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Florida Tennis Briefs(2): Kiick Wins, Kozlov R-up at USTA Spring Chps.; More

April 10, 2012 02:03 PM
Florida’s Kiick Wins, Kozlov r-up at USTA Int. Spring Championships
 
Kiick Allie
Allie Kiick (photo: Cynthia Lum)
Florida juniors reached both the boys’ and girls’ 18s finals over the weekend at the USTA International Spring Championships, held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
 
Plantation’s Allie Kiick, the No. 7 seed, upset No. 3 seed Chalena Scholl of Pompano Beach 6-0, 6-2 in the girl’s 18s final, fought between two 16 year olds.
 
"We’ve played so many times," Scholl said of Kiick, with frequent meetings during USTA Florida Section events. "I can’t even remember how many times we’ve played each other."
 
It was Kiick’s first title at a Grade 1 ITF event. Kiick beat Scholl in the final of the Amelia Island USTA Pro Circuit tournament last October, but lost to Scholl at the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Championships in Tulsa.
 
"It’s really exciting since this is one of my last junior tournaments," said Kiick, who has been training at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla., and is coached by Kathy Rinaldi, who was on site Sunday, and Troy Hahn. "I’ll play Easter Bowl and then the French Open and Wimbledon and Nationals in San Diego…I’m going to be playing more pro events. My goal is to be Top 200 (on the WTA Rankings) by the end of the year."
 
Floridian Stefan Kozlov, 14, of Pembroke Pines ran all the way to the boys’ 18 final as an unseeded player before being stopped 6-3, 6-4 by top-seeded Mitchell Krueger, 18, of Aledo, Tex.
 
"The way he plays is really unique and very different," Krueger said of the 14-year-old Kozlov. "He plays very slowly and it’s easy to get into the trap of playing exactly the way he wants you to. He definitely makes you think because he plays such a different game. I don’t even know how to describe it; just lots of slices, lots of drop shots, lots of lobs."
 
Kozlov had his chances against the opponent four years his senior.
 
"I had a chance to go up 3-0 and 5-2 on break points but couldn’t convert," Kozlov said. "I had nothing to lose. Win or lose it didn’t matter to me."
 
Krueger left impressed with the 14 year old after their first meeting.
 
"I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player so good at his age; except maybe Donald Young," Krueger said. "I think he has a chance to do some of the things Donald has done. If he keeps going I think he has a great future."
 
 
U.S. Team Seeking Jewish Tennis Players for 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel
 
Maccabiah-2013-web-gifThe U.S. team is seeking junior and adult tennis players to represent the United States at the 19th World Maccabiah Games, July 17-30, 2013 in Israel.
 
"Light the fire within, apply today and show your commitment to Israel and Jews everywhere while competing with and against the best Jewish athletes in the world," says Stephanie Sorkin of Maccabi USA.
 
The World Maccabiah Games is the third largest international sporting competition, with tennis competition in the following categories: OPEN LEVEL: (M,F), All Ages, generally 18+; JUNIORS LEVEL: (M,F) born 1995-1998; MASTERS LEVEL: (M,F), Ages 35+; and GRAND MASTERS LEVEL: (M), Ages 65+ to 80+. Age is as of 12/31/2013.
 
Tennis tryouts will be announced in spring 2012. Team USA departure and return are TBD. Juniors, youth, and open athletes will depart approximately July 10 for a mandatory Israel Connect program which will include training as well as tours throughout Israel prior to the competition.
 
For more info visit www.maccabiusa.com.
 
 

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