December 8th, 2014
Fla. Players Win Eddie Herr Titles; Sewing Sweeps Singles, Doubles
Florida players captured a total of five singles and doubles titles as the finals of the Eddie Herr junior tennis championships were completed over the weekend in age groups 18-12 in Bradenton, Fla.
Palm Coast’s Reilly Opelka won the all-Florida boys’ 18s singles final, defeating Bradenton’s Michael Mmoh 6-4, 6-4.
“It was part of the plan to come in,” the 6-foot-10 Opelka told zootennis.com of crushing the net during both sets. “Making volleys is part of it. Even missing it is no big deal, because if I’m finding my way to the net, there’s constant pressure on him. Making passing shots on the run, especially in big points in the match, continuously is not easy to do. If he can, then that’s too good. That’s the mentality I had.”
The 17 year old had beat the 16-year-old Mmoh in their most recent encounter in three sets. Now headed to compete at the Orange Bowl, Opelka first was looking forward to seeing USTA National Coach Brad Stine shave his head, which he said he would go through with if Opelka won the tournament.
Fifteen-year-old Sofia Sewing of Doral became the first player ever to win back-to-back 14s and 16s titles in consecutive years at the Eddie Herr when she defeated friend and Californian Dominique Schaefer 6-2, 7-6(5) for the girls’ 16 singles title.
“I was playing against my good friend, so it was exciting and tense,” Sewing, who trains with coach Robert Gomez at the Metropolia Tier One Academy in Coral Gables, told zootenniscom. “I feel more relaxed when you’re playing a friend. You have these intense points, and you want the best for the both of you. So it was nice.”
Sewing and Schaefer had teamed the previous day as the top seeds to win the girls’ 16 doubles title, in the final defeating the unseeded team of Tennessee’s Ally Bojczuk and Alabama’s Madeline Meredith 6-4, 6-2.
Pembroke Pines’ Sofia Kenin and Pennsylvania’s Jessica Ho won the girls’ 18s doubles title, in the final defeating No. 4 seeds Naiktha Bains of Australia and Luisa Stefani of Brazil 6-1, 6-1.
Tampa’s Vasil Kirkov teamed with Californian Sam Riffice as the top seeds to capture the boys’ 16s crown, in the final topping Portugal’s Vale Duarte and North Carolina’s Patrick Kypson 6-2, 1-6, 10-8.
Finishing runner-up in doubles finals were Boca Raton’s Nicole Conard in the girls’ 14s, and Bradenton’s Whitney Osuigwe in the girls’ 12s.
To see all the winners in each age group go to www.zootennis.com.