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  • Writer's pictureMichael Augsberger

Wild card winner


7/23 - 18U UTR (80 points)

7/24 - 10U UTR (60 points)

As a last-minute wild card entry to July 23's 18U Sweet Spotter, Jeh-Lei Fan had to play an extra play-in match in the simmering heat. He then sped past tournament favorite Roberto Devoto in the semifinals and 14U points leader Zi Yang to claim his first Sweet Spotter Series title.

Devoto proved his toughest test. The defending 14U tournament champion went toe-to-toe for a 6-3 final score. Yang also was pushed in the semis by William Stallings, no stranger to the top of the 14U rankings, also at 6-3. But Fan was dominant in the final, winning 6-0.

At the 10U on Sunday, Aniketh Shah and Isabelle Savvas emerged from the six entrants. Shah did not drop a game in Group A, while the Australian edged past Asher Roush 4-2 to win Group B. Shah won the final 4-0 and the 60 ranking points.

JT Mathura got the short end of the draw---what might have an easier play-in opponent turned out to be the 18U tournament champion he faced in the first round. However, he parlayed that disappointment into the consolation championship, defeating Jack Mearns 6-1.

Because of the heat advisory, the 18U format was altered from the usual World Cup group stage and knockout to single elimination this weekend. The 10U was moved up an hour to keep the players cooler, starting at 8 am instead of the usual 9 am.

"When possible we like the World Cup format because it gives players meaningful matches in their third and fourth round even if they lose up front," tournament director Michael Augsberger said. "But this weekend the clear goal was to finish before the heat of the day. At 10U we realized we could keep the format, the competitive balance intact, and still play a max of three sets. But 18U needed single elimination to produce a fair winner with ten players in three or four sets."

Tournament champion Fan now sits in 11th in the 18U rankings with only one 18U event left in the calendar. Devoto's and Yang's points mean a lot more in their 14U and 16U rankings. They may not be able to catch the cream of the 18U crop, but their full-point additions carry them to seventh and first at 16U. Yang is now just outside the automatic qualifiers at the 18U level, in fifth.

They will have ample opportunity to duke it out with four events left spread among 14-18U levels.

Shah takes 15th place after just one tournament in the 10U tour. Roush climbs to 18th after just his second tour stop. It's not impossible to mount an attack with one 10U tournament and two more 12U events. Shah is a proven winner and just 30 points behind the automatic qualifiers in fourth place---there is just a lot of traffic to pass en route.

SSS goes Davis Cup this weekend with the USTA L4 Team Event 14U.

The full tables now look like this.

Each weekend this spring and summer, Tennis Central is bringing you USTA and UTR tournaments at The Landon School. Earn points for advancing through each round, just like on the pro tours, and qualify for the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP at season's end.

Bigger events offer more points, with the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP offering the most, as well as prizes.

Check here for updates each week to the Sweet Spotter Series Rankings, a 52-week points system based on the pro tours, as well as recaps of all the action and photos.

2022 Full Series Schedule








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