2005 SEA ISLAND RESORTS
USTA NATIONAL SPRING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Delray Beach & Boca Raton, Florida
April 10-16, 2005
Saturday, April 16, 2005-Final Day
"The score does not tell the story." How many times have you heard that before? Well, it was never truer than today when Jack Sock defeated Mika DeCoster, 6-0,6-2.
A large crowd gathered to watch the boys final at the Boca Raton Swim & Racquet Club and they were thrilled by what they saw. Mika put on quite a show, getting the impossible balls -- even hitting a few through his legs. At the same time, Jack managed to hit numerous balls that just skimmed the line, giving him the winners that made the score. The cheers could be heard almost as loudly as the grunts of these talented boys as they played through one deuce after another. When it was all done, they shook hands, picked up their USTA balls and prepared to play doubles together.
On the court next to Jack & Mika were the other two boys that finish up the final four that seem to appear at most of the national tournaments in the 12s. Emmett Egger and Christian Harrison also had an exciting match, but this one showed in the 0-6,6-2,6-4 score. Ten year old Christian, whose older brother Ryan won this tournament last year, doesn't quite have the edge yet, but he is certainly one to watch. Emmett just had that edge of experience for those extra points that brought him the bronze ball.
The day started out at the Delray Tennis Center where the biggest opponent for the girls was the wind. It was the more experienced No. 3 seed Stephanie Vidov who took control early. In fact, Lauren Herring was hardly in the match until she was down set point at 5-0. At that point the sixteenth seed began her challenge, bringing that game (and many more to follow) to deuce and then taking it. It took four set points before Stephanie claimed it and then she won the first three games of the following set. Lauren increased the pressure and won the fifth game, but it was her last one before Stephanie took home the gold in singles and then doubles with Jessica Parizher.
The girls third place playoff went to the eighteenth-seeded Erin Stephens over No. 1 Kyle McPhillips, 6-2,6-2, while the toughest match was on one of the back courts between Katie Goepel and Gabrielle DeSimone. The Gold Feed-In final came down to every point and was finally taken by Katie, 6-7(4),7-6(8),6-4.
One of the parents joked at the end of the day that they wish the 14s could be here next year too because they hated the thought of not coming back to Delray Beach. Despite the compass draw format that confused many, the tournament ran smoothly through Tournament Director Ivan Baron's leadership and a great group of volunteers at four sites. I am glad that I don't have to worry about "aging up" because I can't wait to return.Until Next Year,
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