Tennis Hot Spots Profiles JMTA

Fine feature today on JMTA by longtime tennis enthusiast and industry pro Randy Walker over at Tennis Hot Spots. It captures the Academy’s philosophy and goals nicely, with a shout-out to a few of the coaches who make it all possible.

Randy spoke with Johnny Mac as well as Noah Rubin, who summed up his experience at JMTA nicely:

It’s been a great experience to be with all of these unbelievable coaches and players and have been fortunate to have this staff. The people here are very kind and they are always supportive. They have everything you need in order to get what you want in life as a tennis player.

Oliver Sec Upends Top Seed In Easter Bowl Consolation

JMTA’s Oliver Sec extended his run to the third round of B16s consolations at Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Calif., with wins over #1 seed Evan Zhu, 5-7, 6-1, 11-9 and Ivan Thamma, 7-6(4), 3-6, 10-4 before falling to Ryan Cheng, 7-5, 6-1.

In the dramatic superbreaker vs. Zhu, Sec fought off a match point, then won the final two points to secure the win.

The Easter Bowl run follows up on a semifinal finish at the B18s Eastern Super Six Turning Stone last week for Sec, who, seeded eighth, defeated Maxwell McDonald and Maverick Lin before bowing to No. 2 seed Nicolas Podesta. He earned another victory in consolations, edging Jack Turchetta in three sets.

Jessica Golovin

Golovin, Rozenstein, Xiong Compete At Carson, Easter Bowl

Three prominent JMTA players headed West for key U.S. junior tournaments over the past couple of weeks. Jessica Golovin and Julian Rozenstein competed at the USTA International Spring Championships event at USTA Training Center West in Carson, Calif., and the Easter Bowl at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.; Sabrina Xiong played at Easter Bowl as well.

In Carson, Golovin started strong, forging a 5-0 lead in the first set of her first-round match against Gabrielle Andrews, but fell in three sets, 6-7(6) 6-1 4-6. She teamed with Marie Norris to win a first-round doubles match in straights, 7-5, 6-4, before dropping a second-round match to eventual singles champ Catherine Cartan Bellis and Mia Horvit.

At Easter Bowl, Golovin upended the No. 6 ranked U.S. player in 18s, Chloe Oullet Pizer, 4-6 6-2 7-6(4). She then dropped a straight-set decision to ITF World #91 Jessica Ho, 6-4, 6-0. She repeated her doubles results from the previous week, ousting the #8 seeded pair in straight sets with partner Jenna Friedel before losing a straight-set second round matchup.

Julian Rozenstein had solid results in both venues, winning three qualifying rounds, two of them in straights, to reach the main draw, where he fell to Aron Hiltzik in the first round. Rozenstein and partner Jose Carvajal dropped a first-round doubles match in straight sets.

Rozenstein also qualified at Easter Bowl, winning two rounds in straight sets after a first-round bye, before drawing the tough assignment of the #5 seed and 72nd ranked ITF player in Sameer Kumar, who eliminated Rozenstein in straight sets. His doubles partner withdrew before their main draw first-round match.

Xiong entered Easter Bowl as the #9 seed but lost her three matches, falling in the first round to Abigail Desiatnikov in three sets and the singles back draw to Gabrielle Schuck. In doubles, she drew the #8 seed and fell, 8-6.

Sean Wei Wins Again – Double Super Six Boys 14 Tournament Winner – First Hastings, Now Latham!

Last weekend in Latham, N.Y., 14 year old JMTA Lake Isle player Sean Wei earned another title in winning his second consecutive Eastern Super Six B14s Tournament in less than a month. Seeded first at the event, Sean made his run through the draw in routine fashion, without dropping a set in five matches, while maintaining a 77% game winning percentage – winning 60 of 78 total games.  The prior week in Hastings, Sean dropped a set in the semi-finals on his way to victory while winning (only!) 73% of 86 games on his way to the title. The victories also brought Sean another distinction – the #1 spot in this week’s B14s Eastern standings.

Sean was joined at the Super Six in Latham by fellow Lake Isle JMTA competitors Sabrina Barisano (G18s), Luke Smith (B14s), Oren Vasser (B14s) and Kieran Foster (B12s). And at Schenectady, Jake Bhangdia, Ekim Buyuk and Ashley Granieri played in the B&G16s Super Six event.

When asked about the titles, Sean said “Winning back-to-back Super Six Tournaments has definitely been a great experience for me, as well as a great confidence booster. These wins are definitely the best accomplishments of my career.”  Sean first became interested in tennis when he was five years old and started playing tournaments when he was eight.

Sean, who earned the nod from Johnny Mac and a full JMTP Scholarship at the open tryouts held at Randall’s Island in July 2012, began training at the JMTA Lake Isle Annex in Eastchester in September 2012 – Sportime’s inaugural season at the Lake Isle Country Club location. A high school freshman, he attends Yorktown Heights High School, and has a very organized & balanced schedule placing academics first – homework & studying is completed before weekday tennis practice with the JMTA coaches. On the weekend, there is family and either tournament play or tennis with friends. Sean also finds time to relax and enjoys playing the piano and reading.

Fritz Buehning, Sean’s coach & Director of Tennis at the Lake Isle JMTA Annex said, “We are all very proud of Sean. His hard work, attitude, & intensity on the practice court is paying off for him and reflected in his tournament results. Sean is a pleasure to work with, very coachable,  and applies lessons to his game quickly. He has a high tennis IQ, very good focus, and uses his problem solving abilities to quickly make adjustments to his game as necessary in his tournament matches, optimizing his opportunities for success.”

But even with success, Sean knows there is always room for improvement. Both student and coach agree – Sean will be working on his serve.

Well done Sean!


Loeb Runs ACC Record To 11-0 As UNC Climbs To Third In Nation

JMTA’s own Jamie Loeb continues to smash her way through her freshman season at the University of North Carolina, piling up her third ACC Player of the Week honor, then dispatching Florida State’s Kerrie Cartwright, 6-1, 6-1, on Sunday to improve to 42-2 on the year, including 11-0 in ACC play.

Remaining at No. 1 in the ITA Division I singles rankings, Jamie and classmate Hayley Carter have teamed to rank at No. 3 nationally in doubles (28-3 overall, 7-0 ACC). The win over FSU boosted the Tar Heels’ record to 21-3 overall, 7-1 in the league and lifted their ITA National Team Ranking to No. 3.

Loeb leads UNC into action vs. Maryland on Sunday in Chapel Hill.

Wei, Sorokko Championships Lead JMTA Students At Super 6

JMTA Students Had a fine showing in Super 6 Tournaments held across the Eastern Section over the weekend, paced by championships by Sean Wei from the Lake Isle club at Boys 14 and Michelle Sorokko from Bethpage at Girls 14.

Some of the other highlights include an appearance in the finals of Boys 16 by Athell Bennett, a semifinal finish by Max Moadel in Boys 12, quarterfinals by Neel Raj at Boys 14. All three train at Bethpage.

On the girls side, Sabrina Xiong reached the semifinals at 18 and Brianna Williams advanced to the quarters at 16. Both are from the Randall’s Island center.

Full results below, and congratulations to all.

Girls 18 (Bayside, NY)
Sabrina Xiong (Randall’s) Semifinals
Nia Rose (Randall’s) 2 wins in Consolation
Gillian Perrotta (Randall’s) 1 Win in Consolation
Sabrina Barisano (Lake Isle)

Girls 16 (Alley Pond, NY)
Brianna Williams (Randall’s) Quarterfinals
Ashley Lessen (Bethpage) 1 Win in Consolation
Ekim Buyuk (Lake Isle) 1 Win in Consolation
Loren Haukova (Randall’s)
Esther Chikvashvilli (Bethpage)
Michele Lehat (Bethpage)
Nathalie Rodilosso (Randall’s)

Girls 14 (West Harrison, NY)
Michelle Sorokko (Bethpage) Tournament Champion!
Sasha Bekirova (Randall’s) Finalist
Georgia Ryan (Randall’s) 3 Wins in Consolation
MK Hannity (Bethpage)

Girls 12 (Bronx, NY)
Perene Wang (Randall’s) Rd of 16
Rebecca Fisch (Randall’s) 1 Win in Consolation

Boys 18 (Port Chester, NY)

Lubo Cuba (Bethpage) Rd of 16
Oliver Sec (Randall’s) Rd of 16
Felipe Osses-Konig (Randall’s) 3 Wins in Consolation

Boys 16 (New Windsor, NY)
Athell Bennet (Bethpage) Finalist
Patrick Hannity (Bethpage) Rd of 16
Aziz Rashidzada (Bethpage)

Boys 14 (Hastings on Hudson, NY)
Sean Wei (Lake Isle) Tournament Champion!
Neel Raj (Bethpage) Quarterfinals
Luke Smith (Lake Isle) Rd of 16
Lantis Wang (Randall’s) Rd of 16
Ronald Hohmann (Bethpage) 2 Wins in Consolation
Gardner Howe (Randall’s)
Shawn Jackson (Randall’s)

Boys 12 (Port Washington, NY)
Max Moadel (Bethpage) Semifinals
Oliver Worth (Bethpage) Rd of 16; 1 Win in Consolation
Kieran Foster (Lake Isle)
Wesley Zhang (Randall’s)
Harry Portnoy (Randall’s)

Three Compete in National HS Invitational; Oliver Sec Co-MVP

This past weekend, the finals of the prestigious National High School Tennis All-American Team Invitational were held in Newport Beach, Calif. Sixteen of the top boys high school teams in the nation competed for this title.

On Saturday, the Beacon School of New York City won the championship by beating a very talented Menlo School (Atherton, Calif.) team in the semis; and University High School (Irvine, Calif.) in the final. JMTA was very well represented on the Beacon team by Felipe Osses-Konig, Richard Sec and Oliver Sec, who was named Co-MVP of the tournament.

Rubin Advances Through To Finals In Poitiers, France Futures

Though Noah Rubin’s run ended today in the finals of the $15K Future in Poitiers, France, it was a tournament to remember for the 18-year-old as he turned plenty of heads with his run through qualifying, into the main draw, and past four others and into the championship, where he lost to top-seeded David Guez of France 6-4, 6-0.

Rubin’s quarterfinal win on Friday, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 over No. 2 seed Gregoire Burquier of France propelled him into the semis, where he took out another Frenchman, Sadio Doumbia in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Noah now heads to Saint-Raphael, France for a $10K event.

Rubin Advances To Quarterfinals In France

Photo Credit: Adam Wolfthal  | JMTA's Noah Rubin

Photo Credit: Adam Wolfthal | JMTA’s Noah Rubin

On Thursday, Noah Rubin won his round of 16 match at the $15K Future in Poitiers, France, beating Michal Konecny from the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. Noah went through three rounds of qualifying and won his first round match against Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 coming back from 2-5 in the 3rd set.

On Friday, he plays #2 Seed (ATP#192) Gregoire Burquier of France in the quarterfinals.

Johnny Mac Back On The Road This Week Preaching The Gospel Of Tennis

McEnroe-CharlotteWhile he has spent most days in and around the Academy at Randall’s Island, the demand to have John McEnroe on court is still high. Tonight John is in Nashville, Kentucky, and Thursday night he is in Charlotte, North Carolina, playing in The Champions Cup. McEnroe will headline the one-night tournaments, along with Jimmy Connors, Pat Cash and Ivan Lendl both nights.

Following “Play with the Pros” experiences with fans, they will compete in one-set semifinals followed immediately by finals both nights.

Here is a preview featuring McEnroe and Connors in the Nashville Tennessean.

And the Charlotte Observer had this story in advance of Thursday night’s action.