Monday, May 13, 2013

Klinger wins battle of top Bay Area juniors for title

Cameron Klinger, right, defeated Lane Leschly to win the USTA
National Open boys 16s in Elk Grove. Photo by Paul Bauman
   ELK GROVE -- Cameron Klinger and Lane Leschly, nationally ranked 15-year-olds, live about 20 miles (32 kilometers) apart in the San Francisco Bay Area.
   So they've played each other since they were toddlers, right?
   Not exactly.
   Klinger and Leschly met for the first time Monday in the boys 16 singles final of the USTA National Open at the Laguna Creek Racquet Club.
   Klinger, ranked No. 34 in the 18s and No. 32 in the 16s, won the battle of hard-hitting baseliners 6-3, 7-5 for his second singles title in two weeks in the Sacramento area. He also took the 18s crown at the Rio del Oro Championships at the Rio del Oro Racquet Club in Sacramento. Leschly, ranked No. 23 in the 16s, breezed to the 16s title in that tournament.
   The best career results of both players came in the 14s of the USTA National Hardcourt Championships in San Antonio. Klinger swept the singles and doubles titles in 2011, and Leschly reached the singles quarterfinals and doubles final last summer.
Claire Liu, 12, left, beat Sarah Hu for the girls 16s title
in Elk Grove. Photo by Paul Bauman
   In Monday's girls 16 singles final, second-seeded Claire Liu routed third-seeded Sarah Hu of Oakland 6-0, 6-3. Liu, from Thousand Oaks in the Los Angeles area, will turn 13 on May 25. She defeated CiCi Bellis of Atherton to win the 12s singles crown at the prestigious Orange Bowl in Coral Gables, Fla., in 2011.
   Klinger, from urban San Jose, is eight months older than Leschly, of wealthy Atherton near Stanford University. Klinger will turn 16 on Aug. 1; Leschly turned 15 on April 2. Also, Klinger has trained out of the area, according to Leschly's mother, Darcy. Klinger was not available after Monday's match. The players did team up in doubles in the USTA National Open, winning the title on Sunday.
   Both Klinger and Leschly possess strong serves and topspin groundstrokes and employ two-handed backhands. That's where the similarities end, though. Klinger, 6-foot-2 (1.88 meters), has more firepower than Leschly, 5-9 (1.75 meters), and is far more emotional on the court.
   After hitting winners, Klinger almost invariably pumped his fist. After breaking serve, he yelled "C'mon!" And after committing errors, he swatted the ball against the fence, dropped his racket in frustration or berated himself aloud.
   Leschly, meanwhile, remained stoic throughout the match. He even smiled after netting an easy overhead on match point. When is the last time you saw that?
   "I try to keep my composure on the court," Leschly, who knocked off top-seeded Kalman Boyd in the first round, explained afterward. "That's one of the main things my dad tells me. As long as I keep my composure, I feel it's a good match."
   Mark Leschly, a managing partner of a venture capital firm and Lane's coach, attended Monday's match with Darcy. Mark, the son of Danish Davis Cup veteran Jan Leschly, reached No. 22 in the college rankings as a Harvard junior in 1989 and briefly played professionally before a rotator cuff injury ended his career.
   Monday's match featured many long baseline rallies, and one game in the first set lasted 24 points. Leschly served for the second set at 5-4.
   "I thought we both played well (in the match)," Leschly said. "Cameron stepped it up and played a great game when I was serving at 5-4. He went up 40-0. Kudos to him."
   Leschly was coming off a 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (6) victory over fifth-seeded Jonathan Li of Cupertino in the semifinals.
   "I was a bit sore in the morning, but it had no effect in the (final)," said Leschly, who was broken early in the first set. "I got loosened up and was fine. Cameron played better than me today."
  USTA National Open boys 14s in Alameda -- Third-seeded Sean Hill of Berkeley topped second-seeded Alafia Ayeni of San Diego 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 for the title at the Harbor Bay Club.
   National 30 Indoors in Gold River -- Top seeds Calle Hansen of Newbury Park in the Los Angeles area and Romana Tedjakusuma of Tracy retained their singles titles at the Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center.
   The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Hansen, a 33-year-old native of Sweden and former Pepperdine All-American, beat second seed and four-time champion Jan Tiilikainen of Reno 7-5, 6-2.
   The 5-foot-2 (1.57-meter) Tedjakusuma, a 36-year-old native of Indonesia, dominated Francesca LaO of Bellevue, Wash., 6-2, 6-0. Tedjakusuma peaked at No. 82 in the world at 17 in 1994 but later suffered burnout and quit to attend Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La.
USTA National Open
At Laguna Creek Racquet Club in Elk Grove
Boys 16 doubles
   Cameron Klinger, San Jose, and Lane Leschly, Atherton, def. Andrew Gu, El Cerrito, and Jonathan Li (3), Cupertino, 8-3.
Girls 16 doubles
   Kelly Chen, Cerritos, and Claire Liu, Thousand Oaks, def. Jessica Livianu, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ally McKenzie, Glendale, 8-2.
At Harbor Bay Club in Alameda
Boys 14 doubles
   Alafia Ayeni, San Diego, and Stefano Tsorotiotis (3), Libertyville, Ill., def. Nate Eazor, Dallas, and Kailas Shekar (4), Cupertino, 8-5.
National 30 Indoors
At Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center in Gold River
Men's doubles
   Calle Hansen, Newbury Park, and Sherif Zaher (1), Folsom, def. Ryan Sablan, Martinez, and Jeff Thomsen, Newport Beach, 6-3, 6-4.
Women's doubles
   Marisue Jacutin-Mariona, Los Altos, Romana Tedjakusuma (1), Tracy, def. Michelle Chapple, Rancho Murieta, and Isabella Kling (2), Orangevale, 6-1, 6-3.
Mixed doubles
   Tedjakusuma and Zaher (1) def. Sarah Ansboury, Portland, Ore., and Monty Basnyat, Sacramento, 6-1, 6-0.

1 comment:

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