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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keys Wins Coffee Bowl; Devvarman Loses to Cilic in Chennai; Play Tennis Florida Magazine Available Online

Madison Keys, who turns 14 next month, won her third ITF tournament since she began playing them in May, defeating No. 3 seed Valeria Solovieva of Russia 6-4, 7-5 in Saturday evening's final at the Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica. Keys won a Grade 5 in the Bahamas in June, and took the Grade 4 held in November at the Evert Academy, where she trains, but this is a Grade 1, so her ITF junior ranking, currently at 139, should take a big leap. The boys winner was 16-year-old David Souto of Venezuela, who defeated top seed Denis Kudla of the U.S. 6-2, 6-2 to claim his first Grade 1 title. The left-handed Souto, who hasn't played in the U.S. since he lost in the final of the Junior Orange Bowl 14s in 2006 to Bernard Tomic, has been playing mostly in Futures qualifying the past five months. Souto and his partner Jesus Bandra, also from Venezuela, won the doubles title too.

In Chennai India, two-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman fell in the final to 20-year-old Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6(3). The Hindu provides its always colorful take on the match here(Ectomorph?!)

The December/January issue of Play Tennis Florida is now available for download from the USTA Florida Section's site. There is an interesting story on University of Central Florida women's coach Stephanie Nickitas, who credits a career in tennis coaching to the influence of her coach at the University of Florida, ZooTennis contributor Andy Brandi. There is also much news about the section's annual awards (we'll be congratulating Robert Gomez for being named Junior Development coach of the year next week when we're in Miami for the Plaza Cup), Dede Allen on getting the attention of a college coach, and my regular Photo Op feature, which is Alex Domijan (pg. 28).