Sunday, December 7, 2014

Roseville's Riffice wins prestigious junior title

Roger Federer posed with Sam Riffice, far left, three years
ago at the La Quinta resort in the Palm Springs area. Riffice,
12 at the time, is now 6 feet tall. Also shown are Riffice's
coach, Amine Khaldi, second from left, and Khaldi's friend
Steve Mohibi. Photo courtesy of Amine Khaldi.
   Top-seeded Sam Riffice of Roseville in the Sacramento area beat unseeded Patrick Kypson of Greenville, N.C., 7-6 (3), 6-1 today to win the boys 16 title at the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla.
   "He came out really hot and went up 3-0 and 5-2," Riffice, who trains at the USTA center in Boca Raton, Fla., said of his fellow 15-year-old on "It was a really good first set; we had really good points.
   "In the second set, I think he might have hurt his ab a little bit, so it wasn't as physical, but it was a really good match, I thought."
   Riffice and Vasil Kirkov of Tampa, Fla., won the boys 16 doubles title on Saturday.
   The Eddie Herr is one of the top junior tournaments in the world. Past competitors include Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, David Nalbandian, Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic.
   Herr, the father of international junior tennis, died in 2000 at 93.
   Here's a link to my August profile of Roseville neighbors Riffice and Keenan and Aidan Mayo:
   This year's Eddie Herr singles champions:
   Boys 18 -- Reilly Opelka (6-foot-10, 2.08 meters), Palm Coast, Fla.
   Boys 16 -- Sam Riffice, Roseville.
   Boys 14 -- Nicolas Mejia, Colombia.
   Boys 12 -- Jungwon Park, South Korea.
   Girls 18 -- Dalma Galfi, Hungary.
   Girls 16 -- Sofia Sewing, Doral, Fla.
   Girls 14 -- Anastasia Potapova, Russia.
   Girls 12 -- Himari Sato, Japan.

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