2019 USTA Florida March Level 4 Championships
Eight Champions Highlight Final Day
March 18, 2019
Monday marked the conclusion of the 2019 USTA Florida March Level 4 Championships, hosted by the USTA National Campus. Highlighting the last day of action were the eight divisional championship matchups, where five of the winners were the top seed in their respective division. Other champions included one No. 2 seed, one No. 3 seed and one unseeded competitor.
The lone boys’ singles championship contest to be decided in a match tiebreak was in the boys’ 16s, where top seed Yannik Rahman (Miami) rallied back to best No. 2 Santiago Giamichelle (North Miami Beach) 4-6, 6-3, 10-7. It was Giamichelle who got out to hot start, claiming the first four games en route to winning the opening frame. After a quick trade of breaks early in the second, the two held serve until Rahman secured the crucial break for 5-3. Rahman would serve out the set at love, and eventually prevail in a back-and-forth match tiebreak, reeling off seven consecutive points from 4-2 down to take complete control.
Turning in the most comprehensive effort on Monday was boys’ 18s No. 1 seed Anuj Watane (Orlando). He took the score from 1-1 to 5-1 against No. 4 Jonah Braswell (Sarasota), and after failing to serve out the set, broke right back for 6-2. Watane produced absolutely dominating tennis in set two, giving away a mere total of 10 points and earning the frame 6-1.
Seeded No. 1 in the boys’ 12s, Quentin Gabler (Miramar) lived up to his top billing by holding off No. 4 seed Calvin Baierl (Naples) 6-4, 6-3. Each player would hold a break advantage in the first set, with Baierl breaking to kick off the contest while Gabler bounced back for a 4-1 cushion. Baierl would level the score at 4-4, at which point Gabler saved a break point to inch ahead 5-4 and then broke at love for the set. In the second, Baierl once again broke to open the set, but Gabler proved simply too strong, racing through the final five games for the victory.
In a matchup that featured as many breaks of serve as holds, No. 3 Tristan Stringer (Orlando) managed to fight his way past second-seeded Justin Lyons (Pensacola) 7-5, 7-5. Set one saw seven break of serve alone, including five straight after the score stood at 3-3. Stringer put himself in a winning position, serving for the set at 6-5, where he played perhaps his best game on serve to hold at love. Leading 5-2 in the second frame, Stringer was two points from the win at 5-3 and got himself to match point at 5-4; however, Lyons stayed alive for 5-5. Stringer dug in from there, easily breaking in the very next game and following that up by clawing his way from 0-40 to serve his way to the title.
The story of the day on the girls’ side was 16s champions Hope Moulin (Lithia), who completed her run to the crown as an unseeded hopeful by defeating third-seeded Nikki Yanez (Sarasota) 6-4, 6-3. Moulin was the better player for the vast majority of the opening set, but nearly let her 5-2 lead completely evaporate before a love hold closed it out. It was a similar story in set two, with Moulin staking herself a 4-0 margin only to see Yanez fight back to 5-3. With Yanez serving, Moulin took the final three points of the match.
No. 1 Sofia Rojas (Saraosta) and eighth-seeded Karly Friedland (Hollywood) squared off in an encounter in which neither player held the momentum for long. Rojas was misfiring out of the gate, but shook off the mistakes to come back from a break disadvantage on three separate occasions. With Friedland finally playing from behind at 6-5, she served to critical double faults in dropping the set. Rojas seemed primed for a quick race to the finish line in the second at 3-0, but Friedland never went away. Much like the first, Rojas was the more solid player after the score was knotted at 5-5, eventually prevailing on her third match point.
Girls’ 14s top seed Lexington Reed (Orlando) had her grit on full display in ther 4-6, 7-5, 10-6 triumph versus No. 2 seed Sophie Llewellyn (Tarpon Springs). A shaky start from both competitors produced six consecutive breaks of serve to get play going; Llewellyn would finish strong, claiming the final three games. Much stronger performances on serve was the story in the second, with six straight holds composing the middle of the frame. Just a handful of points from defeat, Reed steadied herself just in time to break for 7-5 and force the decisive match tiebreak, where Reed would win her points in bunches, including the final four of the contest.
The longest final of the day was played between second seed Aida Oviedo (Port Saint Lucie) and No. 1 Leila Javaheri (Longwood) in the girls’ 12s division, falling one minute shy of the two-hour mark. After they traded breaks twice in the first set, Javaheri delivered the crucial break at 5-5 in a game that lasted 22 points; she would save a break point in the next game before successfully serving out the set. A wild second frame followed – after Oviedo held for a slim 2-1 lead, the remaining seven games of the set were breaks. That was enough for Oviedo to win the set 6-4 and extend the match, where she never relinquished the momentum. Oviedo sprinted to a 5-1 lead and finished things off at 10 points to six.
For complete results from the 2019 USTA Florida March Level 4 Championships, click here.
Divisional Singles Finals Results
Boys’ 12s: No. 1 Quentin Gabler def. No. 4 Calvin Baierl 6-4, 6-3
Boys’ 14s: No. 3 Tristan Stringer def. No. 2 Justin Lyons 7-5, 7-5
Boys’ 16s: No. 1 Yannik Rahman def. No. 2 Santiago Giamichelle 4-6, 6-3, 10-7
Boys’ 18s: No. 1 Anuj Watane def. No. 4 Jonah Braswell 6-2, 6-2
Girls’ 12s: No. 2 Aida Oviedo def. No. 1 Leila Javaheri 4-6, 6-4, 10-6
Girls’ 14s: No. 1 Lexington Reed def. No. 2 Sophie Llewellyn 4-6, 7-5, 10-6
Girls’ 16s: Hope Moulin def. No. 3 Nikki Yanez 6-4, 6-3
Girls’ 18s: No. 1 Sofia Rojas def. No. 8 Karly Friedland 7-5, 7-5