The Gobbler Super Series (Level 6) took place at the Arthur Allen Tennis Center at Cambier Park this past weekend, and 130 players took part. Thanks to Greg Perrino for the heads up. Congrats to Nikki for being a Doubles Finalist.
I didn't make it to Cambier, but given the number of tiebreaks, the competition was pretty fierce. Way to battle Ian! In any event, the following represents my remote version of how things played out in the four age divisions for both boys and girls.
|Blu Baker- Boys' 12s Singles Finalist|
& Doubles Champion
There was a ringer in the Boys’ 12s, as unseeded and unknown (at least in this country- click here for more on Blu) Blu Baker (is that a cool name or what!) of Portsmouth upset No.3 Seed Reynold Greenlaw of Cape Coral and Ryan Talano of Naples en route to the semis, dropping just one game in the process.
|JB Bernard- Boys' 12 Fin|
Baker faced JB Bernard, the No.2 Seed, in the semis, and I wish I could have been at Cambier Park to watch that one, because I know from prior observation that Bernard is a skilled and well-coached youngster who is quite used to winning himself (click here , and here for more). Baker won this battle of young champions, beating Bernard in the semis, 6-2, 7-6, and the two teamed to win the doubles.
Other local entries included Tyler Carlin of Fort Myers and Josh Diggs of Cape Coral. After easily winning his first-round match over Alex Fitzgerald of Naples, 6-0, 6-1, Carlin fell to top-seed Nicholas Garcia of Hollywood, 0-6, 4-6. Diggs defeated Weston Blabey of Naples 6-1, 6-0 before falling to Sebastian Dounchis of Naples by the same score. Garcia eased past Dounchis, 6-0, 6-3 in the semis, then won a war of attrition against Baker in the final, 2-6, 7-5, 1-0.
Another unknown threw a monkey wrench into the works in the Boys’ 14s as well. Michael Heller of Weston came in unseeded and downed two seeds on his way to the semis, including No.8 Seed Devidas Vilys and No.1 Seed Philippe Niňo, both of Naples. After dropping the first set to Niňo in the quarters, Heller had to win two tiebreaks to make it through to the semis. Niňo and Vilys partnered to take the doubles title home to Naples.
Ian Ziegler of Fort Myers showed that he is determined to live up to his vast potential, taking out two seeds himself on the way to the semis. In his second match, Ziegler downed seventh-seeded Logan Glock, also of Fort Myers, 6-2, 6-3, and defeated second-seeded Ethan Eckhard of Lakewood Ranch 6-3, 6-2. He fell in the semis to No.3 Seed Romare Gonzales of Doral in a thriller, 4-6, 6-2, 0-1(9). Remember that unknown I mentioned above? Yep, Heller won the event in straight sets, downing Gonzales 6-2, 7-5.
John Carlin of Fort Myers was the top local performer in the Boys’ 16s. Carlin, who reached the top-50 in Boys’ 14 Rankings for USTA Florida, showed that he can compete in the 16s as well. After a relatively easy pass into the second round over Matej Holy of Naples, 6-2, 6-3, Carlin outlasted third-seed William Shkrob of Venice, 6-7, 6-1, 1-0. He then defeated Eric Poland of Fort Myers, who also reached the semis without being seeded. Poland had survived a tough match in the quarters against M. T. McCormick of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, winning 6-2, 5-7, 1-0. Carlin dispatched Poland 6-1, 6-0 to reach the final.
In the final, Carlin took on No.1 Seed William Shisler of Naples. Shisler had had little trouble reaching the final, losing just four games in three matches, including a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Brandon Wortkotter of Fort Myers and of Chase Burton of Naples by the same margin. Shisler got off to a strong start in the final, taking the first set 6-1, but Carlin fought back and made a match of it, finally falling 6-7. Carlin did get the win over Shisler in the doubles final, partnering with Burton.
The two local entries in the Boys’ 18s, Miguel Bendito and fourth-seeded Adam Hamilton, both of Fort Myers fell in their first-round matches. Alan Sweet of Naples had an easy path to the semis, beating Jacobo Nieto of Coral Gables 6-2, 2-0 (retired), and getting a walkover in the quarters. Sweet fell to Ezequiel Cerrini of Sunny Isles Beach 4-6, 3-6 in the final.
In Girls’ 12s, No.1 Seed Shani Idlette of Fort Myers cruised to the semifinals, losing just one game in two matches. She then faced No.4 Seed Emily Javedan, also of Fort Myers, who narrowly edged QiQi Anderson of Naples, 6-3, 3-6, 1-0(8) in the quarters.
Third-seeded Alanna Dukas of Fort Myers eased her way into the semis without dropping a game in quarters, and faced unseeded Victoria Franklin of Naples. Franklin had to battle her way past Zoe Imes of Bradenton to reach the semis, downing Imes 6-4, 0-6, 1(7).
Two of the three locals who made the semis exited when Franklin knocked Dukas out in the semis, 6-2, 6-3, and Idlette defeated Javedan, 6-3, 6-1. However, when the final score was posted, local girl Shani Idlette had claimed the victor’s spoils, beating Franklin 6-1, 6-1 in the final. Idlette also joined with Dukas to win the doubles event.
Only two players from Fort Myers entered the Girls’ 14s, top-seed Allison Ghuman and Emma Scott. The two met in the second round (Ghuman’s first match), and Scott toppled Ghuman in a tough one, 7-5, 6-4.
Viva Laas of Bonita Springs was unseeded, but she dominated her three opponents, including No.2 Seed Tatia Ghviniashvili, en route to the final, dropping just three games in the three matches. Laas finished the event as the Finalist, losing to Champion Taylor Kogan of Plantation, 6-3, 6-0. Laas did go home a winner, taking the doubles with Ghuman.
Three-seed Fallon Burger was Fort Myer’s only entry in the Girls’ 16s, and she had to survive a scare (1-6, 6-2, 1-0) from Karley Borras of Bradenton to reach the semis. Stevie Kennedy from Bonita Springs posted an impressive win over No.2 Seed Ines de Bracamonte of Golden Beach, 6-2, 6-1, to advance to the semis. Kennedy dispatched Burger in the semis, but fell to Ashby Bland of Fort Lauderdale in the final, 6-3, 6-3. Kennedy with partner Alyssa Mayo of Naples also lost a close one (9-7) to Bland and Bracamonte in the finals of the doubles.
In the Girls’ 18s, Thandiwe Kangwa of Fort Myers encountered stiff competition from Lauren Hidalgo-Smith of Weston in her first match, falling 6-1, 6-4. Fort Myers’ other entry, Ja’cara Gillis also fell in her first match, this time to the No.1 Seed, Miranda Talbert of Bradenton, 6-1, 6-3. Shannon Etten of Naples won the event, beating Talbert, 6-1, 6-1.
Kudos to all the young players who gave it their all this past weekend! Game, set, match...T. A.