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EASTER BOWL: 12s and 14s Trophies Handed Out

The young juniors took center stage and shined Thursday as the Boys’ and Girls’ 14- and 12-and-under championships were decided at the 51st Annual Adidas Easter Bowl, the USTA National Spring Championships, being played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Having the experience of making the Girls’ 12s final last year, Eleana Yu of Mason, Ohio, said she only had to fight a moderate case of nerves as the No. 3 seed won the Girls’ 14s USTA gold ball and her first Adidas Easter Bowl national title with a 6-1, 6-0 win over No. 7-seeded Sophia Williams of Charleston, S.C.

“Having been in the final before really did help,” said the 13-year-old Yu. “I did feel a little nervous at the start, but once I found my rhythm it was fine and I just felt really confident. I think my opponent was more nervous, but the match was definitely closer than the score indicated.”

Eleana Yu by Dave Kenas

Yu started playing tennis at age 6, and plans to tour around Southern California for the Easter weekend and visit her brother, who is a student at Cal Tech. “I don’t know yet how I’m going to celebrate,” she said. “I’m just so glad I got the opportunity to come back and win the Easter Bowl.”

Reese Brantmeier, the top-seeded player from Whitewater, Wisc., captured the third-place USTA bronze ball with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Alexandra Torre, the No. 2 seed from Brentwood, Tenn. In the Girls’ 14s doubles final, the Atlanta pairing of Ann Guerry and Kate Sharabura beat the California team of Anushka Khune (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Tomi Main (Seaside, Calif.), 6-2, 7-5.

In a battle of top-seeded players in the Girls’ 12s final, No. 2 Clervie Ngounoue of Washington, D.C., took out No. 1 Stephanie Yakoff of Fort Lee, N.J., 6-3, 6-2. No. 8 Elizabeth Dunac (University Park, Md.) won her first USTA bronze ball.

Ngounoue and Yakoff later teamed to win the Easter Bowl Girls’ 12s doubles title.

“I felt the pressure,” said the 11-year-old Ngounoue, who has split four previous matches in the past with Yakoff. “I knew my game plan and how I had to play Stephanie. I knew I had to be consistent to beat her and to keep my patience.”

Ngounoue’s father is her coach and the two train at Sports Fit, a tennis club in Bowie, Md.

Bruno Kuzuhara, the No. 10 seed from Coconut Creek, Fla., defeated top-seeded Samir Banerjee of Basking Ridge, N.J., 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, to win the Boys’ 14s title. No. 6 Evan Wen of Morristown, N.J., took home the USTA bronze ball.

“It was a great experience and I’m so excited to win the Easter Bowl,” the 13-year-old Kuzuhara said. “To see that such great players like [Frances] Tiafoe and [Jack] Sock have won it is so cool.”

Playing in just his second Easter Bowl and first final, Kuzuhara said he battled the nerves and that was the reason for his slow start. “I wasn’t able to execute from the start,” he said. “But I just tried to relax and stuck to my game plan, which was to look for the short balls and come in and attack.”

He added: “I love the Easter Bowl. It’s such a fun tournament and being at Indian Wells is incredible.”

In the Boys’ 12s final, Rudy Quan, the No. 2 seed from Roseville, Calif., beat No. 10 Raghav Jangbahadur of Palo Alto, Calif., 6-1, 6-4, in a Northern California battle. In the Boys’ 12s playoff for the USTA bronze ball, Alexander Frusina of Conroe, Texas, beat Meecah Bigun of College Park, Md., 6-1, 7-5.

In the Boys’ 12s doubles final, Nicholas Mangiapane (Davidson, N.C.) and Andrew Salu, the top-seeded team from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., won the gold ball.

In the Girls’ 16s quarterfinals, two unseeded players advanced to the final four as India Houghton of (Belvedere Tiburon, Calif., will face Hibah Shaikh of Teaneck, N.J. on Friday. Chidimma Okpara, the No 8 seed from Bronxville, N.Y., will take on Anessa Lee of San Marino, Calif., in the other semifinal.


In the Boys’ 16s semifinals, it will be No. 1 Keshav Chopra of Marietta, Ga., taking on No. 4 Harsh Parikh of Tucson, Ariz. In the other semi, No. 8 Logan Zapp (Fleming Island, Fla.) will face No. 2 Max McKennon of Newport Beach.

In the ITF Boys’ 18s, top-seeded Tristan Boyer (Altadena, Calif.) needed three sets to beat No. 13 Brian Shi (Jericho, N.Y.) 6-0, 4-6, 6-3. In the only other 18s match that went three sets, Andres Martin (Flowery Branch, Ga.) took out fellow unseeded player Kevin Zhu (Pearland, Texas), 7-5, 4-6, 6-1

Other results included: William Woodall (12) (Washington, D.C.) def. Govind Nanda, (7) (Cerritos, Calif.) 6-4, 6-4; Cannon Kingsley (Northport, N.Y.) def. Roger Chou (Austin, Texas) walkover (inj); Brandon Nakashima (11) (San Diego, Calif.) def. Jake Sands (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) 6-3, 6-3; Jenson Brooksby (Carmichael, Calif.) def. Trey Hilderbrand (4) (San Antonio) 6-1, 6-2; Siem Woldeab (La Mesa, Calif.) def. Michael Sun (Livingston, N.J.) 6-3, 6-4;  Drew Baird (2) (Holly Springs, N.C.) def. William Grant (14) (Boca Raton, Fla.) 7-6(3), 6-3.

In the Girls’ 18s ITF division, all eight Round of 16s winners won in straight sets. Results included: Alexa Noel (1) (Summit, N.J.) def. Ava Hrastar (Duluth, Ga.) 6-0, 6-4; Hurricane Tyra Black (10) (Boca Raton, Fla.) def. Nikki Redelijk (Windermere, Fla.) 6-3, 6-3; Savannah Broadus (Carrollton, Texas) def. Charlotte Owensby (Boca Raton, Fla.) 6-1, 6-0; Gabriella Price (8) (New City, NY) def. Elli Mandlik (12) (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-2, 6-1; Chloe Beck (11) (Watkinsville, GA) def. Hailey Baptiste (7) (Washington, D.C.) 6-4, 7-5; Katie Volynets (15) (Walnut Creek, CA) def. Caty McNally (3) (Cincinnati, Ohio) 6-2, 6-4; Emma Navarro (Charleston, S.C.) def. Jenna Dean (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-1, 7-5; Margaryta Bilokin (2) (New Canaan, Conn.) def. Vanessa Ong (13) (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 6-1, 6-1.

To keep up with all the Adidas Easter Bowl news, visit the website at and check out the tournament on Facebook ( and Twitter (@easterbowl).

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