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Championship Week
Wiersholm Sweeps 16s Titles in Kalamazoo Debut
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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.

Boys' 16s Champion Henrik Wiersholm
© Colette Lewis, ZooTennis.com
Martin had played Kalamazoo the year before, but Wiersholm was making his first appearance at the tournament after representing the United States in the ITF 14-and-under World Junior Tennis team competition in the Czech Republic at the same time last year.

In his first match, against Henry Gordon, Wiersholm found the atmosphere distracting, losing his focus and the second set, the only set he would lose in singles all week.

"Part of it was a little bit of nerves, it's Kalamazoo," said the 12th-seeded Wiersholm, of Kirkland, Wash. "I was kind of looking around, seeing what's going on. I got through that match and have been playing some better matches since."

Wiersholm's results throughout the week included a 6-1, 6-4 decision over No. 3 seed Aron Hiltzik in the round of 16, and an equally impressive 7-6(2), 6-3 semifinal win over top seed Mitch Stewart, a longtime friend and Pacific Northwest section rival.

Facing Wiersholm in the finals was Alexandru Gozun, a 16-year-old Floridian who had fought his way to the championship match despite being the last seed in the tournament at No. 32.

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Page updated on Tuesday, May 15, 2018
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