The 2022 USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Championships took place at the USTA National Campus over the course of five days with over 500 athletes in attendance.
There were no repeat champions, despite some reaching the finals and having a good shot at it. Instead, eight different players took home the honor of Bobby Curtis Champions. The atmosphere was amazing, and you could sense that no player wanted to make a mistake.
If you missed any of the action or want to relive it, check out the full tournament results to get a recap of the championship matches and final placings in each division.
Bobby Curtis Championship Results
Girls’ 18 & Under
Top seed Anushka Khune matched up with long-time friend and 2020 Bobby Curtis Champion Natalie Block for the 18s title. Khune came out firing in the first set, winning it 6-2.
In the second set, Block fought back, and you could feel the tension in the air from the two players. The two exchanged a couple good rallies, Khune was able to break Block to secure the championship.
After the match, Khune said that it was a really great game and the feeling was amazing. “I know this is a really prestigious tournament, so I’m happy to win it.”
Championship: (1) Anushka Khune (Boca Raton) d. (4) Natalie Block (Plantation) 6-2, 7-5
Third Place: Berklie Simmering (Fort Myers)
Fourth Place: Brooklyn Olson (Bradenton)
Fifth Place: Mary Boyce Deatherage (Maitland)
Sixth Place: Katie Spencer (Orlando)
Consolation Winner: Sophia Webster (Bonita Springs)
Boys’ 18 & Under
The Boys’ 18s finals was dominated from start to finish by fifth seed Leonardo Dal Boni. He came out swinging in the first set and never gave his opponent, Roberth Zhang, a chance to get comfortable in the match.
With the help of his powerful serve, Dal Boni was able to avenge his 2020 finalist finish and capture his first gold plate with two 6-1 set wins.
After the match he said, “It means a lot to me, I previously had the silver plate in 2020 and after that I couldn’t play for a whole year. So, winning this trophy now is really special to me.”
Championship: (5) Leonardo Dal Boni (Sarasota) d. (8) Robert Zhang (Lakewood Ranch) 6-1, 6-1
Third Place: Nikola Parichkov (Tampa)
Fourth Place: Jackson Caldwell (Lake Placid)
Fifth Place: Chase Healey (Saint Augustine)
Sixth Place: Kahaka’ioikamalie Companion (Saint Cloud)
Consolation Winner: Tanner Povey (Indian Rocks Beach)
Girls’ 16 & Under
Over on the clay courts, Claire Shao and Alyssa James played in one of the most intense matches of the tournament. Shao got things started in the first set with a convincing 6-3 win.
However, James wouldn’t go down without a fight and stormed back in the second set to send the match to a nerve-wrecking tiebreaker. After a ton of back and forth, Shao was able to take a long rally and be crowned winner of Bobby Curtis.
When asked about her emotions she said, “I was super nervous the whole time, but when she missed the last ball, I was extremely happy because it was a super long match.”
Championship: (7) Claire Shao (Boca Raton) d. (9) Alyssa James (Sunrise) 6-3, 4-6, 10-8
Third Place: Isabella Aguiar (Wellington)
Fourth Place: Gabriella Goyins (Pensacola)
Fifth Place: Ishika Khune (Boca Raton)
Sixth Place: Anastasiya Papazian (Bradenton)
Consolation Winner: Lauren Kettlewell (Doral)
Boys’ 16 & Under
The Boys’ 16 division proved to everyone that you don’t need to be seeded to win the entire event. Benajmin Willwerth, matched up against ninth seed Brennon Chow and put on a show.
Willwerth came out hot and after trading some games back and forth, he closed out the first set 6-4. In the second set, he jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Chow unfortunately, had to retire due to an injury he sustained in the match.
After the match, Willwerth talked about the grit and drive he had while battling the Florida heat. “I just kept going, there were so many matches where I was cramping and was overheated, but I just kept going.”
Championship: Benjamin Willwerth (Jupiter) d. (9) Brennon Chow (Miami) 6-4, 4-0 (RET)
Third Place: Jack Satterfield (Tampa)
Fourth Place: Sammy Nieder (Miami Beach)
Fifth Place: Alex Feies (Orlando)
Sixth Place: Raul De La Vega (Miami)
Consolation Winner: Kartik Mandla (Orlando)
Girls’ 14 & Under
Top seed Anita Tu and sixth seed Bella Payne matched up in the Girls’ 14s finals. Despite being the lower seed, Payne had full control of the first set with a quick 6-1 victory.
But, Tu showed amazing resilience and she quickly regained her composure to force a final tie breaker set. The two went back and forth, trading off points, until Tu was able to sway things in her favor and win the final set 10-8.
Tu touched on her composure and what it meant to her mentally, for not giving up. “I feel really proud of myself for coming back and winning this tournament.”
Championship: (1) Anita Tu (Melbourne) d. (6) Bella Payne (Bradenton) 1-6, 6-3, 10-8
Third Place: Abigail Gordon (Boca Raton)
Fourth Place: Filipa Delgado (Boca Raton)
Fifth Place: Lyla Messler (Largo)
Sixth Place: Anastasiia Rychkova (Boca Raton)
Consolation Winner: Valerie Simon (Tampa)
Boys’ 14 & Under
It was a battle of the top two seeds in the Boys 14s division, where Rafael Ferreira and Jackson Hinderberger delivered an exciting match.
Ferreira took advantage early and capitalized on it for the whole match. The eventual champion took the first set 6-4 and rolled through the second with ease.
When asked to describe his emotions Ferreira said, “It’s an amazing feeling, this tournament is really special and a big tournament in Florida.”
Championship: (1) Rafael Ferreira (Boca Raton) d. (2) Jackson Hinderberger (Lake Worth) 6-4, 6-2
Third Place: Jordan Lee (Orlando)
Fourth Place: Nikolas Stoot (Miami)
Fifth Place: Matthew Shapiro (Boca Raton)
Sixth Place: Teodor Davidov (Bradenton)
Consolation Winner: Adam Sun (Plantation)
Girls’ 12 & Under
In the Girls’ 12s, it was third seed Caroline Shao, the sister of Girls’ 16s winner Claire Shao, and fourth seed Emma Prose.
Prose, full of confidence, came out and played her best match of the tournament. She battled to take the first set 7-5, and then cruised through the second set to win her first Bobby Curtis.
“It was a tiring, mentally challenging match,” Prose said. “I’ve never gotten to the finals of Bobby Curtis, so I felt emotions I’ve never felt before, like confidence, and I was so happy I could experience this final.”
Championship: (4) Emma Prose (Cooper City) d. (3) Caroline Shao (Boca Raton) 7-5, 6-2
Third Place: Sophie Osipova (Ormond Beach)
Fourth Place: Arabella Duffell (Orlando)
Fifth Place: Nikol Davletshina (Lake Worth)
Sixth Place: Britney Brace (Parkland)
Consolation Winner: Anastasiya Muravia (Boyton Beach)
Boys’ 12 & Under
Top seeded Diego Custodio and ninth seed Rafael Bote closed out the tournament in the Boys’ 12s. Bote, the underdog, wasn’t shy of a challenge and rose to the occasion.
He won the finals in straight sets and was super excited to claim his first Bobby Curtis victory.
“I felt proud of myself, but I also felt like I defeated a great opponent, which made me even more proud of myself,” Bote said. “This is a very important tournament to me, it’s a really happy moment.”
Championship: (9) Rafael Bote (Boca Raton) d. (1) Diego Custodio (Tampa) 6-4, 6-1
Third Place: Axton Boonswang (Palm Beach Gardens)
Fourth Place: Diego Carrera (Miami)
Fifth Place: Alexander Rangelov (Largo)
Sixth Place: Geoff Kosseifi (Delray Beach)
Consolation Winner: Rex Kulam (Fort Lauderdale)