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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Congratulations to the First Champions of 2011

Although the tournament is technically a 2010 event, the USTA Winter Nationals delivered the first champions of 2011 today in Arizona. I've compiled a slideshow of the winners below. Rain during the week forced match tiebreaker scoring in the singles, and I gather from various tweets that it was very cold the last several days as well. In Tucson, the site of the 12s and 14s, the weather was particularly bad, and the doubles titles still have not been conferred. The singles championship match results:

Boys 12s: William Blumberg(1) def. Noah Schachter(2) 3-6, 6-3, 10-7
Girls 12s: Sofia Kenin(1) def. Elizabeth Porter(7) 7-5, 6-1
Boys 14s: Stefan Kozlov(3) def. Toshiki Matsuya(2) 6-2, 6-4
Girls 14s: Maria Smith def. Elizabeth Profit(2) 7-6(4), 6-3
Boys 16s: TJ Pura(8) def. Sean Karl(1) 6-2, 7-5
Girls 16s: Jamie Loeb(1) def. Christina Makarova(2) 6-4, 6-0
Boys 18s: Eric Johnson(15) def. Anthony Tsodikov(17) 0-6, 6-4, 6-1
Girls 18s: Gabrielle Andrews(1) def. Kyle McPhillips(2) 6-3, 6-1

For complete results in the 16s and 18s, see this TennisLink site. For the 12s and 14s, see this TennisLink site.

Andrews followed her excellent results at the Dunlop Orange Bowl with a championship in Scottsdale, beating friend and doubles partner Brooke Austin in the semifinals, the first time in three recent meetings that Andrews has won in that budding rivalry. Andrews then repeated her quarterfinal victory in the Clay Courts over Kyle McPhillips today to earn another Winter gold ball. Andrews was the 14s champion last year.

Jamie Loeb has not been playing much outside her section (Eastern) although she did play in the Dunlop Orange Bowl 16s last month, losing to Samantha Crawford in the second round. According to this article from the Journal News, Loeb is still attending high school in Ossining, New York, but is facing a decision about not just whether she will be home-schooled, but whether she will attend college in a few years. The 15-year-old sophomore has an older sister who played at Wake Forest, and Jenna Loeb, now a teaching pro, has been able to provide a dose of realism to her younger sister without discouraging her from pursuing her dream.

In that same vein, Tom Tebbutt, the tennis writer for Toronto's The Globe and Mail, explores the U.S. college option from the Canadian point of view. Tebbutt, who points out that Francoise Abanda and Eugenie Bouchard have already signed with agents, making them ineligible for an athletic scholarship in the U.S., speaks with Canadians Vanessa Webb (an NCAA champion while at Duke) and Melanie Gloria (an All-American at Fresno State) about their college experiences. Tebbutt also speaks with Vanderbilt women's coach Geoff Macdonald about the college option, and cites the recently released USTA study about the economic costs of being a fledging pro.