June 2nd, 2015
Preview: Tennis Jrs. Look to Follow Evert, Roddick at 2015 USTA Florida Jr. State Chps.
Big things are in store for this year’s junior tennis champions at the 2015 USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Championships, as they have been for winners in years past.
Last year’s Girls’ 18s winner, Katerina Stewart of Coral Gables, last week participated in the women’s qualifying at the French Open, and is this week contesting the girls’ division at the Roland Garros Junior French Championships.
Former champion Danielle Collins went on to win the NCAA women’s championship last year for the University of Virginia. They hope to follow in the footsteps of former “Bobby Curtis” winners who have gone on to rank No. 1 in the world — Chris Evert, Jennifer Capriati, Jim Courier and Andy Roddick.
The 67th edition of the USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Championships will be held June 6-10, 2015 in age divisions 18-10 at four Central Florida tournament sites — the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry, and at the Ormond Beach Tennis Center. In 2012 the tournament was renamed the USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior State Championships in honor of legendary Florida junior tennis organizer Bobby Curtis.
Returning finalists from last year:
* Boy’s 16 champion Adam Ambrozy (South Pasadena, Fla.), this year competing in the Boys’ 18s
* Girls’ 16 champion Emma Decoste (Stuart, Fla.), competing in the Girls’ 18s
* Girls’ 16 runner-up Maria Ross (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.), competing in the Girls’ 18s
* Boys’ 14 champion Mason Beiler (Palm Harbor, Fla.), competing in the Boys’ 18s
* Boys’ 14 runner-up Adam Neff (Bradenton, Fla.), competing in the Boys’ 16s
* Girls’ 14 runner-up Whitney Osuigwe (Bradenton, Fla.), competing in the Girls’ 16s
* Boys’ 12 runner-up Emilio Van Cotthem (Fort Pierce, Fla.), competing in the Boys’ 14s
* Girls’ 12 champion Imani Graham (St Johns, Fla.), competing in the Girls’ 16s
* Girls’ 12 runner-up Nina Gulbransen (Boca Raton, Fla.), competing in the Girls’ 14s
* Boys’ 10 champion Alexander Adamec (St Augustine, Fla.), competing in the Boys’ 12s
* Boys’ 10 runner-up Zak Vince (Clermont, Fla.), competing in the Boys’ 12s
* Girls’ 10 champion Violeta Martinez (Port Saint Lucie, Fla.), competing in the Girls’ 12s
Stuart’s 15-year-old Emma Decoste, competing in the Girls’ 18 division for the first time, will be looking for a third straight “Bobby Curtis” Florida state championship title after winning the Girls’ 16 crown in 2014 and the Girls’ 14s in 2013. In April Decoste was one of only five players from across the country chosen by the USTA to participate in a USTA Girls Player Development Camp in Boca Raton.
Each year at the “Bobby Curtis” also brings out its share of children or siblings of former/current pros. This year’s crop includes Benjamin (B12) and Emma (G14) Shelton of Gainesville, children of former ATP pro and current University of Florida men’s coach Bryan Shelton; Mirabelle Tahiri (G12, Beverly Hills, Fla.), the daughter of former ATP and Davis Cup player Mehdi Tahiri of Morocco; and Palm Beach Gardens’ Chloe Gullickson, sister of 2010 US Open mixed doubles champion Carly Gullickson, competing in the Girls’ 18s.
Upwards of 20 of the country’s top tennis coaches and scouts are expected this year, and players and parents can also benefit from the College Tennis Panel which will be held on June 5 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Florida Tennis Center. The panel discussion will include coaches from Divisions I-III and NAIA college tennis programs, with info on scholarship information and what coaches look for in players (with free pizza for parents and players).
Additionally on the line for Florida’s top juniors beginning this weekend, each division winner will automatically qualify for the USTA National Hard Courts tournament later this year in their age division, and each semifinalist in the 12s-18s divisions will receive a $350 stipend to assist with travel costs for a future National level 1 or 2, or Zonal tournament.
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. 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 Boy’s 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, two-time Olympic gold medalist and current U.S. Fed Cup Captain 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 USTA National Coach Kathy Rinaldi (1980 Girls’ 14, 1979 Girls’ 12); former world No. 7 and current USTA National Coach and U.S. David Cup Coach 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).
The main USTA Florida webpage at www.ustaflorida.com will feature daily results coverage, along with additional news and player features on the official tournament website at www.ustaflorida.com/bobbycurtis2015. Players on social media can follow the action or post on Twitter with the hashtag #bobbycurtis2015, and also follow the action via the USTA Florida Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ustaflorida.
Tennis Warehouse is an official sponsor of the 2015 USTA Florida ‘Bobby Curtis’ Junior State Championships.
For more tournament info go to our event page.
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