Five champions return from last year as each seek to raise a second consecutive USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Singles Championships when the storied tournament returns to the USTA National Campus in Orlando on June 8-12, 2019.
The tournament has seen four former champions go on to reach No. 1 in the world, the most of any USTA section.
Other returning champions are boys’ 16s winner Jameson Corsillo of Boca Raton moving up to the boys’ 18s division, girls’ 14s winner Natalie Block of Plantation moving up to the girls’ 16s, boys’ 14s winner Yannik Rahman of Miami moving up to the boys’ 16s, and girls’ 12s winner Sophie Llewellyn of Tarpon Springs moving up to the girls’ 14s division.
Lins and Block both won Florida state singles championships in their respective Florida High School Athletic Association divisions this spring at the FHSAA tennis championships. Lins played for Pine Crest High School and won the boys’ overall singles and doubles championships while Block played for American Heritage Plantation and also won both singles and doubles overall. Both players were named the Miami Herald Tennis Players of the Year for Broward County.
Last year’s division winners and finalists (seeds in parenthesis):
Girls’ 18s: Alexis Blokhina (Plantation) d. (3) Sophia Edwards (Nokomis) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Boys’ 18s: (3) David Lins (Boca Raton) d. (6) Matthew Segura (Apopka) 4-6, 7-5, 5-0 Retired (injury)
Girls’ 16s: (1) Elaine Chervinsky (Boca Raton) d. (2) Anastasia Sysoeva (Bradenton) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
Boys’ 16s: (1) Jameson Corsillo (Boca Raton) d. (2) Emilio Van Cotthem (Ft. Pierce) 6-2, 6-1
Girls’ 14s: (1) Natalie Block (Plantation) d. (2) Nikki Yanez (Sarasota) 6-3, 6-2
Boys’ 14s: (2) Yannik Rahman (Miami) d. (7) Phillip Dell (Bradenton) 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
Girls’ 12s: (1) Sophie Llewellyn (Tarpon Springs) d. (11) Natalie Outcalt (Ponte Vedra Beach) 6-1, 7-5
Boys’ 12s: (2) Nathan Blokhin (Plantation) d. (3) Tanner Povey (Indian Rocks Beach) 6-4, 6-1
The 71st edition of the “Bobby Curtis” will have upwards of 50 of the country’s top college tennis coaches and scouts in attendance.
Friday, June 7 from 4-8 p.m. will include early check-in, the Player Party, and a Coaches Panel at the USTA National Campus. Early check-in, not a requirement but highly recommended, will be at the Welcome Center from 4-7 p.m.
The Player Party with pizza, games and other activities will start at 5:30 p.m., and from 6:30-8:30 p.m. the Coaches Panel at the Net Post Grill will feature coaches Keith Puryear and John Moreland (Navy men), Max Koller (Bethune Cookman men and women), Tasi Purcell (Rollins women), Trish Riddell (Florida Southern women), Eric Hayes (Mercer men and women), and Paige Yaroshuk (University of Miami Women’s Coach) sharing experience and guidance for parents and players. Click here for more info.
Live broadcasts of the girls’ and boys’ 18s finals with commentary will be on June 12 where viewers can tune in on the USTA Florida YouTube Channel or Facebook Page. Check out the interviews with the Boys & Girls Champions in the 16s & 18s divisions and the Boys and Girls 18s Finals broadcasts from last year’s finals below.
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 Bethanie Mattek-Sands (1998 14s champion) 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.