The USTA Southern Closed 16s Championships came to a formful conclusion Friday morning at Rebsamen Tennis Center.
No. 1 boys seed Patrick Kypson, of Greenville, N.C., and No. 1 girls seed Makenna Jones, of Greenville, S.C., won their respective divisions to conclude seven days of competition that started with 128-player draws in both brackets.
Thursday and Friday
At Rebsamen Tennis Center
(1) Patrick Kypson def. (2) Trent Bryde 7-6 (4), 6-1
(5) Nick Stachowiak def. (4) Oliver Crawford 6-4; 7-5
(9) Galen Lee def. (5) Sean Sculley 6-4; 7-5
(1) Kypson-Bryde def. (3) Oliver Crawford-Sam Soufi 3-6, 6-0; 1-0
(1) Makenna Jones d. (3) Nami Otsuka 6-2; 3-6; 6-2
(5) Abigail Desiatnikov d. (2) Hannah Lairmore Wo (inj)
(5) Emma Kurtz d. (9) Tatum Rice Wo (inj)
(1) Jones-Cameron Kriscunas def. (2) Tatum Rice-Meredith Rogers 6-2, 6-1
Kypson defeated second-seeded Trent Bryde, of Suwanee, Ga., 7-6, 6-1 in the boys match, and Jones beat third-seeded Nami Otsuka, of Norcross, Ga., 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in the girls final.
Kypson, ranked No. 1 in the U.S. among 14-year-old boys by the USTA, was challenged in the final by his close friend Bryde, the No. 2-ranked 14-year-old.
Neither led by more than a game in the first set, which ended in a tiebreak, and Bryde had to break Kypson's serve to tie the set at 6-6.
Kypson won the tiebreak, 7-4, and continued to dominate through the second set.
"I felt like whoever won that first set, since it was that close, would have a pretty big advantage in the second," Kypson said.
"He carried the momentum through the second set, and just played a better match than me," Bryde said. "He just came out more confident than I was."
Jones looked strong from the start, as if she were prepared for a lopsided victory over Otsuka.
"I really just came out on fire," said Jones, of of the 6-2 victory in the first set. "I had my mind straight and focused. I knew what I was doing. I knew my game plan. She made it difficult, for sure, but I just felt like I was on top of it."
Otsuka said she tried to relax as the second set began and it paid off.
"I think in the second set I was a bit more consistent than she was," Otsuka said. "She was playing well, but she started making more errors, and I was focusing on making more shots."
Otsuka struggled with first serves in the first and second sets, but connected on a higher percentage in the second.
"When her first serve is on, she can be dangerous," Jones said.
Jones said she gave herself a pep talk before the final set.
"Going into the third set, I told myself that I wasn't going to get angry," Jones said. "I wasn't going to let my frustration lose me the match. I was going to stay positive. I'm really hard on myself. I want to be perfect, which is ridiculous to say, but I kind of get down on myself when I don't do the things that I want to do. That's hard not do do, but it's a good thing to work on. It takes mental toughness to keep calm."
After the boys match, Kypson and Bryde talked and joked for several minutes on a sideline bench before walking up the shaded hill to the clubhouse. They were friends again, unlike for the previous two hours.
"Once the ball goes up, it's game time," Bryde said.
"It's kind of fun playing him," Kypson said. "We know each other so well, but once we start playing, we're trying to beat each other."
Sports on 06/21/2014
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