Two Florida tennis juniors made an impact at the USTA National Winter Championships, held Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2018, in Orlando and Tucson, Ariz., as Boca Raton native Christian Alshon captured the boys’ 18s singles title, and Hudson Herzog of Boca Raton finished runner-up in the girls’ 12s doubles.
Alshon, a four-time doubles champion during his junior career at the USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Championships (2014-B14 doubles, 2013-B14 mixed, 2012-B12 and mixed), utilized his all-court game in defeating No. 12 seed Bradley Frye (Overland Park, Kan.) 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in the nationally-televised final on the stadium-bowl hard court at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
The No. 16-seeded Alshon overcame windy and chilly conditions to win a third straight USTA National Winter Championships title after last year claiming the boys’ 18s doubles championship with partner Trey Hilderbrand of San Antonio, Texas, and the boys’ 16s singles in 2016. The match was shown on Tennis Channel, in addition to the girls’ 18s final.
Frye, who has verbally committed to the University of Southern California, appeared to run out of gas in the third set after coming off a third-set tiebreak upset win over the No. 4 seed the previous evening in the semifinals, played indoors at the USTA National Campus due to inclement weather.
The victory also earns Alshon, who is coached by Eleazar Magallan, a wild card entry into a future USTA Pro Circuit event. It was his second USTA Gold Ball win of the 2017 season after claiming the 18s doubles title at the USTA National Clay Court Championships.
At the USTA Girls’ 12s National Winter Championships in Tucson, the No. 3-seeded team of Boca Raton’s Herzog and partner Meg McCarty (Bozeman, Mt.) fell 6-2, 6-4 to the top-seeded duo of Susanna Maltby (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.). Yakoff also took home the girls’ 12s singles title.
The USTA National Winter Championships was the last of five junior USTA National Championships of 2017, and counts current pros such as Jack Sock (2004-B12, 2008-B16), Christina McHale (2004-G12), Donald Young (2002-B14s), Frances Tiafoe (2011-B14s) and Kayla Day (2013-G16s) as previous champions.