September 21st, 2015
Former ATP Star Shelton’s Kids Win Titles at 2015 Florida Jr. State Doubles Tennis
In the case of former ATP World Tour player Bryan Shelton, the fruit hasn’t fallen too far from the tree.
Shelton, the current head coach in his fourth season at the University of Florida men’s tennis team, had two of his children bring home titles from the 67th USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Doubles Championships, which finished on Monday.
Shelton’s daughter Emma captured the Girls’ 14s doubles title with fellow Gainesville resident Kensie Cricchio as the No. 3 seeds, and Shelton’s son Benjamin won the Boys’ 12s doubles title with Sarasota’s Jonah Braswell as the No. 3 seeds, in the final toppling the No. 1 seeds.
“Emma and Ben were so pumped about playing the state doubles tournament,” Shelton said. “They both really enjoy the team aspect of tennis, so the Florida state doubles and USTA Zonals are their favorite events. They got home last night after the finals and were fired-up about their success and gave credit to their partners, Kensie and Jonah. We are really proud of them and so happy they love the game.”
The 67th USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Doubles Championships were held on Sept. 19-21, 2015, at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs (18s-16s age divisions), and at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach (14s-10s divisions).
Another college coach’s offspring brought home multiple trophies when Daytona Beach’s Lilly Pleasant, daughter of Tim Pleasant, head coach of men’s and women’s tennis at Bethune-Cookman University, won both the Girls’ 10s doubles and Mixed 10s titles. She was the lone player to take home two championships from the event.
The boys’ 18s and 16s divisions both saw rare unseeded champions this year. In the Boys’ 18s final, Kaden Funk (Windermere) and Ninan Kumar (Orlando) followed their semifinal upset of the No. 1 seeds by defeating the No. 2 seeds in the championship match. In the Boys’ 16s final the Cacciatore brothers of Gainesville, Grey and Harry, won their first junior state doubles crown.
It was a sweet final step on Monday for the Cacciatore brothers, who last year reached the Boys’ 14s final as an unseeded team before falling at the final hurdle in the championship.
Repeat champions were Girls’ 18s winner Taylor Russo (Deerfield Beach) who won the 2013 Mixed 16s title (w/Davey Roberts), the Boys’ 18s winner Funk who won the 2012 Mixed 16s (w/Priyanka Shah), Mixed 18s winner Anna Bright (Boca Raton) who last year won the Girls’ 16s title (w/Alana Wolfberg) and in 2012 won the Girls’ 14s title (w/Laura Fabrizi), her Mixed 18s partner Antoine Sanchez (Sarasota) who in 2013 won the Boys’ 14s title (w/Henry Patrick Cacciatore), Girls’ 16s winner Gia Cohen (Bradenton) who captured the 2012 Girls’ 12s title (w/Hurricane Tyra Black), and Boys’ 14s winner Thomas Lake (Davie) who won the 2013 Mixed 12s title (w/Madison Leal) and the 2011 Boys’ 10s title (w/Harrison Gold).
Here are the champions and finalists from the 67th USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Doubles Championships (seeds in parenthesis):
Boys’ 18 Doubles (Final)
Kaden Funk (Windermere, FL) / Ninan Kumar (Orlando, FL) def. (2) Morgan Dill (Coral Gables, FL) / Brandon Shanklin (Miramar, FL) 2-6, 6-4, 10-8
Girls’ 18 Doubles (Final)
(2) Mackenzy Middlebrooks (Fort Lauderdale, FL) / Taylor Russo (Deerfield Beach, FL) def. (8) Stevie Kennedy (Bonita Springs, FL) / Adriana Reami (Miami, FL) 6-0, 7-5
Mixed 18 Doubles (Final)
Anna Bright (Boca Raton, FL) / Antoine Sanchez (Sarasota, FL) def. Aleksander Kovacevic (Boca Raton, FL) / Clare McKee (Boca Raton, FL) 6-0, 6-4
[row] [column md=”4″]
Boys’ 16 Doubles (Final)
Harry Cacciatore (Gainesville, FL) / Grey Cacciatore (Gainesville, FL) def. Dylan Breslaw (Port St Lucie, FL) / Tomas Martinez (Port Saint Lucie, FL) 6-1, 7-5
Girls’ 16 Doubles (Final)
(2) Gia Cohen (Bradenton, FL) / Imani Graham (Saint Johns, FL) def. (1) Sophia Edwards (Sarasota, FL) / Amaya LopezClay (Delray Beach, FL) 6-2, 7-5
Mixed 16 Doubles (Final)
(2) Michael Heller (Weston, FL) / Nicola Perlwitz (Weston, FL) def. (8) Gia Cohen (Bradenton, FL) / Jericho Grollman (Lake Mary, FL) 4-6, 7-5, 10-4
[row] [column md=”4″]
Boys’ 14 Doubles (Final)
(3) Russell Berdusco (Bradenton, FL) / Thomas Lake (Davie, FL) def. (4) Matthew Fung (Miami, FL) / Randy Wilson (Miami, FL) 6-4, 6-2
Girls’ 14 Doubles (Final)
(3) Kensie Cricchio (Gainesville, FL) / Emma Shelton (Gainesville, FL) def. (4) Jaleesa Leslie (Apopka, FL) / Jamilah Snells (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 6-4, 6-4
Mixed 14 Doubles (Final)
(1) Ayshe Can (Weston, FL) / Esteban Sierra (Miami, FL) def. (8) Laura Ashley (Bradenton, FL) / Thomas Lake (Davie, FL) 7-6(6), 6-4
[row] [column md=”4″]
Boys’ 12 Doubles (Final)
(3) Jonah Braswell (Sarasota, FL) / Benjamin Shelton (3) (Gainesville, FL) def. (1) Jack Anthrop (Orlando, FL) / Sebastian Dounchis (Naples, FL) 1-6, 6-2, 10-1
Girls’ 12 Doubles (Final)
(2) Maya Rukosuev (Altamonte Springs, FL) / Maria Drobotova (Deerfield Beach, FL) def. (1) Juliette Finch (Delray Beach, FL) / Ariel Johnson (Coconut Creek, FL) 6-2, 3-6, 13-11
Mixed 12 Doubles (Final)
(1) Jack Anthrop (Orlando, FL) / Juliette Finch (Delray Beach, FL) def. (2) Ariel Johnson (Coconut Creek, FL) / Kian Vakili (Longwood, FL) 6-3, 6-3
[row] [column md=”4″]
Boys’ 10 Doubles (Final)
Matthew Hewitt (Tampa, FL) / Tanner Povey (Indian Rocks Beach, FL) def. Alexander Di Staulo (Weston, FL) / Yubel Ubri (Miami Beach, FL) 3-5; 4-1; 10-3
Girls’ 10 Doubles (Final)
Natalie Outcalt (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) / Lilly Pleasant (Daytona Beach, FL) round robin winners
Mixed 10 Doubles (Final)
Lilly Pleasant (Daytona Beach, FL) / Timothy Pleasant (Daytona Beach, FL) round robin winners
[row] [column md=”3″]
The Florida state doubles and singles titles are two of the top championships for junior players in the USTA Florida Section.
Former world No. 1s Chris Evert, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier are among the players that have raised trophies in singles at the USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Singles Championships, previously known as the USTA Florida Jr. State Closed. Florida’s top event was renamed to honor the legendary Florida junior tennis organizer Bobby Curtis in 2012. The tournament is annually a launching pad for future college stars and pros.
For complete age 10s, 12s and 14s draws, results and seedings, CLICK HERE.
For complete 16s and 18s draws, results and seedings, CLICK HERE.