett Clark: the 18s
singles championship at the USTA Regional Plaza Cup in Coral Gables,
Fla. The unseeded Townsend outlasted Allie Kiick 6-2, 2-6, 10-5 in the
girls final, while the sixth-seeded Clark cruised to a 6-4 6-1 victory
over Ognjen Samardzic in the boys championship match.
Favorites and Unseeded Texan Win in Tucson
Four athletes who train at USTA High Performance Centers - three are
12 years old and one is 13 - claimed the top prizes in Tucson, which
was ravaged by rain and cold during the Winter National's final
rounds. The Girls 12s champion, Sofia Kenin, won five matches on New
Year's Day. Kenin, Stefan Kozlov and unseeded Maria Smith train at the
High Performance Center in Boca Raton. William Blumberg trains at the
Flushing Meadows facility.
In Scottsdale, Top Girls Prevail, Upsets in Boys
In the last major junior championship of 2010, three Californians and
a New Yorker left Arizona with top honors. In the Girls 18s, No. 1
Gabrielle Andrews beat Kyle McPhillips, and in the 16s Jamie Loeb took
both sets over No. 2 Christina Makarova. No. 8 seed Thomas Pura upset
No. 1 Sean Karl in the Boys 16s, while No. 15 Eric Johnson, losing the
first set at love, came back to win the 18s over No. 17 Anthony
U.S. Players Claim Three of Four Titles at Junior Orange Bowl
The weather was chilly in Coral Gables, Florida, the site of last
week's Junior Orange Bowl, but it didn't cool off the American girls.
Nicole Frenkel and Brooke Austin collected the 12s and 14s titles,
respectively, giving U.S girls all four titles in the December
competitions. Michael Mmoh won the boys' 12s for the U.S., while the
boys' 14s title went to Joshua Sapwell of Great Britain.
Lauren Davis Rolls on at Dunlop Orange Bowl; Morgan, Kiick and Lokoli Collect Titles at Crandon Park
After three major ITF junior titles in three weeks, 17-year-old Lauren
Davis could finally put aside the competitor-speak and admit she was tired. But
even after squandering two match points in the second-set tiebreaker
against unseeded Grace Min, Davis didn't let discouragement or fatigue
derail her quest for an 18th straight junior win, emerging after three
hours and fifteen minutes with a 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-1 victory in the
Dunlop Orange Bowl girls 18s championship match.
Davis, Thiem Capture Eddie Herr 18s Titles; Crawford and Lederman Give U.S. Sweep of 16s
With over a thousand tennis matches played at the 2010 Eddie Herr,
there were bound to be plenty of surprises when the eight singles
champions were crowned. With the exception of the boys 12s, none of
the winners were a top seed, with three unseeded players earning
Video from the Eddie Herr International
The Eddie Herr International - one of the most prestigious international
junior tournaments of the year - wraps up today in Bradenton, Fla., on the
campus of IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy. The enclosed video shows some
of the sights and sounds from the tournament.
Eddie Herr Preview
As the holidays approach, the professional tennis world takes a short
collective breath before next year's fresh start and first major. But
junior tennis is still going strong, with three of the year's most
important events coinciding with the Christmas shopping season. The
first of those, the Eddie Herr, begins this weekend, with nearly 2,000
junior tennis players converging on the Bradenton academy of legendary
coach Nick Bollettieri to compete for titles.
Keys and Peliwo Claim Pan American Closed Titles in Sunny Tulsa
Fifteen-year-old American Madison Keys and 16-year-old Canadian
Filip Peliwo took different routes to the championship of the ITF
Grade B1 Pan American Closed last week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but in the
finals, they both turned in dominating performances.
Juniors Impress, but Collegians Finish on Top at Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic
For nearly a decade, Cal-Berkeley's head coach Peter Wright had
invited three of the country's top teams to join his Bears at
Meadowood Resort to kick off the fall collegiate season. Yet this
year, Wright and Meadowood Director of Tennis Doug King were willing
to fix what wasn't broken in order to include USTA-selected junior
players in the field at the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic.
Notes and Observations From the 2010 U.S. Open Junior Championships
With 18-year-olds Ryan Harrison and Beatrice Capra posting big upsets,
the stage was set for other young Americans to hold the spotlight in
the U.S. Open juniors. They didn't disappoint, with Jack Sock
defeating Denis Kudla in the first all-American boys final since Andy
Roddick beat Robby Ginepri in 2000, and Sloane Stephens capturing her
third consecutive junior Grand Slam doubles title. Check out a dozen
observations from New York.
Lone Star Excellence
While the world's best tennis players battled it out at the USTA
National Tennis Center in New York City over Labor Day weekend, top
Texas juniors squared off in suburban Dallas in the semi-annual
showdown known as the Excellence. A future Baylor Bear took the title
in the Girls 18s, while a pair of qualifiers punched through to the
finals of the Boys 18s.
Young Players Preview Future at U.S. Open
It wasn't just the top players in the world spectators got to see when
they came to the first week of the main draw U.S. Open Championships.
They also got a glimpse of the future of American tennis - and it was
looking pretty bright.
Previewing the U.S. Open Junior Championships
Leading up to this year's U.S. Open there has been plenty of
discussion about the "wide-open" nature of the women's draw. But in
the world of junior tennis, that description can be applied to nearly
every slam. This year's U.S. Open junior championships will feature
all 10 of the top-ranked boys in the ITF juniors - and seven of the
girls in the Top 10.
Harrison and Falconi Survive U.S Open Qualifying
There were many years when the USTA presented U.S. Open wildcards to a
host of young players. An emphasis on the importance of college
tennis has grown in recent years, and the Qualifying wildcards for 2010
reflected that. With the exception of 15-year-old Krista Hardebeck -
who had proven herself on the junior and professional courts this year
- the players chosen were more experienced.
Sock and Redlicki Crowned National Champions in Kalamazoo
Any USTA gold ball is special, whether it's the second or the 20th.
But a gold ball won at Kalamazoo has something extra attached - a
place on the long list of National Champions and a trip to New York to
play at the U.S. Open. Jack Sock, the 18s champion, and Michael
Redlicki, who triumphed in the 16s, survived a week of heat, humidity
and rain disruptions to finish atop the 192-player fields gathered for
the tournament's 68th year.
Rogers and McPhillips Claim Gold in San Diego
San Diego played host to drama in its first Girls' 18s Nationals -
third-seeded Shelby Rogers outlasted No. 4 Nicole Gibbs 6-3, 5-7, 7-6
(4) to take the title. In the 16s, top-seeded Kyle McPhillips won the
singles title with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over No. 7 Spencer Liang.
Rogers and McPhillips won the coveted gold balls that go to the champions
- along with wild cards into the main draws of the U.S. Open women's and
Paul Comes Back to Take Girls' 14s
Jessie Lynn Paul of Greenville, N.C., won her first super national
championship last weekend, and she survived three match points in a
remarkable semifinal to do it. The next day, Paul defeated Lauren
Goodman of Fort Wayne, Ind., 6-3, 6-2 in a final that was a one-hour,
42-minute grind of steady baseliners.
Benjamin Tso Wins Boys' 14s Nationals
Top-seeded Benjamin Tso completed his 14-and-under career in grand
style by winning the singles title of the USTA Boys 14 National
Championships at McFarlin Tennis Center. Tso, from Lexington, Mass.,
won his first USTA gold ball with a 7-6 (6), 7-5 victory over
seventh-seeded Henrik Wiersholm of Kirkland, Wash., in a tightly
played match which lasted for over two hours.
Kaitlyn McCarthy wraps up Girls 12s Nationals
Kaitlyn McCarthy was pleased - but not surprised - at the USTA Girls
12 National Championships. The rising seventh-grader from Cary, N.C.,
won her first singles national title Saturday, Aug. 7, with a 6-4, 6-0
victory over No. 1 seed Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., at
Windward Lake Club in Alpharetta, Ga.
With Flourish, Levine Strikes Gold In Little Rock
After competing mostly in the 14s, Robert Levine wanted to test his
skills against his peers one last time. At the Clay Courts last month,
he won doubles gold and lost by a hair in the semis in singles. Last
week, he added a singles gold ball, overcoming Clay Courts runner up
and fourth seed Nathan Ponwith 6-3, 6-2.
San Diego Now Home to USTA Girls 18 and 16 National Championships
College coaches used to have to split their recruiting time between
Northern California and Southern California to scout players. But the
travel just got a whole lot easier. For the first time in history,
San Diego and the George E. Barnes Family Jr. Tennis Center are playing
host to the USTA Girls' 16s and 18s National Championships.
Florida back in first at USTA Boys' 18 Team Championship
It's been a long time since the team from the Florida section held up
the trophy at the USTA Boys' 18 Team Championship, but they were back
in the winners' circle this year with a steamy finish. Florida
defeated the Midwest section 4-3 at the University of Illinois' Atkins
Jordan Cox, Shane Vinsant Top Seeds for USTA Boys 18 and 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo
Jordan Cox won the 2008 16s singles title in Kalamazoo, demonstrating
his ability to cope with the pressure and pomp surrounding a final at
the pinnacle of boys junior tennis in the United States. Can he do
the same in the 18s this year as the top seed? And in the 16s, top
seed Shane Vinsant has the highest ITF junior ranking in the field at
73 - closely followed by No. 2 seed Mitchell Krueger at 79. Colette
Lewis breaks down the field of the USTA Boys 18 and 16 Nationals.
Price Captures Girls' 18s Clays in Memphis
Living just minutes from each other in suburban Atlanta, 17-year-olds
Caroline Price and Whitney Kay had met many times throughout their
junior tennis careers. When they met in the final of the USTA Girls'
18 Clay Court Championships in Memphis, it was Price that
emerged victorious - capturing the title with a 6-3, 6-3 win.
Fratangelo Returns to Winners' Circle in 18s
There is a lot at stake at the USTA National Boys' 18 Clay Court
Championships. In addition to the USTA Gold Ball, the winner receives
a qualifying wildcard into the ATP World Tour event at Delray Beach in
February - as well as direct entry into the U.S. Open Junior
Championship main draw and a wildcard into a USTA Pro Circuit Futures
event. Second-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo was excited to win all those prizes
with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Alexios Halebian in the title match.
Redlicki Earns Gold Ball in Delray Beach 16s
Michael Redlicki threw his head back, bellowed out "Come on" and then
shook hands with Gordon Watson at center court after he rallied to win
the USTA Boys' 16s National Clay Court Championship 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 at
the Delray Beach Tennis Center July 25.
Floridians Take Homecourt Advantage in Girls' 12s
The Polo Club of Boca Raton, an exclusive gated community that boasts
29 Har-Tru courts, was the site for the girls' 12 event of the USTA
National Clay Court Championships. Two Floridians - Sofia Kenin and
Cristina Rovira - marched through the draw and met in the final. The
two had met before, splitting their previous two matches. The rubber
match - and USTA gold ball - would go to Rovira, who posted a 6-2, 7-5
victory in the final.
Black Wins Tiebreaker Over Shiskina in 14s Final
Tornado Ali Black lived up to her nickname as she saved match point in
the third set and pulled out a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) victory over
14th-seeded Maria Shishkina to win the USTA Girls' 14s National Clay
Court Championships at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center at Plantation
Central Park on Sunday. The match - completed just seconds before a
downpour - featured dramatic twists and turns.
Top-seeded Kerznerman Rules Boys' 14 Clays
As irony would have it, the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center in Fort
Lauderdale seemed to be the only place in Florida where it was raining
every day enough to disrupt play. The delays didn't bother #1 seed
Daniel Kerznerman or #9 seed Benjamin Tso - who dropped only one set
between them before the finals. Kerznerman took the title with a 6-4,
3-6, 6-2 victory.
Wildcard Hayley Carter Wins 16s Clays
Unseeded Hayley Carter, a wildcard who wasn't sure she'd be allowed
into the tournament less than a week before it began, emerged with a
hard-earned trophy and USTA gold ball in the steamy Girls' 16 National
Clay Court Championships. Carter, from Columbia, S.C., overcame
third-seeded Jamie Loeb 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in the championship match this
Tarheel Hero Kodali Takes 12s Clays
Down a set and 5-3, Anudeep Kodali was unflustered. He pumped himself
up, moved his feet and used his ever-reliable forehand to put away the
few short balls that came his way. In a 200-minute match with many
momentum swings, the North Carolina native emerged victorious. He won
his first USTA gold ball at the Boys 12s Claycourts National
Championships 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(6).
Mamalat, Lipman Bring Home Grasscourt Titles
Whether it was home cooking, family experience or simply games
that work well on grass, unseeded Anna Mamalat and Maxx Lipman made
their advantages work for them last week at the ITF International
Grass Court Championships at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
Kyle McPhillips, Gordon Watson have Golden Easter Bowl
Kyle McPhillips and Gordon Watson each have a collection of gold balls
at home from winning national titles. This past weekend, they both
added to their collections - capturing titles in the 16s division
of the Easter Bowl Championships in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Fratangelo and Hardebeck Continue Winning Ways with Easter Bowl ITF Championships
Bjorn Fratangelo and Krista Hardebeck may be reigning Clay Court
champions, but they have shown their dominance extends to faster
surfaces too. Fratangelo followed up her USTA Spring National
Championships with a title last week at the ITF Easter Bowl.
Hardebeck joined him in the Easter Bowl winner's circle, less
than a week after capturing the International Spring
Gabrielle Andrews and Jordan Belga take gold in 14s Easter Bowl
Blue Chip athletes Gabrielle Andrews and Jordan Belga both laid claim
to Easter Bowl Championships this past weekend in California in the
14s division. Their marquee matchups against Kimberly Yee and Stefan
Kozlov, respectively, had plenty of drama - with both matches going to
Southern California Wild Cards Kosakowski and Hardebeck Capture International Spring Championships
Krista Hardebeck and Daniel Kosakowski made the most of their wild
cards into the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships last
week at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., claiming their first
international junior titles without leaving their section.
Collins, Fratangelo Collect National Titles at Spring Championships
Mobile's azaleas hadn't yet bloomed, and for most of last week, the
USTA Spring 18 National Championships were played in weather more
reminiscent of November than March. But for champions Bjorn
Fratangelo and Danielle Collins, the chilly and breezy conditions
barely registered - a gold ball radiates a warmth all its own.
Sanon and Rinaldi Earn Tennis Plaza Cup 18s Titles
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.
Copper Bowl Wrapup - 16s and 18s
Top juniors in the boys and girls 16s and 18s divisions kicked off the
2010 national tournament schedule with some memorable tennis at the
annual Copper Bowl tournament in Tucson, Arizona.
Copper Bowl Wrapup - 12s and 14s
On the first week of 2010 new arrivals and competitors from the
previous week's Winter Nationals converged at the Hilton El
Conquistador in Oro Valley for the annual Copper Bowl. In the younger
divisions, Girls 14s top seed Dasha Ivanova upheld her ranking and
lost only one game in the finals. Two seed Parris Todd and five seed
Liam Caruana upset the top seeds in their 12s division; and Boys 14s
third seed Augustus Ge prevailed over the two-seed.
Winter Nationals Part II - 16s and 18s
Three Californians and an unseeded Georgian celebrated the arrival of
a new decade in style, winning USTA 16s and 18s national titles on a
sun-kissed New Year's Day in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Winter Nationals Part I - 12s and 14s
The first day of 2010 was picture perfect for tennis in Tucson. The
top-seeded players for all four divisions came through all the way in
straight-sets victories in the finals. By noon on New Year's Day,
Alexandra Letzt, Gabrielle Andrews, Spencer Furman and Gage Brymer
each was crowned singles champion.
Chiang Topples Favorites to Claim Junior Orange Bowl Title
Unseeded Californian Yuki Chiang made her final 14-and-under
tournament a memorable one, defeating the top three seeds en route to
the Junior Orange Bowl girls 14s title last week. She finished with a
flourish, downing No. 1 seed Brooke Austin 6-3, 6-3 in the
championship match held at the University of Miami's Neil Schiff
Bouchard and Bangoura Emerge as Pan-American Champions in Damp and Chilly Tulsa
The weather in Oklahoma felt more like December than October, but for
Eugenie Bouchard and Sekou Bangoura Jr. there were no gifts, nothing
to suggest a festive holiday. Instead, there were long days waiting
for an indoor court, grueling matches and frustrating moments. Yet
both handled every challenge last week, claiming their first ITF Grade
1 titles at the University of Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Notes and Observations on 2009 U.S. Open
The final junior slam of the year is now history, and with Great
Britain's Heather Watson and Australia's Bernard Tomic capturing the
girls and boys titles, that makes eight different players claiming the
championships this year. This year's US Open provided plenty of drama
and surprises - here are a dozen impressions.
US Open Junior Preview
India's Yuki Bhambri and France's Kristina Mladenovic will be the top
seeds in this year's U.S. Open Junior Championships, but they're
better off reflecting on their previous Junior Grand Slam titles than
on the past history of No. 1 seeds in the year's final major.
McHale Sweeps Final Girls' 18 Nationals in Berkeley
After eight days of unusually warm sunshine, the Girls' 18 Nationals
ended with the first sweep in nine years. Third-seeded Christina
McHale was the victor and her ride to the winners' circle wasn't even
Lauren Davis defends 16s crown, extends win streak to 39
Lauren Davis has a shelf-load of trophies at home, including the
fourth USTA gold ball that she earned at the 2009 Girls 16s National
Hardcourt Championships this week. But trophies are not what drive
Lauren to play tennis. She loves to compete more than anything else.
This year, the Ohio native returned to San Diego to defend her title
and earn another shot at the U.S. Open wild card that goes to the
Buchanan and Austin Add Their Names to List of Kalamazoo Champions, Earn Invitations to US Open
Chase Buchanan marched along a very direct path to the 18s National
title at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium, Gonzales Austin took a
more winding road in capturing the 16s championship, but both reached
their ultimate destination: Flushing Meadow, New York and the US Open.
Albo Goes Three Sets to Claim 14s Title
Jake Albo of Plantation, Fla., is now the proud owner of a USTA gold
ball. Albo, the No. 6 seed at the USTA Boys 14 National
Championships, won the coveted prize with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 hard-fought
singles victory over No. 4 Gregory Garcia of Poway, Calif., at
McFarlin Tennis Center.
Carter Earns Title in Girls' 14 Nationals
Two broken strings didn't decide who won the USTA Girls 14 Nationals,
but it was certainly a turning point. Christina Makarova of San Diego
led Hayley Carter of Hilton Head, S.C., broke strings in all of
her rackets when leading in the first set, and Carter won all but one of
the remaining games to win the match 7-5, 6-1.
Wiersholm Prevails in All-Washington Marathon Finals
A mere 20 days after Henrik Wiersholm flew home with the doubles gold
ball from the 2009 National Claycourt Championships, he added another
two: both singles and doubles gold from the Boys 12s National
Hardcourt Championships in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Blue-chip
recruit and third-seed Henrik defeated fellow Washington state native
and sixth-seed Spencer Furman 7-5, 5-7, 7-6, in a match that lasted
almost four hours.
Hance Perseveres in Girls' 12s Final
Kenadi Hance was the higher seed in the singles final of USTA Girls 12
National Championships on Friday. But history - and the first set -
told another story. Hance had never beaten her opponent, sixth-seeded
Carolyn Xie of San Diego. And Xie was the champion of the Southern
California sectionals, where Hance had placed third. After a poor
start, Hance finally solved her singles nemesis, and doubles partner,
defeating Xie 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Major Surprises at the Girls' 18 Nationals Not Likely
While there are always upsets along the way, the end is not usually
far from the seeding at the USTA Girls' 18 National Championships, and
this year doesn't look to be much different. Look for one of the top seeds -
Kristie Ahn, Gail Brodsky, Christina McHale, and Lauren Embree - to go
the distance next week in Berkeley.
Alex Domijan and Jack Sock Top Seeds for USTA Boys 18 and 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo
For generations, Kalamazoo has welcomed the nation's top junior boys,
who converge on the courts of Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan
University not only for a chance to compete against the best in a
pressure-packed setting, but also for the festival of junior tennis
the tournament has become. This year, the tournament's 67th, top
seeds Alex Domijan and Jack Sock are expected to assume starring
Sock, Fratangelo Win Titles at The Beach
As match point had been sealed, Jack Sock pumped his fist in a
vociferous manner as he came to the net and shook hands with Sekou
Bangoura. He had good reason. Sock successfully controlled the match
with an overpowering serve won the boys' 18s division at the USTA Clay
Court National Championship in Delray Beach, Fla. Afterwards,
top-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo defeated Jack Withrow for the title in the
Unseeded Hardebeck Captures Clay Court Title in First Girls 18s National Championship
Fourteen-year-old Krista Hardebeck faced all sorts of challenges in
her first National Championships in the 18s division. From an
unfamiliar surface, to bad weather, to an early round third-set
tiebreaker, she survived them all, and with a 6-2, 6-3 win over No. 17
seed Gabriella De Simone in the final, which was played indoors at the
Tunica National Tennis Club due to rain, Hardebeck made sure her first
USTA ball was a gold one.
McPhillips dominates at the Girls 16 Clays
Second-seeded Kyle McPhillips of Willoughby, Ohio won all seven of her
matches at the USTA Girls 16 National Clay Court Championships in
Virginia Beach in straight sets, capping a week of dominance with a
6-2, 6-2 triumph over No. 3 Ashley Dai of Temple City, Calif. Sonny
Dearth, who was on hand to take in the victory, wraps up the final
days of the tournament.
Juniors Make Splash for New York Buzz
In a league that serves as a "Who's Who" of tennis each July, the
WTT's New York Buzz could have been overlooked for what they weren't.
No Hall of Famers or former No. 1s strengthened their roster. No
journeymen or comeback kids were on their team. Playing against some
of the most decorated professionals to ever play the game, New York
had no pros. But look no further for the future of American tennis
than the Albany-based Buzz.
Liversage Prevails in Open Hard Court Championships
People like to say that tennis is the sport of a lifetime. Anyone who
was at the Balboa Tennis Club June 8-14 would definitely testify to
that as an eclectic cast of characters descended upon San Diego to
compete in the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships. For the
second straight year, Thomas Liversage found himself in a third set in
the championship match, only this time he was facing a much younger
player - rising high school senior, Zach Leslie.
Southern California Sectionals Wrapup
At the 107th annual Southern California Jr. Sectional Championships in
Fountain Valley, third-seeded Daniel Kosakowski edged No. 4 Zachary Leslie
to win the Boys' 18s title 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, while top-seeded Pamela Montez
downed Sarah Lee 6-4, 6-2 to capture the Girls' 18s championship.
International Grass Courts Veteran Sarmiento and Rookie Davis Claim Titles in Philadelphia
Last week in Philadelphia, Raymond Sarmiento made his third appearance
at the ITF Grade 3 International Grass Court Championships and swept
both the singles and doubles titles. On the girls' side,
fifteen-year-old qualifier Lauren Davis earned the title in only her
third ITF-sanctioned event.