William Woodall and Alexa Noel Bring Home Titles
Emiliano Gonzalez, Origen Grear and Koichiro Inada Upset the Odds
Sixteen-year-old William Woodall and his South Korean partner Yeongseok Jeong earned the Boys’ 16’s Orange Bowl Doubles Championship in Plantation, FL.
The #2 seeds breezed through to the finals without losing a set before facing Americans Christian Alshon and Boris Kozlov. Demonstrating their intense competitive instincts, Woodall and Jeong rallied impressively from dropping the opening set to secure the title in a deciding match tiebreak, winning 2-6, 6-1, 10-5.
Current USTA Girls’ 16’s National Clay Courts champion, Alexa Noel, added another major accolade to her resume by taking the Girls’ 14’s Orange Bowl crown at Coral Gables, FL. Noel was unseeded, but stormed through to the championship losing only one set which came in the final round, scoring a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 victory over #3 seed Quinwen Zheng from China.
The Boys’ 14’s draw saw a trio of up and coming JTCC players make a significant impact. Koichiro Inada, Origen Grear and Emiliano Gonzalez all returned from Florida having successfully qualified and winning main draw matches.
Japan’s Inada came through three rounds of qualifying to make the main draw and then matched his qualifying record with three main draw wins to reach the Round of 32. These victories included a notable triumph in the Round of 64 over #17 seed, Viktor Jovic. Inada regained control in the final set to defeat Jovic, who is the Serbian Boys’ 14’s #1, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3.
Fourteen-year-old Grear opened his Orange Bowl account with three qualifying wins, but then lost in the final round of qualifying. However, he was handed a lifeline with a lucky losers’ spot in the main draw. The Adelphi, MD resident didn’t waste the opportunity as he overcame Japanese Boys’ 14s #3 Ryota Kandea 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round.
Gonzalez also progressed through qualifying by winning four preliminary matches to claim his own place in the first round. The young Mexican maintained his strong form in the main draw with two more victories on his way to the Round of 64.
“Koichiro, Origen and Emiliano have made fantastic progress as their results at the Orange Bowl indicate,” said JTCC Senior Coach Ben Cappuccitti. “All of them have an excellent attitude towards improving and are dedicated to becoming the best players they can be.”
Cappuccitti also commended Boys’ 12s duo Jelani Sarr and Alvaro Pedraza by saying, “Jelani and Alvaro both had fantastic runs to the Round of 32 and their Orange Bowl experience will serve them very well looking ahead into 2017.”