September, 2006
17 years old (Date of Birth: 9/8/1989)

Native New Yorker Adam El Mihdawy has never been out of my radar. In 2002 I watched him win the doubles title (and place sixth in singles) at a National Open, while in 2003 I witnessed him win various local tournaments and saw his name in the top eight of many nationals. It was at just the age of 15 that I was impressed as Adam played a Men's National Open to a growing crowd and a year later I was there when he ran through the draw of yet another National Open and this time took the top prize. I told everyone in July of 2005 that Adam El Mihdawy was a name to watch and this year he really proved me right.

2006 started out with a bang for the kid from Queens. He began New Year's as the Boys' 16s singles finalist at the National Winter Championships. He had just come off a three month period where he made the quarters or better at four different tournaments and he was ready for the big break. Though there were a few tournaments in the winter and spring, Adam attends school full-time. He trained and played locally, getting ready for the summer of '06.

Just a month before his 17th birthday, Adam El Mihdawy left the Boys 16s in a big way. He took third place at Kalamazoo in singles and won the doubles event (with Bradley Klahn). He then moved on to bigger and better as he returned to the scene of his first national title (the Atlantic Club in New Jersey) and won another doubles event, the USTA International Hardcourts (with Ryan Lipman). He was also a singles quarterfinalist at the prestigious Boys' 18 championship.

It was very exciting for Adam to be in front of his hometown audience at the U.S. Open Championships. Though he received a wildcard in doubles because of his win at Kalamazoo, he didn't have enough ITF points to make it into the singles draw. He began the qualifying with one of the most exciting junior matches I have ever seen as he came back from match point and defeated Harri Heliovaara of Finland, 3-6,7-6(4),7-5 after nearly three hours. Though he didn't have much left for the next round, Adam El Mihdawy had certainly shown his friends and neighbors what he had.

I sat down with Adam at the U.S. Open to talk about his incredible summer.

by Marcia Frost


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