The USTA has 17 Sections. We are in the Eastern Section. Each Section gets 12 National tournaments. In the Eastern Section these tournaments are called Sectional Championships. This past weekend the Sectional Championships came to Albany. Capital Region hosted the Boys and Girls 12 and Unders; Tri City hosted the Boys and Girls 14 and Unders; Sportime hosted the Boys and Girls 16 and Unders. The tournaments run two weekends. The first weekend is the Qualifier and the second weekend – this past weekend – is the Main Draw. The Main Draw is made up of 32 players. If there are 32 players or less signed up for a draw, there is no Qualifier. If there is between 32 and 49 players, the top 28 go into the Main Draw and the remaining players go into the Qualifier. The Qualifying draw is played down to the semi final round and not played out. Those 4 players go into the Main Draw. If there are more than 50 entries the Qualifier is played to the quarter finals and the 8 players go into the Main Draw (the top 24 are selected to go straight into the Main Draw). Here is a wrap up of the Albany Sectional Main Draws.
The 12 and Under Boys at Capital Region featured two local players. Ronan Jachuck – the 8th seed and Max Benson. Ronan is ranked 27th in the Eastern Section and Max is ranked 38th. Ronan won his first round match over Benjamin Grossman of Sands Point, NY by a 6-0, 6-1 margin. In the second round he took out Justin Silva of Rochester in 3 sets (6-1, 2-6, 6-4). He fell to eventual winner Gary Fishkin 6-0, 6-0 in the next round. In the consolation round Ronan won 6-1, 6-3 over Michael Medvedev. Ronan had lost to Michael a few months ago, then beaten him in the rematch. This match was their tiebreaker although I’m betting they will meet again in the not too distant future. Max lost his first round match to Pete Siozios 6-4, 6-3. Siozios is from New Hyde Park. In the consolation round Max dropped a tight 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 decision to Robert Dotterer of of Jamesville, NY. The tournament was won by Gary Fishkin of Staten Island – the number 3 seed. He beat Brian Shi of Jerico, NY – the 4th seed – by a score of 6-4, 6-0 in the finals. Gary got to the finals by beating the second seed – Lucas Smith of Scarsdale 6-1, 6-2; Brian got there with a 6-1, 6-3 win over unseeded Cannon Kingsley of Northport, New York. In the 3/4 playoff Luke beat Cannon 6-2, 6-4.
The other draw played at Capital Region was the Girls 12 and Unders. Aleksandra Bekirova lived up to her seeding – she was the top seed – by beating #3 seed Dasha Kourkina in the finals 6-2, 6-1. Aleksandra barely lost enough games in the tournament to lose a single match (she lost only 12 games total in five matches). Dasha got to the finals with a 6-4, 6-4 win in the semi finals over #2 seed – Scarlett Blydenburgh. Kourkina beat 6th seeded Jennifer Yu 6-0, 7-5 in the semi finals. Scarlett finished third with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Yu in the 3/4 playoff.
In the Boys 14’s at Tri City Alex Fedorov of Guilderland started out with a 6-0, 6-2 loss to Chris Kuhnle of Shoreham, New York. He did not play the backdraw due to illness. Schenectady High School‘s Josh Sagaille lost in the backdraw to Travis Leaf of Dix Hill by a score of 6-1, 6-1 after losing his main draw match to Ananth Raghavan – the 7th seed – 6-1, 6-0. Both Fedorov and Sagaille got into the Main Draw as lucky losers. Sam Turchetta of Pound Ridge, New York – the #8 seed – came through the draw and won the finals 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 over Felipe P. Osses-Konig of Rego Park, New York. Felipe was the #5 seed. Turchetta got to the finals with a 7-5, 7-6 (2) win over top seeded Alex Knaff of New York City. Osses-Konig pulled off a 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over #2 seed Aleksandar Kovacevic of New York City. That set up a battle for 3rd place between two kids from New York City with the same first name and the same initials. Alex Knaff was the winner over Aleksandar Kovacevic by a -1, 6-2 margin.
The Girls 14’s was won by top seeded Madison Battaglia (Cold Spring Harbor, New York) – who finished with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 win over 4th seeded Alexa Graham (Garden City, New York). She got to the finals by beating Courtney Provan 6-3, 6-0 in the semi finals. Courtney is from New Providence, New Jersey and regularly plays tournaments in our area. Alexa took out Sabrina Barisano of Yonkers, New York – the #2 seed – by a score of 6-4, 6-1. Provan won the 3/4 match over Barisano 6-2, 6-2. Niskayuna’s Nisha Detchprohm was the only local girl in the 14’s and she lost in the first round to Isis Gill of Brooklyn 6-2, 6-1. In the backdraw she lost to another player from Brooklyn – Regina Furer 6-1, 6-0.
That leaves the Boys and Girls 16 and Unders which was played at Sportime in Schenectady. Josh Silverstein lived up to his seeding as the #1 seed with a 6-1, 6-2 win in the finals over Win Smith. Smith got to the finals with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 win over Alexander Lebedev. Alexander’s older sister Julia played her college tennis at Siena. Silverstein took out Mwendwa Mbithi in the semi finals by a 6-2, 6-1 margin. Mwendwa is actually playing up. He is the #1 14 and Under Boy in the Eastern Section and he is ranked 46th Nationally in the 14’s. Lebedev came away with a 6-4, 6-3 win in the 3/4 playoff. Silverstein is from Great Neck, New York; Smith is from Brooklyn,NY; Lebedev is from Island Park, NY and Mbithi is from Succasunna, New Jersey.
We finish with the Girls 16 and Unders – also played at Sportime. This draw included local players Claire Schmitz (Emma Willard) and Shannon Mukerji (Shaker). Both players lost in the first round. Claire lost 6-4, 6-2 to Avery Wagman of Rye, NY. Avery was the #7 seed. Shannon lost 6-2, 6-1 to Dorothy Tai of Stormville, NY. Shannon lost to Sarah Yukelis of Larchmont, NY in the backdraw, 6-3, 6-2. Claire beat Ashley Monaco of Brewster, NY in the first round of the backdraw by a score of 6-4, 6-0. She lost to Tomo Iwasaki of Scarsdale, NY in the next round by a score of 7-5, 6-2. Second Seeded Jessica Golovin of New York City came away with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 victory in the finals over Jacqueline Urbinati of Harrison, New York in the finals and a 7-5, 6-4 win over Maddie Stearns – the #4 seed – in the semi finals. Stearns is from Short Hills, New Jersey. Urbinati got to the finals with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Tai. Stearns won the 3/4 playoff 6-1, 6-1 over Tai.
The area Tournament Directors and their staffs did a great job running these events. Congratulations to Mike Muscato (Capital Region): Andy Schechter (Tri City); Philippe Ceas (Sportime) and all who helped these events possible.