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Florida's Stewart Wins, Kozlov R-up at Jr. Orange Bowl

January 2, 2012 09:57 AM
jr orange bowl logoTwo Florida juniors entered the holiday season after sterling efforts in Coral Gables, Fla., at the 50th edition of the Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships. Miami's Katerina Stewart captured the Girls' 14 title, and Pembroke Pines' Stefan Kozlov finished runner-up in the Boys' 14 division.

Stewart prevailed in an all-Florida final, toppling top-seeded Tornado Ali Black of Boca Raton 6-1, 6-3.

"It feels great, and everyone supported me today and I'm thankful for that," Stewart said of winning in her hometown. "I was anticipating a harder match, so it was a little surprising, but I stayed in the moment and played my game, and I won."

It was the first meeting between the two, and Black had suffered from dehydration in her previous semifinal match. Stewart became the first Miami girl since Mary Joe Fernandez in 1983 to win a Junior Orange Bowl 14s title.

"I've trained for this for so many years, and I've finally won it," Stewart said.

In the Boy's 14 final the No. 4-seeded Kozlov fell 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4 to No. 9-seeded Seongchan Hong of Korea in a rematch of the 2009 Boys' 12 final, which was also won by Hong.

Hong became the first Boys' 12 winner to also win the Boy's 14 title since Australia's Bernard Tomic in 2006.

"In the second set, I don't know, I sort of lost all my energy," the 13-year-old Kozlov told zootennis.com. "I just wasn't stable enough and I missed too many free points. Key points, I didn't play well."

The Girls' 12 final was an all-Californian affair as Claire Liu upset Catherine Bellis 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The Boys' 12 final saw No. 1 seed Artem Dubrivnyy of Russia defeat unseeded qualifier Albert Lim of the Philippines 7-6 (3), 6-1.

For more info visit www.jrorangebowl.org/tennis.






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