2021 USTA Boys' 12s National Clay Court Championships
Secord, Alvarez/Cozad Earn Gold Ball
July 18, 2021
The USTA Boys’ 12s National Clay Court Championships, part of the adidas Junior National Championship Series, concluded Saturday, July 17, at the USTA National Campus following a week of play. Top-seeded Jack Secord (Lake Forest, Ill.) earned the Gold Ball in singles without dropping a set while the duo of Yannik Alvarez (Cumming, Ga.) and Ryan Cozad (Alpharetta, Ga.) teamed up to claim the doubles Gold Ball.
Secord was a dominating presence from the opening round, dropping a mere eight games in his first three matches. He was challenged in set two by 17th-seeded Aditya Pandey (Phoenix) in their round of 16 contest, eventually prevailing 6-1, 6-4, before going on to breeze past No. 5 Liam Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
Jack Secord’s Road to the Gold Ball
Round of 128: def. Phillip LeRoux (Madison, Miss.) 6-0, 6-2
Round of 64: def. Diego Custodio (Tampa, Fla.) 6-1, 6-2
Round of 32: def. No. 17 Jerrid Gaines Jr. (Margate, Fla.) 6-2, 6-2
Round of 16: def. No. 17 Aditya Pandey (Phoenix) 6-1, 6-4
Quarters: def. No. 5 Liam Alvarez (Long Beach, Calif.) 6-1, 6-2
Semis: def. No. 8 Jordan Lee (Orlando) 6-1, 6-3
Final: def. No. 13 Teodor Davidov (Denver) 6-4, 6-1
At the semifinal stage, Secord drew recent USTA Florida “Bobby Curtis” Junior Singles champion, which was also held on the clay courts of the National Campus, and No. 8 seed Jordan Lee (Orlando). Despite Lee coming in riding an impressive winning streak, Secord turned in a comprehensive performance to advance with a 6-1, 6-3 result.
The Gold Ball matchup featured Secord going up against surprising finalist Teodor Davidov (Denver), seeded 13th overall at the event. Davidov was also coming off an outstanding performance at the recent “Bobby Curtis” Junior Singles Championships, playing his way to a runner-up finish. He managed to maintain that high level of play against the talented field of competitors at the Boys’ 12s, besting No. 2 Alvarez, 11th-seeded Andrew Johnson (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), and No. 3 Navneet Raghuram (Fenton, Mo.) in succession.
A back-and-forth opening frame eventually went in favor of Secord, six games to four, before he ran away with the second set to claim the victory and Gold Ball.
In the Bronze Ball match, Raghuram defeated Lee 6-3, 6-0 while Liam Alvarez rallied past Joseph Nau (Brentwood, Calif.) 4-6, 6-2, 10-7 to claim fifth-place overall.
For the doubles competition, the No. 2 seeds Alvarez and Cozad stormed to the title, kicking their week off with back-to-back 6-0, 6-0 efforts. They finally surrendered a game in the round of 16 in downing Southern California tandem Ilias Bouzoubaa (San Diego) and Tanishk Konduri (Cupertino) 6-1, 6-3, which happened to be the exact score line they defeated eighth-seeded Andrew Shkotkin (Palm Coast, Fla.) and Gadin Arun (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) by in the quarterfinals.
Their toughest match took place in the semifinals, where they let a big lead in the first set slip away against Kayden Colombo (Marietta, Ga.) and Lucas Smith (Daniel Island, S.C.). The extended frame ended 7-5 in favor of Alvarez and Cozad, who sprinted to the finish line with a 6-1 effort in the second set.
Alvarez/Cozad’s Road to the Gold Ball
Round of 64: def. Blondet (Mayaguez, P.R.)/Quinones (Caguas, P.R.) 6-0, 6-0
Round of 32: def. Narang (New Hartford, N.Y.)/Rauf (Delran, N.J.) 6-0, 6-0
Round of 16: def. No. 12 Bouzoubaa (San Diego)/Konduri (Cupertino, Calif.) 6-1, 6-3
Quarters: def. No. 8 Shkotkin (Palm Coast, Fla.)/Arun (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) 6-1, 6-3
Semis: def. No. 14 Colombo (Marietta, Ga.)/Smith (Daniel Island, S.C.) 7-5, 6-1
Final: def. No. 1 Raghuram (Fenton, Mo.)/McPeek (Carmel, Ind.) 6-4, 6-2
That set up a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds with the Gold Ball on the line. Set one lived up to the billing, as top seeds Raghuram and Colin McPeek (Carmel, Ind.) went toe-to-toe with Alvarez and Cozad. The second-seeded pairing managed to prevail, and after falling behind a quick break in the second rebounded to close the match out 6-4, 6-2.
Also contested on the last day of the event was the Bronze Ball contest in doubles, with Colombo and Smith holding off Kai Abarca (Dana Point, Calif.) and Andrew Johnson 7-5, 6-4.
For complete results from the 2021 USTA Boys’ 12s National Clay Court Championships, click here.