Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Bhakta, Nguyen claim National Winter singles titles

   Ninth-seeded Ria Bhakta of Saratoga in the San Francisco Bay Area crushed fifth-seeded Kinaa Graham of Austin, Texas, 6-0, 6-0 today to win the girls 14 title in the USTA National Winter Championships in Tucson, Ariz.
   Bhakta lost an average of only 1.4 games per set in her seven tournament matches. Her closest match came in the fourth round, a 6-3, 6-4 victory over sixth-seeded Sia Chaudry of Midlothian, Va.
   Ninth-seeded Mason Nguyen of El Dorado Hills in the Sacramento area captured the boys 12 title in Tucson, beating fourth-seeded Maxwell Exsted of Savage, Minn., 6-4, 7-5.
   Nguyen was not tested until the semifinals, in which he ousted third-seeded Santiago Muhala of Katy, Texas, 6-4, 7-5. Nguyen also toppled second-seeded Cooper Woestendick of Olathe, Kan., 6-2, 6-0 in the fourth round.
   In Orlando, Fla., India Houghton of Belvedere Tiburon in the Bay Area and Luke Casper of Santa Cruz knocked off the top seed in the girls 18 and boys 16 quarterfinals, respectively.
   Houghton, the runner-up in the Orange Bowl 16s last month, took out Anessa Lee of San Marino in the Los Angeles region 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-2.
   Advancing in the other half of the draw was fourth-seeded Connie Ma, 15, of Dublin in the Bay Area. Ma, who also reached the doubles semifinals with Anna Campana of Hillsborough, helped the United States win the Junior Fed Cup in Budapest, Hungary, in September.
   Casper surprised Jack Anthrop of Orlando 6-3, 6-4. In the other half of the draw, 17th-seeded John Kim of Sunnyvale beat unseeded Carter Morgan of Jacksonville, Fla., 6-2, 6-4.
   In the boys 18 quarterfinals, ninth-seeded Zachery Lim of Fairfield topped 17th-seeded Joshua Raab of Woodstock, Ga., 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-2. Lim will face 14th-seeded Daniel Milavsky, a resident of Needham, Mass., who downed 10th-seeded Aryan Chaudhary of Santa Clara 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3.
   Also in the boys 18s, fourth-seeded Logan Zapp of Fleming Island, Fla., beat unseeded Karl Lee of Sacramento 6-4, 6-3.
   Anisimova scores upset -- Amanda Anisimova, who won her first professional title at 15 in the 2017 Sacramento Challenger, surprised fifth-seeded Barbora Strycova, a 32-year-old Czech ranked 33rd, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
   Anisimova, a 17-year-old wide card from Aventura, Fla., ranked 90th, will play Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia. Kuzmova beat Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in a matchup of 20-year-olds. Kenin won a Northern California Challenger for the third consecutive year in Berkeley in July.
   Strycova outlasted Kenin 6-4 in the third set to help the Czech Republic defeat the United States 3-0 in the Fed Cup final in Prague in November. Kenin played in the international team competition for the first time and Strycova for the last.

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