Coco Gauff, Hurricane Tyra Black
team for doubles title
Arthur Kapetanakis | November 26, 2018
Coco Gauff and Hurricane Tyra Black teamed up to win the doubles title at the Mundial Juvenil Yucatan, a Grade A event in Merida, Mexico. The prestigious tournament is one of five Grade A events on the junior calendar, the fifth of which is the Orange Bowl, set to begin on Dec. 3 in Plantation, Fla. Outside of the four Grand Slam events, these competitions award the most ranking points on the junior circuit.
The top seeds in Mexico, Gauff and Black rolled to the final without dropping a set but faced their toughest test of the week at the last hurdle. Against Giulia Morlet of France and Adrienn Nagy of Hungary, they claimed the title in a 7-6, 4-6, [10-7] thriller.
The 14-year-old Gauff, currently ranked No. 3 in the ITF junior rankings, was also a singles quarterfinalist. In July, she became No. ADVERTISEMENT 1 in the world after winning the junior French Open and reaching the Wimbledon girls’ quarterfinals, making her the youngest-ever junior No. 1 in the current rankings system.
Black, who also reached the singles quarterfinals in Merida, rose to a career-high junior ranking of No. 25 with her strong results. The previous week, she was a singles finalist at the Grade 1 event in Campeche, Mexico, and won the doubles title with Turkish partner Selin Ovunc. On the year, she has captured two ITF junior singles titles, at the International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif., in April (a Grade 1 event) and the Copa Badia in Coral Gables, Fla. (Grade 4).
Gauff and Black were the last American girls standing in Merida, but five other Americans advanced to the last 16: qualifier Alexandra Yepifanova, Savannah Broadus, Hina Inoue, Charlotte Chavatipon and Kailey Evans.
In the boys’ competition, Drew Baird, the No. 3 seed, notched the best American result with a quarterfinal appearance, while No. 9 Tyler Zink and No. 10 Emilio Nava reached the last 16. In doubles play, Eliot Spizzirri was a semifinalist with Canadian partner Taha Baadi. The week before, Spizzirri won the Grade 1 singles title in Campeche, defeating No. 3-seeded Zink in the final, 6-7, 7-5, 6-0.
The top tier of the junior circuit returns to the U.S. this week, with the Eddie Herr International Junior Championship, a Grade 1 event in Bradenton, Fla., beginning on Nov. 26.