September 19th, 2016

Girls Repeat, Twins Win at 2016 USTA Florida State Jr. Doubles Tennis Chps.

Bobby Curtis Junior State Championships Junior Tournaments Youth Tennis News

The Girls’ 18s finalists, from left to right: champions Sophia Edwards/Anna Bright, and runners-up Melissa Sakar/Kacey Moore

The Girls’ 18s winners collected fourth and fifth career “Bobby Doubles” titles, and the Cacciatore twins from Gainesville won a second consecutive championship on Monday when the 68th USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Doubles Championships decided winners in four age divisions.

The “Bobby Doubles” was held Sept. 17-19, 2016, at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs (18s-16s age divisions), and at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach (14s-12s divisions).

No. 2 seeds Anna Bright (Boca Raton)/Sophia Edwards (Nokomis) collected the Girls’ 18s crown, in the final defeating No. 3 seeds Kacey Moore (Wellington)/Melissa Sakar (Lauderdale Lakes) 6-3, 6-4.

Only a high school freshman, it was the fifth state doubles championship for Edwards, who previously brought home “Bobby Doubles” title in the Girls’ 14s (2014), Mixed 14s (2013), Mixed 12s (2013), and Mixed 10s (2010) divisions.

“It was such an honor because there were so many good players,” Edwards said. “The competition is always really at the top and I’d always hoped to win the 18s after reaching the finals of the Girls’ 16s.”

For Bright, a high school junior, it was a fourth state doubles crown after previous age-division wins in the Mixed 18s (2015), Girls’ 16s (2014), and Girls’ 14s (2012).

“Winning the 18s is definitely the sweetest because now that I’m almost 17, it’s awesome to look back and think about all I’ve accomplished at this event,” Bright said. “Sophie and I really bonded during the [USTA] 16s Intersectionals tournament this past July in Louisiana, and we’ve really been looking forward to playing this tournament together. I think of her as a little sister, and winning this title with her feels amazing.”

Bright followed the Girls’ 18s title with the Mixed 18s crown, her second year in a row, this time with partner Jourdan Kast of Boca Raton.

“I knew I had big shoes to fill because Anna won this title last year,” said Kast after capturing his first Bobby Doubles title. “First few matches for us were tough because I kept making Anna laugh like crazy and I didn’t know what to do, but then we eventually got in the groove and prevailed.”

In the all-unseeded Boys’ 18s final, Gainesville twins Harry and Grey Cacciatore won their second consecutive title after capturing the Boys’ 16s championship last year. On Monday they edged Daniel Gale (Boca Raton)/Antonio Mora (Coconut Grove) 4-6, 6-2, 10-6.

“It feels great to win back-to-back state championships with my brother,” Grey said following the third-set tiebreak that decided the match. “The past couple of months we’ve been focusing heavily on doubles before playing Kalamazoo [USTA Boys’ 18s National Hard Courts] and the [USTA] Doubles National Championship last month. Coming up short for the national title last month [losing in the final] was rough, but it ultimately gave us motivation to come back stronger in the next tournament. Congrats to Daniel and Antonio, they played a great tournament, and today could’ve gone either way.”

The Boys’ 16s final saw unseeded Juan Bianchi (Ocoee)/David Gorshein (Longwood) upset No. 5 seeds David Burns (Fleming Island)/Daniel Labrador (Tampa) 7-5, 4-6, 10-8, and in the Girls’ 16s final, No. 6 seeds Ayshe Can (Weston)/Melanie Dlugolecki (Hallandale Beach) stopped the run of unseeded Maria Rizzolo (Jupiter)/Sofia Rojas (Sarasota) 7-5, 6-2.

Can followed up on her first Bobby Doubles title won last year in the Mixed 14s division.

“We are super happy to win and honored to play in this tournament,” Can said.

Dlugolecki, who also won the Mixed 16s on Monday, added, “This was the first time [Ayshe and I] played together, so winning together was an amazing experience. It was my first time playing the tournament and I’m excited to do it again next year!”

Highlights from the 14s and 12s division were Bradenton’s Anna Babyan winning both the Girls’ 14s and Mixed 14s titles, her first Bobby Doubles titles, and Miami’s Brooke Dugarte winning the Girls’ 12s and reaching the final of the Mixed 12’s.

Gainesville’s Ben Shelton followed up on his first Bobby Doubles title last year in the Boys’ 12s with the Mixed 14s this year (with Babyan), and Orlando’s Jack Anthrop earns honorable mention for reaching both the finals of the Boys’ 14s and Mixed 14s.

Upsets were on display in the 14s and 12s finals as four of the six boys’, girls’ and mixed finals saw lower seeds toppling higher seeds.

Here are Monday’s Day 3 and final results (seeds in parenthesis, multiple title winners in bold):

Boys’ 18 Doubles — Harry Cacciatore/Grey Cacciatore (Gainesville, FL) d. Daniel Gale (Boca Raton, FL) / Antonio Mora (Coconut Grove, FL) 4-6, 6-2, 10-6

Girls’ 18 Doubles — (2) Anna Bright (Boca Raton, FL) / Sophia Edwards (Nokomis, FL) d. (3) Kacey Moore (Wellington, FL) / Melissa Sakar (Lauderdale Lakes, FL) 6-3, 6-4

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Mixed 18 Doubles — (1) Anna Bright (Boca Raton, FL) / Jourdan Kast (Boca Raton, FL) d. (2) Antonio Mora (Coconut Grove, FL) / Margaret Owensby (Boca Raton, FL) walkover

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Boys’ 16 Doubles — Juan Bianchi (Ocoee, FL) / David Gorshein (Longwood, FL) d. (5) David Burns (Fleming Island, FL) / Daniel Labrador (Tampa, FL) 7-5, 4-6, 10-8

Girls’ 16 Doubles — (6) Ayshe Can (Weston, FL) / Melanie Dlugolecki (Hallandale Beach, FL) d. Maria Rizzolo (Jupiter, FL) / Sofia Rojas (Sarasota, FL) 7-5, 6-2

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Mixed 16 Doubles — (7) Melanie Dlugolecki (Hallandale Beach, FL) / Luis Iriarte Bastidas (Weston, FL) d. (2) Harrison Gold (Aventura, FL) / Camila Ordonez (Aventura, FL) 6-4, 6-1

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Boys’ 14 Doubles — (7) Myles Decoste (Stuart, FL) / Dante Russo (Deerfield Bch, FL) d. (5) Jack Anthrop (Orlando, FL) / Kian Vakili (Longwood, FL) 7-5, 6-2

Girls’ 14 Doubles — (2) Anna Babayan (Bradenton, FL) / Sophia Fornaris (Pinecrest, FL) d. (1) Paige Herremans (Orlando, FL) / Daniela Porges (Plantation, FL) 5-7, 6-1, 10-8

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Mixed 14 Doubles — (4) Anna Babayan (Bradenton, FL) / Ben Shelton (Gainesville, FL) d. (3) Jack Anthrop (Orlando, FL) / Juliette Finch (Delray Beach, FL) 4-6, 6-2, 10-8

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Boys’ 12 Doubles — (3) Connor McLeod (Bradenton, FL) / Roger Wang (St Petersburg, FL) d. (4) Julian Alonso (Jupiter, FL) / Corey Craig (Coconut Creek, FL) 7-5, 7-5

Girls’ 12 Doubles — (1) Brooke Dugarte (Miami, FL) / Violeta Martinez (Port Saint Lucie, FL) d. (2) Jessica Buck (Tampa, FL) / Lara Smejkal (Boca Raton, FL) 6-4, 6-2

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Mixed 12 Doubles — (2) Yair Gritzman (Boca Raton, FL) / Lara Smejkal (Boca Raton, FL) d. (1) Brooke Dugarte (Miami, FL) / Yannik Rahman (Miami, FL) 6-2, 7-6(6)

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Former “Bobby Curtis” State Doubles winners include current two-time NCAA champ Danielle Collins (Girls’ 18s-2010, Mixed 12s-2005), former Florida State University stars Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst (Boys’ 18s-2012), and at the pro level former WTA doubles world No. 1-ranked and Wimbledon winner Corina Morariu (Girls’ 16s-1992, Girls’ 14s-1991) and former ATP player Wayne Odesnik (Boys’ 14s-1999).

Former world No. 1s Chris Evert, Jennifer Capriati, 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.

For complete age 12s and 14s draws, results and seedings, CLICK HERE.

For complete 16s and 18s draws, results and seedings, CLICK HERE.