Friday, December 27, 2019

Volynets turns pro; Brooksby to enroll at Baylor

Katie Volynets poses after winning the USTA Girls 18
National Championships in San Diego in August. Photo
courtesy of JFS Communications
   Katie Volynets and Jenson Brooksby are Northern California teenagers who have won the USTA 18 National Championships.
   Both played in the singles main draw of the U.S. Open this year, with Brooksby reaching the second round.
   Both train under Joseph Gilbert at the Arden Hills Athletic & Social Club in Sacramento, Calif., although Volynets lives 80 miles (128.8 kilometers) away in Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area.
   However, Volynets has turned pro, while Brooksby will enroll at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, next month as planned.
   Volynets, who will turn 18 on Tuesday, won the USTA national title in August in San Diego to earn an automatic wild card into the U.S. Open. She lost to eventual champion Bianca Andreescu 6-2, 6-4 in the first round.
   In Volynets' last two tournaments of the year, she reached the final and semifinals of $25,000 events in the United States in November to propel her to No. 394 in the world.
Jenson Brooksby reached the second round
of the U.S. Open. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman
   Brooksby, a 19-year-old resident of Carmichael
in the Sacramento area, took the USTA national crown in 2018.
   This year, Brooksby won three qualifying matches to advance to the main draw of the U.S. Open. He shocked former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych in the opening round before losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili, seeded 17th and ranked 18th, in four sets. Brooksby came within a tiebreaker of leading Basilashvili two sets to none.
   Earlier in the summer, Brooksby won singles titles in $25,000 U.S. tournaments in two consecutive weeks. He is ranked No. 269.
   The match against Brooksby turned out to be the last of Berdych's career, in which he peaked at No. 4 and amassed almost $30 million in prize money. The Czech announced his retirement at age 34 in November after missing most of the previous 16 months because of a back injury.


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