Florida juniors brought home four titles and one runner-up effort from the USTA Winter National Championships for boys and girls in divisions age 18-12, held Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2012, in Tucson and surrounding cities in Arizona.
Florida players won both the Boys’ 12 and Girls’ 12 championships, held at the Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson. Top-seeded Noah Makarome of Wesley Chapel won the boys’ title, coming from a set down to defeat No. 3 seed Sam Riffice of Roseville, Calif. 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in the final.
Makarome and Riffice had just faced each other in late December in the quarterfinals of the Junior Orange Bowl 12s in Florida, where Makarome also won from a set down.
In the Girls’ 12 final, No. 3 seed Anna Bright of Boca Raton also needed to come back from a one-set deficit to top No. 4-seeded Riley McQuaid of Tustin, Calif. 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Florida boys also collected a pair of doubles titles in the Boys’ 14 and Boys’ 16 competitions.
Miami’s Chase Perez-Blanco, seeded No. 5 with partner Nicholas Crystal of New York, defeated unseeded Eduardo Nava of California and Javier Restrepo of Miami 6-4, 6-3 for the Boys’ 16 doubles crown. Davie, Fla., resident Chase Colton, top-seeded with Maryland’s Francis Tiafoe won the Boys’ 14 championship, in the final besting No. 9 seeds Taylor Fritz and Riley Smith of California 6-2, 7-6(3).
The USTA Winter National Championships, a National Level 1 Ranking Tournament, also featured a College Showcase that players and parents were invited to attend during registration to meet women's and men's college coaches and past and current college players to answer questions about college tennis. The College Showcase was presented by USTA Player Development, with assistance from Arizona State University Women's Tennis Coach Sheila McInerney and Timothy Russell, chair of the USTA National Junior Competition Committee.
Current professionals who won USTA Winter National titles as juniors include Christina McHale (12s, 2004), Donald Young (14s, 2002), Alexa Glatch (14s, 2002), and Jack Sock (12s, 2004; and 16s, 2008).