LINK TO SHARE: http://goo.gl/2gRLE
The Easter Bowl has a wonderful 45 year history defining some of tennis’ greats while they were still juniors. This year the tournament returned to the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in beautiful Rancho Mirage, California.
If you try to name a Grand Slam champion from the U.S. over the past 40 years, and chances are they started at the Easter Bowl. McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, Chang, Austin and Davenport all played this tournament, which is the only nationally televised junior tennis tournament.
Few other tournaments in the world gets the press coverage or spectacular performances like the Easter Bowl, and this year was no different!
ADNA had 2 of the 4 semifinalists with Johnathan Small and Anudeep Kodali making a great run. Both pushed themselves through a tough draw each winning long 3 set matches against other ADNA Select players Riley Smith and Max Pham.
Small and Pham having very similar games saw each other battle it out in the Quarter Finals, having one of the longest sets of the tournament with Pham winning it 7-6 (5). Small showed some great resolve coming back from a hard fought first to win the next two sets on his run to the Semi Finals.
After Singles, Small and Kodali teamed up to reach the finals of doubles, and lost a hard fought 3 setter for the Championship. If they keep playing together, there should be no reason they don’t win a title soon.
ADNA Select player Aron Hiltzik made his mark at this year’s Easter Bowl. As the 9 seed, he upset the #8 ranked player in the country and second seed Mitch Stewart. After losing the first set of that match, he rallied to win the second 6-3, and then caught fire in the 3rd winning the final set 6-0. He then didn’t drop a set in his next two matches before he ended his run at his first Easter Bowl in the finals.
Fourteen-year-old, and wild card Cameron Klinger showed that he is ready to take his game to the next level, and make his mark in the 16s. In his first Super National playing 16s, Cameron made it to the round of 16 and showed his fitness is not lacking when he went to hit this forehand.
Another ADNA Select Athlete, William Griffith showed how running down every ball is key. He stretched out for his shot to get him back in the point, and make a good run to the round of 16 before falling in a really tight match to the #1 seed.
Klinger then teamed up with ADNA Select player Jake Devine, and as an unseeded team worked their way through a tough draw to make an unbelievable run to the finals. They are new to 16s competition, but you can tell this won’t be their last run at a title.
Ronnie Schneider came in as a Wild Card, and showed he deserved it. He took out #1 seed in the round of 16, making a great run to the quarters. In the quarter finals he saved 3 match points and had momentum at 5-5 40-15, before the rain came.
With a long rain delay, he wasn’t able to capitalize on the momentum he had, and lost 7-5 in the third. For this first year player in the 18s, he showed he will have a bright future in the final years of his junior career.