Eastern Juniors Turn Up The
Heat at National Tournaments
August 16, 2018
Competitive junior tennis heats up every summer but this summer was a scorcher for some of Eastern’s top junior players. Eastern has some of the most talented junior tennis players in the nation and here is an update on some of Eastern’s most promising junior phenoms.
The City of Delray Beach hosted the 52nd anniversary of the USTA Boys’ 18 & 16 National Clay Court Championships, July 15 – 22, 2018. This prestigious event, consisting of over 440 of the top-ranked Boys 18s & 16s in the United States, is the only combined 10-day ATP World Tour Event and ATP Champions Tour Event in the world. Eastern junior Neel Rajesh of Oyster Bay, NY, won the Boys 18s Championship, while Ryan Fishback of Geneva, NY, placed 2nd in the respective Boys 16s Championships. Eastern 16s girls really took charge of their Memphis, TN tournament as Valencia Xu of Livingston, NJ, placed 2nd, Madison Sieg of Greenwich, CT placed 3rd and Elise Wagle of Niskayuna, NY placed 4th. ADVERTISEMENT It is no wonder that Xu and Wagle won the Girls 16s Doubles Championship.
Eastern’s In the Zone
The USTA Zone Team Championships (Zonals) is a five-day national team competition held annually that emphasizes singles, doubles and mixed doubles play against other section’s teams. Eastern sent four 14s Zonal teams to compete against Midwest, New England and Northern USTA sections participating and two Eastern teams played each other in the Zonal 14s Final. Coach Ari Roberts team vs. Coach Tom Battaglia’s with Ari’s team taking the win. At 12 Zonals, two more Eastern teams in the finals, congratulations to Peter Green’s team for taking home the “W”. And again at 16 zonals, Eastern “Team A” coached by DJ Wilson won the championships against Southern 10-8 in the finals! Zonals provides a platform and location for play that fosters team work and healthy high-level competition and match results count toward National and Eastern standings.
We are also extremely proud of Ava Bruno of Bronxville, NY, who competed in the Girls 12s Clay Championship in Boca Raton, FL and was honored with the tournament’s the Overall Sportsmanship Award! Eastern is overflowing with junior talent and humility.
16s Zonals Team D wins the sportsmanship award
Boys 18s national team wins the overall sportsmanship award
Hard To Beat
Ryan Fishback continued to have a phenomenal summer, making it to the quarterfinals of the Boys 16s National Hard Court Championship in Kalamazoo, MI. Fishback’s hard court run ended when he faced Martin Damm, who earned the championship title. But Fishback distinguished himself in an even greater way when he was awarded the tournament’s Boys’ 16s Bobby Kaplan Sportsmanship Award for his calm demeanor during tense and competitive points. Upon receiving the award, Fishback shared the following thoughts, “I try to keep all my matches in perspective and remember that I am lucky to be here. I am very happy to be recognized as a good person as well as a good player.”
Czech Out Evan Wen
Evan Wen of Morristown, NJ, was one of three boys selected to represent the United States in the ITF World Junior Tennis Boys 14s Competition, which took place in August in Prostejov, Czech Republic. In the title match against the host Czech Republic team, the Americans won all three rubbers in great style to emerge as well-deserved champions, conquering the biggest U14 team event for the first time since 2012 when Michael Mmoh and Frances Tiafoe delivered the title for the United States. Wen and his teammate Bruno Kuzuhara won a competitive doubles final, sealing the US championship win.
The Summer of 2018 will be hard to beat but we know our juniors are upto the task.