It has been awhile since I wrote about my experience at Zone Team Championships. I did an update article on how some of the players are doing since Zonals. I am doing one more update article on the kids in the 12’s who played zonals.
Going into zonals, there were 4 Eastern Boys in the Top 100 Nationally – Daniel Nuzhny (76); Luke Smith (81); Steven Sun (88) and Gary Fishkin (92). There were 3 Eastern Girls in the Top 100 nationally too – Dasha Kourkina (62); Jennifer Yu (76) and Chelsea Williams (96). There were some other Eastern players in the Top 100, but this article is only focusing on players who played Zonals. So where are they ranked now? Nuzhny is ranked 80th but he didn’t play any tournaments in August and has been playing in the 14’s since. It is hard to replace last years points when you are playing in a higher age group this year. Smith is now ranked 23rd, Sun is 22nd and Fishkin is 36th. In the Girls, Kourkina is ranked 29th; Yu is 74th and Williams is 53rd.
But there is more. All of the Boys who were ranked between 100 and 200 during Zonals are now in the Top 100 except for Satish Kumar who is now in the 14’s – Satish did get into the low 90’s before aging out of the 12’s. Daniel Pellerito came into Zonals ranked 130th, he is currently 37th. Ronald Hohmann went from 141st to 50th since Zonals while Harris Walker went from 167th to 82nd. Oren Vassar started out at #180 and went to 78th and locally, Ronan Jachuck (Slingerlands) went from 188th to 63rd.
And the Girls? Michelle Sorokko was 105th, is now 50th; Nicole Semenov was 159th, is now 82nd; Mackenzie Clark was 190th, is now 58th; Gabriella Price was 192nd, is now 96th and Lea Ma was 193rd, is now 45th. Like the Boys, the Girls ranked between 100 and 200 during Zonals are all ranked within the Top 100 (except for Girls who have since aged out of the 12’s and are now playing in the 14’s).
Also since Zonals began, even more Eastern players have joined the top 200, some even in the top 100. Cannon Kingsley (57); Michael Sun (66); Patrick Maloney (76); William Turchetta (86) and Albany’s Max Benson (87) are now in the top 100 while Josh berman (101): Adam Oscislawski (113); Noah Lilienthal (129); Jeremy Casabon (161); Lex Decker (162); Sam Kesti (172); Connor Nisbet (176) and Holden Koons (177) are in the top 200.
Girls who are now in the top 200 that were not in before zonals are: Andrea Cerdan – 109; Katherine Kachkarov – 151; Shelly Yaloz – 166; Brianna Omar – 175; Alexa Goetz – 184; Samantha Lugtu – 188 and Anastasia Koniaev – 195.
It was not just the Eastern players who enjoyed a ranking bounce coming out of Zonals and beyond. Robert Siniakowitz (Middle States) was the highest ranked boy at Zonals. His ranking went from 55th to 24th. His teammate Tyler Zink went from 120th to 70th. On the Girls side, Christine Hand went from 93rd to 47th and Brianna Shvets went from 107th to 57th. In the Midwest, Grant Smith (194) cracked the top 200. Finn Garner (New England) went from 193rd to 127th and Amaya Lopez Clay – also from New England – went from 93rd to 70th.
It is clear in looking at these results that playing Zonals was a positive step in their tennis career for these young players. The points they got at Zonals helped boost their rankings, but most have enjoyed continued success afterwards even if they did not get many wins at Zonals. I enjoyed my time there and wish all of the players the best of luck.