New England Juniors
4th At Winter Nationals
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | January 10, 2019
ORLANDO, FL- Twenty-six of New England’s top juniors spent their New Years competing at USTA’s most prestigious event of the winter from December 29 to January 4. Headlined by semifinalists Daniel Milavsky, of Needham, MA, and Nastasya Semenovski, of Brookline, MA, New England juniors used Winter Nationals at USTA’s National Campus in Orlando as an opportunity to close out 2018 on a high note and carry some positive momentum into the new year.
“Winter Nationals was a great experience. New England definitely had a great showing, and that indicates the level of play in the section is getting better,” said Ricardo Munar, Head Coach at the Manchester Athletic Club (MAC) and coach of Daniel Milavsky.
Milavsky had tremendous success in 2018 in the Boys’ 18s division. In singles, he became New England Sectional Champion and reached the final of a national L2. ADVERTISEMENT In doubles, he won two L3 national tournaments and earned Bronze Balls at both National Clay Courts and the Easter Bowl.
At Winter Nationals, Milavsky, a 14 seed, took home fourth place in 18s singles. He cruised through his first four rounds without dropping a set, winning by scores of, 6-3, 7-5; 6-1, 6-1; 7-5, 6-3; and 6-2, 2-1 respectively. In the quarterfinals, Milavsky was taken to a third set by No. 10 seed, Aryan Chaudhary (Northern California), but held on for the win, 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-3.
Milavsky’s unbeaten run came to an end in the semifinals, where he fell to No. 4 seed, Zachary Lim (Northern California), 6-7(4), 2-6. He had the chance to earn a Bronze Ball by winning the third-place match, but once again fell just short, this time to doubles partner, Logan Zapp (Florida), 7-5, 6-4.
Milavsky and Zapp reached the round of 16 in the 18s doubles draw.
“Danny had a great tournament. He prepared really well for it and definitely came in with confidence. We have been working on his transition game and his serve patterns, and it’s great to see it starting to pay off in big moments,” Munar said. “This, plus his ability to handle the pressure of having so many coaches watching, is why he made it so far in the tournament.”
On the girls’ side, Nastasya Semenovski finished 2018 on the most impressive roll of her career. Capping the year off with a fourth-place finish in Girls’ 16s doubles at Winter Nationals, Semenovski earned a Gold Ball at Indoor Nationals in November, a Bronze Ball at USTA Nationals over the summer, was a finalist at New England Sectionals in June, and won eight additional national and New England singles and doubles L2, L3 and L4 titles throughout the 16s and 18s divisions.
“Nastasya has really found a new joy in playing and practicing, and that’s really been her secret for new success over the past 3-4 months,” said coach Tim Mayotte, who runs Tim Mayotte Tennis Academy at The Thoreau Club. “We gave her the player of the week award after Indoor Nationals, and she’s seemed to be glowing ever since. She’s really worked on her ability to bounce back rather than getting overwhelmed with results.”
In Orlando, Semenovski teamed up with longtime friend and doubles partner, Nadejda Maslova, of Brooklyn, NY. The last time the two played together, they swept through Indoor Nationals to earn a Gold Ball. The first few rounds at Winter Nationals were no different, as the No. 3 seeds failed to drop a set until the semifinals.
They won by scores of: 6-4, 6-3; 6-3, 6-4; 6-4, 6-2; and 6-4, 6-4.
“Nadejda and I have almost an identical dynamic on the court. We connect, as we are both Russian, both grew up in Brooklyn and have the same birthday,” Semenovski said. “We know each other inside and out on and off the court, which helps us stay mentally strong and continue to support each other in tough situations.”
In the semifinals, the duo fell to top seeds and eventual champions, Ava Catanzarite (Middle States) and Avery Durham (Southern), 3-6, 4-6, and in the third-place match, Semenovski and Maslova came up just short, dropping the match, 5-7, 1-6.
“Every tournament I play is very important and I always try and go as far as I can, but it was complete icing on top to make it to the semifinals of Winters,” Semenovski said.
Other notable New England performances included:
Matthew Campbell (Sudbury, MA) & Nicholas Vroman (Sudbury, MA)- Reached the quarterfinals in Boys’ 16s doubles. The duo defeated top seeds, New Englanders, Alex Finkelstein & Nathan Mao in the round of 16.
Nathan Mao (Topsham, ME)- Reached the round of 16 in Boys’ 16s singles and round of 16 in doubles.
Jennifer Riester (Lynnfield, MA)- Reached the round of 16 in Girls’ singles and
Sam Feldman (Brookline, MA)- Reached the round of 16 in Boys’ 16s singles and
Alex Finkelstein (Raynham, MA)- Reached the round of 16 in Boys’ 16s doubles and
Page Freeman (Ashland, MA)- Reached the round of 16 in Girls’ 18s doubles and
Iris Gallo (Longmeadow, MA) & Olivia Almy (Southborough, MA) Reached the round of 16 in Girls’ 18s doubles.
Lexi Kubas (Ellington, CT)- Reached the round of 16 in Girls’ 18s doubles.
Eleanor Schulson (Newburyport, MA)- Reached the round of 32 in Girls’ 18s doubles.
For complete tournament results, click here.