Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chaudhary, Willy earn Sectional 14 singles titles

No. 1 seed Aryan Chaudhary, left, of Santa Clara subdued No. 2
Marcus McDaniel of Vacaville for the boys 14 singles title in the
NorCal Junior Sectional Championships. Photo by Paul Bauman
   SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Aryan Chaudhary should have lost the first set.
   And the second set.
   Instead, he pulled out both to claim the boys 14 singles title in the NorCal Junior Sectional Championships.
   The top-seeded Chaudhary, from Santa Clara, overcame deficits of 3-5 in both sets and a set point against him in the second set to subdue second-seeded Marcus McDaniel of Vacaville 7-5, 7-6 (1) on Tuesday at the Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa.
   "I was making a lot more balls (than McDaniel)," the 13-year-old Chaudhary, ranked second in the 14s in Northern California, explained after the baseline battle in 91-degree (32.8 Celsius) heat. "He just wasn't (on) his game today. I wasn't playing too well, but I was able to force him to make some mistakes. That's how I was able to close out the match."
   McDaniel, ranked fourth in the NorCal 14s at 14 years old, agreed but added that he made a strategic mistake.
   "I just couldn't make that many balls," said the 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter), 130-pound (59-kilogram) McDaniel, who has a punishing forehand. "I played the wrong shot (of Chaudhary's). I should have played the other side. I played his backhand too much, and he's too solid on the backhand side."     
   On the adjacent court, second-seeded Avantika Willy of Dublin beat fifth-seeded Laura Sanders of El Cerrito 6-3, 7-5 for the girls 14 crown.
No. 2 seed Avantika Willy, above, of Dublin
beat No. 5 Laura Sanders of El Cerrito for
the girls 14 crown. Photo by Paul Bauman
   McDaniel served for both sets at 5-3 but surrendered the last four games of the first set and squandered a set point at 5-4 in the second set when he sailed a routine backhand long.
   "I was just starting to press too much, trying to keep pressure on him," McDaniel said. "I wasn't hitting the ball as well as I could, which led to me missing even more and led to me going downhill faster instead of letting him make the errors."
   The 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter), 140-pound (63.5-kilogram) Chaudhary, meanwhile, said he "started staying more calm and trying to reduce my errors and force him to make more errors."
   McDaniel still had a chance to force a decisive third set but dropped the last six points of the tiebreaker to end the match. During the stretch, he committed four unforced errors and a double fault and returned a first serve long.
   "I felt his ball was coming off the strings faster," McDaniel said of the tiebreaker. "He was kind of loose because he had the (first) set under his belt. ... I couldn't make my backhand. It's usually pretty solid."
   McDaniel strongly resembles Piedmont's Mackenzie McDonald, who turned pro this month after sweeping the NCAA singles and doubles titles as a UCLA junior, in several ways. Their first and last names are similar, they look alike facially, and both have slight builds.
   Chaudhary swept in singles and doubles, as he did last year in the 12s in Sunnyvale. Willy, however, won her first sectional title.
   "I just came out mentally prepared," said Willy, who will turn 14 on July 25. "(Sanders) is a great player. I was just really focused, and every point, I was mentally in it."
   Sanders, who was not available for comment, was coming off long three-setters in the quarterfinals and semifinals. But Willy said Sanders didn't appear tired.
   "She may have been, but I couldn't tell," Willy admitted.
Tuesday's finals
At UC Santa Cruz
Girls 18
   Carolyn Campana (4), Hillsborough, def. Hind Abdelouahid (9), San Jose, walkover.
   Hind Abdelouahid, San Jose, and Katie Volynets (3), Walnut Creek, def. Niluka Madurawe, Sunnyvale, and Katya Tabachnik (1), San Francisco, 7-5, 6-4.
Girls 16
   Connie Ma (2), Dublin, def. Angela Huang, Piedmont, 6-2, 6-0.
   Katherine Duong, Cupertino, and Connie Ma (2), Dublin, def. Pamela Duke, San Jose, and Jacquie Tan (1), Elk Grove, 6-3, 6-4.
At Arden Hills Resort & Spa in Sacramento
Boys 14
   Aryan Chaudhary (1), Santa Clara, def. Marcus McDaniel (2), Vacaville, 7-5, 7-6 (1).
   Aryan Chaudhary, Santa Clara, and Hugo Hashimoto (1), San Jose, def. Marcus McDaniel, Vacaville, 0-6, 7-6 (4) [10-2].
Girls 14
   Avantika Willy (2), Dublin, def. Laura Sanders (5), El Cerrito, 6-3, 7-5.
   Allura Zamarripa and Maribella Zamarripa (1), Saint Helena, def. Tiffany Boudagian, South San Francisco, and Vivian Ovrootsky, San Jose, 6-2, 6-1.

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