We have had a lot of talented young players in the area through the years. This is our attempt to rank the top 10 juniors. We looked at high school tennis – particularly how they did in states. We also looked at how the players did in USTA tennis. Our emphasis there was on national rankings. Feel free to let us know if we missed anyone who belongs on this list.
1) Matt Kandath – Matt was a three time finalist at states, and he won states twice. Matt also beat the #4 junior in the world at the U.S.Open juniors. He was consistently ranked in the top 25 nationally in his age group. Matt is currently playing at Stanford.
2) Megan Yeats – Megan was the lone girls states winner from our area. At the time she was ranked #21 in the country in the Girls 18’s. Megan played her college tennis at Arizona State where she was ranked #10 in the West by the NCAA.
3) Matt Treadgold – Matt Treadgold was the second area boy to win states. He was also a had a high national ranking in the boys 18’s. Matt attended George Washington where he rose to #1 singles and doubles.
4) Travis Boyd – The first area player to win states. Travis was ranked in the top 100 nationally for the Boys 18’s.
5) Tony Piro – Tony also won states and was consistently in the top 100 nationally throughout his junior career.
6) Barry Negri – A great local talent whose tennis was mentioned in “The Education of a Speculator.” A New York Times Best Selling book. (Jim) “Noriley had a classic backhand stroke with a classic behind-the-shoulder backswing in the tradition of Don Budge. He had already taught just such a backhand to the two best juniors in the East, Herb Fitzgibbon and Barry Negri.” (p.178)
7) Larry Linett – How many players can say they have a winning record against John McEnroe. Larry was # 7 in the country in the 12’s and beat McEnroe 2 out of the 3 times they played. They also played doubles together back then at the Orange Bowl Junior Tournament which they won.
8 ) Darrel Bielawski – got to the semi finals at states. Darrel was always a strong force at states. Darrel was ranked in the top 30 nationally in the 14’s.
9) Sarah Mayer – another state semi finalist. Sarah went on to play college tennis at Siena where she set the school record for career wins having played her entire career at #1 (the record she beat was held by her sister Nicole).
10) Kirsten Odabashian – another outstanding local player who did well at states. Kirsten, who played her high school tennis at Shaker went on to play college tennis at Brown.
All of these players were finalists or semi finalists at states in singles and almost all were ranked top 100 nationally. The top 5 players on the list won states. There were several other player we looked at from the area that have accomplished so much during their junior tennis careers, it was hard to decide on a top 10. Your feedback is appreciated. Comments are welcomed. If you have updated or additional information about these players or any player that may deserve a spot on the list send it along. Comments will be posted once they are approved.