More than 360 junior players descended upon the USTA National Campus in Orlando to compete in USTA Florida’s storied junior doubles event, the “Bobby Curtis” Junior Doubles Section Championships. 12 divisions were contested during the event, held September 18-20, 2021.
A strong competitor who dominated the Boys’ 12s single division at the USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior Section Championships in June, Jordan Lee (Orlando) and doubles partner Jerrid Gaines Jr. (Margate) were the top seed of the boys’ 12s doubles division. The duo sailed through the rounds of play, knocking off No. 3 seeds Victor Pignaton (Boca Raton)/Daniel Patsula (Miramar) in the semifinals before overpowering the No. 2 seeds Diego Custodio (Tampa)/Andre Bart (Orlando) 6-1, 6-4 in the final. While Lee is no stranger to USTA Florida’s “Bobby Curtis” tournaments, who in addition to his win in June 2021 was also the 2020 “Bobby Curtis” Green Ball Sectional Champion, it’s the first “Bobby Curtis” title for Gaines Jr.
Partners on the court for the 12s, Lee and Gaines Jr. were competitors in the Mixed 12s division, with Lee paired up with Ana Avramovic (Orlando) as the No. 1 seed while Gaines Jr. teamed up with Anita Tu (Melbourne) as a strong No. 2. Both pairs rallied their way through each round to meet in the finals where Lee/Avramovic took the Mixed 12s championship over Gaines Jr./Tu 5-3, 5-3.
Tu wouldn’t go home empty-handed though. The Girls’ 12s final guaranteed first-time Bobby doubles winners as the top-seeded squad of Abigail Gordon (Boca Raton)/Anita Tu (Melbourne) defeated No. 2 seeds Ana Avramovic (Orlando)/Emily Morgan (Boca Raton) 6-1, 6-4.
The 14s divisions saw new champions all around. The Boys’ 14s came down to a face-off between the top two seeds. No. 1 Stefan Karatosic (Aventura)/Rafael Ferreira (Boca Raton) topped No. 2 Nathan Germino (Valrico)/Jack Satterfield (Tampa) 3-6, 6-3 [10-3] to secure a first career Bobby Doubles title for Karatosic and Ferreira.
In the Girls’ 14s, No. 3 seeds Bella Payne (Bradenton)/Sara Shumate (Bradenton) conquered the No. 2 seeds Daniela Chica (Miami)/Gabriella Rawles (Bradenton) in the semifinals to advance to the championship match. There, the Bradenton duo went 6-4, 6-3 over the top-seeded pair of Berklie Simmering (Fort Myers)/Katie Spencer (Orlando) to capture their first Bobby doubles titles.
Fort Myer’s Berklie Simmering and Tampa’s Jack Satterfield were the front-runner team in the Mixed 14s, but their efforts just couldn’t top Miami’s Caleb Chow and Daniela Chica, who only dropped four sets on their journey to the final. Chow and Chica would find victory with a 5-4(4), 3-5 [7-5] score to bring home the trophy.
Tampa’s Hunter Nussbaum earned his second career Bobby Doubles title, five years after he won the Boys’ 12 crown. He and partner Nikola Parichkov (Tampa) defeated No. 4 seeds Pierce Garbett (Miami)/Benjamin Willwerth (Jupiter) 6-3, 6-7(4) [11-9] in the Boys’ 16s final.
Two months after winning the USTA’s Girls’ 16 National Clay Court Championships singles title, Naples’ Kaitlin Quevedo added another trophy to her collection with partner Savannah Webster of Bonita Springs. The third seeds conquered the Girls’ 16s division, defeating the unseeded duo of Mollie Garcia (Lutz)/Hayley Roberts (Bradenton) 6-2, 6-1 in the final.
Webster also made it to the finals of the Mixed 16s with partner Benjamin Saltman (Winter Haven) as the No. 8 seed, but was denied a second title of the weekend by third-seeded Catherine Goldman (Hollywood)/David Prasievi (Miami), who took the division with a 5-3, 5-4(5) record.
A force to be reckoned with in the Boys’ 18s, Lutz’s Samuel Frizelle and Ormond Beach’s Alex Han were the team to beat as the top-seeded duo steamrolled the No. 5 and No. 3 seeds in their path to the final. In the championship matchup, No. 6 seeds Maxim Michaels (Wellington) and Zak Vince (Clermont) couldn’t stop Frizelle and Han, who went on to claim their first Bobby doubles title 6-7(3), 6-2 [10-5].
Boca Raton’s Delaine Tribby and Blanka DeMicheli earned their first Bobby doubles crown in a blockbuster, underdog win in the Girls’ 18s. The unseeded pair advanced in the quarterfinals against the top-seeded team who retired from the match due to injury. In the final, Tribby and DeMicheli went on to capture a 7-5, 6-0 victory over the No. 4 seeds from Bradenton, Maria Markosov and Paradise Traub.
Finally in the Mixed 18s, No. 1 seeds Sophia Webster (Bonita Springs) and Tygen Goldammer (Estero) rallied for the crown against the No. 4 seeds from Bradenton, Maria Markosov and Phillip Dell. Despite a strong effort from Markosov/Dell, the duo of Webster and Goldammer sealed the win 3-5, 4-2 [7-1].
Champions and finalists (seeds in parenthesis):
Boys’ 12s: (1) Jordan Lee (Orlando)/Jerrid Gaines Jr. (Margate) d. (2) Diego Custodio (Tampa)/Andre Bart (Orlando) 6-1, 6-4
Boys’ 14s: (1) Stefan Karatosic (Aventura)/Rafael Ferreira (Boca Raton) d. (2) Nathan Germino (Valrico)/Jack Satterfield (Tampa) 3-6, 6-3 [10-3]
Boys’ 16s: (3) Hunter Nussbaum (Tampa)/Nikola Parichkov (Tampa) d. (4) Pierce Garbett (Miami)/Benjamin Willwerth (Jupiter) 6-3, 6-7(4) [11-9]
Boys’ 18s: (1) Samuel Frizelle (Lutz)/Alex Han (Ormond Beach) d. (6) Maxim Michaels (Wellington)/Zak Vince (Clermont) 6-7(3), 6-2 [10-5]
Girls’ 12s: (1) Abigail Gordon (Boca Raton)/Anita Tu (Melbourne) d. (2) Ana Avramovic (Orlando)/Emily Morgan (Boca Raton) 6-1, 6-4
Girls’ 14s: (3) Bella Payne (Bradenton)/Sara Shumate (Bradenton) d. (1) Berklie Simmering (Fort Myers)/Katie Spencer (Orlando) 6-4, 6-3
Girls’ 16s: (3) Savannah Webster (Bonita Springs)/Kaitlin Quevedo (Naples) d. Mollie Garcia (Lutz)/Hayley Roberts (Bradenton) 6-2, 6-1
Girls’ 18s: Delaine Tribby (Boca Raton)/Blanka DeMicheli (Boca Raton) d. (4) Maria Markosov (Bradenton)/Paradise Traub (Bradenton) 7-5,6-0
Mixed 12s: (1) Ana Avramovic (Orlando)/Jordan Lee (Orlando) d. (2) Anita Tu (Melbourne)/Jerrid Gaines Jr. (Margate) 5-3, 5-3
Mixed 14s: (4) Caleb Chow (Miami)/Daniela Chica (Miami) d. (1) Berklie Simmering (Fort Myers)/Jack Satterfield (Tampa) 5-4(4), 3-5 [7-5]
Mixed 16s: (3) Catherine Goldman (Hollywood)/David Prasievi (Miami) d. (8) Savannah Webster (Bonita Springs)/Benjamin Saltman (Winter Haven) 5-3, 5-4(5)
Mixed 18s: (1) Sophia Webster (Bonita Springs)/Tygen Goldammer (Estero) d. (4) Maria Markosov (Bradenton)/Phillip Dell (Bradenton) 3-5, 4-2 [7-1]
The USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Singles Championships is the most competitive USTA Section junior championships in the U.S., spawning the most players of any USTA Section to go on to the professional circuit and rank No. 1 in the world.
Former “Bobby Curtis” champs who have gone on to rank No. 1 in the world on the ATP and WTA rankings are Chris Evert (1971 18s, 1970-69 16s, 1968 14s, and 1966 10s champion), Jennifer Capriati (1986 12s champion), Jim Courier (1986 18s champion) and Andy Roddick (1996 14s, 1994 12s champion).
Other notable winners over the years have been current WTA players Amanda Anisimova (2014 14s, 2011 10s champion), Sofia Kenin (2010 12s), Bethanie Mattek-Sands (1998 14s) and Danielle Collins (2011 & 2009 18s, 2006 12s); three-time Grand Slam runner-up and two-time Olympic gold medalist Mary Joe Fernandez (1983 14s, 1982 12s); former world No. 8-ranked Carling Bassett (1980 12s); former world No. 7 and current U.S. Fed Cup Captain Kathy Rinaldi (1980 14s, 1979 12s); former world No. 7 Jay Berger (1985-84 18s, 1983 16s); former world No. 3 and two-time Slam doubles winner Brian Gottfried (1970 18s, 1966 14s, 1963-64 12s); former world No. 5 and two-time French Open semifinalist Eddie Dibbs (1969 18s, 1967 16s, 1965 14s); and former ATP player and legendary tennis organizer Charlie Pasarell (1958 15s, 1957 13s).
In 2012 the tournament was renamed the USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Championships in honor of legendary Florida junior tennis organizer Bobby Curtis. Curtis passed away in July 2021.
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