2013-08-11 Tommy Paul (3) and Jake DeVine (4) were roommates during the tournament, but they put that aside as they faced each other in the boys 16s championship match. Paul came out on top, winning 6-3, 6-1, along with the wild card into the U.S. Open juniors. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but “Wow. Getting the wild card was a huge factor of this tournament because off my ITF ranking I wouldn’t have gotten into qualies of the U.S. Open, so winning the tournament got me straight into the main, which is great,” Paul said. DeVine said he was disappointed in the outcome, but “the most I can do at this point is learn from it and try to give myself another shot next year.” Paul said before the match, they approached each other and “we were like, ‘All right, whatever happens, we’re still friends after the match’.”
2013-08-11 Collin Altamirano became the first unseeded player in the 71-year-history of the Nationals in Kalamazoo to win a singles title when he defeated No. 14 Jared Donaldson, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, in the best of five boys 18s championship match Sunday. With the win, Altamirano, Yuba City, Calif., also earns a wild card into the main draw of the U.S. Open. Donaldson, Cumberland, R.I., struggled with his serve, holding just four times in the match. He gave up tennis during the winter and said if someone had asked him in February if he would be happy with a second-place finish in Kalamazoo, he would have said yes. “Now that you’re here, you always want more,” he said. “It’s a good tournament, I had some good wins but it’s kinda like second place is bittersweet. You have good wins, but you’re basically the first loser. That’s kinda how I think I’ll look back on it.” Altamirano said he doesn’t care who he plays in his first round at the U.S. Open, “I’m just happy to be there,” he said. “I’m happy, I’m happy. I accomplished a goal, so it’s good. I did what coach told me to do, and I executed beautifully.”
2013-08-10 Bolstered by a large contingent of family and friends, Kalamazoo’s Paul Oosterbaan and partner Ronnie Schneider, Bloomington, Ind., won the boys 18s doubles championship and the wild card into the main doubles draw of the U.S. Open. Oosterbaan and Schneider, the No. 3 seeds, defeated No. 4 Henry Craig, Murrieta, Calif., and George Goldhoff, Germantown, Tenn., 7-6(4), 7-6(4). Craig and Goldhoff had set points in both sets, but couldn’t convert them.” It’s just a simple matter of converting set points,” Craig said. “It’s about as close as it could get.” Oosterbaan said he was nervous going into the tiebreak. “I’m sure everyone on the court was feeling it, too,” he said. “Every point really mattered. Lucky we could put it away in a second set tiebreaker.” Schneider said that with the crowd behind them, he never had so much fun playing tennis. “You know when you hit a good shot, they’re going to go nuts,” he said. “Every time, almost every point we won, they went nuts.” Fritz Taylor, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Anudeep Kodali, Durham, N.C., won the boys 16s doubles title. The 11th seeds defeated top-seeded Tommy Paul, Boca Raton, Fla., and Alex Rybakov, Coral Springs, Fla., 6-4, 6-4.
2013-08-09 Kalamazoo's Davis Crocker has been presented the 2013 Wes Richards Sportsmanship Award. Davis is the second Michigander to win the award since David Drew, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan won in 1985, the inaugural year.
2013-08-09 The top four seeds in boys 16s all advanced to Saturday’s singles semifinals, but there were some shakeups in boys 18s. Collin Altamirano, Yuba City, Calif., is the lone unseeded player left in the main draw. No unseeded player has ever won the tournament. “I don’t play as much as the other kids when it comes to juniors,” Altamirano said. “I expected not to be seeded. It’s good. I’m doing what I came here for.” One of just two three-set matches in Friday’s quarterfinals went to Tommy Paul (pictured), Boa Raton, Fla., the third seed in boys 16s. Paul defeated No. 9 Reilly Opelka, Palm Coast, Fla., 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-2. The two players train together which has its advantages. “It’s always hard to play someone that you train with,” Paul said. “He’s like pretty much my roommate, so that makes it a little harder. The only good part about it is that we really know each other’s game, so we didn’t really have to scope each other out too much.” The other three-setter went to Gage Brymer, the top boys 18s seed from Irvine, Calif., who defeated Ernesto Escobedo (5), West Covina, Calif., 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
2013-08-05 Unseeded Samuel Shropshire pulled the upset of the day, defeating third-seeded Stefan Kozlov, Pembroke Pines, Fla., 6-4, 7-6(5) in a boys 18s third round match. Shropshire, who is from Philadelphia, had two match points in the second set, but Kozlov fought off both of them. “I had one shot I thought was in and I started to do a little “Come on,” but it was called out, which it was,” said Shropshire, who is headed to Northwestern University in the fall. It’s always difficult to come back from that. I thought to myself, if you keep it together you can still win the tiebreaker.” Kozlov was broken on his first two service games of the match.
2013-08-04 Gage Brymer, the top seed in Boys 18s, advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-4, win over unseeded Terrance Whitehurst, Tallahassee, Fla., on Sunday. Brymer, from Irvine, Calif., will play unseeded Artemie Amari, New York City, in Monday's third round. Gage, who won the Easter Bowl, said sporting the "top seed bull's eye" doesn't make a difference to him. "I’ve got to play every match the same whether it’s the No. 1 seed or unseeded," he said. "It’s all the same to me."
2013-07-25 We extend our most sincere sympathy to the family of David Markin. David passed away on May 30, 2013. His family will hold a Memorial Service on Sunday, August 4 beginning at 7pm at Stetson Chapel. There will be a reception following the service at Hicks Center. Chris Markin and family invite all volunteers who knew David to attend.
2012-08-12 In his first year at the Nats at the Zoo, Henrik Wiersholm is leaving with two gold tennis ball awards. After partnering with Daniel Kerznerman, Brooklyn, N.Y., to win the 16s doubles title on Saturday, he defeated 32nd seed Alexandru Gozun, 6-4, 6-1, on Sunday for the singles championship. Wiersholm also won the wild card into the U.S. Open junior tournament next month. Playing doubles plus upsetting top seed Mitch Stewart, 7-6(2), 6-3, on Saturday gave him a big confidence boost, said Wiersholm, the 12th seed from Kirkland, Wash. “I played very well (Saturday),” he said. “Also, my singles match (Saturday) really helped as well.” The turning point in Sunday’s match was “We were holding, holding, until 3-3,” Wiersholm said. “I got my first break point of that game. Alex saves break points pretty regularly with a big serve, so I didn’t think much of it. ... I did an on-the-run winner for the break and that’s where I kinda got it going. I kept the momentum through the second set. I didn’t get broken the whole match, so that was a great feeling for me. That doesn’t happen too often.” Gozun said he was a bit nervous playing in a final of a big tournament for the first time. “But also, Henrik did a very good job of keeping everything away from me, away from my powerful game,” Gozun said. “He just did a very good job today.”
2012-08-12 Dennis Novikov made it a sweep in the boys 18s, winning the singles title on Sunday, a day after he and Michael Redlicki won the doubles championship. Novikov earned two wild cards into the main draw of the U.S. Open, one in singles and the other in doubles. Novikov defeated Alexios Halebian, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, Sunday in the best-of-five final. “It feels great right now,” Novikov said. “It’s big to win this tournament, especially to win the singles and doubles the same year. I haven’t won either here and getting my first two gold balls is a good experience for me.” Halebian said he started well, taking a 5-3 first-set lead, but couldn’t close out the set. “I started off pretty well like I’ve been doing the whole week,” he said. “This time, I didn’t close it out. I don’t know why. I had my chances. I missed a few backhands I should make usually. The set kinda got away from me; a tight tiebreaker. I tried my best to come back and the next couple sets I started pretty slow and he got on top of me, except the second set. Once you lose the first set, you don’t have much room for error.” Novikov was up 5-1 in the fourth set, but Halebian kept chipping away. “Nerves a little bit because it’s the finals of Kalamazoo,” Novikov said. “There’s a lot of the line.” Serving for the match, Novikov said he was confident after going up 40-love. “Then I know I have six serves just to win the point,” he said. “I figured I’d get one of those in.” He did, on his first match point. As with doubles, Novikov said he doesn’t care who he plays in the U.S. Open as long as he can win the first match. “I’d rather win and then play (Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer) because I could still play them second round,” he said.
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