Dannny Kerznerman earned a wild card into the US Open Junior Championships by winning the USTA Boys’ 18s National Clay Court Championship.
© Michael Baz
By Sally Milano, USTA.com
Daniel Kerznerman, a 17-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y., who trains full time at the USTA Training Center – East in Flushing, N.Y., and Chloe Ouellet-Pizer, a 15-year-old from Chapel Hill, N.C., captured the USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18s National Clay Court Championships singles titles on Sunday. For winning the championships, each player earned a wild card to compete in the 2013 US Open Junior Championships, which will be held Sept. 1-8 in New York.
The No. 17 seed, Kerznerman upset 17-year-old Mitch Stewart of Federal Way, Wash., seeded No. 7, 6-4, 6-3, in the singles final, held in Delray Beach, Fla. Kerznerman, who has been ranked as high as No. 70 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, will also receive a wild card to play in a USTA Pro Circuit Men’s Futures event still to be determined.
Ouellet-Pizer, the No. 3 seed who reached the girls’ 16s final at the prestigious Orange Bowl last December, defeated 16-year-old Terri Fleming of Alpharetta, Ga., 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1, in the Girls’ 18s singles championship, which was held in Memphis, Tenn. Like Kerznerman, she also earned a wild card to compete in a future USTA Pro Circuit event with her victory.
Fourteen-year-old CiCi Bellis of Atherton, Calif., continued her torrid 2013 by winning the girls’ 16s singles title in Virginia Beach, Va. The top seed, Bellis beat No. 2 Katerina Stewart, a 16-year-old from Miami, 7-5, 6-1, adding to an already long list of accomplishments this year that includes titles at the International Grass Court Championships, the girls' 16s Easter Bowl and two prestigious European junior events, Les Petits As in France and AEGON Junior International Teen Tennis in England.
Tommy Paul, 16, from Coconut Creek, Fla., also continued his eye-catching run, sweeping the boys’ 16s singles and doubles titles in Delray Beach. Paul, the No. 6 seed in singles, overcame 15-year-old Reilly Opelka of Palm Coast, Fla., 6-2, 6-4, in the final to add to his ITF titles won in Delray Beach and Plantation, Fla., in May. In doubles, he and Alex Rybakov, a 16-year-old from Coral Springs, Fla., and the 2013 International Grass Court Champion, beat Daniel Gealer and Taylor Fritz, 6-4, 7-5, for the championship.
Both the boys’ and girls’ 16s singles champions receive wild cards into future USTA Pro Circuit events.
In other USTA National Clay Court Championships, Noah Makarome (14, Wesley Chapel, Fla.) beat Sam Riffice (14, Roseville, Calif.), 6-0, 7-6 (3), for the boys’ 14s title, while Claire Liu (13, Thousand Oaks, Calif.), who trains at the USTA Training Center – West in Carson, Calif., beat Dominique Schaefer (14, Ventura, Calif.), 6-4, 6-2, for the girls’ 14s title.
Steven Sun (Glen Cove, N.Y.), captured the boys’ 12s singles title over Brandon Nakashima (San Diego), 7-6 (3), 6-2, and Carson Branstine (Orange, Calif.) won the girls’ 12s singles title over Caty McNally (Cincinnati), 7-6 (4), 6-4.
The complete draws and results for the USTA National Clay Court Championships can be found at http://tennislink.usta.com
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