Last week, several of Middle States’ top-ranked juniors competed in Orlando, Fla. at the USTA National Winter Championships. You can find a replay of the boys and girls finals here.
Action on Friday saw Jeremie Casabon and Henry Ruger, seeded 10th, best the unseeded duo of Hunter Heck (Saint Paul, Minn.) and JJ Tracy (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) 6-4, 6-1 to capture the Boys’ 18s doubles crown. Casabon and Ruger broke serve a total of five times while only dropping serve once.
No. 13-seed Quinn Snyder (Delran, N.J.) had a great showing, advancing to the finals of the Boys’ 16s before dropping a tight match, 6-7(5), 4-6 for the Gold Ball.
Neither player gained much traction throughout the first set, as Casper broke serve a total of three times but Snyder responded on each occasion. Fittingly, a back-and-forth tiebreak decided it.
A highly-competitive boys 18s final went the way of Ravichander by a slim 7-6(2), 6-3 margin over No. 9 Zachery Lim (Fairfield, Calif.). Even with the two players hovering around a first serve percentage of 60 percent for the match, there were just five breaks in total, two of which took place in the first four games. For the remainder of the set, a mere four break points materialized, but Ravichander and Lim continued to hold to force a tiebreak.
Ravichander won the first three and final three points to take the tiebreak in commanding fashion. The second frame was more straightforward thanks to Ravichander breaking Lim twice en route to a 5-1 cushion. Lim did fight back to 5-3, but Ravichander slammed the door shut from there.
The No.1-seeded girls 16s doubles team of Ava Catanzarite and Avery Durham didn’t have much trouble throughout the weekend until they battled to a 7-6(3); 6-7(5); 1-0(2) quarterfinal victory over the 9th seeded team of Elisabeth Jones and Kathryn Treiber from Midwest Section. They did not drop another set en route to a Girls 16s Doubles Gold Ball.
It was another impressive tournament appearance for Catanzarite, who had a string of silver and bronze balls in 2018.
Learn more about USTA Junior Tournaments at www.usta.com.