Bradenton’s Whitney Osuigwe, Bonita Springs’ Alexander Bernard, and Boca Raton’s Charlotte Owensby brought home singles or doubles USTA Gold Ball championships from the 50th annual adidas Easter Bowl, held last week in Indian Wells, Calif.
Bernard as the No. 9 seed captured the boys’ 14s title, in the final upsetting No. 2 seed Aryan Chaudhary of Santa Clara, Calif., 6-4, 6-2. In the semifinals Bernard ousted No. 1 seed Maxwell McKennon, while Chaudhary outlasted Martin Damm of Bradenton, Fla., in three sets.
The No. 8-seeded Owensby won the girls’ 14s title, in the final edging top-seeded Gianna Pielet of El Paso, Texas, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
Owensby trailed Pielet 5-2 in the third set.
“When it was 5-4, and she went up 40-0 I definitely thought I was done,” the 14-year-old Owensby, who saved seven match points, told zootennis.com. “But I just took it one point at a time, and when I got it to 5-all, I just focused on that game and when I won that game, I thought I could win the match.”
Osuigwe teamed with Caty McNally of Ohio to win the girls’ 18s doubles title, as the top seeds in the final defeating No. 2-seeded Taylor Johnson of California and Ann Li of Pennsylvania 6-3, 7-6(10).
McNally-Osuigwe fought off a total of seven set points from their opponents over the two sets.
Earning USTA Silver Balls for their runner-up efforts were Bradenton’s Sebastian Korda, who as the No. 10 seed lost in the boys’ 18s final to No. 8-seeded Alafia Ayeni of San Diego 6-4, 0-6, 7-5; and Damm who in the boys’ 14s doubles final as an unseeded pair with partner Aidan Mayo lost to the No. 3-seeded team of Chaudhary/Timothy Li 7-5, 6-1.
Damm was also named the USTA Boys’ 14s Sportsmanship Winner, as was Osuigwe who received the ITF Girls’ 18s Sportsmanship award.
Past Easter Bowl champs include future stars Taylor Fritz (2015), Frances Tiafoe (2014) and CiCi Bellis (2014), current tour players Christine McHale (2009), Donald Young (2006) and Sam Querrey (2005), and former tour stars Andy Roddick (1998), Jennifer Capriati (1988), and John McEnroe and Tracy Austin (1976).
For more info go to www.easterbowl.com.