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10s Division Winners Crowned at USTA Florida State Tennis Championships

June 10, 2013 10:03 AM
Deland, Ormond Beach, Sarasota, Tampa Players Claim 10s Division Titles
 
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Boys' 10 singles finalists, left to right: champion Filip Cebic, Tournament Director Brian Morrissey, finalist Calvin Wellman
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Girls' 10 singles finalists, left to right: champion Ari Siegel, Tournament Director Brian Morrissey, finalist Patricia Gonzalez
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Girls' 10 doubles finalists, left to right: champions Julia Cunha-Comin and Lily Pleasant, Tournament Director Brian Morrissey, finalists Sandra Chetouane and Daniela Pena
The two-day boys' and girls' 10s singles tennis divisions, contested on 60-foot courts with the lower-compression orange balls using the 10 and Under Tennis format, were completed Sunday at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla., as part of the 65th edition of the USTA Florida 'Bobby Curtis' Junior State Championships.
 
In the Boys's 10s final, Filip Cebic of Tampa defeated Boynton Beach's Calvin Wellman 4-3, 4-2 in the championship match.
 
Players in the 10s division all started in a draw of 32, with players falling into a compass draw after losing in the main draw to get additional match play. Scoring followed the 10 and Under Tennis format, with the first player to four games with no-ad scoring winning a set, playing best-of-three sets and a tiebreaker in place of the third set if necessary.
 
In the Girl's 10s final, Ari Siegel of Sarasota defeated Orlando's Patricia Gonzalez 3-4, 4-1, 7-5 in the championship match.
 
Match play was the goal of the event, as the USTA Florida Section does not have rankings for the 10s division, but does maintain the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Match Club, where players can earn a year-end personally-inscribed colored bag tag to indicate their club level. Players need to meet the following criteria by year's end to reach the club level: Bronze Club -- 15 or more tournament matches in 2012; Silver Club -- 30 or more tournament matches; Gold Club -- 50 or more tournament matches; Platinum Club -- 60 or more tournament matches.
 
"USTA Florida's decision to disband 10 and under rankings was based on careful research from industry experts who felt there was too much emphasis on winning, and not enough on long-term game development and fun," said USTA Florida Competitive Tennis Coordinator Andy Gladstone.
 
Roving tournament referees at the tournament went out their way to instruct players in proper scoring, court etiquette and sportsmanship, frequently speaking to players during and after matches, and giving post-match wrap-ups of what players did well and what they need to watch out for.
 
"10 and Under is great, we had lots of kids playing lots of tennis and they were having lots of fun," said Sanlando and Red Bug Lake Park Supervisor Cindy Harkins, who also serves on the USTA Florida Junior Competitive Council. "The format is one of the best we've got going in any of our events."
 
10 and Under Tennis allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, low-compression balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport and develop proper strokes and technique before advancing to larger court sizes. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.
 
"It is amazing to watch these small children having developed proper stroke technique, hitting topspin groundstrokes and slices and volleys at the net, which would be difficult on a regular court with high-bouncing regular balls and big adult racquets," said Tournament Director Brian Morrissey. "They look like small adults playing and they have some really exciting points."
 
Rain delays pushed the Boys' 10s doubles final to Monday, but on Sunday the Girls' 10s doubles title was also decided, with Julia Cunha-Comin of Deland and Lily Pleasant of Ormond Beach defeating Sandra Chetouane of Davenport and Daniela Pena of Altamonte Springs 4-0, 4-3 in the final.
 
Play continues in the 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s divisions at the 65th USTA Florida 'Bobby Curtis' Junior State Championships, June 8-13, 2013 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, and at the Ormond Beach Tennis Center. For daily updates go to www.ustaflorida.com and follow USTA Florida on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute weather updates.
 
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