NorCal Juniors Honor Roll: November 2017

The end of October and the month of November were very busy for Team NorCal as they competed in several national and international tournaments around the country.

Several junior players competed in the South Carolina ITF that took place in Lexington, SC, with two of them reaching the semifinals. Stefan Leustian from Mather is back in the headlines with a great run to the semifinals of the tournament. Stefan couldn’t overcome JanMagnus Johnson of the USA and lost 6-2, 6-3, but not before beating the No. 7 seed Alexander Lee. Aidan Mayo of Roseville continued his great season with a quarterfinal finish in singles, playing against players three to four years older than him. Although Aidan was defeated by Yeudy Villar of the Dominican Republic 6-3, 6-3 he had an even better doubles tournament, reaching the semifinals with Alexander Bernard of the USA. The pair lost a tough battle against Brandon and Nicholas McKinney 6-4, 6-4.

Team NorCal sent three players to Les Petits As – USA Playoffs, in Port Saint Lucie, FL, with two of them qualifying for the prestigious tournament. Les Petits As is the biggest 14 and Under tournament in the world and has seen the likes of Rafael Nadal and Martina Hingis win. In order for the US players to qualify for the tournament that takes place in Tarbes, France, in January 2018, the USA Playoffs reunites the best 16 boys and 16 girls for a chance to earn their trip overseas. John Kim of Sunnyvale punched his ticket for the main draw of the tournament, thanks to a runner-up finish. John was stopped by Evan Wen of New Jersey in the final, in a tough 7-6(4), 7-5 match. Check out his interview during the tournament here.

On the girls’ side, Vivian Ovrootsky also made her way out of the round robin to reach the semifinals. Vivian wasn’t able to stop the future winner, Katrina Scott of Woodland Hills, CA, but bounced back to qualify for the qualifications draw of Les Petits As, thanks to her 7-6(11), 6-0 win in the playoff match again Robin Montgomery of Washington, DC. Check out her fun interview during the USA Playoffs here.

Les Petits As – USA Playoffs, in Port Saint Lucie, FL. Picture on the left – L-R: Vivian Ovrootsky and Robin Montgomery. Middle picture: all participants. Picture on the right – L-R: John Kim’s mom, John Kim, Jon Glover (USTA National Coach).

Team NorCal also had great results at the Evert American ITF in Boca Raton, FL, with Marcus McDaniel of Vacaville winning the tournament! Marcus came back from one set down to beat Toby Kodat of Bradenton, FL, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Marcus, who was unseeded, beat the No. 4, No. 10, No. 8, and No. 11 seeds on his way to the title. Marcus also reached the finals in doubles with Alexander Lee of the U.S.A. The pair seeded No. 4, put up a great fight in the finals, pushing Jordi Redelijk and Michael Sun of the U.S.A. to a third set super tiebreak 7-6(3), 1-6, 10-4.

Lastly, a lot of junior players participated in the USTA National Indoor Championships, which were played all over the United States on November 24-27. In the Boys’ 16 division, which was played in Wayland, MA, Ryder Jackson of Nicasio, ends an unbelievable year by sweeping the singles and doubles draws. Ryder earned his title by defeating Jeremie Casabon of Flourtown, PA, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the finals. Ryder also prevailed in doubles with regular partner Robert Cash of New Albany, Ohio, by overcoming Nicholas Condos of Wilton, CT, and Connor Fu of Andover, MA, 6-4! Marcus McDaniel also had a successful tournament, reaching the semifinals in doubles, with Alex lee of Oak Brook, IL. Marcus and Alex were stopped by eventual winners and fellow NorCal player Ryder Jackson, and Robert Cash 6-2, but they bounced back to win the Bronze Ball against Alex Finkelstein of Raynham, MA, and Timothy Li of Valley Village, CA, 6-4.

USTA National Boys’ 16 Indoor Championships in Wayland, MA. Picture on the left from L-R: Ryder Jackson, Robert Cash, Nicholas Condos, and Connor Fu. Picture on the right: Ryder Jackson and Jeremie Casabon.

In the Girls’ 14 division that was played Toledo, OH, Anushka Khune of Palo Alto, advanced to the semifinals in the doubles draw, playing with Reese Brantmeier of Whitewater, WI. The pair, who was the only unseeded left in the draw, couldn’t get passed Elisabeth Jones of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, and Kathryn Treiber of Hinsdale, IL, but recovered well to finish in third place by beating Sophia Strugnell of Summerfield, CA, and Alexandra Torre of Brentwood, TN, 6-2. In the Boys’ 14 division which was played in Chicago, IL, John Kim continued his winning ways by advancing to the semifinals in singles. John fell to eventual winner Noelle Ampong of Downers Grove, IL 6-3, 6-4, and even though he started his playoff match, couldn’t overcome Ozan Colak of Okemos, MI, to take fourth place with a final score of 2-6, 6-1. 6-4. Last but not least, in the same division, Max Fardanesh reached one step further to play in the finals, but, like John, couldn’t find the solution to Noelle Ampong and fell 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Congratulations to Max on a fantastic run!

USTA National Girls’ 14 Indoor Championships in Toledo, OH. Picture on the left: Anushka Khune and Reese Brantmeier. Middle picture: Anushka Khune. Picture on the left – USTA National Boys’ 14 Indoor Championships in Chicago, IL: Noelle Ampong and Max Fardanesh.

What a month our players had! Congratulations to all of them who competed this past month and we look forward to following you during your next tournament!