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Keys Juices Former Girls 18s Champ at Orange Bowl Tennis

December 10, 2009 06:00 PM
By Rick Vach

Florida junior girls were on the giving and receiving ends of upsets on Thursday amidst steamy-hot conditions at the Orange Bowl tennis at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Boca Raton prodigy Madison Keys won the Girls 12s title just two years ago, and this year is making waves in the Girls 18s draw. After an illness slowed her down earlier this fall, Keys is now back to form, on Thursday defeating former Girls 18s champ Daria Gavrilova of Russia 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

This past summer Keys raised eyebrows by defeating Serena Williams in a World TeamTennis match. Last year Keys lost in the Orange Bowl Girls 16s final to Chanelle Van Nguyen.

"I was definitely thinking I got to the finals, yes, I was in the finals here, but, I lost," the 14-year-old Keys told zootennis.com. "But I knew if I played my game today, everything would be okay."

Keys will next be tested against top seed and world No. 1 junior Kristina Mladenovic of France, who topped No. 14 seed Valeriya Solovieva of Russia 6-4, 6-1.

Hollywood, Florida's Sachia Vickery, the 16s Eddie Herr girls champion last week, lost to unseeded Breaunna Addison of Boca Raton 6-2, 6-4. Vickery is coached by Otis Johnson and also works with USTA national coach Kathy Rinaldi, but now trains at the Mouratoglou Academy in France.

Brit Top 10 star Andy Murray has been on hand to watch the action at Crandon Park, where juniors are gauging their games for both the pro tour and college play. Plantation's Mary Clayton lost her second-round match to No. 14 seed Valeria Solovieva 6-4, 6-1, but next year's Duke University star was satisfied with her effort and preparing for other challenges.

"This showed that I could hang with high-level players," Clayton told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Now I could start shopping for college."

 

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