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Fla. Jr. USTA National Hard Court Winners; More

August 14, 2013 09:58 AM
Bright-web
USTA National Girls' 14s Hard Court doubles champions Anna Bright of Boca Raton (left) and Kariann Pierre-Louis of Miami
Eight Florida juniors brought home USTA Gold Ball trophies in singles and/or doubles during the USTA National Hard Court Championships, held in boys' and girls' 12-18 divisions across the country during the first week in August.
 
At the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, top-seeded Sachia Vickery beat No. 2 seed Alexandra Kiick 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the all-Florida final to win the USTA Girls' 18s National Hard Court Championship.
 
The 18-year-old Vickery, from Miramar, Fla., defeated Plantations' Kiick in 1 hour, 46 minutes to earn a wildcard into the 2013 US Open women's main draw.
 
"It hasn't sunken in that I'm going to be playing at the US Open," Vickery said. "It's been my dream since I started playing tennis. I can't even put it into words how happy I am."
 
The 5-foot-2 Vickery recovered from a disputed foot fault call that preceded her losing the last two games of the first set, going on to lose only two games in the final two sets. Kiick for her efforts receives a wildcard into the women's qualifying of the US Open, but was in tears during the awards ceremony after a heartbreaking loss in the final a second straight year.
 
"To lose here again in the finals, this was probably one of the toughest losses," said the 18-year-old Kiick. "In the second set, she definitely found her game. She was controlling everything, and it just wasn't my day."
 
Vickery and Kiick teamed together to win the doubles title as the No. 2 seeds, in the final defeating the top-seeded team of former world No. 1-ranked junior Taylor Townsend and Gabrielle Andrews 6-3, 6-4. The win earned them a wildcard into the US Open women's doubles main draw.
 
Coconut Creek's Tommy Paul won the all-Florida final at the USTA Boys' 16s National Hard Court Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., with the No. 2 seed defeating No. 4-seeded Jake DeVine of Boca Raton 6-3, 6-1. Paul lost in the doubles final with Coral Spring's Alex Rybarikov as the top seeds, falling to No. 11 Anudeep Kodali and Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-4.
 
Miami's Katerina Stewart raised the trophy at the USTA Girls' 16s National Hard Court Championships in San Diego, as the No. 2 seed ousted top-seeded Ena Shibahara in the final 6-4, 6-1. She was coming off a runner-up effort weeks earlier at the USTA Girls' 16s National Clay Court Championships
 
The Boca Raton/Miami pairing of Anna Bright and Kariann Pierre-Luis won the doubles title at the USTA Girls' 14s National Championships in Peachtree City, Ga. The No. 5 seeds defeated No. 9-seeded Victoria Flores and Isabella Lorenzini 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 in the final.
 
The USTA Girls' 12s National Hard Court Championships in Alpharetta, Ga., experienced hurricane conditions when top-seeded "Hurricane" Tyra Black of Boca Raton captured the singles title, defeating No. 2 seed Carson Branstine 6-4, 6-2.
 
The nation's top junior tennis players competed in the eight USTA National Hard Court Championships across the U.S. in early August. In addition to the US Open main draw wildcards awarded to the 18s singles and doubles champions, the singles runners-up in the Boys' and Girls' 18s divisions are traditionally offered wildcard entries into the US Open qualifying. The Boys' and Girls' 16s champions traditionally earn wildcard entries into the US Open Junior Championships.
 
 
HCTA Prepares for 6th Sellout Tennis Crowd
 
by Nancy Morgan, USTA Florida Region 3 (Tampa/St. Pete area) columnist
 
HCTA_tournament_logoCombine competitive women's tennis doubles with a beautiful venue, stir in a delectable luncheon served among elegant decorations, add a dash of raffle opportunities and you have the recipe for a fun-filled weekend for any tennis connoisseur!
 
This recipe is named the 6th Annual Women's Doubles Tournament and is sponsored by the Hillsborough County Tennis Association (HCTA), and will be staged at Hunter's Green Country Club in the New Tampa area.
 
The previous five tournaments have sold out, so interested teams should register early for the Oct. 12-13 competition. New this year is a 4.5 NTRP division to go along with the 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 divisions. Each division is limited to 16 teams.
 
"Five years ago, the HCTA was looking for an avenue to encourage friendly, plus competitive play, and we wanted to partner with another non-profit organization," said Marisol Casablanca, HCTA lead volunteer for the tournament. "The players receive an array of amenities, from food and raffle prizes along with play at a beautiful facility. HCTA utilizes its proceeds for scholarships and inner-city community tennis programs."
 
Proceeds also assist the Women's Club of New Tampa, a member of the Greater Federation of Woman's Clubs, in their various projects that benefit the local community.
 
This year, tennis professional Alan Williams with Train Smart Tennis at Arbor Green Country Club will assist with the draw and scheduling of the four NTRP divisions of competitive play.
 
"Bob Farrell at Arbor Green has handled the draw and scheduling for the HCTA the last few years," Williams said, "but since he has retired, I'll do the logistics this year and then Marisol pretty much takes it from there."
 
Players can register on the HCTA website at www.tampatennis.org, and also find additional tournament information. For more players' info, contact Casablanca at Marisol@tampatennis.org; sponsorships and donations info should be directed to vickidunbar@gmail.com.
 
 
 
 

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