Tennis | Junior Orange Bowl

Hurricane Tyra Black Black advances to Junior Orange Bowl tennis final


Hurricane Tyra Black put on a dominating display to reach the final of the Junior Orange Bowl Girls’ 12s.

Appropriate that a girl with “Hurricane” as part of her legal name made the final of the Junior Orange Bowl Girls’ 12s. While most of the other classes’ semifinals provided some drama, Girls’ 12s No. 1 seed Anastasiya Potapova and No. 2 seeded Hurricane Tyra Black demonstrated a Sunday Hour of Power.

Boca Raton’s Black polished off No. 4 seed Amanda Anisimova of Hallandale 6-1, 6-0. Two minutes after Black finished her Sunday bagel, Russia’s Potapova finished her pair, getting rid of China’s Xiyu Wang 6-0, 6-0 at the University of Miami’s Schiff Tennis Center.

Monday’s Girls’ 12s, Girls’ 14s and Boys’ 14s finals all will be at UM. The Boys’ 12s final will be at Coral Gables’ Salvadore Park Tennis Center.

Black’s happy to see Anisimova again. Black said that when they met in the final of the Eddie Herr International Championships two weeks ago, she injured her hip on a fall while serving up 2-1. She withdrew from the match down 4-3.

The hip healed before the Junior Orange Bowl. Despite losing only four games in her first four matches, Black didn’t feel she really began playing well until the fourth round.

“I played a really good girl [Sophia Edwards],” Black said. “I just start playing a lot better when I play better people.”

Watching Black resembles watching an artful boxer — controlling through defensive wizardry and movement, not letting you hit the shots you want. She’s not overpowering but steadily piles up the rounds/games.

“I’ve been working on my serve for a long time. The past week, I’ve been getting it right, finally,” she said. “I just wanted to put more pace on it and get my serve in consistently.”

As for the name, yes, “Hurricane” is her legal name, albeit her middle name used as her first name. Her sister is 15-year-old Tornado Alicia Black, ranked No. 1 among 18 and unders in the United States and No. 7 in the world.

“I have a marketing degree,” laughed Hurricane’s mother, Gayal Black. “We named Alicia, ‘Alicia.’ Three years later, when Hurricane was born, Alicia was plying out of her mind. We said, ‘We’re going to name her ‘Tornado.’ So we have to give [Tyra] a name, so we named her ‘Hurricane.’ 

Hurricane’s the third of Black’s three daughters to reach a Junior Orange Bowl final. Black’s oldest daughter, current medical school student Nicole Pitts, won the Girls’ 14s in 2000. Tornado lost the 2011 Girls’ 14s final.

In this year’s Girls’ 14s, the No. 1 seed got through with a 6-0 set, but it was the third set of Czech Marketa Vondrousova’s 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 win against Canadian Vanessa Wong. Vondrousova meets Californian Claire Liu, who outlasted 2012 Girls’ 12s champion Abigail Desiatnikov of Ohio 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.

The Boys’ 14s final features qualifier Axel Geller from Argentina. Geller beat American Kyrylo Tsygura 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday. He will play Australian Alex de Minaur, who knocked out No. 2 seed, Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4, 6-2.

The Boys’ 12s will end with a match between Juan Cerundolo of Argentina and Poland’s Wojciech Marek. Cerundolo beat No. 5 seed Sebastian Grundtvig 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Marek defeated Spain’s Nicolas Alvarez Varona 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (9-7).

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