Seeded players dominated the finals on Monday at the 64th USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Doubles Championships, the top doubles prize in Florida junior tennis, but it was two unseeded teams in the boys' and girls' 18s division that stole the show in Altamonte Springs at Sanlando Park, Sept. 22-24, 2012.
Tallahassee's unseeded 16-year-old twins Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst won the Boys' 18 division, beating another unseeded surprise pair in Paul An'drey Pierre-Louis of Miami and Stephen Watson of Orlando 6-2, 7-6(3).
"We played very well," Terrance Whitehurst told the Tallahassee Democrat. "It was a real confidence boost. We're playing more as a team and we're being more aggressive at the net."
The two 16 year olds played up in the 18s division on the advice of their coach after this summer reaching the doubles semifinals at the prestigious USTA Boys' National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich.
"It felt good to be in the higher division and do well and win," Terrell Whitehurst said. "We expected to do well and win."
The Whitehursts beat the top seeds in straight sets in the semifinals, while Pierre-Louis/Watson toppled the No. 5 and No. 8 seeds en route to the final. The runner-up Watson went on to win the Mixed 18s title with Palm Coast's Kandis Legall as the No. 2 seeds, beating unseeded Alexis Aranda (Longwood) and Arthur Viallaneix (Sanford) in the final.
The Girls' 18s final saw another unseeded champion as the Tampa pairing of Blair Martin and Gabrielle Rodriguez upset No. 4 seeds Lyndsey Boos (Orlando) and Star Makarome (Wesley Chapel) 6-3, 6-3. Martin/Rodriguez also toppled the top seeds in the round of 16, and the No. 3 seeds in the semifinals.
The seedings held in the boys' and girls' 16s as top-seeded Shaun Berman (Miami) and Stephen Madonia (Lakeland) won the boys' title, and top-seeded Rachel Rohrabacher (Tampa) and Jaclyn Switkes (Ponte Vedra Beach) captured the girls' title. It was the second consecutive year winning the Girls' 16s title for Rohrabacher, and an aging-up second consecutive title for Switkes, who last year won the Girls' 14s, and was runner-up in the Mixed 14s.
"We had a great time hosting this prestigious event," said Sanlando site director Brian Morrissey. "It was nice to see the kids having so much fun playing the great game of doubles. Nearly all the matches went to the third-set tiebreakers, and there were so many fast exchanges and great reflex points, which always makes doubles so fun to watch. All the kids competed hard while showing great sportsmanship. Thanks to all the players and parents for making this such a fun weekend."
The 14s, 12s and 10s divisions were held at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.
The 14s divisions were highlighted by three players who made multiple finals -- Gabriel Carvajal and Laura Fabrizi of Weston, and Davey Roberts of Palm Coast.
Carvajal as the No. 2 seed in the Boys' 14s with partner John Michael Holtmann (Coral Gables) captured the title, in the final ousting top seeds Christopher Ephron (Pensacola) and Roberts. Roberts then turned the table in the Mixed 14s final, with partner Magdalena Dobinda (Boca Raton), as the No. 7 seeds upsetting the top-seeded Carvajal/Fabrizi. Fabrizi won the Girls' 14s title as the top seed with partner Anna Bright (Boca Raton).
Whereas last year three players swept to both doubles and mixed doubles titles in their age divisions, this year only one player, Boca Raton's Christian Alshon in the 12s division, swept the doubles and mixed. Top-seeded in both the Boys' 12s and Mixed 12s, Alshon won the Boys' 12s title with Osprey's Russell Benkaim, and the Mixed 12s with Sarasota's Sophia Edwards, who won the Girls' 12s Florida state singles championship earlier this year. The Alshon/Edwards team finished one better this year, after last year finishing runner-up in the Mixed 12s.
Edwards was also the runner-up in the Girls' 12s final as the top seed with Port Orange's Mira Gladstone, upset in the final by the No. 3-seeded team of Hurricane Tyra Black of Boca Raton, and Gia Cohen of Bradenton.
In the Boys' 10 final, featuring the 10 and Under Tennis format on 60-foot courts with the orange-level ball and abbreviated scoring, the Orlando/Kissimmee combo of Guillermo Colon and Daniel Mangual defeated Tallahassee's Anirudh Tammisetti and Savindu Wimalasooriya 4-1, 4-0.
"The first 'official' Florida state doubles championships with 10 and Under Tennis division play was very exciting," said USTA Florida Competitive Education Coordinator Ann Brown. "We were able to finish with a playoff for all the 10 and under teams on Saturday. We could not have asked for better weather this weekend."
The USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Championships represents some of the best junior tennis players in the strongest of the 17 USTA sections across the country. The USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Doubles Championships is one of the few major events in the country that combine boys', girls', and mixed doubles in the same event.
Here are the final-round results (multiple finalists in bold):
Boys' 18 Doubles Final
Terrance Whitehurst / Terrell Whitehurst (Tallahassee) def. Paul An'drey Pierre-Louis (Miami) / Stephen Watson
(Orlando) 6-2, 7-6(3)
Girls' 18 Doubles Final
Blair Martin / Gabrielle Rodriguez (Tampa) def. (4) Lyndsey Boos (Orlando) / Star Makarome (Wesley Chapel) 6-3, 6-3
Mixed 18 Doubles Final
(2) Kandis Legall (Palm Coast) / Stephen Watson
(Orlando) def. Alexis Aranda (Longwood) / Arthur Viallaneix (Sanford) 7-5, 6-4
Boys' 16 Doubles Final
(1) Shaun Berman (Miami) / Stephen Madonia (Lakeland) def. (2) Trevor Foshey (St. Cloud) / Logan Walker (Stuart) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0(7)
Girls' 16 Doubles Final
(1) Rachel Rohrabacher (Tampa) / Jaclyn Switkes (Ponte Vedra Beach) def. (6) Sarah Dreyfuss (N. Miami Beach) / Alexis Franco (Largo) 6-3, 6-7(3), 1-0(7)
Mixed 16 Doubles Final
(3) Kaden Funk (Windermere) / Priyanka Shah (Orlando) def. Julianna Curtis (Tampa)/ Thomas Nelson Hughes (Lakeland) 7-6(2), 4-6, 1-0(6)
Boys' 14 Doubles Final
(2) Gabriel Carvajal
(Weston) / John Michael Holtmann (Coral Gables) def. (1) Christopher Ephron (Pensacola)/ Davey Roberts
(Palm Coast) 6-4, 6-4
Girls' 14 Doubles Final
(1) Anna Bright (Boca Raton)/ Laura Fabrizi
(Weston) def. Sasha Belaya (Nelbourne)/ Meible Chi (Weston) 6-4, 7-5
Mixed 14 Doubles Final
(7) Magdalena Dobinda (Boca Raton) / Davey Roberts
(Palm Coast) def. (1) Gabriel Carvajal
/ Laura Fabrizi
(Weston) 7-6(4), 2-6, 10-6
Boys' 12 Doubles Final
(1) Christian Alshon
(Boca Raton)/ Russell Benkaim (Osprey) def. (2) Robert Hammond
(Boca Raton)/ Michael Heller (Weston) 7-5, 6-2
Girls' 12 Doubles Final
(3) Hurricane Tyra Black (Boca Raton)/ Gia Cohen (Bradenton) def. (1) Sophia Edwards
(Sarasota)/ Mira Gladstone (Port Orange) 6-3, 3-6, 10-7
Mixed 12 Doubles Final
(1) Christian Alshon
(Boca Raton)/ Sophia Edwards
(Sarasota) def. (2) Robert Hammond
/ Charlotte Owensby (Boca Raton) 3-6, 7-6, 10-6
10 and Under Doubles Final
Guillermo Colon (Orlando)/ Daniel Mangual (Kissimmee) def. Anirudh Tammisetti / Savindu Wimalasooriya (Tallahassee) 4-1, 4-0
Former world No. 1s Chris Evert, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier are among the players that have raised trophies in singles and/or doubles at the USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Championships, previously known as the USTA Florida Jr. State Closed. Florida's top event was renamed to honor the legendary Florida junior tennis organizer Curtis in 2012. The tournament is annually a launching pad for future college stars and pros.
For complete age 10s, 12s and 14s draws, results and seedings, CLICK HERE
For complete 16s and 18s draws, results and seedings, CLICK HERE