Coachella Valley Tennis – Southern California Tennis News Tennis News, Events, Community Activities, Tournaments Tue, 25 Sep 2018 17:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 EASTER BOWL: Brooksby, Volynets Win Singles Titles Mon, 02 Apr 2018 04:27:59 +0000 Read more »]]> Losing the first set proved to be the proper formula for a pair of USTA Northern California players to upset top-seeded players and win coveted Adidas Easter Bowl titles.

Jenson Brooksby, 17, and Katie Volynets, 16, both took home USTA Gold Balls in dramatic comeback fashion after dropping the first set on Easter Sunday on the final day of play at the 51st Annual USTA Spring Nationals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Needing a USTA wild card to get into the tournament, the unseeded Brooksby of Carmichael, Calif., held on to beat top-seeded and ITF world-ranked No. 11 Tristan Boyer of Altadena, Calif., 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, while Volynets of Walnut Creek, Calif., rallied to upset 15-year-old Noel of Summit, N.J., 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

“It sounds great,” said Brooksby of being called an Easter Bowl champion, also thanking the USTA for giving him his wild card. “It was a lot of hard matches to do it, but it feels amazing.”

After Brooksby fought off a stubborn Boyer to win the second set, the toll of playing his fourth straight three-set match caught up to Boyer, who needed more than the allotted two minutes of rest before the start of the third set.

Boyer got his water, changed his shirt and sat and when chair umpire John Bramlett signaled for play to resume, Boyer remained seated in his chair, finally being assessed a point penalty and the third set began with Brooksby serving leading 15-love.

“I was feeling tired, of course,” Boyer said. “It had been a tough two sets. I had to prepare my drinks and change shirts and I knew I wouldn’t have enough time. I didn’t really care about the point. I knew the break would be worth it to me.”

Boyer said he took a warning on Saturday during the semifinals before starting the third set.

“I knew he was trying to stall and I was just trying to take advantage of that and move him around,” Brooksby said, adding his strategy was to keep Boyer off the baseline and moving side to side.

The extra time didn’t help Boyer, as Brooksby quickly raced out to a 5-0 lead in the third set. But Boyer wouldn’t quit and broke Brooksy for 5-2, and held serve for 5-3 before Brooksby settled himself and was able to pull out the service game and the Easter Bowl title and his second career USTA Gold Ball having won the 12s Hardcourts five years ago.

“I thought I had that,” Brooksby said shaking his head. “He’s a fighter and never gives up and I somehow pulled it out. Kudos to him. He’s a fighter.”

Boyer moves on to the Carson ITF Spring Internationals this week played at StubHub Center, while Brooksby will play the Open division at the storied Ojai Tournament at the end of the month. His next junior tournament will be the USTA Hardcourt Nationals at Kalamazoo where a US Open main-draw wild card goes to the winner.

“For sure, this is an incredible moment,” Brooksby said. “I’m not playing many junior tournaments so I made the most of this one.”

Volynets is also headed to Carson, trying to gain some valuable ITF world-ranking points that could get her into her first French Open and Wimbledon junior tournaments. The US Open Junior quarterfinalist last year, Volynets said that would be a dream come true, just like winning the Easter Bowl.

“I feel glad that I was able to tie up all the things I’ve been working on at the start of the year,” Volynets said. “From past experiences I know she never gives up so I had to keep my focus and just not give up.”

Volynets was watched by her coach Richard Tompkins and Max Taylor from Tompkins Academy.

“I was super nervous in the match, but you live and you learn,” Noel said. “I didn’t come out swinging like I should have and didn’t have the energy and she came out composed, which I couldn’t do. She got the best of me and I wasn’t able to focus on the most important thing, the match itself.”

Down 5-3 in the second set, Noel kept fighting for the break, but was unable to convert on her fourth break-point try. “I kept winning the deuce point to try and get the break and get back on serve, but I kept hitting the same return, and I didn’t adjust,” she said. “And I didn’t change anything in the third.”

In the Girls’ ITF Doubles final, top-seeded Caty McNally and Hailey Baptiste beat Savannah Broadus and Kylie Collins, 6-0, 6-0, in 53 minutes. In the Boys’ ITF Doubles final, No. 2 Trey Hilderbrand and Govind Nanda downed the unseeded team of Christian Alshon and Tyler Zink, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.

USTA Sportsmanship winners included:

Boys 12s: Max Dussault (Leesburg, Va.); Girls 12s: Ariel Madatali, (St. Louis, Mo.)

Girls 14s: Reece Brantmeier (Whitewater, Wisc.); Boys 14s: Kyle Kang (Fullerton, Calif.)

Girls’ 16s: Karina Miller (Ann Arbor, Mich.); Boys’ 16s: Alex Petroff (Irvine, Calif.)

Girls’ 18s: Katie Volynets (Walnut Creek, Calif.); Boys’ 18s: Drew Baird (Holly Springs, N.C.)


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EASTER BOWL: San Marino’s Lee Wins 16s Girls’ Title Sun, 01 Apr 2018 18:07:19 +0000 Read more »]]> No stranger to being extended to three sets at the 51st Annual Adidas Easter Bowl this week, top-seeded Keshav Chopra did all he could to keep from going the distance in the USTA Spring Nationals Boys’ 16s final played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Saturday.

Up a set, but down 5-6 in the second set, Chopra fought back to force a tiebreaker against No. 2-seeded Max McKennon Newport Beach, Calif., recording a 7-5, 7-6 (4) victory for his third straight USTA Super Nationals win as he won both the singles and doubles at the USTA Winternationals in Florida to start the year.

Later in the day, Chopra lost his bid for his fourth straight gold ball this year as he and partner Coy Simon fell to fellow USTA Southern players Welsh Hotard and Benjamin Koch in the Boys’ 16s doubles final, 6-3, 6-3.

Keshav Chopra

Chopra, 16, was taken to three sets three time this week, including the first round, a third-set tiebreaker in the third round and again in the semifinals on Friday. “When he hit that last backhand long to end the match, I was pretty relieved,” said Chopra, who trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and lost in the second round last year at the Easter Bowl.

“It’s pretty surprising,” said Chopra, who lost in the first round last week at the Newport Beach ITF, of winning the title. “I didn’t feel like I was prepared for the ITF, so I wanted to get here early and get used to the courts and get acclimated to the conditions.”

Chopra and McKennon were playing for the first time. McKennon said he got sick on the drive over to the Garden for the 9 a.m. match, but made no excuses afterward.

“I wasn’t feeling nerves, but I had my normal breakfast and felt horrible in the car over here and threw it up in the parking lot. But that’s no excuse. It didn’t affect me that much. He played great. He outplayed me.”

McKennon, 15 who does online school through Laurel Springs, took a medical timeout at the end of the first set and had the trainer massage both hips which were tightening on him.

McKennon is coached by former ATP World Tour pro Carsten Ball, who recalled some past Easter Bowl memories with 40-year Easter Bowl veteran official Marylynn Baker after the match, including playing doubles with Michael Venus, and beating Tim Smyczek. Ball played in the 2005 Easter Bowl 18s final and, like McKennon, was the No. 2 see who fell in the final to current U.S. Davis Cup player Sam Querrey.

Similar to Chopra, Girls’ 16s champion Anessa Lee of San Marino, Calif., also surprised herself in going all the way and earning the coveted USTA gold ball and title. The No. 11-seeded Lee beat unseeded India Houghton of Belvedere Tiburon, Calif., 6-2, 6-3.

Anessa Lee

“I just wanted to live up to my seeding and get to the Round of 16,” said Lee, who was watched by family and friends and her private coach Kal Moranon. “I was down in my first match 4-0 in the first set. I was thinking, ‘God, I’m going to lose in the first round.’ ”

Lee, 16, basked in the glory of her title afterward and said playing with ball kids and having her match live streamed with a commentator is something she could get used to. “This is my first media interview,” she said as she began her post-match press conference. “I don’t know what to say. At first, the ball kids threw me off, but after a few games I got into it.”

Lee said she was looking forward to making the two-hour drive home as she just got her California driving learner’s permit.

Houghton shocked the No. 1-seeded player earlier in the tournament. She said she was nervous at the start of the match, but she settled down winning the first game of the second set and holding a 3-2 lead before Lee stepped on the gas.

“I knew after beating the No. 1 seed I couldn’t get too happy,” she Houghton, who recently turned 16 and trains Tompkins Academy in Northern California. “She played really aggressive. Every time my ball would la little bit short she would really attack it and would hardly miss. I was impressed by that.

Harsh Parikh of Tucson, Ariz., picked up the Boys’ 16s bronze ball with his, 6-4, 7-5, win over Logan Zapp of Fleming Island, Fla.

Twins from Saint Helena, Calif., Maribella and Allura Zamarripa captured the 16s Doubles title as they beat Amanda Chan (Pasadena, Calif.) and Chidimma Okpara (Bronxville, N.Y.), 6-4, 6-4. In the Girls’ 16s third-fourth place match, Hibah Shaikh of Teaneck, N.J. won the bronze with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Chidimma Okpara of Bronxville, N.Y.

In the Girls’ 18s ITF singles final to start at 10 a.m. Sunday, top-seeded Alexa Noel of Summit, N.J., will take on Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek, Calif. Noel took out 14-year-old No. 8 Gabby Price of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-3, 6-0. In the other semifinal, the No. 15-seeded Volyets outlasted Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C., 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

In the Boys’ ITF singles final to follow the girls, unseeded wild-card entry Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael, Calif., will oppose Tristan Boyer, the top-seeded player from Altadena, Calif. Brooksby beat Siem Woldeab of La Mesa, Calif., 6-1, 6-3, while Boyer had to come back to beat Cannon Kingsley of Northport, N.Y., 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

In the Girls’ ITF Doubles final at 10 a.m., top-seeded Caty McNally and Hailey Baptiste will face Savannah Broadus and Kylie Collins. In the Boys’ ITF Doubles final, also at 10 a.m., No. 2 Trey Hilderbrand and Govind Nanda will oppose the unseeded team of Christian Alshon and Tyler Zink.


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EASTER BOWL: Girls’ 18s Semifinalists On a Tear Sat, 31 Mar 2018 16:39:04 +0000 Read more »]]> Alexa Noel, Gabby Price, Emma Navarro and Katie Volynets have shown all week that they are the most dominant junior girls tennis players in the United States.

The quartet advanced to the Coachella Valley’s version of the Final Four, and just like NCAA college basketball teams Loyola of Chicago, Michigan, Kansas and Villanova, on Saturday are seeking one more win to reach the pinnacle of their sport, in this case to play for an Adidas Easter Bowl title and USTA Spring National Championship gold ball.

Gabby Price by Dave Kenas / Easter Bowl

Noel (2015 14s finalist), Price (2015 12s winner), Navarro (2017 16s winner) and Volynets (2012 12s finalist) are no strangers to playing on one of junior tennis’ grandest stages, and in the shadows of Stadium Court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden having each played before in an Easter Bowl final.

The four have a combined set record of 28-1 this week, with only the top-seeded Noel having dropped a set in the first round. On a steamy 98-degree day in the desert, Noel of Summit, N.J. beat No 10 Hurricane Tyra Black, Boca Raton, Fla., 6-3, 6-2; No. 8 Price of Boca Raton, Fla., downed Savannah Broadus of Carrollton, Texas, 7-5, 6-1 and Navarro of Charleston, S.C., got past No. 2 Margaryta Bilokin of New Canaan, Conn., 6-3, 6-4. No. 15 Volynets of Walnut Creek, Calif., never stepped on the court as No. 11 Chloe Beck of Watkinsville, Ga., was forced to withdraw with a back injury.

“I thought I played pretty well today against a very tough opponent,” said the 14-year-old Price, with a huge ice pack on her left ankle. “She made me work for all the points because she has such a flat game. But overall I thought I played pretty well despite spraining my ankle.”

Price led 5-0 in the second set, but her game dropped as she tried to close it out. “I get really nervous, always when I’m up, just to close it out,” she said.

Price will face the tough Noel in Saturday’s semifinal. Price and Noel are former training partners and remain good friends.

“I mean, on the court we’re not going to be friends,” Price said.

She said she remembers playing in the Easter Bowl final as an 11-year-old three years ago. “It was so fun, and the biggest tournament I’ve ever won.”

Price is being watched this week by her proud father Marc Price. “I’m so happy for her,” he said. “She deserves it and has worked so hard. I don’t know anyone who works harder than her. She’s a good kid off the court and is so disciplined.”

Marc said it’s hard being a dedicated tennis parent at times. “It’s not easy. I started with her at three and a half years old, and I’ve been with her on the court every day since then. We don’t always get along, but she trusts me and at the end of the day she knows I’m not going to steer her wrong.”

The Prices are originally from New York, and live at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Roca, Fla. For the past four months Gabby has trained with Ashley Cargill and Jelena Pandzic, the NAIA National singles champion in 2006 and 2007 for Fresno Pacific and the NCAA singles finals runner-up in 2004 at Fresno State. Pandzic coached CiCi Bellis to an Easter Bowl title back in 2014. Gabby was previously coached by Rick Macci for 10 years.

Another well-known coach in tennis circles was on hard Friday watching his student as Joseph Gilbert of Northern California was intently looking on as unseeded Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael, Calif., beat last year’s 16s Easter Bowl and Kalamazoo Boys’ Hardcourt Nationals champion Brandon Nakashima, 6-2, 6-3, in a Boys’ 18s ITF quarterfinal.

“My passing shots were really working good today,” said Brooksby, 17, who plays primarily USTA Pro Circuit Futures events. “I’m happy to be in the semifinals and really looking forward to playing tomorrow.”

All three other semifinalists besides Brooksby needed three sets to advance as top-seeded Tristan Boyer (Altadena, Calif.), Cannon Kingsley (Northport, N.Y.) and Siem Woldeab (La Mesa, Calif.) each posted wins. Kingsley beat Martin Andres of Flowery Beach, Ga., in the closest match of the day, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (6).

In the Girls’ 16s semifinals, unseeded India Houghton of Belvedere Tiburon, Calif., beat another unseeded player, Hibah Shaikh of Teaneck, N.J., 6-1, 6-3, to advance to Saturday’s singles final to start at 9 a.m. She will take on Anessa Lee of San Marino, Calif., in the other semifinal. Lee downed No. 8 Chidimma Okpara from Bronxville, N.Y., 6-2, 6-4.

In the Boys’ 16s finals Saturday also at 9 a.m., it will be No. 1 Keshav Chopra of Marietta, Ga., taking on No 2 Max McKennon of Newport Beach, Calif. Chopra beat No. 4 Harsh Parikh of Tucson, Ariz., 6-7 (8), 6-1, 6-3, and McKennon downed No. 8 Logan Zapp of Fleming Island, Fla., 6-2, 7-6 (6).

To keep up with all the Adidas Easter Bowl news, visit the website at and check out the tournament on Facebook ( and Twitter (@easterbowl).

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EASTER BOWL: 12s and 14s Trophies Handed Out Fri, 30 Mar 2018 16:39:21 +0000 Read more »]]> The young juniors took center stage and shined Thursday as the Boys’ and Girls’ 14- and 12-and-under championships were decided at the 51st Annual Adidas Easter Bowl, the USTA National Spring Championships, being played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Having the experience of making the Girls’ 12s final last year, Eleana Yu of Mason, Ohio, said she only had to fight a moderate case of nerves as the No. 3 seed won the Girls’ 14s USTA gold ball and her first Adidas Easter Bowl national title with a 6-1, 6-0 win over No. 7-seeded Sophia Williams of Charleston, S.C.

“Having been in the final before really did help,” said the 13-year-old Yu. “I did feel a little nervous at the start, but once I found my rhythm it was fine and I just felt really confident. I think my opponent was more nervous, but the match was definitely closer than the score indicated.”

Eleana Yu by Dave Kenas

Yu started playing tennis at age 6, and plans to tour around Southern California for the Easter weekend and visit her brother, who is a student at Cal Tech. “I don’t know yet how I’m going to celebrate,” she said. “I’m just so glad I got the opportunity to come back and win the Easter Bowl.”

Reese Brantmeier, the top-seeded player from Whitewater, Wisc., captured the third-place USTA bronze ball with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Alexandra Torre, the No. 2 seed from Brentwood, Tenn. In the Girls’ 14s doubles final, the Atlanta pairing of Ann Guerry and Kate Sharabura beat the California team of Anushka Khune (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Tomi Main (Seaside, Calif.), 6-2, 7-5.

In a battle of top-seeded players in the Girls’ 12s final, No. 2 Clervie Ngounoue of Washington, D.C., took out No. 1 Stephanie Yakoff of Fort Lee, N.J., 6-3, 6-2. No. 8 Elizabeth Dunac (University Park, Md.) won her first USTA bronze ball.

Ngounoue and Yakoff later teamed to win the Easter Bowl Girls’ 12s doubles title.

“I felt the pressure,” said the 11-year-old Ngounoue, who has split four previous matches in the past with Yakoff. “I knew my game plan and how I had to play Stephanie. I knew I had to be consistent to beat her and to keep my patience.”

Ngounoue’s father is her coach and the two train at Sports Fit, a tennis club in Bowie, Md.

Bruno Kuzuhara, the No. 10 seed from Coconut Creek, Fla., defeated top-seeded Samir Banerjee of Basking Ridge, N.J., 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, to win the Boys’ 14s title. No. 6 Evan Wen of Morristown, N.J., took home the USTA bronze ball.

“It was a great experience and I’m so excited to win the Easter Bowl,” the 13-year-old Kuzuhara said. “To see that such great players like [Frances] Tiafoe and [Jack] Sock have won it is so cool.”

Playing in just his second Easter Bowl and first final, Kuzuhara said he battled the nerves and that was the reason for his slow start. “I wasn’t able to execute from the start,” he said. “But I just tried to relax and stuck to my game plan, which was to look for the short balls and come in and attack.”

He added: “I love the Easter Bowl. It’s such a fun tournament and being at Indian Wells is incredible.”

In the Boys’ 12s final, Rudy Quan, the No. 2 seed from Roseville, Calif., beat No. 10 Raghav Jangbahadur of Palo Alto, Calif., 6-1, 6-4, in a Northern California battle. In the Boys’ 12s playoff for the USTA bronze ball, Alexander Frusina of Conroe, Texas, beat Meecah Bigun of College Park, Md., 6-1, 7-5.

In the Boys’ 12s doubles final, Nicholas Mangiapane (Davidson, N.C.) and Andrew Salu, the top-seeded team from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., won the gold ball.

In the Girls’ 16s quarterfinals, two unseeded players advanced to the final four as India Houghton of (Belvedere Tiburon, Calif., will face Hibah Shaikh of Teaneck, N.J. on Friday. Chidimma Okpara, the No 8 seed from Bronxville, N.Y., will take on Anessa Lee of San Marino, Calif., in the other semifinal.


In the Boys’ 16s semifinals, it will be No. 1 Keshav Chopra of Marietta, Ga., taking on No. 4 Harsh Parikh of Tucson, Ariz. In the other semi, No. 8 Logan Zapp (Fleming Island, Fla.) will face No. 2 Max McKennon of Newport Beach.

In the ITF Boys’ 18s, top-seeded Tristan Boyer (Altadena, Calif.) needed three sets to beat No. 13 Brian Shi (Jericho, N.Y.) 6-0, 4-6, 6-3. In the only other 18s match that went three sets, Andres Martin (Flowery Branch, Ga.) took out fellow unseeded player Kevin Zhu (Pearland, Texas), 7-5, 4-6, 6-1

Other results included: William Woodall (12) (Washington, D.C.) def. Govind Nanda, (7) (Cerritos, Calif.) 6-4, 6-4; Cannon Kingsley (Northport, N.Y.) def. Roger Chou (Austin, Texas) walkover (inj); Brandon Nakashima (11) (San Diego, Calif.) def. Jake Sands (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) 6-3, 6-3; Jenson Brooksby (Carmichael, Calif.) def. Trey Hilderbrand (4) (San Antonio) 6-1, 6-2; Siem Woldeab (La Mesa, Calif.) def. Michael Sun (Livingston, N.J.) 6-3, 6-4;  Drew Baird (2) (Holly Springs, N.C.) def. William Grant (14) (Boca Raton, Fla.) 7-6(3), 6-3.

In the Girls’ 18s ITF division, all eight Round of 16s winners won in straight sets. Results included: Alexa Noel (1) (Summit, N.J.) def. Ava Hrastar (Duluth, Ga.) 6-0, 6-4; Hurricane Tyra Black (10) (Boca Raton, Fla.) def. Nikki Redelijk (Windermere, Fla.) 6-3, 6-3; Savannah Broadus (Carrollton, Texas) def. Charlotte Owensby (Boca Raton, Fla.) 6-1, 6-0; Gabriella Price (8) (New City, NY) def. Elli Mandlik (12) (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-2, 6-1; Chloe Beck (11) (Watkinsville, GA) def. Hailey Baptiste (7) (Washington, D.C.) 6-4, 7-5; Katie Volynets (15) (Walnut Creek, CA) def. Caty McNally (3) (Cincinnati, Ohio) 6-2, 6-4; Emma Navarro (Charleston, S.C.) def. Jenna Dean (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-1, 7-5; Margaryta Bilokin (2) (New Canaan, Conn.) def. Vanessa Ong (13) (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 6-1, 6-1.

To keep up with all the Adidas Easter Bowl news, visit the website at and check out the tournament on Facebook ( and Twitter (@easterbowl).

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Easter Bowl: Mandlikova Enjoying View From the Stands Thu, 29 Mar 2018 15:02:29 +0000 Read more »]]> Hana Madlikova is one proud tennis parent.

The International Tennis Hall of Famer and four-time Grand Slam champion who ruled the top tier of women’s pro tennis in the 1980s is now a devoted watcher of the game, including her two twin 16-year-old children competing this week at the 51st Adidas Easter Bowl, the USTA National Spring Championships, being played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

On Wednesday Madlikova, originally from the Czech Republic now residing in Delray Beach, Fla., anxiously looked on as daughter Elli (short for Elizabeth) Mandlik advanced to the Round of 16 in the Girls’ ITF 18s division by beating unseeded Sedona Gallagher, 6-2, 6-1.

Elli Mandlik by Dave Kenas

Elli’s brother Mark Mandlik lost in the first round to the No. 2 seed of his first Adidas Easter Bowl earlier in the week. He is currently ranked No. 240 in the world ITF junior rankings, while Elli is No. 75.

“I’ve haven’t won two straights rounds for a while and have been struggling with that, so I’m happy,” said the No. 12-seeded Elli Mandlik, who faces No. 8 seed Gabby Price in the Round of 16 on Thursday. “Gabby and I are from the same area in Florida and practice together all the time.”

Mandlikova said junior tennis has changed a lot since she was playing the juniors in the late 1970s. “There’s just so much more depth now,” she said, adding her favorite junior memory was going to Roland Garros as an unknown, and winning the pre-qualifying, the qualifying and the junior French Open Grand Slam. “That was the start. Then I started playing pro tournaments. I was 17 or 18 years old.”

Mandlikova won the Australian Open in 1980, the French Open in 1981 and the US Open singles in 1985, and doubles in 1989. She was a Wimbledon finalist in 1981 in singles (losing to Chris Evert Lloyd) and singles (losing to Martina Navratilova) and doubles in 1986.

Both Mandliks said it’s an advantage to have such a well-versed tennis parent in their corner. “My mom said, ‘Good job,’ after my match,” Elli said. “She’s never upset, unless I don’t try, which never happens. Then she’ll get upset.”

“I don’t feel any extra pressure because she’s my mom,” Mark said. “She helps me and gives me advice.”

Added Elli: “I like it, but it’s like any other mom. If you had her as your mom, you’d think it was the same. It’s not like extra pressure or anything. She knows tennis so she can tell me stuff. Some parents don’t know what it feels like when you are under pressure on the court. They will just say get through it. But she understands how it feels and gives you good advice and telling you it’s normal and you just have to fight through it.”

Elli is part of the No. 2-seeded doubles team with partner Alexa Noel, but the pair were upset in a second-round match later in the day Wednesday.

“The Easter Bowl is my favorite tournament,” Elli said. “I just love the courts and the views are so nice.

“I wish they could put us on the Stadium Court for the final,” she said as she looked toward the massive stadium at IWTG. “That’s my goal, to be a pro and play there, and all the Grand Slams.”

Mandlik wasn’t the only player in the tournament with a well-known former tennis player as a parent. Former world top 5 doubles player and US Open champion Martin Damm watched as his son with the same name lost against No. 11 seeded Brandon Nakashima in the Boys’ ITF second round. Earlier in the tournament, Andy Roddick’s nephew played in the Boys’ 16s draw. In addition, Patrick McEnroe’s daughter played her first Easter Bowl in the Girls’ 12s with proud father looking on. Last year, former Australian Open champion Petr Korda’s son Sebastian played in the Boys’ ITF singles final.

Singles and double finals will be contested on Thursday in the Boys’ and Girls’ 12s and 14s divisions.

In the Girls’ 14 Singles, No. 7 Sophie Williams (Charleston, S.C.) upset top-seeded Renee Brantmeier (Whitewater, WI), 6-4, 6-4, and No. 2 Alexandra Torre (Brentwood, Tenn.) was also defeated by No. 3 Eleana Yu (Mason, OH), 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-1. It will be a repeat Easter Bowl final appearance for Yu, who advanced to the 12s singles final last year.

Both girls who advanced to the Girls’ 12 final to take place on Thursday did so in straight sets as No. 1 Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.) downed No. 8 Elizabeth Dunac (University Park, Md.), 6-3, 6-1, and No. 2 Clervie Ngounoue (Washington, D.C.) got past No. 3 Brooklyn Olson (Kansas City, Mo.), 6-3, 6-4.

In the Girls’ 16 Singles Round of 16 winners included: India Houghton (Belvedere Tiburon, Calif.); Kimbery Hance (Torrance, Calif.); Allura Zamarripa (Saint Helena, Calif.); Hibdah Shaikh (Teaneck, N.J.); No. 8 Chidimma Okpara (Bronxville, N.Y.); No. 3 Karina Miller (Ann Arbor, Mich.); Anna Ross (MT Pleasant, S.C.); and No. 11 Anessa Lee (San Marino, Calif.)

In the Boys’ 14s final No. 1 Samir Banerjee (Basking Ridge, N.J.) will take on No. 10 Bruno Kuzuhara (Coconut Creek, Fla.). Banerjee needed three sets to take out No. 7 Jiaxi Ma (Alhambra, Calif.), 6-3, 5-7, 7-5.

In the Boys’ 12s final it will be an All-USTA NorCal affair as No. 2 Rudy Quan (Roseville, Calif.) faces No. 10 Raghav Jangbahadur (Palo Alto, Calif.).

Advancing to the Boys’ 16 singles quarterfinals were: No. 1 Keshav Chopra (Marietta, Ga.); No. 11 Aryan Chaudhary (Santa Clara, Calif.); No. 4 Harsh Parikh (Tucson, Ariz.); Aditya Gupta (Irvine, Calif.); No. 8 Logan Zapp, (Fleming Island, Fla.); No. 3 Welsh Hotard (New Orleans, La.); No. 15 Alexander Bernard (Bonita Springs, Fla.); No. 2 Max McKennon (Newport Beach, Calif.).

To keep up with all the Adidas Easter Bowl news, visit the website at and check out the tournament on Facebook ( and Twitter (@easterbowl).

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Top Seeds Noel, Boyer Open With Wins At Adidas Easter Bowl Wed, 28 Mar 2018 17:58:10 +0000 Read more »]]> Both top-seeded players on the girls and boys side in the ITF 18s division opened up play with victories at the 51st Adidas Easter Bowl on Tuesday, but took different routes in doing so.

On the girls’ side, top-seeded 15-year-old Alexa Noel battled the swirling winds at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and beat qualifier Katrina Scott, who is considered one of the best 13-year-old girls in the world, in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. On the boys’ side, top-seeded Tristan Boyer, who trains in Scott’s hometown of Woodland Hills, Calif., in the San Fernando Valley 150 miles from the desert, had an easier time downing James Ignatowich, 6-1, 6-3.

Tristan Boyer trains in Woodland Hills.

Both prodigious players Noel and Scott have big-match experience at the Easter Bowl, as Noel was a finalist in the 14s in 2015, and Scott won the 12s in 2016.

“I think I started off strong, but I played poorly the entire match,” said Noel, of Summit, N.J. “She’s a really good player and it sucks we had to play in the first round because it was a really good match. I’m just looking forward to the next round and playing my style of play and not getting sucked into playing her style.”

Scott has been turning heads with some of her recent results. In January, Scott made it to the final of one of the world’s top junior events, the 14-and-Under Les Petit As. She won the girls’ 16s at the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., last November, and in December advanced to the quarterfinals of the 16s at the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships in Plantation, Fla., one year after making the finals there in the 12s.

“She’s a great player,” said Scott or Noel, who she has practiced with but never played in a match. “I knew she was a slicer and dicer so I was ready for that. I played a little bit better in the second set but that wind was affecting me.”

Noel said the wind got worse as the 10 a.m. match hit the two-hour mark at high noon as the players split sets. “When the wind was at my back I felt that whenever I accelerated through the ball, it would just fly,” she said, adding. “I know she is a counter-puncher, and I tend to play that way, as well. I started playing too defensive, but in the third set I was able to come up with some big serves and fought my way through it.”

Noel is no stranger to being a top-seed at the Easter Bowl. In the 2015 Easter Bowl 14s final, the top-seeded Noel lost to No. 14 seed Whitney Osuigwe in a third-set tiebreaker after holding two championship points. Osuigwe finished 2017 as the No. 1 girl in the ITF world rankings, and just last week played in main draw of the Miami Open currently being played in Florida.

“That match was crazy and we were both so young,” Noel recalled. “I know I had a horrible attitude in that match. I had two match points and once I didn’t convert I kind of spiraled. It was crazy. We still have matches like that.”

Boyer, 16, said he’s also been working on his on-court demeanor and it’s now one of the strong points of his game.

Boyer received a wild card into the BNP Paribas qualifying event last month, and took the world’s No. 116-ranked player Ruben Bemelmans to a second-set tiebreaker.

In the Girls’ 16s second round, India Houghton of Tiburon, Calif., had the upset of the day beating 2017 Easter Bowl finalist and top-seeded Gianna Pielet of El Paso, Texas, 6-4, 6-4. Others pulling off upsets included: Victoria Mulville (Hoschton, Ga.) who beat the No. 10 seed; Allura Zamarripa (Saint Helena, Calif.,) who downed the No. 4 seed and Hibah Shaikh (Teaneck, N.J,) who eliminated the No. 7 seed.

Advancing to the Girls’ 14 semifinals to be played on Wednesday morning were No. 1 Reese Brantmeier (Whitewater, Wisc.), No. 7 Sophie Williams (Charleston, S.C.), No. 2 Alexandra Torre (Brentwood, Tenn.) and No. 3 Eleana Yu (Mason, Ohio).

Making it to the Girls’ 12 semifinals were: No. 1 Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.); No. 8 Elizabeth Dunac (University Park, Md.), No. 3 Brooklyn Olson (Kansas City, Mo.) and No. 2 Clervie Ngounoue (Washington, D.C.).

Seeded players moving on to the Round of 16 in Boys’ 16 included: No. 1 Keshav Chopra (Marietta, Ga.); No. 2 Max McKennon (Newport Beach, Calif.); No. 3 Welsh Hotard (New Orleans, La.); No. 4 Harsh Parikh (Tucson, Ariz.) and No. 5 JJ Tracy (Hilton Head Island, S.C.).

Boys’ 14s semifinalists include: No. 1 Sami Banerjee, (Basking Ridge, N.J.), No. 7 Jiaxi Ma (Alhambra, Calif.), No. 6 Evan Wen (Morristown, N.J.) and No. 10 Bruno Kuzuhara (Coconut Creek, Fla.).

Boys’ 12s semifinalists include: No. 2 Rudy Quan (Roseville, Calif.), No. 15 Meecah Bigun (Phoenix), unseeded Alexander Frusina (Conroe, Texas), and No. 10 Raghav Jangbahadur (Palo Alto, Calif.).

To keep up with all the Adidas Easter Bowl news, visit the website at and check out the tournament on Facebook ( and Twitter (@easterbowl).

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Adidas Easter Bowl Kicks Off At Indian Wells Tennis Garden Sat, 24 Mar 2018 15:42:14 +0000 Read more »]]> If recent results are any indication, 16-year-old Caty McNally is going to be playing more and more ITF and USTA Pro Circuit events and less junior tournaments in 2018.

But the Cincinnati native has her sights and focus set on the upcoming 51st annual Adidas Easter Bowl, the USTA Spring National Championships, which kicks off on Saturday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in the Coachella Valley, where all eyes were on the recently completed BNP Paribas Open.

Caty McNally Photo by Dave Kenas / Adidas Easter Bowl

The 18s is an ITF Grade B1 and USTA Level 1 event. It is a closed event meaning only players from the United States are eligible to play. The tournament will include the nation’s top 12-and-under 14s, 16s and 18s players. The 12s and 14s will start play this Saturday, March 24, with the finals taking place on Thursday, March 22. The 16s and 18s begin play on Monday, with the 16s finals on Saturday, March 31, and the 18s finals on Easter Sunday, April 1.

McNally, who lost in the quarterfinals of singles last April at the Easter Bowl to eventual winner Claire Liu, is currently the No. 30-ranked player in the ITF Junior World rankings. She has quickly proven to be one of the toughest doubles players on the USTA Futures Pro Circuit, capturing back-to-back doubles titles at $15,000-level pro events at Orlando and Tampa over the past few weeks.

McNally and the 2017 No. 1-ranked junior player in the world Whitney Osuigwe won the Adidas Easter Bowl ITF 18s doubles title last year, and went on to play in the Wimbledon Championship Junior final. It was the second consecutive year McNally had advanced to the final. In December, McNally and Osuigwe cemented their claim as one of the world’s top junior doubles team by winning the prestigious Eddie Herr International.

McNally won the Orland Pro Circuit doubles title with her former U.S. Junior Fed Cup teammate Osuigwe and won Tampa with Natasha Subhash. It was the third pro title of McNally’s career as she also won the Hilton Head Island event back in October with British partner Emily Appleton.

Alexa Noel is expected to be top-seeded in the ITF 18s event and is currently ranked No 11 in the ITF Junior world rankings. Noel is 15 and from Summit, N.J. She will be followed by Margaryta Bilokin, who ranked No. 27 in the world, and is originally from the Ukraine but trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Following McNally will be top American girls’ Subhash (Fairfax, Va.), Lea Ma (Dix Hills, N.Y.), Hailey Baptiste (Washington, D.C.), Hurricane Tyra Black (Boca Raton, Fla.), Gabriella Price (Montebello, N.Y.), Katie Volynets (Walunt Creek, Calif.), and last year’s USTA National Hardcourt Girls’ 16s singles and doubles champion Angelica Blake (Boca Raton, Fla).

On the boys’ side, Southern California’s Tristan Boyer (Altadena, Calif.) is the top-seeded player coming in with an ITF world ranking of No. 13 and is followed by No. 14 Drew Baird (Holly Springs, N.C.), No. 15 Andrew Fenty (Washington, D.C.) and No. No. 39 Trey Hilderbrand (San Antonio).

Top-seeded players in the Boys’ 16s include: Keshav Chopra (Marietta, Ga.), Max McKennon (Newport Beach, Calif.), and Welsh Hotard (New Orleans        , La.); Girls’ 16s: Gianna Pielet (El Paso, Texas), Valencia Xu (Livingston, N.J.), Karina Miller (Ann Arbor, Mich.); Boys’ 14: Samir Banerjee (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Noelle Andrey Ampong (Downers Grove, Ill.), Max Fardanesh (Albany, Calif.); Girls’ 14s: Reese Brantmeier (Whitewater, Wisc.), Alexandra Torre (Brentwood, Tenn.), Elena Yu (Mason, Ohio); Boys’ 12s: Nicholas Mangiapane (Davidson, N.C.); Rudy Quan (Roseville, Calif.), Andrew Salu (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.); Girls’ 12s: Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.), Clervie Ngounoue (Washington, D.C.), Brooklyn Olson (Kansas City, Mo.).

Adidas Easter Bowl ITF boys’ main-draw wild card include: Jensen Brooksby,

Stefan Dostanic, Jake Sands and Ryder Jackson. ITF girls’ main draw wild cards are: Jaeden Brown, Imani Graham, Elvina Kalieva, Charlotte Owensby, Alexandra Yepifanova and Sara Choy.

The 16s wild cards for the girls are Carson Tanguilig, Danielle Benabraham, Gianna Pielet and Nika Vesley while the boys include Andrew Chang, Jameson Corsillo and Alex Lin.

The Adidas Easter Bowl Player Party will take place at IWTG on Sunday, at the same time as the TEAM USA COACHES RECEPTION, presented by the USTA, honoring some of the best coaches in the history of the game. Among the honorees this year will be:

TEAM USA Legendary Coach Award: Ricardo Acuna, Andy Brandi, and Tom Gullikson

2017 TEAM USA Developmental Coach of the Year:  Konstantin Anisimov

2017 TEAM USA Developmental Program of the Year: Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC), College Park, Maryland

2017 TEAM USA Player Development Section of the Year:  The Florida Section

The iconic junior tournament started by Seena Hamilton in 1968 and now led by Tournament Chairman Lornie Kuhle. Long considered the Super Bowl of junior tennis, the Adidas Easter Bowl’s status has now been raised to a new level by being played at what is arguably the finest tennis facility in the world, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

No other junior tennis tournament in the United States possesses the same rich history as the Adidas Easter Bowl.  The tournament was started in New York City and has been played in Florida, Arizona and California.

To keep up with all the Adidas Easter Bowl news, visit the website at and check out the tournament on Facebook ( and Twitter (@easterbowl).

In addition to live streaming the Easter Bowl again this year, the tournament has a new and improved mobile app, which can be found at Match Tennis App The live stream commentating duties are being provided by the popular Southern California tennis commentator Marcus Tennis. Check to watch the live stream and for all Easter Bowl news, results and schedules.

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BNP awards scholarships to Coachella Valley teens Fri, 16 Mar 2018 18:03:46 +0000 Read more »]]>

From left to right: Desert Mirage High School principal Alma Gonzalez; scholarship winner Jennifer Gomez; CEO of BNP Paribas USA and Head of Americas CIB Jean-Yves Fillion; and Peggy Michel, Vice President of Sales and Assistant Tournament Director for the BNP Paribas Open. (Photo by Marc Glassman/BNP Paribas)

BNP Paribas, a global leader in supporting both amateur and professional tennis, has awarded the third annual BNP Paribas Open scholarships to Jade Rios and Jennifer Gomez, both students at Desert Mirage High School in the Coachella Valley. The pair received a $15,000 college grant on March 15 at an event at the school and will be recognized on Saturday, March 17 during an on-court presentation at the BNP Paribas Open, the largest combined WTA and ATP World Tour event in the world.

“BNP Paribas is thrilled to present these two outstanding students with these scholarships,” said Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA and Head of Americas CIB. “Jade and Jennifer have both made a significant impact in their respective communities, with their families and have shown to be very dedicated students. We are proud to help them as they continue to pursue their dreams.”

Jade – a resident of Mecca, a small farming town in the Coachella Valley – truly encapsulates what it means to be a leader in the classroom, in her community and on the tennis court. She received recognition on Desert Mirage’s Honor Roll, and serves as team captain and treasurer of the Girls Varsity Tennis Club at her school. Upon graduation, Jade intends to further her education at Grand Canyon University, where she will pursue a degree in health sciences.

Jennifer has a passion for helping and connecting with others, and hopes to use the BNP Paribas Open grant as a catalyst towards achieving her dream of becoming a nurse. She aspires to become the first member of her family to attend a university, with her eyes set on the University of California, San Diego. Jennifer hopes to take what she will learn in higher education and bring it back to her community to help others.

For more:


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Still Going Strong: Coachella’s 70s League Fri, 02 Mar 2018 21:34:31 +0000 Read more »]]> If you think that all seniors retire to the desert for rest and relaxation, playing Gin rummy or lounging at poolside, there are plenty of racquet-wielding tennis enthusiasts who beg to differ. So many, in fact, that USTA Area League Coordinator Donna Ringer has spearheaded a team tennis league for 70-and-over women in Coachella Valley, and the response has exceeded expectations.

“When I started talking to some of my friends who are around 70, they were really interested in playing the 70s (league),” says Ringer. “They liked the idea of playing gals their own age rather than the gals who are 50 and 55.”

The concept is already alive in other sections, including Northern California and Hawaii, but the SoCal version – which plays a bi-level format to mix play levels – is perhaps the largest of the three. “I had no idea I would have so much interest,” Ringer says. “The message I got loud and clear was yes, we want to play and we want a social hour afterwards. So, I set out to create a league with those goals in mind.”

The league wrapped up its inaugural campaign this month, with its March 1 season finale and “Showdown” both won by team Sun Dried Tomatoes. Players rate generally at levels 3.5 and 4.0, comprising four teams of 11-12 players each, playing Thursday afternoons from January to March. Shadow Mountain Resort in Palm Desert hosted the inaugural season, thanks to resort staff including Vicky Parkerson, Caerwyn Evans, Linda Mansoorian, and Michael McFarlane.

Important to the players is the social aspect, when matches conclude and teams convene at the resort’s Top of Court Café for drinks. “It gives them an opportunity to renew old friendships and make new friends,” she says.

Players can expect the league to expand when the second season kicks off.

“We will see how it evolves, but I expect growth,” Ringer predicts, having heard interest expressed from male counterparts of the competing ladies. “When I look around I see many smiles on the faces of the players. They are having fun and they tell me how happy they are to be part of this league.”


Learn more about tennis in Coachella Valley:



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USPTA Coach Steve Vorhees Named HEAD Penn Professional of the Year Tue, 13 Feb 2018 06:32:53 +0000 Read more »]]> Tennis is a passion for Steve Vorhees. The Director of Tennis at Canyon Crest Country Club in Riverside, he has shared that enthusiasm with family, friends and the Southern California Tennis Community for over 36 years. Recently he was recognized as the HEAD-Penn Professional of the Year at the 2018 Ad Staff Meeting at Braemar Country Club.

                    Carrie Cimino and Steve Vorhees

“Steve was selected for his expertise, commitment to the game, company and volunteering efforts to promote HEAD racket sports,” said Carrie Cimino, a District Sales Manager for HEAD Penn Racquet Sports. “He has been with us for 30 years and he’s one of the best.”

Vorhees is the President of the USPTA District 5 in Southern California and he has a Professional 1 Certification. He competed at Fullerton College and played professional tennis. He currently has a tennis shop at Canyon Crest and last year sold $85,000 of HEAD Penn products.

                      Steve and Nikki Vorhees

Vorhees shared his love of the game with his daughters, Brooke and Nikki, who both competed for McPHerson College in Kansas. Passion for tennis is also part of Nikki’s world, as she is District Manager for the Southeast Region in Florida.

“I truly believe in the company and have for years,” Vorhees said. “It’s an honor to receive this award.”

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2017 League Doubles Sectionals Results Fri, 02 Feb 2018 03:55:41 +0000 Congratulations To All The Teams That Made It To The Finals And To The New 2017 SCTA Doubles Sectional Champions! ]]> 0 Indian Wells Tennis Coaches Summit March 2018 Thu, 18 Jan 2018 23:08:07 +0000

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SCTA’s Community Tennis Development Workshop Creates New Traditions in Orange County Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:24:10 +0000 Read more »]]> The Community Tennis Development Workshop was a smashing success held recently at Bill Barber Community Park in Orange County. The one-day event was sponsored by the Southern California Tennis Association and it offered coaching education, resources and tennis support to approximately 40 participants.

Melanie Bischoff, the Director of Community Tennis, said the Community Tennis Development Workshop has been offered for about a decade in Southern California. The conference was previously located at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden but was moved due to construction at that site. When the SCTA was searching for a new venue, City of Irvine Tennis Director Steve Riggs immediately offered accommodations at City’s offices and Bill Barber Community Park. Also, the seminar was restructured from a two-day to a one-day seminar.

“It was a pleasure for the City of Irvine to host the CTDW,” said Riggs, also incoming member of the SCTA Board of Directors in 2018. “We feel it’s important to give back to the tennis community and one great way to do this is by hosting tennis education seminars. We look forward to helping out again in the future.”

The CTDW morning kicked off with a comprehensive On Court Net Generation Training led by USTA National Coach Karl Davies. The three-hour session offered an in-depth look at the USTA’s Net Generation Red Ball program for beginners focusing on tennis progressions, easy games, and activities with a fun flair.

After lunch, the SCTA staff led a “Welcome to Net Generation” program headlined by USTA SoCal Director of Marketing Cari Buck, and Tennis Service Representatives Karen Ronney and Aisling Bowyer. They informed of Net Generation resources, programs, teaching support and a vast array of coaching guidance for 10-and-Under Tennis. The workshop was designed to assist teaching pros, coaches, teachers, park and recreation leaders, and those associated with Community Tennis Associations.

Additional sessions included a historical look at the development of tennis in the African American communities led by representatives of the American Tennis Association. Other offerings were breakout focus sessions led by local experts.

In addition to the tennis education workshop, lunch and dinner, the CTDW had its first awards presentation. The First Serve of Santa Ana was named the “Community Program of the Year”, and the group received a plaque and recognition for its efforts. They said the fundamental concept of First Serve was to teach tennis to kids, and encourage older players to mentor younger ones. This program develops responsibility, community spirit and leadership skills in youth. First Serve said it credits their successful model to tennis legend Vic Braden, who provided assistance in their earlier years of operation. Other award winners were Beth Kuney for Volunteer of the Year, Mark McCampbell received an award for Coaching Excellence of the Year, and Braemar Country Club was named Community Partner of the Year.

“The workshop is an opportunity for Community Tennis Association (CTA) members, park and recreation professionals, teaching pros, facility personnel and community tennis advocates to get together to learn and to continue to find ways to grow the game,” said Evan Smith, USTA SoCal Manager of NJTL, Diversity & Inclusion. “This is also a great way to network, meet new people and build friendships. It’s one of the highlights of the year in Community Tennis at the USTA.”



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USTA Offers Multicultural Grants and Financial Assistance for Juniors in 2018 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:42:44 +0000 Read more »]]> The USTA is offering many financial assistance opportunities to assist players of minority and multicultural backgrounds next year. They will be in the form of Individual Player Grants, Excellence Player Grant and Essay Grants. All applications are available online.  If eligible, please apply.

Multicultural Individual Player Grant for National Competition & Training: These grants provide funding to competitive junior players aspiring to achieve national and/or international rankings. Funding will be based on participation in specific USTA sanctioned tournaments in 2016. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round and have a history of strong national tournament results. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully prior to submitting your application. The application due date is February 2, 2018 and it will be awarded in March 2018. For more information, please click here , and go to this link for Grant Application Instructions.

Okechi Womeodu Scholar Athlete Grant: Honoring the memory, life and achievements of Okechi Womeodu, who otherwise would have had a very promising future, both on and off the court. Rewards players who work to excel as much in the classroom as in sports. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round, have a history of strong national tournaments results and a minimum GPA of 3.0. The number of grants available are : 1 grant (African-American male). The application due date is January 20, 2018 and it will be awarded in March 2018. For the application,  please click  here.

Althea Gibson Leadership Award: Honoring the memory, life and achievements of Althea Gibson, the first African-American Grand Slam champion, who paved the way for millions who followed. Rewards players who work to excel in leading others both on and off the court. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (African-American female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Click here to download the application.

Pancho González Scholar Athlete Grant: In honor of Pancho Gonzalez, the Mexican-American icon who won two U.S. Championships men’s singles titles and whose dedication to the sport of tennis brought together fans from all walks of life. We look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Please click here to download the application.

Asian-American Scholar Athlete Leadership Grant:  In honor of the achievements of Asian-American tennis pioneers who paved the way for millions who followed, we look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018. Please click  here to download the application

Native American Scholar Athlete Leadership Grant: In honor of the achievements of Native American tennis pioneers who paved the way for millions who followed, we look to reward a player who works to excel in leading others both on and off the court. The recipient must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 1 grant (one male or one female.) The application is due February 9, 2018 and will be awarded in April 2018.  Please click here to download the application.

Multicultural Excellence Program Grant: USTA Diversity & Inclusion would like to offer support to programs which are helping our best young players reach the highest level of national junior tennis. We will help offset expenses to any full-time program which offers travel to assist a team or two or more players to compete in the main draw of singles at any USTA sanctioned events. The application due date is through 2018. Please click here to download the Grant Report Form.



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The PTR Offers Coaching Education Opportunities in Southern California Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:11:17 +0000 Read more »]]> Registration is open for Professional Tennis Registry workshops in Southern California for coaches who wish to progress in coaching education.

On December 16 & 17, a 10 & Under Certification will be held at the Marguerite Tennis Pavilion in Mission Viejo. The clinician is Julien Heine and fee is $202. The workshop covers the following:

  • Creating a coaching environment in which young children can learn to play quickly while having fun
  • Communication and organization skills for coaching 10 & Under players
  • Structure and content of tennis lessons for 10 & Under players: athletic skill, technical and tactical, game and competitive development on the RED, ORANGE and GREEN court
  • Developing quality coaching skills and knowledge for working with 10 & Under players
  • Serve, rally and score as quickly as possible
  • Appropriate team and individual competition for different age groups
  • Information for working positively with parents

An 11 to 17 Certification is offered at El Camino Country Club on January 27 in Oceanside.  The  clinician is Marc Stingley and the fee is $227. The Elements of the Workshop are:

  • Communication and organization skills for coaches working with 11 to 17 year olds both in groups and as individuals
  • Lesson structure and content for different ages and gender: athletic skills to reinforce technical and tactical skills, game and competitive development
  • Developing quality coaching skills and knowledge for working with 11-17 year olds
  • How to develop leadership qualities in young people
  • Conducting successful camps
  • Appropriate competition in singles, doubles and team formats
  • Information for working positively with parents

For information on all of these workshops, go to

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Ringer Leads Desert Team To BNP Paribas Senior Cup Title Wed, 12 Apr 2017 16:55:17 +0000 Read more »]]> Senior/Adult Spotlight: Donna Ringer

Donna Ringer has played the BNP Paribas Senior Cup the last five years, but it wasn’t until this year when she captained her team “Calendar Girls” that the squad came away champions as Ringer’s ladies captured the 65-and-Over 4.0 title at the 23rd annual event.

The popular BNP Senior Cup is run by George Anich and once again this year included more than 100 team and some 800 senior players. Ringer said that the past few years Anich has done a fantastic job putting on the tournament, which includes two tickets to the BNP Paribas Open singles final, a breakfast and an awards banquet held at the Esmeralda Resort.

Donna Ringer captained the Calendar Girls to the BNP Senior Cup Women’s 65 and Over 4.0 team to the championship.

“There are lots of people who come down from the colder climates to enjoy the holiday and the weather,” Ringer said, adding that the shopping in the Coachella Valley is another big attraction. “To schedule all those teams is an amazing feat and George does a great job with the event.”


Ringer said the Calendar Girls originated out of Northern California, and currently include six local ladies from the desert.

Ringer has lived full-time in the desert for more than 15 years after living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She has been USTA League Coordinator since 2004, and said the BNP Senior Cup gave her the break she needed. “From January to the end of March I’m so busy with leagues, so it was nice to actually get out and be a player and not a coordinator.”

Ringer is a USTA umpire and stays busy doing National League Championship matches, as well as last the recent National Men’s 60s event at Mission Hills Country Club.

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San Diego’s Nakashima Wins 16s At 50th Annual Easter Bowl Mon, 03 Apr 2017 16:32:59 +0000 Read more »]]> INDIAN WELLS, Calif., – Brandon Nakashima picked a pretty good time to play some of the best tennis he’s ever played.

The top-seed in the Boys’ 16s division at the 50th Annual Adidas Easter Bowl USTA Junior Spring Nationals being played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the 15-year-old Nakashima played nearly flawless tennis in a 6-1, 6-2 finals win over No. 13-seeded Stefan Dostanic of Irvine on Saturday.

It was the second gold ball in singles for Nakashima, who attends High Bluff Academy near his home in San Diego, to go along with the two he has in doubles.

Brandon Nakashima

“It feels amazing,” said Nakashima, who played up in the 18s last week in Carson and lost to Patrick Kypson in the third round. “It was a long week. I played probably the best I’ve played the whole tournament. Stefan is a good player and I had to play my best to beat him. All the pressure was on me being the No. 1 seed in the tournament.”

Nakashima, who has been working with famed coach Larry Stefanki for the past two years, said he will play once more in the 16s at the USTA Hardcourt Nationals at Kalamazoo in August before graduating full-time to the 18s.

“He just didn’t miss,” said Dostanic, 15, who trains with coaches Chuck Brymer and Chris Lewis at the Woodbridge Country Club in Irvine, Calif. “I played him about a year ago and it was the same result. He doesn’t show any emotion and doesn’t give you much to work with. I’m planning on playing Kalamazoo so maybe I can get my revenge there.”

It was the first USTA national ball for Dostanic, who attends Woodbridge High School and plays on the high school team.

A New York native now living in Charleston, S.C., Emma Navarro got rid of some early match nerves as the No. 5 seed downed unseeded Fiona Crawley of San Antonio, 7-6 (8), 6-0, to win the Girls’ 16s title. Crawley, who upset the No. 1 seed Briana Crowley in the first round, fought off several match points before falling in the first set.

“In the second set I loosened up a little bit and once I got the first two games I took it from there,” said Navarro, who won her first gold ball in singles and trains at LTP Tennis in Charleston with coach Peter Ayers.

Crawley’s silver ball will look nice displayed next to the bronze one she won at the USTA Spring Team Nationals last year. Crawley trains at the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels and attends Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio.

“I’ve never done this well at a national tournament,” she said. “I could have never imagined I would have made it this far. I don’t know what is next for me. I was supposed to be playing in a Texas tournament this weekend.”

In the Boys’ ITF singles final, 16-year-old Sebastian Korda came back to beat 2015 finalist Sam Riffice, the No. 4 seed from Orlando, Fla., 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Korda will play in his first ITF final of any kind Sunday against No. 8 seed Alafia Ayeni of San Diego. Ayeni beat No. 6 Patrick Kypson of Greenville, N.C., in the other semifinal, 6-3, 7-5.

Two of Korda’s sisters are taking part in the ANA Inspiration LPGA major this week just down the road in Rancho Mirage. The 18-year old Nelly Korda was tied for second place after Friday’s round at Mission Hills Country Club nearly 13 miles away. Jessica Korda is 24 years old and also on the LPGA Tour.

“Each day after I play I go over there for a little bit, and then home to rest,” said Korda, whose father Petr and mother Regina Rajchrtová have been going back and forth from the courts to the course.

In the Girls’ ITF singles final, top-seed and 2015 champion Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks will take on last year’s finalist Ellie Douglas of McKinney, Texas. Liu had no trouble with No. 3 Whitney Osuigwe of Bradenton, Fla., 6-1, 6-1. Douglas could not convert on nine match points, before No. 2 Johnson of Redondo Beach, Calif., finally double faulted on the 10th match point and Douglas prevailing, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

The Boys’ ITF singles final will be played first at 10 a.m., with the girls to follow, not before 11:30 a.m.

In addition to live streaming the Easter Bowl again this year, the tournament has a new and improved mobile app, which can be found in both the Apple iTunes store or at Google Play, Search “Easter Bowl” to download the app, The live stream commentating duties are being provided by the popular Southern California tennis commentator Marcus Tennis, Check www,easterbowl,com to watch the live stream and for all Easter Bowl news, results and schedules,

Saturday’s Results

Boys’ ITF 18s Singles (Semifinals)

Alafia Ayeni (8) (San Diego, CA) def. Patrick Kypson (6) (Greenville, NC), 6-3, 7-5

Sebastian Korda (10) (Bradenton, FL) def. Sam Riffice (4) (Orlando, FL), 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

Boys’ ITF 18s Doubles (Final)

Oliver Crawford / Patrick Kypson (3) def. Brian Cernoch / Sam Riffice (2), 6-1, 6-4

Girls’ ITF 18s Singles (Semifinals)

Claire Liu (1) (Thousand Oaks, CA) def. Whitney Osuigwe (3) (Bradenton, FL) 6-1, 6-1

Ellie Douglas (4) (McKinney, TX) def. Taylor Johnson (2) (Redondo Beach, CA) 7-6 (3), 6-3

Girls’ ITF 18s Doubles (Final)

Whitney Osuigwe / Caty McNally (1) def. Taylor Johnson / Ann Li (2), 6-3, 7-6 (10)

Boys’ 16 Singles (Final)

Brandon Nakashima (1) (San Diego, CA) def. Stefan Dostanic (13) (Irvine, CA), 6-1, 6-2

Boys’ 16 Singles (Playoff)

Andrew Dale (4) (Leesburg, VA) def. Ryder Jackson (8) (Nicasio, CA) 6-4; 6-2

Girls’ 16 Singles (Final)

Emma Navarro (5) (Charleston, SC) def. Fiona Crawley (San Antonio, TX), 7-6 (8), 6-0

Girls’ 16 Singles (Playoff)

Sedona Gallagher (3) (Henderson, NV) def. Dasha Kourkina (2) (Brooklyn, NY) 6-0, 7-5

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Southern Californian’s Ayeni, Liu Capture Adidas Easter Bowl Titles Mon, 03 Apr 2017 16:32:00 +0000 Read more »]]> INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – The No.-8 seeded Alafia Ayeni from San Diego and top-seeded Claire Liu from Thousand Oaks, Calif., captured ITF 18s boys’ and girls’ singles titles on the final day of the 50th Annual Adidas Easter Bowl USTA Junior Spring Nationals played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The 17-year-old Ayeni overcame a huge mental lapse in the second set, but served big when it counted most in the third to get past 16-year-old Sebastian Korda, the No. 10 seed from Bradenton, Fla., 6-4, 0-6, 7-5.

Alafia Ayeni by Dave Kenas Photography

The 16-year-old Liu, who won the girls’ Easter Bowl ITF title in 2015 as a 14-year-old, avenged a loss in the fall to Ellie Douglas, the No. 4 seed from McKinney, Texas, in taking the title, 6-1, 6-2.

For the first time this year both winners, in addition to receiving ITF trophies and valuable rankings points, also received USTA gold balls as the premier Easter Bowl 18s division has been upgraded to USTA national championship status.

Ayeni planned to fly to Spain for an ITF Grade 1 tournament later Sunday evening, and will surely have a smile on his face crossing the Atlantic after coming back to beat the tough Korda, who held a 3-1 lead and had several break point chances on Ayeni’s serve in the third set.

“I knew if he got the break there it would be tough to come back, and I know that Sebby is such a good server,” said Ayeni, whose father was a discus thrower in college from Nigeria. “It was so difficult to break him.”

Serving at 3-all, another long deuce game ensued with Ayeni applying the pressure and converting on crucial points to go up 4-3 in the tense match, at times letting loose on serves that registered 133 miles per hour via the radar gun and displayed on the  scoreboard.

For the third straight match Korda dropped the first set, and for the third straight time he raced off to the bathroom after each first-set loss to gather himself. “I threw some water on my face and told myself to relax and it always seems to work,” Korda said. “I started making a lot more balls and played better. He was playing amazing at the end.”

Ayeni said he let his mind wander after winning the first set, and won just five total points in the second set. “I was just so nervous and I started thinking, ‘OK, I’m one set away from winning the Easter Bowl.’ And it didn’t help I was sitting down for quite a while because of Sebby’s bathroom break. I got cold.

Ayeni said his rocket serves in the third set and his experience were the key factors in pulling out the win. “I just kept hitting the serve harder and I felt it gave me just that little advantage that I needed,” he said. “I think I had the experience advantage because I have been in two ITF finals and this was his first. I know that, especially in finals, the match isn’t over till it’s over. I knew it wasn’t over till the last ball was hit.”

Korda smiled and said he was happy with his week, and was headed to the golf course to see his two older sister compete on the final day of the LPGA major ANA Inspiration tournament.

Liu became the first player – boy or girl – in the 50-year history of the tournament to win two Easter Bowls over a three-year span.

“I was pretty nervous,” said Liu, who dropped just one set in the tournament and won her last six sets giving up a total of eight games. “For every match I was nervous, but that’s kind of why I’m here, to deal with my nerves and to continue to play well under pressure, and I think I did that pretty good.”

Liu will next play two USTA Pro Circuit $60,000 events, and the Naples Pro Futures $25,000 before heading to Paris for two more pro events and the junior French Open.

“My mindsets were different in both (Easter Bowl) tournament finals because when I was younger I was really trying to get into the French,” she said. “This tournament I was just focusing on my game and trying to get better for the pros.”

Douglas lost in the final for the second straight year, and has now lost four big ITF-level junior finals without a win. “She played well and it was not my day.” Douglas said. “I had so many unforced errors and she hit so many lines. I don’t know, maybe it’s something about finals I’m just not good at. I didn’t feel nervous, but something was off.”

Douglas will be in Paris for the French Open and then travel to England and Wimbledon this summer. “I’ve got just go home and get better at closing out tournaments,” she said.

Sunday’s Results

Boys’ ITF 18s Singles (Final)

Alafia Ayeni (8) (San Diego, CA) def. Sebastian Korda (10) (Bradenton, FL), 6-4, 0-6, 7-5

Girls’ ITF 18s Singles (Final)

Claire Liu (1) (Thousand Oaks, CA) def. Ellie Douglas (4) (McKinney, TX), 6-1, 6-2

— Steve Pratt

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San Diego Spring Break UTR Tournament April 15-16 Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:06:38 +0000 Read more »]]>

Sophia Aulicino hits a backhand volley.

Sign ups are still open for the Spring Break Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) Tournament in San Diego on April 15-16 at Del Norte High School. This is an opportunity to play three matches at your skill level. If you can play, be sure to register! Players will be selected only if there are enough players at a given UTR level.

Ben Goldberg hits a backhand.


To learn more about this tournament and UTRs, contact Tournament Director Jackson Chu at or call (775) 830-9395. Click here to register for the tournament.










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Owensby Overcomes Seven Match Points To Win Girls’ 14s Title At Adidas Easter Bowl Fri, 31 Mar 2017 20:53:47 +0000 Read more »]]> INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Storyline after storyline. There was no shortage of them at the 50th Annual Adidas Easter Bowl USTA Junior National Spring Championships on Thursday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.


  • Around 2:30 p.m., play was halted due to 40 miles an hour wind that swept through the Coachella Valley. At 4 p.m., ITF Referee Martha Gregg emerged to announce to all players, parents and coaches that the air quality was too poor to continue and that play was done for the day.
  • While the ITF boys’ singles had concluded, there were still two ITF girls’ matches that were suspended, including top-seeded Claire Liu dropping the first set 6-4 to Elli Mandlik, and up 3-1 in the second set. The two will take to the courts Friday morning and resume play at 9 a.m.
  • Defending champion and No. 2-seeded Gianni Ross was upset by unseeded Jake Sands, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the Round of 16.
  • USTA national gold and silver balls were handed out in the boys’ and girls’ 14s and 12s division as those divisions were completed before the winds came.
  • Charlotte Owensby of Boca Raton, Fla., fought off seven match points to come back down 2-5 in the third set to win the Girls’ 14s singles final over Gianna Pielet, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.

It was tough to watch the top-seeded Pielet from El Paso, Texas, not able to close out the match, at one point serving and up 5-4, 40-love.

“I’ve maybe been down three match points before, but never down that far in games,” Owensby said. “I tried to focus my plan of getting her off the court and that started working and she was making more errors. And that gave me more confidence.”

She added: “When she went up 5-4 and 40-love, I definitely thought I was done. Then I just took it one point at a time and just tried to come back. And then at 5-all I just focused on that game and won that game.”

Owensby is coached by former WTA world-ranked Top 85 player Yuliya Beygelzimer and recently turned 14. “It feels amazing. I still haven’t processed it that I won the Easter Bowl,” she said after accepting her first USTA national gold ball at her first Easter Bowl.

“I had some match points, but just couldn’t close it out,” a distraught Pielet said. “I certainly didn’t play good at all and I think we were both nervous. I can learn from this, for sure. Just to try to play a better match and work on my nerves.”

Another player who had a memorable Easter Bowl moment not being able to close out a match was Patrick Kypson, who two years ago held a huge lead over Taylor Fritz only to watch Fritz come back for the win.


On Thursday, the No. 6-seeded 17-year-old Kypson posted a solid 6-3, 6-1 win over last week’s Carson ISC champion and tournament No. 9 seed Alexandre Rotsaert, 6-3, 6-1.

“I know when he plays well he’s tough to beat, and he always plays me well,” said Kypson, who meets top-seeded Trent Bryde in the quarterfinals on Friday.

In the Boys’ 14s final, Alexander Bernard (No. 9 seed, Bonita Springs, Fla.) defeated Aryan Chaudhary (No. 2, Santa Clara, Calif.), 6-4, 6-2.

Bernard was set to catch a long flight back to Florida Thursday night, but said he planned to celebrate by perhaps going to McDonalds. “I’ve never had In N Out,” Bernard said. “I should try it.”

He added: “I started off making too many mistakes and he was playing good,” said Bernard, 13, who won his first gold ball and trains with Rene Gomez at Gomez Tennis Academy in Naples. “I was just trying to focus on the next point and trying to stay in the rallies.”

“This week has been great and I’ve never been here before,” said Chaudhary, who won his first silver ball to go along with a gold in doubles on Wednesday and a copper in a past Winternationals. “I was just looking forward to playing people from around the U.S. It was a great experience for me.”

In the Boys’ 12s final, unseeded Kyle Kang of Fullerton, Calif., got the best of fellow unseeded player Nishesh Basavareddy of Carmel, Ind., 6-2, 6-4.

“It was fun out there,” said Kang, who just turned 12 recently and is in sixth grade at Hermosa Drive Elementary in Fullerton. “When I started winning it was really fun. I started off down 0-2, but I just focused and was able to hit my shots. My heart was racing on match point.”

“He was staying consistent and moving me around,” said Basavareddy, who is 11 and has a singles USTA gold ball from the Winternationals and also won the gold ball in the 12s doubles on Wednesday. “I wasn’t nervous and think my experience helped me.”

In the Girls’ 12s final, unseeded Priya Nelson of Sacramento, Calif., downed Eleana Yu of Mason, Ohio, 6-1, 6-3.

Nelson won her first USTA national ball of any kind, and a gold one at that. “I wasn’t nervous at all,” she said. “It feels good to be an Easter Bowl champion. I have practice tomorrow and another tournament to get ready for.”

Nelson is 11 and is home schooled. She was also given the 12s USTA Sportsmanship award. Martin Damm was awarded the honor in the 14s division.

“The nerves got to me,” said Yu, who is 12 and goes to public school (sixth grade) in Mason. “I learned a lot this week and think I can get a lot better after this.”

SIGHTINGS AT THE GARDEN: Larry Stefanki, legendary former coach of John McEnroe, Marcelo Rios and Tim Henman, Tommy Tucker, the 82-year-old Mission Hills Country Club “Tennis Pro Emeritus” and Coachella Valley coaching legend, Former world Top 45 WTA player and current USTA National women’s coach Jamea Jackson, John Evert, son of Jimmy Evert and brother of tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert, Former WTA star and Valley legend Torey Fretz with good friend and famous Welsh singer Iris Williams, a member of the Order of the British Empire, Former UCLA Bruin and noted tennis author Barry Buss, who operates the website:, former Desert Sun sportswriter and tennis writer Leighton Ginn, covering No. 2 seed Taylor Johnson for his popular blog. Check it out @ginnandtopics on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to live streaming the Easter Bowl again this year, the tournament has a new and improved mobile app, which can be found in both the Apple iTunes store or at Google Play. Search “Easter Bowl” to download the app. The live stream commentating duties are being provided by the popular Southern California tennis commentator Marcus Tennis. Check to watch the live stream and for all Easter Bowl news, results and schedules.

 Thursday Results

Boys’ ITF 18s Singles (Round of 16)

Jake Sands (Pacific Palisades, CA) def. Gianni Ross (2) (Orlando, FL) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2

Sebastian Korda (10) (Bradenton, FL) def. Oliver Crawford (5) (Spartanburg, SC) 6-2, 6-3

Sam Riffice (4) (Orlando, FL) def. Trey Hilderbrand (San Antonio, TX) 6-2, 6-3

Brian Cernoch (7) (Deerfield Beach, FL) def. William Grant (Boca Raton, FL) 6-2, 6-3

Alafia Ayeni (8) (San Diego, CA) def. Lukas Greif (11) (Evansville, IN) 6-4, 6-2

Patrick Kypson (6) (Greenville, NC) def. Alexandre Rotsaert (9) (Boca Raton, FL) 6-3, 6-1

Trent Bryde (1) (Suwanee, GA) def. Paul Barretto (Tiburon, CA) 7-5, 6-2

Girls’ ITF 18s Singles (Round of 16)

Caty McNally (6) (Cincinnati, OH) def. Alexa Noel (Summit, NJ) 6-2, 6-1

Ann Li (11) (Devon, PA) def. Rachel Lim (Briarcliff Manor, NY) 6-0, 6-1

Whitney Osuigwe (3) (Bradenton, FL) def. Katie Volynets (Walnut Creek, CA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

Hurricane Tyra Black (10) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Cali Jankowski (Carlsbad, CA) 6-1, 6-3

Ellie Douglas (4) (McKinney, TX) def. McCartney Kessler (Calhoun, GA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1

Taylor Johnson (2) (Redondo Beach, CA) def. Vanessa Ong (14) (Oklahoma City, OK) 6-3, 6-2

Elizabeth Mandlik (Boynton Beach, FL) (16) leads Claire Liu (1) (Thousand Oaks, CA) 6-4, 1-3

Hailey Baptiste (Washington D.C.) (5) leads Amanda Meyer (Delray Beach, FL) (12) 6-3, 1-6, 5-0

Boys’ 16 Singles (Quarterfinals)

Ryder Jackson (8) (Nicasio, CA) def. Alex Lee (11) (Oak Brook, IL) 7-5, 7-6(4)

Stefan Dostanic (13) (Irvine, CA) def. Jacob Bullard (Calabasas, CA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Andrew Dale (4) (Leesburg, VA) def. Nathan Arimilli (10) (Austin, TX) 4-6, 7-5, 6-1

Brandon Nakashima (1) (San Diego, CA) def. Leighton Allen (6) (Austin, TX) 6-3, 6-2

Girls’ 16 Singles (Quarterfinal Round)

Fiona Crawley (San Antonio, TX) def. Audrey Boch-Collins (11) (Las Vegas, NV) 6-4, 6-1

Sedona Gallagher (3) (Henderson, NV) def. Ava Hrastar (8) (Duluth, GA) 6-0, 7-5

Emma Navarro (5) (Charleston, SC) def. Jayci Goldsmith (9) (Dripping Springs, TX) 6-1, 6-3

Boys’ 14 Singles (Final Round)

Alexander Bernard (9) (Bonita Springs, FL) def. Aryan Chaudhary (2) (Santa Clara, CA) 6-4, 6-2

Boys’ 14 Singles (Playoff)

Martin Damm (Bradenton, FL) def. Maxwell McKennon (1) (Newport Beach, CA) 6-2, 6-4

Girls’ 14 Singles (Final Round)

Charlotte Owensby (8) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Gianna Pielet (1) (El Paso, TX) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5

Girls’ 14 Singles (Playoff)

Connie Ma (14) (Dublin, CA) def. Kailey Evans (6) (Ennis, TX) Wo (inj)

Boys’ 12 Singles (Final Round)

Kyle Kang (Fullerton, CA) def. Nishesh Basavareddy (Carmel, IN) 6-2, 6-4

Boys’ 12 Singles (Playoff)

Lucas Brown (3) (Plano, TX) def. Cooper Williams (4) (New York, NY) 6-4, 6-2

Girls’ 12 Singles (Final Round)

Priya Nelson (Sacramento, CA) def. Eleana Yu (Mason, OH) 6-1, 6-3

Girls’ 12 Singles (Playoff)

Matilyn Wang (1) (Scottsdale, AZ) def. Violeta Martinez (9) (Port Saint Lucie, FL) 6-3, 6-2

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Alexandre Rotsaert Looking To Repeat Winning Carson Success at Adidas Easter Bowl Thu, 30 Mar 2017 18:08:55 +0000 Read more »]]> INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Alexandre Rotsaert isn’t the most well-known American junior tennis player, but knows a few more wins at the 50th Annual Adidas Easter Bowl USTA Junior National Spring Championships this week would do a lot to change that.

The 17-year-old Rotsaert from Boca Raton, Fla., continued his winning ways as he beat Bill Duo, 6-0, 6-1, on Wednesday in the second round of ITF 18s singles action at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Rotsaert winning streak reached eight straight as he captured the International Spring Championships in Carson last week.

Photo of Alex Rotsaert by David Kenas

Ranked No. 32 in the world ITF rankings, the No. 9 seeded Rotsaert doesn’t want the added pressure of being labeled a potential Next Generation ATP star. “I truly couldn’t care less if I was well-known or not,” he said. “It’s the juniors and it’s completely irrelevant what your ranking is unless you are top 10.”

He continued: “When I younger that may have mattered that people knew who I was, but now I don’t care. I just have to stay focused. Winning this tournament would be absolutely awesome for me. Gianni [Ross] did it last year, and Donald Young has done it. Plenty have players have. But at the end of the day you have to be able to take the next step and this is just one of them.”

Winning Carson was the biggest title Rotsaert has even won as he beat Ross in the final. “The first day [Monday] I’ve never gotten so many text in my life,” he said. “We had a nice meal and then forgot about it. My coach [Ernesto Ruiz] wants me focused on this week so we haven’t said a word about it. That tournament is irrelevant now. Now it’s a new week and a completely different tournament.”

Rotsaert played nearly flawless tennis in dropping just one game. “I thought I played really well today and was dictating and serving well and was being aggressive,” he said. “I didn’t make too many unforced errors which is important for me and a plus for me; was just really zoned in. I think the conditions were nice. It’s not too hot.”

He said he feels “not fresh” but “normal” after playing in a Sunday final and opening play Tuesday.

Rotsaert will next play Patrick Kypson in a tough third round on Thursday.

Moving on in Girls’ ITF 18s play were top-seeded Claire Liu, No. 3 Whitney Osuigwe and No. 6 Caty McNally. Upset included seeded girls’ players No. 9 Natash Subhash beaten by Alexa Noel, and No. 8 Nicole Mossmer taken out by unseeded Rachel Lim, 7-6 (5), 6-2

Finals will be contested in the Boys’ and Girls’ 12s and 14s on Thursday morning. In the Boys’ 14s finals, Alexander Bernard (No. 9 seed; Bonita Springs, Fla.) will face Aryan Chaudhary (No. 2; Santa Clara, Calif.) Bernard upset top-seeded Maxwell McKennon of Newport Beach, Calif., 6-3, 6-1 while Chaudhary needed three sets to gets past the son of former ATP doubles star Martin Damm, who goes by the same name.

In the Girls’ 14s finals, top-seeded Gianna Pielet of El Paso, Texas, will play Charlotte Owensby, the No. 8 seed from Boca Raton, Fla.

In the Boys’ 12s final, two unseeded players have advanced all the way to the finals with Kyle Fang of Fullerton, Calif., meeting Nishesh Basavareddy of Carmel, Ind.

In the Girls’ 12s final it will also be two unseeded player going at it as Priya Nelson of Sacramento, Calif., will face Eleana Yu of Mason, Ohio. Yu upset top-seeded Matilyn Wang of Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-4, 6-2.

SIGHTINGS ON WEDNESDAY: Kent Kinnear, USTA Player Identification and Development Director; 15-time doubles Grand Slam champion Rosie Casals; USTA Director of Junior Tournament Bill Mountford;

In addition to live streaming the Easter Bowl again this year, the tournament has a new and improved mobile app, which can be found in both the Apple iTunes store or at Google Play. Search “Easter Bowl” to download the app. The live stream commentating duties are being provided by the popular Southern California tennis commentator Marcus Tennis. Check to watch the live stream and for all Easter Bowl news, results and schedules.

USTA Wednesday’s Results

Boys’ 16 Singles (Round of 16)

Alex Lee (11) (Oak Brook, IL) def. Cannon Kingsley (2) (Northport, NY) 7-6(5), 6-3

Ryder Jackson (8) (Nicasio, CA) def. Pierce Rollins (Tulsa, OK) 6-4, 6-3

Stefan Dostanic (13) (Irvine, CA) def. Nicholas Garcia (Hollywood, FL) 6-1, 6-3

Jacob Bullard (Calabasas, CA) def. Nathan Han (9) (Tulsa, OK) 6-3, 6-2

Nathan Arimilli (10) (Austin, TX) def. Eliot Spizzirri (Greenwich, CT) 6-3, 6-4

Andrew Dale (4) (Leesburg, VA) def. Marcus McDaniel (16) (Vacaville, CA) 6-1, 6-2

Leighton Allen (6) (Austin, TX) def. andres martin (Flowery Branch, GA) 6-0, 6-0

Brandon Nakashima (1) (San Diego, CA) def. Phillip Jordan (14) (Spartanburg, SC) 6-2, 6-2

Girls’ 16 Singles (Round of 16)

Emma Navarro (5) (Charleston, SC) def. Marcella Cruz (Marlboro, NJ) 6-0, 6-2

Jayci Goldsmith (9) (Dripping Springs, TX) def. Chidimma Okpara (Vienna, VA) 6-4, 6-1

Eryn Cayetano (12) (Corona, CA) def. Addison Guevara (7) (Keller, TX) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

Dasha Kourkina (2) (Brooklyn, NY) def. Elle Christensen (16) (Los Angeles, CA) 7-5, 6-3

Fiona Crawley (San Antonio, TX) def. Lauren Anzalotta (Trujillo Alto, PR) 6-0, 3-6, 6-4

Audrey Boch-Collins (11) (Las Vegas, NV) def. Yolanda Lin (Sammamish, WA) 6-3, 6-4

Sedona Gallagher (3) (Henderson, NV) def. Gabriella Cusano (Austin, TX) 6-3, 6-0

Ava Hrastar (8) (Duluth, GA) def. Kiana Graham (10) (Austin, TX) 6-2, 6-3

Boys’ 14 Singles (Semifinal Round)

Alexander Bernard (9) (Bonita Springs, FL) def. Maxwell McKennon (1) (Newport Beach, CA) 6-3, 6-1

Aryan Chaudhary (2) (Santa Clara, CA) def. Martin Damm (Bradenton, FL) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Girls’ 14 Singles (Semifinal Round)

Gianna Pielet (1) (El Paso, TX) def. Kailey Evans (6) (Ennis, TX) Wo (inj)

Charlotte Owensby (8) (Boca Raton, FL) def. Connie Ma (14) (Dublin, CA) 6-3, 6-3

Boys’ 12 Singles (Semifinal Round)

Kyle Kang (Fullerton, CA) def. Lucas Brown (3) (Plano, TX) 4-6, 6-1, 10-5

Nishesh Basavareddy (Carmel, IN) def. Cooper Williams (4) (New York, NY) 6-2, 6-4

Girls’ 12 Singles (Semifinal Round)

Priya Nelson (Sacramento, CA) def. Violeta Martinez (9) (Port Saint Lucie, FL) 6-4, 2-6, 10-2

Eleana Yu (Mason, OH) def. Matilyn Wang (1) (Scottsdale, AZ) 6-4, 6-2

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Liu And Riffice Open With Wins At Easter Bowl Thu, 30 Mar 2017 04:01:15 +0000 Read more »]]> 2015 Standouts Liu, Riffice Open With Wins At 2017 Adidas Easter Bowl

The 2015 Easter Bowl was great for both Girls’ ITF singles winner Claire Liu and Boys’ ITF singles finalist Sam Riffice.

Both made victorious returns to the grounds of their past glory, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, on Monday opening play in the ITF (18s) division at the 50th Annual Adidas Easter USTA Junior National Spring Championships.

The top-seeded 16-year-old Liu, who won the Wimbledon Junior doubles titles last summer and has been playing mostly ITF Pro Circuit Futures and USTA Challenger events, made quick work of Chloe Beck, 6-1, 6-1.

Riffice, the No. 4 seed who lost to Taylor Fritz in the 2015 ITF final, struggled in the first set against Robert Maciag, pulling it out 7-6 (6), then blanking him 6-0 in the second set.

Liu, who made the final of the WTA BNP Paribas pre-qualifier tournament last month at this same Indian Wells Tennis Garden site, said her mindset doesn’t change switching from the pro events to the juniors. “I don’t think it really matters,” she said. “It’s still a match and I just want to focus on what I need to work on.”

Caty McNally

Liu is currently working with USTA National coaches Chris Tonz and Erik Kortland at the USTA Training Center – West in Carson.

“I always loved this tournament because I’ve done so well here in the past,” she said. “I love Palm Springs and Indian Wells. Easter Bowl and Indian Wells (BNP Paribas) are my two favorite tournaments.”

Thousand Oaks’ Liu, who was just 14 when she won the 2015 Easter Bowl, will play doubles with Cerritos partner Kelly Chen. Liu explained why she decided at the last minute to take a wild card into the Easter Bowl. “I was going to lose my points from the ISC (in Carson) and I’m not going to play any more junior events until the French so I was going to lose some doubles points,” she said.

Last year’s Easter Bowl was also a success for 15-year-old Caty McNally of Cincinnati, who made the semifinals in the ITF singles. McNally lost to Liu and Usue Arconada in the Wimbledon doubles final at the All England Club in July. 

“It was amazing playing my first Wimbledon,” said McNally, the No. 6 seed who beat Sara Choy, 6-2, 6-1 in her first-round match on Monday. “And to get to the finals was so unexpected. I’m so happy to be back and play the Easter Bowl in Indian Wells.”

Defending Boys’ ITF singles champion Gianni Ross will open play on Tuesday on the Stadium Court 2, which is being live streamed. The No. 2 seeded Ross meets Conrad Russell in the third match on.

ADIDAS EASTER BOWL SIGHTINGS ON MONDAY: Hana Mandlikova, who won four Grand Slam singles titles during her career, watching No. 16 seed daughter Elizabeth Mandlik; Former Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez watching her son Nicholas Godsick upset the top-seeded player in the Boys’ 12s in the Round of 16. Godsick’s father Tony Godsick is Roger Federer’s agent; Former World No. 2 ATP player Petr Korda with son Sebastian playing in the Boys’ ITF. Billie Jean King, Illana Kloss and Rosie Casalswatching a player coached by Casals, No. 2 seed and world No. 14 ITF junior Taylor Johnson.

In addition to live streaming the Easter Bowl again this year, the tournament has a new and improved mobile app, which can be found in both the Apple iTunes store or at Google Play. Search “Easter Bowl” to download the app.

Check back to to watch the live stream and for all Easter Bowl news, results and schedules.

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