January 23rd, 2017
All-Florida Nike Junior Int. Teen Tennis Finals in Britain Make History
Twelve-year-old Cori Gauff of Delray Beach and 14-year-old Toby Kodat of Bradenton made history for American junior tennis at the prestigious Nike Junior International Teen Tennis tournament in Bolton, England on Friday, each winning the girls’ and boys’ singles titles over American opponents.
It was the first time in the 23-year history of the 14-and-under event — which counts Andy Murray, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin and Caroline Wozniacki among its previous finalists — that all four singles finalists were from the same country.
Gauff beat Alexandra Yepifanova of Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 6-2, to win the girls’ title, while Kodat beat Martin Damm of Bradenton, Fla., 7-5, 6-0, in the boys’ singles championship. All four boys’ singles semifinalists were American, including Alexander Bernard of Bonita Springs, Fla., and Aidan Mayo of Roseville, Calif.
Three of the four girls’ semifinalists were American, including Elvina Kalieva of Pembroke Pines, Fla., marking the first time in the tournament’s history that seven of the eight boys’ and girls’ singles finalists were from the same country.
Gauff and Charlotte Owensby of Boca Raton, Fla., won the girls’ doubles title on Thursday, beating France’s Flavie Brugnone and Anaelle Leclercq 4-6, 6-2 [10-6]. Damm and Mayo fell to Great Britain’s Joel Pierleoni and Jack Pinnington Jones, 6-3, 7-5, in the boys’ doubles final.
Gauff is coached by Gerald Loglo, Kodat by Ales Kodat, Yepifanova by Kostya Anisimova, Damm by Ashley Hobson and his father and former Grand Slam doubles winner Martin Damm, Bernard by Rene Gomez, Mayo by Vahe Assadourian, Kalieva by Nick Saviano, and Owensby by Yulia Beygelzimer.
All eight U.S. players, along with USTA National Coaches Maureen Diaz and Jon Glover, will now travel to Tarbes, France, to play in the prestigious 14-and-under Les Petits As.
For further tournament results or info go to http://te.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=5C08F262-6CF0-45BC-BE39-A0B801D51B46.