CARSON, Calif., (Sunday, April 5, 2015) – Playing in his third ITF junior final this year, top-seeded William Blumberg used his experience to beat 15-year-old IMG Academy talent Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia on Sunday to win the Boys’ 18s singles title at the ITF Grade 1 USTA International Spring Championships played at StubHub Center.
Sixteen-year-old Sonya Kenin from Pembroke Pines, Fla., also got the better of another IMG Academy prospect, as she needed three sets to beat fellow Florida resident Fanni Stollar, 16, of Hungary to capture the Girls’ 18s title, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-0.
Kenin held a 4-2 lead in the second-set tiebreaker, but couldn’t clinch it on two match points as Stollar played several huge points to stay alive, including a clutch down-the-line backhand winner down 5-6.
“She set the point up really good; it’s not like I just missed,” said Kenin, the No. 2 seed, who had another chance at the win up 7-6 but was unable to convert.
The fourth-seeded Stollar served tough to make it 8-7 and then Kenin served and hit a backhand wide to send it to a third set. Kenin didn’t think Stollar could keep up the high level of play and overpowered her to win the third set easily.
“I didn’t want to lose the whole match just because I had lost two match points,” said Kenin, visibly shaken and distraught heading into the third set. “It was really upsetting.”
Kenin will now try and pull off the double Carson and ASICS Easter Bowl 18s titles, something accomplished players Melanie Oudin (2007) and CiCi Bellis have done (2014) in recent years.
“I want to try and win the Easter Bowl,” said Kenin, who spoke to her mother by phone after the win. “She won’t even watch the live scores. She just sits there and won’t do anything. She gets too nervous.”
Stollar said she will return home to Budapest, Hungary, and begin training on red clay for the Junior French Open. “It wasn’t my day and my serve wasn’t on,” she said.
Blumberg played solidly and kept more balls in plan than his opponent, despite the windy conditions. For the past six months I’ve really been working on being way more aggressive and cutting off the angles on the forehand,” Blumberg said. “I did a good job of doing that yesterday against Nathan (Ponwith). I can be scrappy; I can play defense.”
Said Kecmanovic: “He made me miss a lot today. The conditions were OK. It was a good experience and I was glad I made it all the way to the final.”
For the complete final draws, go to:www.usta.com/isc.
Boys’ 18 Singles (Semifinal Round)
William Blumberg (1) (Greenwich, CT) def. Miomir Kecmanovic (2) (Boca Raton, FL) 6-2, 6-4
Girls’ 18 Singles (Semifinal Round)
Sonya Kenin (2) (Pembroke Pines, FL) def. Fanni Stollar (4) (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-0
Written by Steve Pratt