September 28, 2016

USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships Results

 

Kayla Day

San Diego, Calif. – (August 14, 2016) – Top-seeded Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif., capped an impressive run to the Girls’ 18s singles title at the USTA National Championships by winning a tough three-set final 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 over seventh-seeded Nicole Frenkel of Winchester, Mass.

In addition to being presented a USTA gold ball for winning the national championship, Day was awarded a wild card into the women’s singles main draw of the US Open, which will take place August 29 through September 11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Playing on Stadium Court at the Barnes Tennis Center, Day scored two early service breaks to take a 4-0 lead and would go on to win the first set 6-2 in 41 minutes. In the second set, Day broke Frenkel in the third game and then held serve for a 3-1 lead and appeared to be headed for a straight-set victory.

However, Frenkel cut down on her errors and found her groove and went on to win the next five games in a row to secure the second set 6-3 and send the match to a third and deciding set.

After both players held serve to begin the third set, Day took control of the deciding set, losing only seven points as she won the last five games in a row to secure the match and the championship.

“It feels amazing. I can’t even describe how good it feels. I’m just so happy. My serve really helped me out in the third set and I just played solid,” Day said.

“There were two turning points in the match. The first one was at 3-1 in the second set. She started playing better and my level (dropped) a little bit,” said Day, who will turn 17 in September. “The second turning point was when I broke her to go up 3-1 in the third.”

Carson Branstine of Orange, Calif., got past Amanda Anisimova of Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 in the Girls’ 18s third-place playoff. Branstine was awarded a USTA bronze ball for her victory.

In the Girls’ 18s Doubles Championship, fifth-seeded Jada Hart of Colton, Calif., and Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., defeated ninth-seeded Meible Chi of Weston, Fla., and Taylor Russo of Deerfield Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4 to win the title. Hart and Shibahara were awarded USTA gold balls after the match. They also received a US Open wild card into the women’s doubles main draw.

Complete scores and results for each division of the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals Championships can be viewed at:  http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=171037

In addition to the US Open wild cards that are traditionally awarded to the 16s and 18s singles champions and 18s doubles champions, additional wild cards for the US Open Junior Championships and wild cards to various USTA Women’s Pro Circuit tournaments will also be awarded this year.  For the complete list of wild cards to be awarded go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 18 and 16 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit.  Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

About George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center:
The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego. It was built in 1995 and completed in 1997. The $4.5 million junior tennis facility was made possible with generous public and private donations and is named after the lead donor family – the “George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center.” The Center, which is dedicated to the youth of San Diego, offers children 18 and under court priority over adults with advanced reservations.

About Youth Tennis San Diego:
Youth Tennis San Diego is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952.  Earlier this year, Youth Tennis San Diego was recognized with the USTA Organization Member of the Year Award. The  award  is  given  annually  to  an  organization  that  provides  outstanding  service  to its members  and  to the  local  community. YTSD was honored at the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference, March 11-14, at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

The YTSD Mission is:  “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities.” Their community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens.  YTSD provides thousands of youngsters each year the opportunity to play tennis after school at their neighborhood school. The After School Tennis program provides a safe haven for hundreds of youngsters who are not supervised after school. Through tennis, the children learn the success skills which will give them the confidence and self-esteem needed to confront the negative influences so often found on the streets where they live.
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USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals
Barnes Tennis Center
San Diego, Calif.
Sunday’s Results

Girls’ 18s Singles
Championship
Kayla Day (1), Santa Barbara, Calif., def. Nicole Frenkel (7), Winchester, Mass., 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

Third Place
Carson Branstine (17), Orange, Calif., def. Amanda Anisimova (5), Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-1

Girls’ 18s Doubles
Championship
Jada Hart (5), Colton, Calif., and Ena Shibahara, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., def. Meible Chi (9), Weston, Fla., and Taylor Russo, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4

rded go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

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Player Field Announced for USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships

girls 16 18 s

San Diego, Calif. – (July 25, 2016) – Tournament officials have announced the field of competitors for the upcoming United States Tennis Association Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships, which are scheduled to be played August 6-14, 2016 at the Barnes Tennis Center, 4490 W. Point Loma Blvd., San Diego, CA, 92107.

Nearly 400 girls aged 16 and 18 and under from across the United States and Puerto Rico will compete for the title of National Champion. The tournament will feature the top junior players from each of the 17 USTA Sections.

Defending 18s singles champion Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., is among the players entered in this year’s event. Other entries in the Girls’ 18s division include 2016 Wimbledon Girls’ Singles semifinalist Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Usue Arconada of Rio Piedras, P.R. and Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks, Calif., who combined to win the Wimbledon Girls’ Doubles title earlier this month.

The complete player entry list for the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships, can be viewed at:  http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=171037#&&s=5

The tournament also features a strong contingent of San Diego-area players. The following local competitors are entered in this year’s USTA Girls’ Nationals:

Julia Deming, Fallbrook, Calif. —Girl’s 16s
Emily Dush
, Chula Vista, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Elizabeth Goldsmith, Chula Vista, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Julia Haynes
, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Amy Huang, San Diego, Calif. —    Girl’s 16s
Cali Jankowski
, Carlsbad, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Jennifer Kerr, Carlsbad, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Alexandra Kuo
, La Jolla, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Nicole Mossmer, La Jolla, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Britt Pursell
, Oceanside, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Jennifer Richards, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 18s
Hannah Zhao
, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 18s

“We are very impressed with the depth of our player fields this year in the Girls’ 16s and 18s divisions and are anticipating a very competitive tournament throughout the week.” said Co-Tournament Director Liz Blum. “This is a great opportunity for fans to watch some great tennis as well as some future stars.”

The Girls’ 16s event will begin on Saturday, Aug. 6 and conclude with the singles and doubles finals on Saturday Aug. 13. The Girls’ 18s tournament will get underway on Sunday, Aug. 7 and conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, Aug. 14. Both divisions will feature 192-player singles draws and doubles draws with 96 teams.

In addition to the US Open wild cards that are traditionally awarded to the 16s and 18s singles champions and 18s doubles champions, additional wild cards for the US Open Junior Championships and wild cards to various USTA Women’s Pro Circuit tournaments will also be awarded this year.  For the complete list of wild cards to be awarded, go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

The Opening Ceremony for the USTA National Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Barnes Tennis Center.

Early-round matches will also be played at San Diego State University’s Aztec Tennis Center, 5375 Remington Rd., San Diego, CA, 92115, from Saturday, Aug. 6 through Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free each day of the tournament. For fans watching matches at SDSU, admission is free, but there is a nominal charge for on-campus parking. University parking regulations will be strictly enforced.

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 18 and 16 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit.  Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

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Sofia Kenin and Ulises Blanch Lead US Juniors to Compete at the French Open Junior Championships

USTA Shield Logo

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 26, 2016 – Ulises Blanch, the No. 3-ranked junior in the world, and 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion and US Open girls’ finalist Sofia Kenin lead a deep field of American boys and girls currently set to compete at the French Open Junior Championships in Paris.

With 12 girls and nine boys entered into the main draw or qualifying, the U.S. has the most players entered into the Roland Garros junior draw via direct acceptance by a wide margin. China and Japan, the next-highest countries, each have eight. Additionally, two of the top three girls’ seeds will be American – No. 2 Amanda Anisimova and No. 3 Kayla Day.

American juniors will look to continue their recent success at the French Open. Three of the boys’ singles semifinalists were American last year, with Tommy Paul beating Taylor Fritz in the first all-American French Open boys’ singles final, dating back to 1947. CiCi Bellis also reached the girls’ semifinals in 2015, while Paul, William Blumberg, Caroline Dolehide and Katerina Stewart were all doubles finalists.

USTA Player Development National Coaches Leo Azevedo, Sylvain Guichard, Jamea Jackson, Henner Nehles and Adam Peterson will be providing support to all American players participating in the French Open junior championships. Players participating in the main draw will receive a $1250 grant from USTA Player Development, and those players’ full-time, personal coaches traveling with them to Paris will also receive a $1250 grant.

U.S. Girls in French Open Juniors

Main Draw

Amanda Anisimova (14, Hallandale Beach, Fla.; Coaches: Konstantin and Olga Anisimova, Nick Saviano)

Kayla Day (16, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Coaches: Henner Nehles, Mike Gennette)

Usue Arconada (17, College Park, Md.; Coach: Frank Salazar)

Sofia Kenin (17, Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Coach: Alex Kenin and Stephen Huss)

Alexandra Sanford (17, Westerville, Ohio; Coach: Henner Nehles)

Maria Mateas (16; Braintree, Mass.; Coach: Calin Mateas)

Michaela Gordon (16, Los Altos Hills, Calif.; Coach: Alex Poorta)

Morgan Coppoc (17, Tulsa, Okla.; Coach: Trent Tucker)

Caty McNally (14, Cincinnati; Coach: Lynn Nabors-McNally)

#Claire Liu (16, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Coach: Adam Peterson, Mike Gennette)

#Received a special exemption main draw entry with her results at this week’s Astrid Bowl junior tournament in Belgium.

Qualifying

Ellie Douglas (15, McKinney, Texas; Coach: Luis Herrera)

Natasha Subhash (14, Fairfax, Va.; Coach: Bear Schofield)

U.S. Boys in French Open Juniors

Main Draw

Ulises Blanch (18, Pompano Beach, Fla; Coaches: Daniel Garcia, Rodrigo Alvarez, Claudio Menna)

John McNally (17, Cincinnati; Coach: Lynn Nabors-McNally)

J.J. Wolf (17, Cincinnati; Coach: David Kass)

Nathan Ponwith (18, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Coach: Lou Belken)

Sam Riffice (17, Roseville, Calif.; Coach: Lori Riffice)

Vasil Kirkov (17, Tampa, Fla.; Coaches: Leo Azevedo, Stoyan Kirkov)

*Brandon Holt (18, Rolling Hills, Calif.; Coach: Peter Lucassen)

Qualifying

Oliver Crawford (17, Spartanburg, S.C.; Coaches: Anthony Stewart, Kelly Jones)

Gianni Ross (17, Chicago; Coaches: Jack Sharpe, Robbye Poole)

* Received a main draw wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation.

 

 

Related Article:

Defending Champion Sofia Kenin Headlines Orange Bowl

A First Round Loss at US Open for Sofia Kenin Provides the “Best Experience”

 

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Line-up Confirmed for 2016 ITF Junior Masters

ITF

(January 25, 2016) Hungarian duo Dalma Galfi, the 2015 ITF Girls World Champion, and Mate Valkusz, the current boys’ world No. 1, head the entry for the 2016 ITF Junior Masters taking place at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre in Chengdu, China on 8-10 April.

 

The ITF Junior Masters, now in its second year, is an international event showcasing eight male and eight female players who qualify on the basis of their 18-and-under ITF Junior World Ranking at the end of the year. The ITF Junior Masters consists of two knock-out singles events, with each player guaranteed three matches to determine their final finishing position. Players will compete for a total prize fund of $160,000 in travel grants, and will also compete for wild cards into professional events.

 

The following players will contest the 2016 ITF Junior Masters:

 

Women’s singles


Dalma Galfi (HUN)
Katie Swan (GBR)
Anna Blinkova (RUS)
Tereza Mihalikova (SVK)
Usue Arconada (USA)
Sofia Kenin (USA)
Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN)
Kayla Day (USA)

 

Men’s singles


Casper Ruud (NOR)
Mate Valkusz (HUN)
Hong Seong Chan (KOR)
Marcelo Barrios Vera (CHI)
Orlando Luz (BRA)
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB)
William Blumberg (USA)
Alvaro Lopez San Martin (ESP)

 

Galfi, the 2015 US Open junior champion, lines up alongside Australian Open junior champion Tereza Mihalikova and runner-up Katie Swan, and Wimbledon junior finalist Anna Blinkova. They will be joined by Sofia Kenin, a member of the United States’ 2014 Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas winning team.

 

Valkusz, who took over the boys’ No. 1 ranking at the start of 2016, heads up the men’s entries alongside 2015 Orange Bowl junior champion Miomir Kecmanovic, Australian Open junior runner-up Hong Seong Chan and 2014 double Youth Olympic medallist Orlando Luz. They will be joined by 2013 Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas winner Alvaro Lopez San Martin.

 

The provision of travel grants is one of the ways in which the ITF Junior Masters assists these top juniors in making a transition from junior tennis to the professional game. Each player competing in the 2016 ITF Junior Masters will earn a minimum travel grant of $7,000, while the boys’ and girls’ champions will both be awarded $15,000 travel grants. Players will also compete for wild cards into professional events donated by National Associations, with further details to be confirmed later this year.

 

The Sichuan International Tennis Centre will host the event for the second year as part of the ITF’s three-year agreement with the Chinese Tennis Association and the Chengdu Sport Bureau. The centre, which was built in 2008 and consists of 32 hard courts, has hosted several international events. The ITF Junior Masters will be staged on the centre’s two show courts, including a 6,000-capacity centre court, with matches broadcast by Sichuan TV and streamed live over the three days of competition.

 

The ITF Junior Masters joins the ITF junior team competitions, the 14-and-under ITF World Junior Tennis competition, and 16-and-under Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, as the premier junior events on the 2016 ITF calendar.

 

Related article:

A First Round Loss at US Open for Sofia Kenin Provides the “Best Experience”

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USTA Eastern Junior Awards Gala

Junior player Matthew Gamble receives his award from Justin Gimelstob and Katrina Adams at the Junior Awards Gala on Day 1 at the US Open.

Junior player Matthew Gamble receives his award from Justin Gimelstob and Katrina Adams at the Junior Awards Gala on Day 1 at the US Open.

By Dave Gertler

(August 25, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – The achievements of USTA Eastern juniors in tournaments over the last 12 months, and the dedication of their families, was celebrated at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center before the first ball was struck at the US Open on Monday, at the 2014 Junior Awards Gala. Future stars of American tennis gathered to hear guest speakers, including former professional player and current Tennis Channel broadcaster Justin Gimelstob, honor the achievements of 30 junior players, as well as present awards to the top three in each age group.

 

“As you see out there today, for the next 15 days, this is an incredible sport,” said Gimelstob, “This sport challenges you in a way physically, mentally, tactically, emotionally, that almost nothing else can compete with, in an individual way. To find enjoyment in that, you’re a unique bunch.”

 

First Vice President of the USTA, and former world No.8 doubles player Katrina Adams, also praised the dedication of the kids and their families. While the complete list of award-winners from each age group is listed below, there were a small group of players who won awards in multiple age categories.

 

“I play every day, try to get better every day,” said Matthew Gamble, who was the top achiever in the 16s Boys category, as well as third overall in the 18s. “It’s a big part of my life.” Gamble cites the interaction with other players as an important part of the sport for him, saying, “Lately I’ve done more and more team events, so the team aspect and just playing your best, giving 100%.”

 

The junior from Rochester doesn’t want to stop here. While his favorite player, Rafael Nadal, was absent from the US Open this year, perhaps Gamble might one day find himself facing his idol at his home slam. “I obvioiusly want to play college tennis,” said Gamble, “And then after college, I’m gonna try to go pro and make it on the pro tour.”

 

The USTA Eastern Section, based in White Plains, N.Y., is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. The section encompasses all of New York State, Northern New Jersey and Greenwich, Conn. It is one of 17 geographic sections of the United States Tennis Association, the governing body of tennis in the United States, and supports more than 49,000 members.

 

Exceptional players recognized at the Awards Gala:

 

Boys’ 10s:

1. Ty Switzer (New York, N.Y.)
2. Evan Wen (Morristown, N.J.)
3. Julian Wu (Tenafly, N.J.)

Girls’ 10s:

1. Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.)
2. Amaya Goulbourne (Pelham, N.Y.)
3. Hailey Stoerback (Saint James, N.Y.)

Boys’ 12s:

1. Billy Suarez (Huntington, N.Y.)
2. Jeffrey Fradkin (New York, N.Y.)
3. Ronan Jachuck (Slingerlands, N.Y.)

Girls’ 12s:

1. Rosie Garcia Gross (New York, N.Y.)
2. Gabriella Price (Montebello, N.Y.)
3. Alexa Noel (Summit, N.J.)

Boys’ 14s:

1. Sean Wei (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.)
2. Ronan Jachuck (Slingerlands, N.Y.)
3. Michael Sun (Livingston, N.J.)

Girls’ 14s:

1. Rachel Lim (Braircliff Manor, N.Y.)
2. Lea Ma (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
3. Anna Brylin (Short Hills, N.J.)

Boys’ 16s:

1. Matthew Gamble (Webster, N.Y.)
2. Brenden Volk (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
3. Jordan Benjamin (Fairport, N.Y.)

Girls’ 16s:

1. Stephanie Schrage (Millburn, N.J.)
2. Rachel Lim (Braircliff Manor, N.Y.)
3. Sabrina Xiong (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.)

Boys’ 18s:

1. Daniel Grunberger (Great Neck, N.Y.)
2. Daniel Kerznerman (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Matthew Gamble (Webster, N.Y.)

Girls’ 18s:

1. Katharine Fahey (Fair Haven, N.J.)
2. Sabrina Xiong (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.)
3. Rima Asatrian (Tenafly, N.J.)

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A Learning Experience for Collin Altamirano at the US Open

 

(August 27, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Collin Altamirano is a 17-year-old junior tennis player from Yuba City, California who gained entry into the main draw through a wild card earned when he won the USTA Boys 18 National Championship earlier this month in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Altamarino won Kalamazoo as an unseeded player.

“It was a big win at the biggest American tournament for juniors so it was fun. It was a nice for me to win that and obviously I get to play here,” said the Californian who trains at Arden Hills.

“I was unseeded. I felt that I should have been but I just haven’t played as many junior tournaments. I’ve played two this year. I did not get a high enough ranking.”

“Going into Kalamazoo I knew I was one of the top five or six players with a chance to win it,” he noted.

Altamirano took on 22nd seed Phillip Kohlschreiber of Germany in the first match on court 11 on Tuesday, and not surprisingly fell to the 29-year-old ATP World Tour veteran 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in 85 minutes, in his very first main draw of a grand slam event.

Walking onto the court Altamirano said he felt relieved, despite a very probable outcome against him.

“This has been one of my goals in life to play here and to do it at a pretty young age,” he said. “I felt pretty good about myself. I was pretty happy. It’s nice to kinda get this out of the way be able to know that I can come back here and play again.”

“It was a lot of fun,” the Yuba City native continued. “First Grand slam I’ve ever played. Obviously he’s a very good player.

“I knew there was going to be a big difference. There is a big difference between a guy who won juniors and someone 20 in the world.

“Big step up from juniors when playing challengers and futures events. It’s been a good learning experience.”

This young Californian began to learn the game at five, inspired by his mother Anne who played tournaments locally.

“She had big dreams for me and got me into this game. She did a very good job,” he said with a smile.

As for Altamirano, what does the future hold for him? He intends to continue to play juniors, challengers and futures events. He’ll be playing the California swing later this year.

“I like my chances to go pro, but this year is going to decide it for me,” said Altamirano.

His US Open is not over yet, he’ll be competing in the junior tournament in both singles and doubles.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama

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Top-Seeded Sachia Vickery Set to Face 2nd Seeded Alexandra Kiick in USTA Girls’ 18 Singles Final

Sachia Vickery

Sachia Vickery

San Diego, Calif. – (August 10, 2013) – After an exciting day of semifinal action at the Barnes Tennis Center, the stage has been set for Sunday’s singles final at the USTA Girl’s 18s National Championship, where a wild card into the women’s main draw of the US Open awaits the winner.

On a cool Saturday morning under mostly sunny skies, second-seeded Alexandra Kiick of Plantation, Fla., defeated fourth-seeded Taylor Townsend of Boca Raton, Fla., 1-6, 6-4, 6-1. In the day’s second semifinal, top-seeded Sachia Vickery of Miramar, Fla., continued her strong tournament run as she over-powered sixth-seeded Brooke Austin of Indianapolis, Ind., 6-1, 6-3.

Sunday’s final, which will begin not before 11:30 a.m. (PDT) on Stadium Court, will feature two players who are ranked in the Top 300 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings. Vickery is ranked 230 in the world, while Kiick sits at 297 in the world.

“It’s going to be tough. Obviously we’re really good friends,” Kiick said. “We just basically said, ‘May the best person win tomorrow.’ It’s going to be a great experience for both of us, whoever wins or loses.”

Following their semifinal singles victories, Vickery and Kiick teamed to play in the Girls’ 18s doubles final on Saturday afternoon. The second seeds knocked off the top-seeded team of Townsend and Gabrielle Andrews of Pomona, Calif., 6-3, 6-4, to win the title and a wild card into the women’s doubles draw at the upcoming US Open.

One year made all the difference for 16-year-old Katerina Stewart of Miami. Last year she lost in the Girls’ 16s final, but on Saturday, the second-seeded Stewart captured the USTA Girls’ 16 singles championship with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over top-seeded Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

In addition to being awarded a USTA Gold Ball for winning the USTA Girls’ 16s singles title, Stewart also earned a wild card into the US Open Junior Girls’ singles competition.

Tournament officials named Megan McCray of Oceanside, Calif. as the Babolat Player of the Day. The 18-year-old local player, who was seeded 33rd, reached the fourth round of the main draw before dropping a hard-fought 6-4, 6-2 decision to top-seeded Sachia Vickery. McCray then entered the consolation draw where she reached Sunday’s consolation final.

The award, which is presented to a player each day of the event, is based equally on competitive achievement and sportsmanship.

Nearly 400 girls aged 16 and 18 and under competed for the title of National Champion, as well as a Wild Card entry into the singles main draw of the US Open Women’s Championships (for the 18s Champion) and a Wild Card into the US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s Champion). The 18s Doubles Champions also received a Wild Card into the main draw of the US Open Women’s Doubles.

Spectator admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free.

For Sunday’s full order of play, go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/Home_Page.php
To view the complete tournament draws go to: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=121938

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16s Nationals has been directed by Youth Tennis San Diego (YTSD) since 1990. This year will be the 24th anniversary of this event in San Diego, and 2013 marks the fourth year of the combined G16s – G18s event at the Barnes Tennis Center. As the largest and most prestigious junior girls’ tennis event in the United States, the USTA National Championships field consists of two draws, 192 players in each, selected from the top players who enter the event. The participants represent every USTA Member Section and nearly every state in the United States.

About Youth Tennis San Diego:
The USTA Girls’ Nationals is the most prestigious of over 40 tournament events held at the Barnes Tennis Center each year. The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952. The YTSD Mission is: “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities. Our community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens.” For information on sponsoring the USTA Girls’ Nationals or to be a tournament volunteer, please contact the Barnes Tennis Center at 619-221-9000.

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Top-Seeded Sachia Vickery Eliminates 33rd Seed Megan McCray to Advance to Girls’ 18s Round of 16

Sachia Vickery

Sachia Vickery

San Diego, Calif. – (August 7, 2013) – Eighteen-year-old Sachia Vickery of Miramar, Fla. has played professional tennis tournaments in Mexico, France, Canada and around the United States this year as she recently established a career high singles ranking of 230 in the world.

This week, she is the top-seed at the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship at the Barnes Tennis Center where she reached the Round of Sixteen after getting past local entrant Megan McCray of Oceanside, Calif., 6-4, 6-2, in a fourth round match on Stadium Court.

“My opponent went out there with nothing to lose. She was hitting really big shots. I was just trying to make her play and find my rhythm,” Vickery said after the match. “I’ve been playing pro tournaments all year, so obviously there is some pressure (as the top seed) from everyone here.”

When asked about the wild card to the US Open that will be awarded to the Girls’ 18s champion on Sunday, Vickery responded, “It’s what I dreamed of all of my life, playing at the US Open. It would mean so much to me. I just want to do the best I can this week and hopefully that will be enough to win the tournament.”

In other Girls’ 18s tournament action, third-seed and defending champion Victoria Duval of Bradenton, Fla., eased past 17th seeded Kristin Wiley of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 6-0, 6-0, to advance to the Round of 16. Also advancing was fourth-seeded Taylor Townsend of Boca Raton, Fla., a 6-4, 6-2 winner over 17th seeded Madison Westby of Tulsa, Okla.

San Diegan Christina Makarova thrilled local tennis fans as the tenth-seed in the Girls’ 18s got past hard-hitting Gabrielle Andrews of Pomona, Calif., 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the Round of Sixteen. Makarova, a resident of the San Diego community of Scripps Ranch, will face second-seeded Alexandra Kiick on Thursday at 11 a.m. (PDT). Kiick is the daughter of former Miami Dolphins running back Jim Kiick.

Tournament officials named Cassandra Vazquez of Houston as the Babolat Player of the Day. On Tuesday, Vazquez ousted seventh-seeded Louisa Chirico of Harrison, N.Y., with a 6-3, 6-1 upset in a Girls’ 18s third-round match. The award, which is presented to a player each day of the event, is based equally on competitive achievement and sportsmanship.

On Thursday night, the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships will continue its tradition of hosting a Final Eight dinner at the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, which will be attended by each of the singles and doubles quarterfinalists.

Nearly 400 girls aged 16 and 18 and under are competing for the title of National Champion, as well  as a Wild Card entry into the singles main draw of the US Open Women’s Championships (for the 18s Champion) and a Wild Card into the US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s Champion). The 18s Doubles Champions will also receive a Wild Card into the main draw of the US Open Women’s Doubles competition.

Spectator admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free.

For Thursday’s order of play, go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/Home_Page.php

To view the complete tournament draws go to: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=121938

Tournament Information

Website                    –     www.ustagirlsnationals.com/

Starting times            –     8:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 3 – Thursday, Aug. 8
9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 9 – Sunday, Aug. 11

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16s Nationals has been directed by Youth Tennis San Diego (YTSD) since 1990.  This year will be the 24th anniversary of this event in San Diego, and 2013 marks the fourth year of the combined G16s – G18s event at the Barnes Tennis Center. As the largest and most prestigious junior girls’ tennis event in the United States, the USTA National Championships field consists of two draws, 192 players in each, selected from the top players who enter the event.  The participants represent every USTA Member Section and nearly every state in the United States.

About Youth Tennis San Diego:
The USTA Girls’ Nationals is the most prestigious of over 40 tournament events held at the Barnes Tennis Center each year.  The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952.  The YTSD Mission is:  “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities.  Our community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens.” For information on sponsoring the USTA Girls’ Nationals or to be a tournament volunteer, please contact the Barnes Tennis Center at 619-221-9000.

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Double Delight for Townsend: Wins Australian Open Girls’ Doubles Crown with Andrews and Advances to Girls’ Singles Final

MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – A pair of 15-year-olds from the United States, Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Ga., and Gabrielle Andrews of Pomona, Calif., captured the Australian Open junior girls’ doubles title on Friday by defeating Irina Khromacheva of Russia and Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, 5-7, 7-5, 10-6.

Townsend and Andrews have known each other since they were 8-year-olds in tennis camp and have been friends  since. “They used to bring us out into the Home Depot Center and they have the eight high-performance camps and so they brought people from all over,” Townsend said.  “We just decided to play doubles. Easter Bowl was the first time when we were 14.”

Earlier in the day Townsend advanced to the junior girls’ final with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 win over Krista Hardebeck  of Santa Ana, Calif., in a 90-minute slugfest.

“She played really well, I came out playing really well,” Townsend said. “I went up, 2-0, and then she came back and got up, 3-2, and then from there it was really tight and no one could really break serve. A lot of return errors really killed me because she was holding serve and holding serves at love, because I was missing my second serve returns.

“I stayed in the points and I was just fighting at the end. She gave me some free shots, I hit some good shots, good severs, when I needed them. I made sure to keep coming into the net. I couldn’t stop doing that. And in the second set I think I did that more than in the first.”

Hardebeck, 17, defeated  Townsend last week in the Loy Yang Traralgon International quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-2, and went on to win the tournament.

“I was really excited about it,”  Hardebeck said of that win. “I actually played Taylor last week and I beat her there. It was a great match and a great week there. This week was pretty good as well, so I’m happy.”

Townsend said: “The biggest thing for me was that I competed today. Last week, I feel like I kind of less settled because it was a warm-up tournament quarterfinals like. It was very very tough conditions. It was windy outside.”

“But today I definitely came out really hard and that was the biggest thing keeping myself pumped.”

Townsend led off the match with a break of serve and Hardebeck returned the favor in the fourth game. Both held serve until the tiebreak, which Townsend won, 7-3, by playing aggressive tennis. She ended the tiebreak with an ace.

The second set saw Hardebeck  take a 4-2 lead and in the sixth game of the match she saved four break points.  It looked as though Hardebeck was going to send the match to a third set.  But Townsend picked up her game by mixing up baseline and net play and won the next four games in a row to win the match, 7-6, 6-4.

Towsend served seven aces in the match in contrast to Hardebeck’s  seven double faults.

“My serve was a little bit shaky today,” Hardebeck said. “It wasn’t in its best form but Taylor played really well, so there really wasn’t much I can do anyway.”

Townsend will face the Russian Yulia Putintseva for the junior girls’ title Saturday.

“She’s a very tough opponent, very competitive,” Townsend said. “She tries to get in your head with ‘c’mon’s’ to pump herself up. She kind of plays better when she’s down. I’m going to have to keep the pressure on her and keep playing my game and being aggressive and, hopefully, I’ll come out on top.”

Karen Pestaina is the founder and editor of Tennis Panorama News.

This article originally appeared in the Straight Sets Tennis Blog of the New York Times.

 

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