August 1st, 2016

Panhandle Tennis Blog: Wachob Wins USTA National 70s Grass Court; Junior News

Courtside Adult Tennis News Youth Tennis News

Wachob Wins Singles and Doubles at USTA National Grass Court Women’s 70s

Panama City’s Betty Wachob, seeded #2, defeated top seeded Brenda Carter of Charleston, S.C., 6-3, 6-2 to win the USTA National Women’s Grass Court Championships held July 11-17, 2016 at the famous West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.

Wachob then teamed with Carter as the #1 seeds to win the doubles, surviving a tumultuous battle 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 over the second-seeded Ann Hunt (Hilton Head, S.C.) and Judy Louie (Corona del Mar, Calif.).

The first-set loss in the doubles was the only set that Wachob lost in a very good week of tennis.

Panama City’s Pam Percy also played the tournament at Forest Hills but had very tough draws in both the singles and doubles. It is very good to see Pam out at USTA National tournaments this summer.

Juniors Weaver, Ling, Ceydeli, Smith Have Great Outings at Tallahassee Level 5

Pace’s Elena Weaver was the top seed in the USTA Florida Girls’ 16 Level 5 tournament held at several sites in Tallahassee on July 16-18, 2016. She showed just why she was the top seed in not losing a set in her five matches on the clay courts of Forestmeadows. In the finals Weaver defeated #2 seed Dax Seidlin (Ft. Lauderdale) 6-3, 6-1.

Pensacola’s Patrick Ling was the 8th seed in Boys’ 12 in Tallahassee and finished 6th. He advanced to the quarterfinals losing 6-1, 6-0 to top-seeded Yannik Rahman (Miami). Then in the quarterfinals play-off, he won his semifinal match before losing a tight 2-6, 6-0, 10-7 5th/6th place playoff to Mikel Anderson of Hillsboro Beach.

Panama City’s Isabel Ceydeli may have played the most tennis at the Tallahassee tournament. She lost 6-3, 1-6, 12-10 in the first round but came back to win the Girls’ 12 Consolation, winning five matches including two more three setters. In the quarterfinals of the consolation Ceydeli downed Tatiana Zelenko (Pembroke Pines) 7-5, 4-6, 10-6 and in the consolation finals beat Alexis Nyborg (Boca Raton) 6-4, 2-6, 10-6.

Pensacola’s Annalisa Smith won the Girls’ 14 consolation. After losing in the opening round, she won five matches including a 5-7, 6-2, 10-8 defeat of Anique Kattenberg (Satellite Beach) in the consolation final. Smith also beat #5 seed Petra Miszczak (Bradenton) 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals of the consolation.

The Tallahassee Level 5 is the closest higher-level USTA Florida tournament to the Panhandle and quite hard in which to be accepted. Other area players that played in Tallahassee included Boys’ 12 Carlo Ghiglino (Pace), Justin Lyons (Pensacola), William Meyering (Gulf Breeze) and Gregory Soloviev (Ft. Walton Beach). Hayden Essary and Colin Scheufler of Gulf Breeze played the Boys’ 18. Pensacola’s Sarah Francis and Gabriella Goyins as well as Niceville’s Rachel McMullan played the Girls’ 12. Lynn Haven’s Ariane Cortes and Miramar Beach’s Mackenzie Petty played in the Girls’ 14s while Cara Kizilbash (Pensacola) and Caraline Scheufler (Gulf Breeze) played the Girls’ 16.

Congratulations to all the area players that got in.

Ling, Nowak, Scheufler Compete on USTA Zone Teams

On July 7-11, 2016 the USTA conducted its Zone Team Championships all around the country. Players were selected for the Zonal teams based on their USTA Sectional ranking and desire to participate.

The Panhandle was represented by three players this year. Liz Nowak (Pensacola) and Caraline Scheufler (Gulf Breeze) played in the Boys’/Girls’ 16 (South) Zonal held at Southlake, Texas which is in the Dallas area. Pensacola’s Patrick Ling played in the Boys’/Girls’ 12 (East) Zonal at Sumpter, S.C.

The format for the teams is six boys and six girls who play singles and doubles or mixed doubles for a total of 18 team matches. The teams were divided into two flights of six teams. Teams played four rounds of pool play in their flight and then a championship round. All the players got to play five singles matches and five doubles or mixed doubles matches.

Patrick Ling’s B/G 12 Florida Green team won the championship by going undefeated in their five matches. Teams in Ling’s Zonal included six from the USTA Southern Section, three from Florida, two from USTA Mid-Atlantic and a USTA Caribbean entry. Ling won two doubles matches to help his team.

Scheufler played on the Florida Red team in the B/G 16 Zonal which finished 6th with a 2-3 record, just one total win ahead of Nowak’s Florida White team’s which finished 7th with an identical 2-3 record. Scheufler won the most matches of the locals with two singles plus a doubles and mixed doubles victory. Nowak won a singles and a doubles match.

Nowak and Scheufler’s Zonal included four teams from the USTA Texas Section, three from Florida, two each from the USTA Pacific Northwest and USTA Mid-Atlantic and a USTA Caribbean entry.

The Zone Team event was a great opportunity to play with other Florida kids who are cheering for their teammates instead of the normal junior tournament antagonistic relationship. Congratulations to all three of these outstanding Panhandle junior players.

Wil Spencer Unretires, Wins $30K USTA MacDonald’s Open in Virginia

Wil Spencer.

Wil Spencer

Destin’s Wil Spencer had decided to hang it up from the grind of the professional tennis tour some five or six weeks ago. He changed his mind and entered the $30,000 USTA McDonald’s Open Clay Court Championships on July 11-16, 2016 in Midlothian, VA and won!

Spencer, the #2 seed, escaped a first-round battle with a 5-7, 6-2, 10-3 win over Abraham Asaba (Bronx, N.Y.)  and went on to defeat Ryler DeHeart (Tampa) 6-4, 7-6(2) to capture the title and the $7,800 first-place pay check.

Buoyed by the Virginia results, Spencer entered the $25,000 ITF Futures at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill., on July 18-24, 2016. Seeded 8th, Spencer defeated Christian Harrison 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-3 in the second round but fell to top-seeded Tennys Sandgren 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarters.

Good luck to Wil back on the tour. We are looking forward to seeing Destin’s Alexa Guarachi return to the tour in September.

Ephron Stand Out on ITA Summer Circuit

The 2016 ITA Summer Circuit features 51 tournaments spread across 24 states. The summer circuit runs for six weekends, beginning the last weekend in June and continuing through the last weekend in July.

Players that advance out of the qualifying tournaments will head to Bloomington, Ind., to take part in the ITA Summer Nationals, held Aug. 13-16 at Indiana University.

All of the 2016 ITA Summer Circuit events will be held on college campuses, a major focus of the ITA Summer Circuit committee.

Fort Walton Beach’s Jefferson Hobbs teamed with Preston Touliatos (University of Tennessee) to defeat top-seeded Austin Bates (Florida Gulf Coast) and Robert Mounger (Ole Miss) 8-7(3) at the ITA event held July 16-18, 2016 on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The second-seeded pair had a bye and three other wins in addition to the final. Hobbs, the 9th seed in singles, lost to #4 seed George Harwell (Nashville) 6-2, 6-1 in the round of 16 of the 64-player men’s open singles.

Hobbs, a high school junior, has committed to the Air Force Academy to play tennis.

Pensacola’s Chris Ephron played the 128-player ITA event held July 23-25, 2016 at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Ephron won five matches before falling to eventual tourney winner Andres Andrade 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals.

Ephron is headed to Northwestern University this fall on a tennis scholarship.

Panhandle Players Fare Well at Diamondhead Mississippi Adult Event

FWB guys at Diamondhead: From right - John Griffin, Roderick Peacock, Orlando (he didn't play), Patrick Duffany, JT Parker, Leon Huang and Michal Malcek.

FWB guys at Diamondhead: From right – John Griffin, Roderick Peacock, Orlando (he didn’t play), Patrick Duffany, JT Parker, Leon Huang and Michal Malcek.

Ten Panhandlers trekked to Diamondhead, Miss., on July 16-17, 2016 to play the Diamondhead Adult NTRP Summer Sizzler held at Diamondhead World of Tennis.

The only tournament winner of the 10 was Keith Ludwig (Pensacola). Ludwig won three matches including a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Vinson Keyher (Gulfport, Miss.) in the Men’s 3.5 singles. Ludwig was 1-1 in the Men’s Open singles.

Ft. Walton Beach’s Michal Malcek, seeded #2 in the Men’s Open singles, lost the final to #1 seed Matt Garman (Diamondhead) 6-2, 7-5. Joakim Jnystrom (Pensacola), the #1 seed, also lost the final of the Men’s 3.0 singles 6-4, 1-0 (ret. ill) to Rafael Ruiz of Tibodaux, La. John Griffin (Ft. Walton Beach) joined the parade of finalists. The unseeded Griffin upset the #2 seed, Jay Todtenbier (Baton Rouge) 6-4, 4-6, 10-6 in the second round of the Men’s 4.0 singles. Griffin then won a semifinal round before falling 6-4, 6-1 to top-seeded Kelly Lee of Lake Charles, La. Griffin was also 1-2 in the Men’s Open singles.

Ft. Walton Beach’s J.T. Parker lost in the first round of the Men’s Open singles but roared back to take three matches and the consolation title 6-1, 6-2 over Keene Golding of Kiln, Miss.

Pattrick Duffany (Shalimar), Leon Huang (Crestview) and Roderick Peacock (Ft. Walton Beach) all played in the Men’s Open Singles. Joshua Goetz and Kyle Labombarbe of Pensacola both played the Men’s 3.0 singles.

Pensacola’s Smith Wins at Girls’ 16 Amelia Island

Gordon (foreground) and Annalisa Smith.

Gordon (foreground) and Annalisa Smith.

Pensacola’s Annalisa Smith, unseeded, won the Girls’ 16 title at the Amelia Island Plantation June Open L6, defeating #2 seed Maureen McCormack (Ponte Vedra) 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

The tournament was held June 25-27, 2016 at Amelia Island Plantation. Smith also defeated #1 seed Kayla Vaughn (Jacksonville) in the semifinals.

Brother Gordon Smith, seeded #4, was a finalist at the same tournament, losing 6-2, 6-0 to #3 seed Gage Sanchez from Jacksonville.

Pensacola’s Cara and Kyle Kizilbash Win Titles in Mobile

Cara and Kyle Kizilbash won the Girls’ 18 and Boys’ 14 singles titles respectively at the Mobile Summer Tournament held June 18-19, 2016 at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.

Cara, unseeded, defeated #1 seed Elizabeth Swain (Mobile) 6-3, 6-0 in the final while Kyle, seeded #4, downed Chris Bowen (Mobile) 6-4, 6-1 to win his title.

Other area players who had good showings in Mobile include Pensacola’s Gabby and Sadie Goyins who were finalists in the Girls’ 14 and Girls’ 16s respectively. Stanley Dorion (Pensacola) was the #2 seed and lost in the Boys’ 16 final to #1 seeded Hamilton Jackson of Collierville Tenn.

Dorion and Kizilbash also were finalists in the Boys 18 doubles.

3rd in Boys’ 14s at Mississippi Hard Courts Open

Justin Lyons.

Justin Lyons.

Pensacola’s Justin Lyons, playing up in the Boys’ 14s, finished 3rd in the McDonald’s Mississippi Junior Hard Court Open State Championships held at Bayou Bluff Tennis Club in Gulfport, Miss., on June 24-26, 2016 beating #4 seed Caleb Rawson (Madison, Miss.) 6-1, 2-1 (ret).

The 3rd place play-off came in an hour and a half after Lyons semifinal loss to #3 seed Justin Bresler (New Orleans) 6-2, 2-6, 15-13! Lyons also beat the #1 seed in the second round.

Also, in the Boys’ 14 singles, Pensacola’s Patrick Ling finished 6th losing 6-1, 7-5 in the consolation final to #1 seed Jordan Bruck (Marietta, Ga.). Pensacola’s Kyle Kizilbash and Peter Mougey along with Gulf Breeze’s William Meyering played in the Boys’ 14s.

In the Boys’ 16, Pensacola’s Stanley Dorion finished 6th, losing the consolation final 6-4, 6-4 to #7 seed Philip Bosman of Auburn, Ala. Dorion also beat the #5 seed in the main draw. Pensacola’s Michael Eddins and Riley Laggan also played the Boys’ 16.

Gulf Breeze’s Collin Scheufler finished 9th in the 64-player Boys’ 18s. Scheufler won two main draw matches before losing in the round of 16. He then won three consolation matches, including a 6-1, 6-0 final against Graham Buck of Metairie, La., to finish with five wins and one loss. Pace’s Sean Ennis, Gulf Breeze’s Hayden Essary, Eric Finger, Max Frank and Danny Sullivan as well as Pensacola’s Reed Taylor played the Boys’ 18s.

William Meyering played with Stephens Ashbee (Mobile) and were finalists in the Boys’ 12 doubles, losing the final 8-3 to New Orleans’ Isaiah and David Porea.

Pensacola’s Adele Dorion and Frances Taylor both won three and lost two in the Girls’ 14 and Girls’ 16 respectively. Madison Mougey won one and lost two in the Girls’ 18.

All in all it was a great weekend of tennis at the beautiful Bayou Bluff Tennis Club.