May 31st, 2017
Preview: Former Winners, Famous Tennis Offspring at USTA Florida ‘Bobby Curtis’ Jr. State Chps.
Future college and professional tennis stars will be on display when the USTA National Campus hosts the 69th USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Singles Championships on June 10-14, 2017, in the Lake Nona region of Orlando.
The boys’ and girls’ 18-16 divisions will be hosted at the USTA National Campus, while the 14-12 divisions will be played at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs.
Upwards of 50 of the country’s top college tennis coaches and scouts are expected again this year at the USTA National Campus site.
This year players and parents can attend “College Tennis Night at the USTA National Campus” on Friday, June 9 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Welcome Center, where pizza will be served from 6:30-7 p.m. Likewise at Sanlando Park a pizza party and early check-in will be held from 4-8 p.m. on June 9.
Last year’s returning champions and finalists:
Girls’ 18s Division — Last year’s Girls’ 16s winner Alana Wolfberg of Orlando steps up to the 18s. Last year she claimed the 16s title as the No. 1 seed after previously finishing in third place four years in a row at the state championships. Also in the 18s will be last year’s 14s runner-up Jamilah Snells of Ft. Lauderdale.
Boys’ 18s Division — Ronan Jachuck of Boca Raton, last year’s Boy’s 16s champion, moves up to take on the 18s, as does last year’s 16s runner-up Grey Cacciatore of Gainesville. Last year Jachuck won the 16s title as the No. 12 seed.
Girls’ 16s Division — Boca Raton’s Gabriela Giraldo steps up to the 16s after winning the 14s last year as the No. 3 seed for her first “Bobby Curtis” singles title.
Boys’ 14s Division — Both Boys’ 12s finalists from last year make the step up to the 14s in 2017 as champion Jack Anthrop of Orlando, who won as the top seed, and runner-up Alexander Adamec of St. Augustine make their ascension. Adamec won the Boys’ 10s title in 2014.
Girls’ 14s Division — Last year’s 12s runner-up Sophia Wang of St. Petersburg, who lost to top-seeded Ariel Johnson of Coconut Creek in the final, will take her talent up a level in an attempt to win a first “Bobby Curtis” singles title in the 14s.
Other players of note in the field include Emilio Sanchez, son of the former Top 10 singles and world No. 1 doubles player of the same name from Spain; Emma and Ben Shelton, daughter and son of former ATP pro and current University of Florida coach Bryan Shelton; Daniel Blackman, son of USTA General Manager of Professional Development Martin Blackman; Victoria Osuigwe, younger sister of current U.S. Junior Davis Cup team member Whitney Osuigwe; and University of Florida commits Grey and Harry Cacciatore of Gainesville.
The tournament is annually a launching pad for future college stars and pros. The USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State 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. Last year’s Girls’ 18s champion, Amanda Meyer of Delray Beach, has committed to Vanderbilt and is this week competing in the French Open Juniors Qualifying.
Former “Bobby Curtis” champs who have gone on to rank No. 1 in the world on the ATP and WTA rankings:
* Chris Evert (1971 Girls’ 18, 1970-69 Girls’ 16, 1968 Girls’ 14, and 1966 Girls’ 10 champion)
* Jennifer Capriati (1986 Girls’ 12 champion)
* Jim Courier (1986 Boys’ 18 champion)
* Andy Roddick (1996 Boys’ 14, 1994 Boys’ 12 champion)
Other notable winners over the years have been current WTA player Bethanie Mattek-Sands (1998 Girls’ 14 champion); three-time Grand Slam runner-up and two-time Olympic gold medalist Mary Joe Fernandez (1983 Girls’ 14, 1982 Girls’ 12); former world No. 8-ranked Carling Bassett (1980 Girls’ 12); former world No. 7 and current U.S. Fed Cup Captain Kathy Rinaldi (1980 Girls’ 14, 1979 Girls’ 12); former world No. 7 Jay Berger (1985-84 Boys’ 18, 1983 Boys’ 16); former world No. 3 and two-time Slam doubles winner Brian Gottfried (1970 Boys’ 18, 1966 Boys’ 14, 1963-64 Boys’ 12); former world No. 5 and two-time French Open semifinalist Eddie Dibbs (1969 Boys’ 18, 1967 Boys’ 16, 1965 Boys’ 14); and former ATP player and legendary tennis organizer Charlie Pasarell (1958 Boys’ 15, 1957 Boys’ 13).
In 2012 the tournament was renamed the USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Championships in honor of legendary Florida junior tennis organizer Bobby Curtis.
Live streaming of the event will available beginning on June 10 at www.ustanationalcampus.com/en/home/watch.html.
Results will be posted daily in the news section at www.ustaflorida.com. For more info, including links to draws and entry lists, go to www.ustaflorida.com/bobbycurtis.