Day 7 - USTA Boys’ & Girls’ 12 Spring National Championships

April 14, 2008 10:22 AM

Day 7—Finals Showcase Strength of Tennis in the South

By Marlena Hall

Delray Beach, Fla., April 12, 2008 — Final day of the 12s National Championships showcased the fierce competition trailblazing from the Great Dixie Line. Curious as to the reasons for Southern success, I was at a loss of explanation from a few players in the draw. "Uh, I guess it's just because we're awesome?" said one bashful female, Gold Ball recipient. Perhaps the weather? Multitude of tennis academies and tennis facilities? Or maybe there's something in the water? Whatever the elixir is that magically transforms legions to warlords, the South has a lot of be proud of as both winners from the boys' and girls' side proclaimed Nationals domination.

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Grayson Goldin (3) (Bradenton, FL)
has certainly been doused with the potion, germinated with 'the bug', and has eaten from the immortal fruit of the gods as he brilliantly captured the boys' singles title from Daniel Kerznerman (2) (Brooklyn, NY), 6-3, 6-0. Watching the match intently, I was a little surprised the see Grayson deviate a little from his "crosscourt", "topspin" and "all-court playing" game. Yesterday, his match against top seed Baker Newman (1) (Miami, FL) showcased a precociously confident net-player, with wicked cross-court angles and intimidating, deeply-high topspin. Today, however, Kerznerman's hard and deep, flat, baseline hitting challenged Grayson's ability to keep up with the pace. Candidly, I had hoped to see Grayson throw in some high topspin and move his opponent off-court to move in and cover the net with his agile hands.

Instead, Grayson fired back the pace and hit down-the-line, with debilitating off-service winners and forcing Kerznerman to error from the baseline. Do I criticize Goldin's departure from his own game, or, do I bite my tongue and pay tribute to his ability to win under another game style? I confidently choose the latter. As an admirer of his mental strength, talent, and level of respect for the game of tennis, I would like to decree Grayson Goldin as our Day 7 "Boys Player of the Day" and well-derserved "Boys Player of the Tournament."

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Pictures complementary of YourGameFace.com

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