Nicholas Garcia, a 12-year-old from Hollywood who learned to play tennis at David Park, is among the players who advanced to the Round of 16 at the Jr. Orange Bowl tennis tournament Friday. Garcia beat fellow American Joshua Miller 6-2, 6-1.
Garcia is one of the top seeds in the Boys 12s, as is his doubles partner, Zane Khan, who also won 6-1, 6-2 over Ole Tinius Lepsoe. Garcia and Khan were national runners-up at the 12s National Championships last summer.
Another American 12-year-old making her mark is Caty McNally, who is playing up at age division and cruising through the Girls 14s draw so far. The 5-8 seventh-grader from Cincinnati won Friday’s match 6-0, 6-1 over American Sophia Hatton. Her next opponent is Vasilisa Belonog of Russia.
McNally won the USTA National 14s title over the summer, and didn’t lose a set in seven matches.
McNally’s mother, Lynn Nabors-McNally, is her coach and a former WTA tour player. She was all-Big Ten at Northwestern. McNally’s brother, John, also plays. He swept the singles and doubles titles at the USTA Boys 16 Super Nationals this year.
Although she is younger than most of her opponents, McNally has power and variety in her game.
Other girls who won in the 14s included Emiliana Arango, Taylor Johnson, Olesia Pervushina and Anastasia Potapova.
In the Boys 14s, top seed Yshai Oliel advanced with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Karlo Suevich. Sebastian Baez of Argentina, the No.2 seed beat Danilus Batmanovs 7-5, 7-6 (7-3).
Americans who advanced included Keenan Mayo, Roscoe Bellamy, Christian Alshon of Boca Raton, William Woodall and Steven Sun, the No.17 seed who upset No.4 Nicolas Mejia 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).
Top-seed Himari Sato of Japan moved on in the Girls 12s, as did Gabby Price, Carol Plakk and Alexa Noel.
The tournament continues through Dec. 23. The Boys 14s are UM and the Biltmore, Girls 14s at Crandon Park Tennis Center, Boys 12s at Salvadore Tennis Center and Girls 12s at Tropical Park. UM hosts all semifinals and finals except Boys 12s, which will remain on the clay at Salvadore.