Phoenix Junior Championships
Level 4 – Junior
Various sites – Phoenix, Ariz.
More than 260 of the Southwest’s top juniors made their way to the Phoenix metro area in mid-February for the Level-4 Phoenix Junior Championships.
The tournaments, held at a variety of sites across Phoenix, is one of the higher-point producing events on the Southwest Junior Circuit. Coming on the heels of the Valley of the Sun about a month prior, the early Phoenix tournament swing is now over.
With many 32-draws in boys and girls 12, 14, 16 and 18-and-under divisions in both singles and doubles, as well as round robin singles play in the boys and girls 10 and Under 60’ Orange divisions, the event was three days of nearly non-stop play.
Four Phoenix-metro area tennis centers – Phoenix Tennis Center (PTC), Scottsdale Ranch Park (SRP), Gene Autry Sports Complex (GASC) and Indian School Park (ISP) – were used to accommodate the tournament. PTC hosted the Boys and Girls 10s and 12s, SRP hosted the Boys and Girls 14s, GASC hosted Boys 16s and 18s and Indian School Park the Girls 16s and 18s. All 10s, 12s and 14s event finals were at PTC, while ISP hosted the 16s and 18s.
A brief recap of the divisions of play is below:
In Boys 10s – Filipe Costa (Tempe, Ariz.) swept through the round robin, winning all five his matches without dropping a set (though he did receive a walkover in Round 5). Costa lost just five games in eight total sets of play.
In Boys 12s – Third-seeded Andrew Fucci (Gilbert, Ariz.) - pctured below - ripped through four rounds losing just thirteen games, and concluded his title run with a straight set 6-4, 7-5 win over second-seeded Maximo Lawlor (Goodyear, Ariz.). Fucci also teamed up with Harsh Parikh (Tucson, Ariz.) to win the doubles title.
In Boys 14s – Jeremy Auh (Scottsdale, Ariz.) claimed the title when Stefan Koester (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) was injured for the final. Derrick Cunningham (Anthony, New Mexico) and Shawn Parks (Oro Valley, Ariz.) downed Jesse Miritello (Mesa, Ariz.) and Chase Victor (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 8-5 in the doubles final.
In Boys 16s – Fifth-seeded Yash Parikh (Tucson, Ariz.) defeated top-seeded James Ponwith (Scottsdale, Ariz.) in the tightest match of each of the division finals, a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 affair. Ponwith also reached the doubles final with brother Nathan Ponwith, falling to Nickolas Cunningham (Litchfield Park, Ariz.) and Max Schell (Goodyear, Ariz.) 8-6.
In Boys 18s – Top-seeded Dominic Patrick (Gilbert, Ariz.) swept through all opposition, and didn’t drop a set in any of his five matches (losing just 14 games in 10 sets.) Patrick took out Jason Jaruvang (Phoenix) in the final 6-1, 6-3, then teamed with Christopher Krimbill (Scottsdale, Ariz.) to win the doubles final.
In Girls 10s – Cienna Chavez (Albuquerque, N.M.) breezed through the division, winning all three of her matches convincingly, including a final-round 5-4, 4-2 win over Rimona Rauf (Phoenix) With the win, Chavez also became our latest 10-and-under 60' court graduate to move up the 12’s ball division. Chavez may elect to now play 12-and-under competition if she wishes to do so.
Girls 10s doubles winners Rouf and Sydney Palmer - both of Phoenix - didn't lose any of their doubles matches in the round robin.
In Girls 12s – Elizabeth Isayev (Scottsdale, Ariz.) pummeled the competition winning four consecutive straight-set matches in Girls 12s, including a 6-1, 6-0 win over Jamie Schroer in the final. Isayev lost just eight games in eight sets
In Girls 14s – Top-seeded Reagan Posorske (Cave Creek, Ariz.) - pictured right - captured the Girls 14s with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Sarianna Kuuttila (Albuquerque, N.M.), and the two also played doubles together, reaching the final before falling 8-3 to Taylor Bridges (Mesa, Ariz.) and Ivana Corley (Albuquerque, N.M.)
In Girls 16s – Maddie Pothoff (Tucson, Ariz.) lost just seven games in four matches, and received a retirement injury victory over third-seeded Chloe Lee (Albuqerque, N.M.) in the final when Lee’s back forced her to quit. Phoenix pair Allie Sanford and Savannah Slaysman won the doubles title with a 9-8 victory over Lee and Scarlet Rush.
In Girls 18s – Madison Clarke (Phoenix) coasted through four rounds and didn’t drop a set en route to the 18s girl title, including a 6-3, 6-3 final-round win over Alexandra Letzt (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Clarke and Pothoff, the 16s singles titleist, also paired to win the girls doubles, edging past Rachana Bhat (Tucson, Ariz.) and Mariely Hassey (Surprise, Ariz.)
The Phoenix Junior Championships was the second major tournament to implement the new 10 and 12 and Under rules that went into effect on January 1 of this year. The first was the Valley of the Sun earlier this year, also in Phoenix.
A special thanks goes out to tournament organizers BS Events, to the USTA Central Arizona volunteers and staff members who helped man desks at each site, and to the facilities themselves (and their staffs) for serving as tournament sites and hosts for the Phoenix Junior Championships.
The next major USTA Southwest Junior Circuit event is the Sun City Junior Championships in El Paso, Texas in early March.