James Lian, Tianmei Wang win USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18s National Winter Championships
Two top juniors at different stages of their tennis careers won the singles titles at the recently-concluded USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18s National Winter Championships.
Eighteen-year-old James Lian, of Parsippany, N.J. and 15-year-old Tianmei Wang of San Marino, Calif. won their respective singles titles at the first of five junior USTA National Championship events that will be held in 2023.
Lian, the tournament’s No. 10 seed, defeated No. 16 seed Waleed Qadir (Greenville, N.C.), 7-5, 0-6, 6-3 in the boys' final. The pair were the only two boys' singles seeds to reach the quarterfinals at the event, which was played from Dec. 28 through Jan. 3.
A senior at the Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J., Lian is committed to play college tennis at Brown University.
In the doubles final, Xander Barber (Falmouth, Maine) and Nicholas Mangiapane (Davidson, N.C.) beat two Texans, Burleson's Christian Gonzalez and Austin's Jack Ingram, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
All four of the top seeds in the girls' 18s singles were also defeated before the quarterfinals, which left Wang, the No. 5 seed, as the highest seed left at the business end of the tournament. In a final between two high school sophomores, she defeated No. 16 seed Alanis Hamilton of Bentonville, Ark., 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Wang, a student at San Marino High School, won multiple USTA national events in 2022, as well as a the singles title at the ITF J4 event in Plantation, Fla., where she also defeated Hamilton in the final.
Hamilton did eventually leave with a gold ball. She won the girls’ 18s doubles title with Philadelphia's Kayla Chung after the pair defeated Esha Velaga (Colmar, Pa.) and Alice Xu (Vienna, Va.), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the final.
Champions were also crowned in the 16-, 14- and 12-and-under divisions.
In an all-unseeded final in the boys' 16s, Maximus Dussault of Stuart, Fla. defeated Torrance, Calif.'s Keaton Hance 6-4, 6-3 to take the title. The girls' singles final in the age bracket was contested by two New Yorkers: Brooklyn's Leena Friedman, the No. 3 seed, defeated No. 6 seed Sophia Holod, of East Setauket on Long Island, to win her gold ball, 6-1, 6-4.
In the 14s division, No. 4 seed Vihaan Reddy (San Jose, Calif.) took home the boys’ singles title, while No. 7 seed Nancy Lee (Belmont, Mass.) triumphed in the girls’ singles final. Tabb Tuck (Mountain Brook, Ala.) and Allison Wang (San Jose, Calif.) rounded out the singles champions, winning the boys’ and girls’ 12s titles, respectively.
The 18s and 16s singles and doubles events were played at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., while the 14s and 12s events were held at the Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz.
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