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USTA Boys' & Girls' 12 Spring Nationals

April 6, 2007 10:02 AM


Delray Beach, FL
—The Masters is in full swing in Augusta, the best in college basketball declared their dominance by repeating as National Champions and America's dream team is about to represent their country in international Fed Cup competition. What more could sports fans desire sandwiched amongst all this???  It's the USTA Boys' & Girls' 12 Spring National Championships hosted by the City of Delray Beach. 128 boys and 128 girls, all the best in the country, descending on Delray Beach and Boca Raton for one week to play in the Spring "major".

Unrivaled competition will abound as players both new to the event and returning vie for the coveted USTA Gold Ball, the pinnacle of achievement in US junior tennis. Of the 32 seeded players on the girls' side, an incredible 26 of them are returning in an attempt to better their 2006 results. One thing they can't rely on is experience in the big matches in Delray Beach as only two of the 26 made it as far as the Round of 16 last year. Do know this important fact…Of the top nine girls in the country, tennis fans will be able to see seven of them in Delray Beach.

This alludes to a wide open girls' tournament full of top-notch talent, but no one having a clear cut advantage. A good old fashioned slugfest is surely in store. Seeded players hailing from South Florida include No. 1 nationally ranked and top seed Sachia Vickery (Miramar), No. 2 seeded Victoria Duval (Delray Beach), 14th seed Madison Keys (Boca Raton), No. 19 Alexandra Kiick (Plantation), No. 20 Nadia Echeverria Alam (Miami), No. 22 Denise Starr (Miami) and No. 25 Alexandra Morozova (Miami Beach).

The girls' matches will see a new wrinkle in 2007 as all matches will be played at the Delray Swim and Tennis Club. Historically known as "Laver's", the venue's history is second to none having hosted the inaugural Sony Ericsson Open (then known as the Lipton International Players Championships), Sunshine Cup international junior competition and multiple USTA national events throughout the 80's. "We are really excited to bring more matches to a place with such a rich tennis background" said Mark Baron, tournament director. "I remember watching Ivan [Baron] playing Sunshine Cup here and thinking back then about all the incredible matches that had been played at this place. I really do get chills when I think about what we are about to do here this year, bringing back the legacy of the great tennis past."

The boys' tournament also beckons a new champion as no one from the 2006 semifinals or better is returning, all having "aged-up" into the 14 & Under division. One intriguing match to countdown to is No. 3 nationally ranked and 2nd seeded Nick Wood (Knoxville, TN) looking to avenge a 2nd Rd. loss last year to this year's No. 5 seed Thomas Pura (Bedford Hills, NY). If both players can make it to the finals, one player will get a chance at vindication while the other will be looking for redemption. Highlighting the list of South Florida competitors is No. 3 seed Roy Lederman (Miami), No. 9 Joshua Goodman (Weston), No. 15 Patrick Bared (Coral Gables), No. 18 Justin Butsch (Miami Beach), No. 24 Baker Newman (Miami) and No. 31 Blaine Willenborg (Miami Shores). If it's an odds-on favorite you're looking for, keep an eye on No. 2 nationally ranked Joseph DiGiulio (Newport Beach, CA), the tournament's top seeded boy. DiGiulio made it to the 2006 quarterfinals, further than anyone else in this year's field, and hails from the same Southern California district as 2006 boys champ, Mika DeCoster (Coto de Caza, CA).

Don't miss this rare, exciting and FREE opportunity to see tomorrow's stars that will carry the tennis torch when passed on from Andy, James, Serena and Venus, all players who have taken the USTA National road to their success. Girls' matches start daily at 9:00AM at the Delray Swim & Tennis Club (2350 Jaeger Dr., Delray Beach) while the boys' matches start at 11:00AM at the Swim & Racquet Center (21626 St. Andrews, Boca Raton) and Boca West Country Club (20583 Boca West Dr., Boca Raton). Also stay tuned to The Tennis Channel as both the Boys' and Girls' Singles Championships will be nationally televised. Please check your local listings and be sure to ASK FOR YOUR TENNIS CHANNEL TV!

The player registration event, including guest speaker (Rodney Harmon, USTA Dir. of Men's Tennis/High Performance) and player photo shoot takes place on Saturday, April 8, 3:00 – 5:00PM, at the Holiday Inn Boca Town Center (1950 Glades Rd., Boca Raton), as well as the official Players Party on Tuesday evening (7:30PM) at the same location.

For further information, including volunteering and sponsorship opportunities, please call the tournament office at 561-330-6003.

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