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Dadamo Successfully Defends Tennis Title at US Open National Playoffs-Florida
June 24, 2014 12:59 PM
From left: men's finalist Terrance Whitehurst and champion Jeff Dadamo
From left: women's finalist Emma DeCoste and champion Liz Jeukeng
From left: mixed doubles finalists Star and Noah Makarome, and champions Brittany Dubins and Billy Federhofer
Tampa's Jeff Dadamo became the first two-time champion of the US Open National Playoffs-Florida Tournament when the men's, women's, and mixed doubles champions were crowned on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at Scott Speicher Tennis Center on the Florida State University campus in Tallahassee.
Dadamo, a touring pro currently ranked No. 606 on the ATP Rankings, in the men's final defeated incoming FSU freshman Terrance Whitehurst of Tallahassee 6-3, 6-2.
In the semifinals Dadamo defeated Whitehurst's twin brother Terrell, also an incoming FSU freshman, 6-4, 6-0. Dadamo won his first two rounds 6-0, 6-0, and in the quarterfinals received a walkover from an injured opponent.
The 24-year-old Dadamo will now advance to the US Open National Playoffs-Men's Singles Championship on Aug. 15-18, 2014, looking to match last year's effort where he won the national event and earned a spot in the US Open qualifying tournament the weekend prior to the US Open.
Boca Raton 18-year-old Liz Jeukeng captured the women's title, stopping 14-year-old Emma DeCoste of Stuart, Fla. in the final 6-3, 6-2.
As a freshman at Clemson last year, Jeukeng posted an 18-7 singles record, with a 9-6 record against ranked players, including wins over No. 9 Sofie Oyen of Florida, No. 13 Alexa Guarachi of Alabama, and No. 19 Hanna Mar of Duke. This year she has been testing her game on the USTA Pro Circuit, with her best results two quarterfinals, losing in the qualifying in 13 events but reaching the main draw in her last three.
Jeukeng weathered two three-setters during the US Open National Playoffs-Florida Tournament en route to the final, coming from set down in her opening-round match. The diminutive DeCoste was attempting to win a second straight title after a week earlier claiming the girls' 16s division championship at the USTA Florida 'Bobby Curtis' Junior State Championships in Daytona Beach.
The mixed doubles championship was won by Brittany Dubins of North Miami Beach, who just completed her senior year playing for the University of Miami Hurricanes, and Billy Federhofer of Miami, the former University of Florida player and current volunteer assistant coach with Barry University men's tennis team. In the final they defeated brother-sister teens Noah and Star Makarome of Wesley Chapel, Fla., 6-3, 6-1
Dubins-Federhofer did not drop a set during the tournament, while the Makarome twins won two of their three matches prior to the final in 10-point third-set tiebreakers.
A number of current and incoming FSU players were among a range of participants, from USTA League to juniors to weekend hackers to individuals who simply wanted to say they had competed on the road to the US Open, who took to the courts during the event.
"It was great to see some of our team members compete on campus this weekend," said FSU women's head coach Jennifer Hyde. "Having a chance to see both of our newcomers Gabby and Yukako on court as well gets our staff very excited as we look ahead to next year. We will be hosting the ITA Summer Circuit event starting on July 6 and the girls will have another chance to compete."
The 5th annual US Open National Playoffs-Florida Tournament leads to the US Open National Playoffs-Men's and Women's Singles Championship, held Aug. 15-18, 2014, and the Mixed Doubles Championship, held Aug. 20-23, where the Florida winners will compete to reach the US Open. All three tournaments will take place in conjunction with the WTA tour's New Haven Open at Yale, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event.
Florida Section Champions:
2014 -- Jeff Dadamo, Tampa
2013 -- Jeff Dadamo, Tampa *
2012 -- Eric Hechtman, Miami
2011 -- Oleg Dmitriev, Dania Beach
2010 -- Olivier Sajous, Plantation
2014 -- Liz Jeukeng, Boca Raton
2013 -- Amy Sargeant, Great Britain/Tallahassee
2012 -- Sandra Roma, Sweden
2011 -- Caroline Dailey, Sarasota
2010 -- Jan Abaza, Deerfield Beach
2014 -- Brittany Dubins/Billy Federhofer, Miami
2013 -- Jesse/Sarah Witten, Naples (brother/sister)
2012 -- Ryler DeHeart/Megan Fudge, Largo (husband/wife)
2011 -- Ellis Ferreira, Holmes Beach/Amanda Rodgers, Bradenton (former Slam winner/student)
2010 -- not held
* Won the national championship that year and advanced to the US Open men's qualifying singles
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