South Florida teenagers Randy Wilson and Sophia Fornaris pulled off upsets to win 18-Under titles at the 2019 Bobby Curtis Jr. State Championships this week at the USTA National Center in Orlando.
Wilson, who just graduated from Palmetto High and is headed to Louisville University, was the No. 8 seed and defeated No. 4 Ben Shelton of Gainesville 6-2, 6-4 in the final.
“It was mental — from the first point of the match for me it was mental,” said Wilson, who was a semifinalist last year. “He broke back for 4-3 in the second set and that’s when things started getting really, really competitive. My serve was key for sure … Now maybe I’ll take a few days off and get ready for nationals.”
Fornaris, a rising junior at Gulliver, was the No. 3 seed and beat top-seeded Stephanie Sanchez of Hollywood 7-6 (4), 6-1.
“When we first started the match I was really nervous, I think we were both really nervous,” said Fornaris. “My serve with the wind wasn’t going too well but I told myself just to relax and be calm. I’ve never played on a stadium court like this…At the beginning of the year I didn’t feel like my game was there, my head was there, and I’ve been really working hard these last few months…my fitness and my mental game have really improved.”
Other local results of note: Boys’ 16s: (3) Mekhi Gbedey (West Palm Beach) d. (2) Yannik Rahman (Miami) 6-4, 5-3, retired (illness)
Boys’ 14s: (3) Phillip Dell (Bradenton) d. (1) Dylan Chang (Miami) 4-6, 7-5 retired (injury)
Boys 12s: (3) Zach Friedland (Hollywood) d. (1) Yubel Ubri (Miami Beach) 7-5, 6-2
Girls 12s: (2) Alex Ackman (Winter Garden) d. (1) Sahsa Kilgour (Miami) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Coral Estates U17s head to Regionals: The Coral Estates Strikers U17 boys soccer team is headed to Baton Rouge, La., for the Regional championships after winning the Florida State Cup and the Sunshine Conference Cup. The Strikers, coached by FIU graduate Diego Rios, went 7-0 in the State Cup and outscored opponents 30-3, including a 5-0 win over defending champion Bandits Palau in the final.