Robinson Wins “Futures” Match with Sancilio
Davenport Junior Results
The future of Richmond tennis was on display Sunday at Byrd Park, and in the current vernacular, it looked “awesome.”
The boys and girls 12-and-under singles divisions of the Davenport City Junior Championships were the featured attractions, but the boys 14-and-under singles final also kept spectators interested during the Memorial Day weekend event.
Perhaps the most intriguing match was between top-seeded Chase Robinson and No. 2 Damian Sancilio in the boys 12s.
Sancilio is the son of Damian Sancilio (the elder), who won the city open singles title in 1984 and again in 2006 at the ripe old age of 42. Robinson’s dad, Cris, was runner-up in 2003 and has claimed multiple doubles crowns.
In a hotly contested match on the same No. 1 court where their fathers had played, Robinson outlasted Sancilio 4-6, 6-4, (10-4).
“I thought it was a great match,” said Cris Robinson. “It was good, high-level tennis. Chase played really well. Damian always plays well.”
Could it have been a preview of the city men’s final in five or six more years?
“There’s so many good boys at this 9, 10, 11-year old age group in Richmond,” added Robinson. “It’s exciting to watch but we all know it’s a long road and they have to keep liking it for a lot more years to come. They’re all making each other better.
“They’re practicing together and that really helps. They’re friends with each other. It’s a fun experience.”
Even though he lost the opening set, Robinson, 10, felt like he still had a chance to win.
“I thought I could come back and get back into it,” said Robinson. “He was playing pretty well. I was nervous going into the [10-point] tiebreaker, but I was confident. I got a good lead, then he won some points at the end.”
Competing against a friend has its advantages as well as drawbacks, Robinson said.
“It’s a little easier because you know what they’re going to do,” he said, “but it’s not very easy to play a friend.”
Sancilio usually wins the matchups with Robinson, but this time the tables were turned.
“I was missing too much,” said Sancilio, 9. “In the tiebreaker and the second set. My game was just gone.”
Such was the high quality of the match that one tournament official said, “I think I could maybe win the girls 12-and-under but not the boys 12-and-under.”
In the girls 12-under, top-seeded Raine Weiss overcame a slow start to beat No. 2 Catherine Lee DeSouza 6-3, 1-6, (10-7).
Weiss fell behind 0-3 in the opening set before claiming six games in a row. She was also down 4-6 in the tiebreaker but rallied.
“In the tiebreaker, I was a little bit nervous because she’s really good,” said Weiss, an 11-year-old bundle of energy who is a fifth-grader at Kersey Creek Elementary in Hanover County. “She has a good backhand and forehand.”
As for playing from behind, Weiss said, “I play better when I get down because I know I have to come back up and win.”
DeSouza, a sixth-grader at St. Bridget School, made Weiss work hard for her trophy.
In the boys 14-under final, top-seeded Ike Jemi-Alade hung on to defeat No. 2 Phillip Andrews 6-3, 3-6, (10-3).
“I just lost all my mental concentration [in the second set],” said Jemi-Alade, a freshman at Cosby High who plays No. 3 singles for the Titans. “He upped his game and played a really good second set.”
Jemi-Alade took a 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker, however, and coasted to the finish line.
“I just thought, ‘It’s the tiebreak,” he said. “That set’s over. Got to keep going. Gotta win this.’”
In other non-round-robin finals, top-seeded Cole Henceroth beat No. 2 Whit Wallace 4-0, 4-3 in boys 10s, No. 2 Brin Hause defeated top-seeded Sruthi Vegunta 4-2, 4-2 in the girls 10s, and Lilian Horsley edged Caroline Hare 6-4, 7-5 in the girls 18s.
There were a total of 115 entries this year, compared to “90ish” in 2013, according to tournament director Rob Johnston, who managed to get all of the matches completed in two days, thanks to some gorgeous weather on Saturday and Sunday on the Boulevard.
DAVENPORT CITY JUNIOR RESULTS
|Boys 18s||Andrew Carey||Grant Sarver||5-7, 6-4, 1-0|
|Girls 18s||Lilian Horsley||Caroline Hare||6-4, 7-5|
|Boys 16s||Billy Troiano||Venkat Cheekati||6-1, 6-2|
|Girls 16s||Mythlii Vigneshwar||Emerald Fleming||6-1, 6-1|
|Boys 14s||Isaac Jemi- Alade||Phillip Andrews||6-3, 3-6, 1-0|
|Girls 14s||Allison Wandling||Kaylie Puccinelli||4-6, 6-4, 1-0|
|Boys 12s||Chase Robinson||Damian Sancilio||4-6, 6-4, 1-0|
|Girls 12s||Raine Weis||Catherine DeSouza||6-3, 1-6, 1-0|
|Boys 10s||Cole Henceroth||Whit Wallace||4-0, 4-3|
|Girls 10s||Brin Hause||Sruthi Vegunta||4-2, 4-2|
|Girls 8s||Caroline Zandler||Caroline Avery|
|3rd Place: Jahnavi Pillai|
Boys 18: Andrew Reed/Stephen McCray def. Gabe Hill/Shawn Rosenthal
Girls 18: Mythili Vigneshwar/Lilian Horsley def. Ellie White/Allie Straus
Boys 16: Billy Troiano/Venkat Cheekati def. Isiah Timmons/Yusufu Ibrahim
Boys 14: Ben Oley/Michael Zuccaro def. Christopher Petrinovich/Bryce Raleigh
Girls 14: Allison Wandling/Jessica Wills def. Catherine DeSouza/Olivia Saunders
Boys 12: Ryan Monroe/Damian Sancilio def. Hatcher Butterworth/Andrew Campbell
Champion: Amber Saeed/Kyla Terrell (87.5 winning percentage)
Finalist: Nayla Turpin/Sarah Oley (81.25 winning percentage)
3rd Place: Olivia Wright/Ashley Hemp (75 winning percentage)