2009 USTA NATIONAL SPRING CHAMPIONSHIPS
hosted by the City of Delray Beach, Florida
April 12-19, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009-Day Four
by John Butler

Delray Beach, FL—Teammates in triumph. Singles, doubles, it didn’t matter. Frenkel and Root set their goals high for Wednesday, also known as “moving day” at Nats—Stay and play or lose and cruise.

With a week of results that resembled the Thunderhawk roller coaster in her native Michigan, McKenna Root needed to truly get to the root of her problem with a sense of urgency as one more loss and she was going to enjoy the rest of her Delray Beach singles career as a spectator. Enter the magic that brought the #15 seed her one win in three previous matches. With the fire lit where it gets the best results, she booked her spot in the quarterfinals of the Southwest Draw with a 6-0,6-0 trouncing of Dominique Vasile. “A lot of the games went to deuce, then ad, then deuce again,” said Root as she qualified the level of competition in the match. “It was a good opportunity to work on my serve because I was serving badly yesterday”. Little did the Michigan baller know how responsible that thinking would be later in the day…

Nicole Frenkel, the Ponch to McKenna’s John Baker (if you’re gaining on 40, you get that one). Still in the main draw, the #4 seeded player of the 128 competitors that gathered from around the country is still battling for coveted Delray Beach gold. And with a precision-like display of crafty lefty tennis from all parts of the court, the Winchester, Mass gunslinger simply had too much in her arsenal for #10 Madison Bourguignon (Issaquah, WA). “I knew she was going to keep a lot of balls in play," Frenkel acknowledged as she did a little research before taking to the court. "[Lauren Fishbein] said she gets every ball back. I didn’t find that very helpful though” she further clarified. As straightforward as her utterance may be, her game certainly comes at you from all angles and is a pleasure to watch for the sheer sake of creative and high-quality tennis alone. Down 0-2 in each set, the leads Bourguignon enjoyed were short-lived as the smooth swinging southpaw rallied effectively, quickly carving the lead into a 6-4,6-2 win of her own and sending her to the afternoon doubles full of confidence.

Simply put, the day’s demolition continued as the dynamic due rolled through their doubles matinee, disposing of a talented #7 seeded team of Kenadi Hance (Torrance, CA) and Rebecca Weissman (Loveland, CO), 6-4,6-3. The recipe of Root’s deep and offensive balls mixed with Frenkel’s wily, lefty crafty creations sent players sprawling from corner to corner, but always bouncing back, dusting off and challenging to push the story to another chapter. Ironically, it was Root’s serve that came to the rescue as she was tested by five break points in an attempt to serve out the match. Calling on the faith found in her serve during her singles match early in the day, Root planted herself firmly when it mattered most and delivered the knockout blow.

For both their singles and doubles efforts today, we proudly acknowledge Nicole Frenkel and McKenna Root as the Girls’ Co-Players of the Day. And a bit of trivia for you… Did you know that Kenadi Hance’s brother is the tennis phenom in the commercial that pits him against Taylor Dent, later showing him in the commercial as Andre Agassi’s and Steffi Graf’s supposed child!

And congratulations to Tuesday’s Boys’ Player of the Day, Ernesto Escobedo (CA) and Wednesday’s Boys’ Player of the Day, David Beasley (IN) for proving their excellence as individuals and players during the course of the week.

Wednesday is always a special day at Nationals as votes are tallied for the annual Sportsmanship Award. Tournament staff, volunteers, players, parents, USTA officials and more are polled, interviewed and prodded for their thoughts on who best represents what our great game is all about—the facets above and beyond a 100mph serve or the biggest forehand. Unanimously approved and applauded by all, the 2009 Sportsmanship Awards were presented today to Star Makarome (Wesley Chapel, FL) and Temilope Adelakun (IN).

Don't miss this rare, exciting and FREE opportunity to see tomorrow's stars that will carry the tennis torch when passed on from Andy, James, Serena and Venus, all players who have taken the USTA National road to their success. Girls' matches start at 8:45AM at the Delray Swim & Tennis Club (2350 Jaeger Dr., Delray Beach, FL 33444, 561 243 7058) while the boys' matches start at 11:00AM at the Swim & Racquet Center (21626 St. Andrews, Boca Raton, FL, 561 395 0128) and Boca West Country Club (20583 Boca West Dr., Boca Raton, FL, 561 488 6996). All Semifinal and Championship matches (boys and girls) will be played at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center (201 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL, 33444, 561 243 7360) on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. Also stay tuned to Fox Sports Florida as a 1-hour program featuring highlights of the Boys' and Girls' Singles Championships will be televised statewide in May.

 

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Click Here For Stories & Photos from the 2008 National Spring 12s Championships
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