2023 Bobby Curtis Sectional Championships 16s & 18s Recap
Thunderstorms and rain couldn’t stop the energy at the 2023 Bobby Curtis Sectional Championships for the 16s and 18s divisions. While the weather wasn’t being cooperative, players from across the state gathered at the USTA National Campus for the most highly anticipated junior tournament in Florida. Last week saw the 12s and 14s in action.
Championship Wednesday was intense, after everyone waited out a 5-hour weather delay, matches were back on. The extra rest was nice for the players, as they had been through the gauntlet over the past few days and helped give them some extra energy for their final few matches.
Check out how each division played out, who became Bobby Curtis Champions, and what the whole weekend felt like from the players’ perspectives.
Boys’ 16 & Under
It was a battle of grit in the Boys’ 16s as Alexander Baez and Zach Friedland went through strong opponents to reach the finals.
Alexander took down the third seed, Sklar Phillips in an intense tiebreaker during their semifinal match. While Zach took down top seeded Benjamin Saltman in straight sets.
In the championships, the two went back and forth the entire time. Zach jumped out early with a 6-4 opening set win, but Alexander answered with a 6-3 set of his own. The tiebreaker started off close, with the two trading points. In the end, Alexander was able to rally a couple in a row to take the match and championship.
“It was a great week here, I am so proud of myself after so many mental battles, everything was just perfect,” Alexander said. “It was absolutely amazing to win, I can’t wait to just smile the entire car ride home and blat music.”
Championship: Alexander Baez (Weston) d. Zach Friedland (Hollywood) 4-6, 6-3, 10-5
Third/Fourth Place: Benjamin Saltman (Winter Haven)/Sklar Phillips (Naples) *DNP due to weather
Fifth Place: Kyle Chesman (Port Saint Lucie)
Sixth Place: Jeremiah Braswell (Sarasota)
Girls’ 16 & Under
Two players that had been on fire all week long were Lillian Santos and Kira Farrakhova, who were both playing near-perfect tennis. Lillian reached the finals without dropping a set, while Kira only dropped one.
Of course, when you have two competitors playing like that, the championship match delivered all the hype. The first set was extremely close, with the girls trading games until Kira found a break and took it 6-4. Lillian bounced back though, taking the second set 6-1 and forced a 10-point tiebreaker. The two left it all on the court, but it was Lillian who edged out a 10-7 win.
Lillian was dealing with an injury and pushing herself to the limit, but in the end it was all worth it.
“It was a tough match for me for sure, I was dealing with some physical issues, but I was so happy to be able to fight through it,” Lillian said. “It was a really good week and I’m happy I was able to get through it.”
Championship: Lillian Santons (Lake Worth) d. Kira Farrakhova (Miami) 4-6, 6-1, 10-7
Third Place: Shravani Chennamsetty (Weston)
Fourth Place: Filipa Delgado (Boca Raton)
Fifth Place: Isabella Pisarczyk (Sunrise)
Sixth Place: Ishika Ashar (Boca Raton)
Boys’ 18 & Under
The Boys’ 18s saw the only top seed of the entire field to reach the championship match. Jack Satterfield went on a tear throughout the entire weekend, winning the event without dropping a single set.
Finalist, Brennon Chow, also had a great showing as the eight seed defeated his previous five opponents without dropping a set. However, in the finals, Jack came out hot, winning the match 6-3, 6-0.
“It felt great, I put a lot of hard work into this, and it paid off,” Jack said. “My family, my dad, and coach supporting me, definitely helped.”
Championship: Jack Satterfield (Tampa) d. Brennon Chow (Miami) 6-3, 6-0
Third Place: Alex Feies (Orlando)
Fourth Place: Chase Healey (Saint Augustine)
Fifth Place: Aldiyar Abzhan (Davie)
Sixth Place: Pablo Paternostro (Parkland)
Girls' 18 & Under
In the Girls 18 and Under bracket, past winners like Natalie Block and Anita Tu entered as favorites, but this draw saw many upsets throughout. The finals consisted of fourth seed Emily Robertson and tenth seed Mary Boyce Deatherage.
Mary came out with a ton of energy after waiting a couple of hours to get the match underway. She took the opening set in a tight 6-4 effort and rode that momentum to a clean 6-2 win, to become a first-time Bobby Curtis winner.
Mary was in her sixth year at Bobby Curtis and winning it for the first time was amazing. “It’s really rewarding to win after a long week,” she said. “There were really good players and good matches.”
Championship: Mary Boyce Deatherage (Maitland) d. Emily Roberston (Naples) 6-4, 6-2
Third Place: Brenda Yoris (Doral)
Fourth Place: Claire Shao (Boca Raton)
Fifth Place: Natalie Outcalt (Ponte Vedra Beach)