Texas sweeps JTT 18U
Dan Pyser | November 19, 2019
For the second year in a row, the teams from Texas shined brightest in the Lone Star State at the 2019 USTA Junior Team Tennis 18U National Championships.
The Austin Tennis Academy, representing the USTA Texas section, swept the 2019 championships, capturing both the advanced and intermediate national titles. The event was held at the McFarlin Tennis Center in San Antonio, Nov. 14-17.
The 2019 USTA Junior Team Tennis 18U National Championships brought together the top 32 teams at intermediate and advanced levels from various USTA sections throughout the country.
Both Austin teams won their respective pools to advance to the national semifinals, where they cruised to the championship matches. In the advanced final, the ATA Dream Team knocked off the Topsinners (USTA Southern California section) from Los Angeles, 59-24, while the other Austin team, the ATA Pitbulls (pictured above), defeated the Linx Warriors (USTA Mid-Atlantic section) from Potomac, Md., 52-36, in the intermediate final.ADVERTISEMENT
This is the second consecutive year that both 18U Austin Tennis Academy teams reached the finals, as the advanced team secured back-to-back national titles while the intermediate team improved upon last year’s national runner-up finish.
In the advanced final, the ATA Dream Team dropped just one of the 11 sets it played in the final, as it swept all five matches.
Nico Jamison defeated Matthew Rowe, 6-4, 6-1, in the boys' singles, and Caroline Wernli beat Breana Cook, 6-1, 6-1, in the girls' singles. Juandedios Abboud and Lawrence Li edged Tory Bailey and Phil Hodges, 6-2, 4-6, [1-0], in boys' doubles, before Megha Dania and Anushka Dania dropped just three games to Hana Moss and Marley Lambert in the girls' doubles match, 6-2, 6-1. In mixed doubles, James Cockrell and Wernli beat Samantha Guillory and Salight Choi, 6-1, 6-5.
The ATA Dream Team is coached by Brian Notis and features team members Abboud, Cockrell, Anushka Dania, Megha Dania, Jamison, Lawrence Li and Wernli.
In the intermediate final, narrow wins in the boys' and girls' singles matches and a convincing win in the boys' doubles proved enough to carry the Pitbulls to victory.
Jonathan Snell defeated the Warriors' Camilo Illanes, 6-1, 6-4, in singles, while Alexandra Malysheva won a nail-biter against Kallista Liu, 6-5, 6-5. The Pitbulls' Kael Peterson and Austin Beckham dispatched Derek Yan and Daoud Alkhalidi, 6-0, 6-1, but the Mid-Atlantic team got on the board behind Anusha Iyer and Angelina Zhao's 6-3, 6-2 girls' doubles victory over Jordan Phillips and Keana Moon. Iyer and Alkhalidi then teamed up to beat Malysheva and Clark Sweeney in mixed doubles, 6-5, 1-6, [1-0].
The Pitbulls team is coached by John Schoenmakers and features team members: Beckham, Malysheva, Moon, Peterson, Phillips, Snell, Sweeney and Sydney Williams.
In the third-place match in the intermediate division, Kickin’ Ace and Taking Games from the USTA Midwest section defeated SWITA Team Fury from the USTA Southwest section, 47-41.
In the advanced category, Laguna Creek Sports Club, representing the USTA Northern California section, edged Wickertree from the USTA Midwest section by the finest of margins, 48-47.