Bhakta Earns 14s Gold Ball for Birthday Celebration
Ria Bhakta celebrated her 14th birthday by capturing the Girls 14s singles title at Winter Nationals in Tucson, Arizona. Bhakta didn't drop a game in the final, beating Kinaa Graham 6-0, 6-0. Tsehay Driscoll and Emma Roeck won the doubles crown.
Gold Ball a Birthday Gift for Nefve
A day after celebrating his 17th birthday, Axel Nefve captured his first gold ball with a victory over his doubles partner in the USTA National Boys 18 Clay Court Championships in Delray Beach, Fla.
Johns Nets 'Biggest Win Ever'
Playing his way into top form by tournament's end, Garrett Johns captured the first singles gold ball of his career at the USTA National Boys 16 Clay Court Championships in Delray Beach, Fla. The five-star beat Jacob Bullard 6-2, 6-2 in the final.
Jimena Rodriguez-Benito Heads to Penn Early
Blue Chip junior Jimena Rodriguez-Benito turns 17 in July, however she
has already turned the page on her high school career.
Rodriguez-Benito, who has taken classes through Laurel Springs for
nearly three years, has decided to graduate early and commit to
Penn - a year ahead of her graduation class.
Spring Signing Week '17: Berdusco Decides on Pepperdine
Bradenton's Brian Berdusco turned three difficult losses into a huge
win. After first-round losses in main draw singles, consolation
singles, and doubles at the 2016 Winter Nationals, Berdusco gained
a new focus in his tennis. The win? Berdusco is excited to
announce his commitment to Pepperdine University for Fall 2017.
Countdown: Crawford Headed to Florida
Growing up, Oliver Crawford played tennis, football, travel baseball
and basketball. It wasn't until age 12 that he played in his first
tennis tournament. Fast-forward five years and the 17-year-old
Spartanburg, South Carolina, teen is headed to the University of
Florida after signing a national letter-of-intent with the Gators.
Top Seeds Nakashima, Blake Take Winter Nationals 16s
Inclement weather failed to put a damper on the week for San Diego,
California's Brandon Nakashima and Boca Raton, Florida's Angelica
Blake who both blitzed through the 16s competition in winning the USTA
National Winter Championships in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Fall Signing Week '16: Wan Decides on Columbia
Christie Wan plans to study business in college, and that is
appropriate since she is all business on the tennis court. The
17-year-old 5-star blue chip prospect from Fullerton, Calif., has
spent the past two years at Sunny Hills High School after she
transferred from Whittier Christian High School. And today she is
excited to announce her decision to continue her career at Columbia
Fall Signing Week '16: Colorado's Ross Commits to Dartmouth
It all started around the age of two for Casey Ross. He would walk
around with a special cut-down squash racket - swinging at balls. Ross
is now a 5-star senior, and he recently verbally committed to
Dartmouth because of its unique academic and athletic environment.
Sebastian Korda Wins Boys 18s Clay Courts
Unseeded and undaunted, Sebastian Korda picked up the first gold ball
of his singles career as he downed Alexandre Rotsaert in the finals of
the Metropolia USTA Clay Court Boys 18s National Championships at the
Delray Beach Tennis Center. Korda, 16, needed a little over two hours
as he defeated the hometown favorite 6-4, 6-1 to win the singles title
in an all-Florida match-up.
Good Greif - Indianapolis Teen Wins Boys 16s
In the end, it was too much Greif for Jenson Brooksby in the finals of
the USTA Clay Court Boys 16s National Championships in Delray Beach.
The seventh-seeded Lukas Greif failed to lose a set in the entire
tournament and cruised past Brooksby, 6-1, 6-1 for his first gold ball
in singles play. Greif, 16, a rising junior, had won two gold balls
in doubles play and a silver ball in the 16s this year.
Blue Chip Senior Jessica Livianu Commits to St. John's
Blue chip senior Jessica Livianu received more than 75 letters from
Division I colleges across the country. While she appreciated each
one, the Brooklyn, N.Y., native focused on schools in the northeast.
After narrowing her list to St. John's, Columbia, and Penn, she took a
visit to St. John's that blew her away - and she recently committed to
Head Coach Lauren Leo and the Red Storm.
Top-seeded Choy Wins Girls 16s Winter Nationals
Sara Choy may be small in stature, but her game is quite big. The
diminutive, 4-foot-11 inch, 100-pounder won her first gold ball on
Saturday in the USTA Winter National Championship in Scottsdale,
Arizona with a comfortable 6-4; 6-4 win over Hannah Zhao in the Girls
16s singles final.
Sixth-seeded Alshon Wins 16s Winter Nationals
Boca Raton's Christian Alshon hadn't lost a set throughout the USTA
Winter National Boys 16s Championships in Arizona. That was until he
faced the top-seeded Carson Haskins in the title match at Scottsdale
Ranch Park in Scottsdale. The two split the first two sets, 6-4 and
Alshon trailed 5-4 in the third set before he held serve and went on
to close out the match winning the final three games to secure his
first ever gold ball at nationals in singles.
Countdown: Kaden Funk Headed to Penn
Five-star senior Kaden Funk has had a great run in junior tennis.
Playing in the tennis-rich state of Florida, he has numerous wins over
current college players, and he won the Class 4A state championship
as a sophomore. Next year, Funk will take his tennis talents and
his strong academic skills to the Ivy League and the University of
Pietro Rimondini Commits to the Big Red
Blue Chip senior Pietro Rimondini is originally from Italy. The
Rimondini family moved to the United States when he was ten years old
for better tennis and educational opportunities. The talented
17-year-old from Boca Prep International School has committed to
Cornell University where he will continue his tennis career.
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
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.
Coppoc Commits to Georgia
Even though she just completed her sophomore year of high school,
Morgan Coppoc has already made her college plans. The 16-year-old
Coppoc, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, recently gave her verbal commitment to
the University of Georgia. The Blue Chip athlete will graduate high
school in 2017.
Countdown: Toledo Commits to Iowa State
It didn't take long for Claudia Toledo to settle on a college
destination. She decided to attend Iowa State University after just
one visit in early November. She connected with the coaches -
Armando Espinosa and Chris Williams - and loved the what the school
and tennis program have to offer.
Fall Signing Week '14: Dan Stefan Declares for the Commodores
St. Petersburg's Dan Stefan likes working with cars and engines, so
his tennis career should certainly be on the fast track now that he
has chosen to play at Vanderbilt University next year.
Makarome Lives Up to Her Name, Commits to Columbia
Star Makarome credits her parents for some "creativity
points" with respect to her name - and believes it may have
helped her land a spot on a top college tennis program. The Wesley
Chapel, Florida teenager recently committed to attend Columbia
University in 2015 after an official visit on Sept. 8-9, just the two
days before her 17th birthday.
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.
Tate Allwardt to Vanderbilt
Tate Allwardt enjoys the challenges that tennis brings. "I really
enjoy competing," said Allwardt, 17, of Boca Raton. "I am a very
competitive person, and the one-on-one nature of tennis creates an
extremely competitive environment. Next year, Allwardt will take his
competitive outlook to Vanderbilt University - when he competes for
Commodores this coming fall.
Kennedy Shaffer Heads Between the Hedges
Kennedy Shaffer should fit right in next year as a member of the
University of Georgia's women's tennis team. The mascot for the school
is a Bulldog, and Shaffer's tenacity both on and off the court should
serve her well. The 17-year-old from Rossford, Ohio, recently made a
verbal commitment to attend the University of Georgia in 2015.
Renaud Cooks Up Victories, Commits to Georgia Tech
Johnisse Renaud is a self-proclaimed "chef on the rise." Her
culinary talents take a back seat to her tennis expertise on the
courts, however she has quite the recipe for success. Renaud, 17, is
headed to Georgia Tech on a full scholarship to hopefully lead the
Yellow Jackets back to a national tennis championship.
Fall Signing Week '13: Kallenberg Headed to Harvard
Nikki Kallenberg has been playing tennis since the age of five, when
her mother brought her out to a local park and started feeding her
tennis balls. Kallenberg has worked hard at the sport ever since, and
that hard work has paid off for the Naples, Florida teenager, who
recently gave her verbal commitment to attend Harvard University.
Countdown: Baker Newman a Commodore
Miami's Baker Newman pretty much knew on his visit to Vanderbilt
University that it was going to be his college of choice. Newman, 17,
a senior at Gulliver Prep, chose Vanderbilt from a cache of five
finalists, including Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Wake Forest, Illinois,
Nishimura Headed to UC Berkeley
J.T. Nishimura said he can't wait to compete in college tennis.
"Playing in the Pac 12 conference against schools like USC, UCLA and
Stanford will be awesome," said the 17-year-old Nishimura, who
recently committed to attend the University of California at Berkeley.
"I love being in a team environment."
Chase Perez-Blanco Chooses the Florida Gators
Miami's Chase Perez-Blanco enjoys telling jokes, and he can stare
without blinking for an hour. But when it comes to tennis, he is all
business. The 17-year-old Perez-Blanco is entering his senior year at
Gulliver Prep High School, and he recently committed to play college
tennis for the University of Florida next fall.
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.
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.
Spring Signing Week '13: Aidan Talcott Decides on Denver
Aidan Talcott enjoys making short comedy videos as a hobby, but when
it comes to tennis, he's very serious. Talcott, 17, of Sea Cliff, New
York, recently decided on the University of Denver as his college
destination after weighing offers from several top schools.
Countdown: Bush headed to Wash U in St. Louis
Jeremy Bush called his college destination his "perfect choice."
Bush, who turned 18 in February, is headed to Washington
University in St. Louis. "It was the perfect choice for me," said
Bush, a senior at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
"They have one of the best Division III teams in the country, and I
thought that I would possibly be able to help the team win a national
Fall Signing Week '12: Alanna Wolff Heads to Princeton
Alanna Wolff is at home with her college tennis destination - both
literally and figuratively. Wolff, who lives in Perth Amboy, New
Jersey was born in Princeton; used to practice there when she was
little, and won her first tournament there, so it seems fitting that
she will attend college at Princeton University.
Countdown: FSU Loads Up In-State Recruits
Jake Albo, Grayson Goldin, Jose Gracia, Jr. and Jack Haffey have long
battled it out on the tennis courts as junior tennis players in the
state of Florida. Starting next season, they will no longer be rivals
as they hit the courts as members of the Florida State University
men's tennis team.
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.
Fall Signing Week '11: Watson Heads to the Swamp
Gordon Watson enjoys sun, surf and skeet shooting and he will parlay
it into a college tennis career at the University of Florida. I loved
[Coach Jackson], campus and players, and it felt like home," said
Watson, who is ranked 12th nationally, fifth in the southeast and
third in Florida. "I really loved the other schools on my list, but I
realized that I wanted to continue my training in Florida after my
Countdown: Willenborg Headed to Penn
Athleticism runs in the Willenborg family. Blaine Willenborg is the
latest member of the family to make his mark in the tennis world and
has committed to attend the University of Pennsylvania next year.
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.
Spring Signing Week '11: McCourt Heads to the Tigers
When Zack McCourt first tried tennis lessons at age six, he hated it.
"I absolutely hated it," McCourt said emphatically. "I gave it another
shot when I was nine, and played once or twice a week, but finally
fell in love with it when I was 10." Fast forward eight years and
McCourt, 18, of Sunrise, Florida, is headed to Princeton University.
Spring Signing Week '11: Dancu Signs with DePaul
Joshua Dancu enjoys playing tennis and the drums - but he acknowledges
their differences. "I feel less stress performing drums because a
miscalculation will not cost me a match," said the Florida senior. "As
I have gotten older and more experienced, they each provide a
different type of rush." This fall, Dancu will take both of his talents to
the city of Chicago, where he will compete for the DePaul University Blue
Fall Signing Week '10: Stineman Heads to The Farm
Robert Stineman said balancing academics and tennis has been the
guiding factor in his life. After considering prestigious schools
like Harvard and Yale, the 17-year-old senior from Winnetka,
Ill. plans to continue that balancing act at Stanford University.
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.