By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (April 17, 2011) – Three Californians won singles titles on the final day of the 44th annual Easter Bowl USTA Junior Spring National Championships on Sunday.
UCLA-bound Marcos Giron, who comes from the same Southern California city as one of America’s top pros, Sam Querrey, won his 18th consecutive match to capture the ITF boys’ 18s title in a 6-1, 7-5 straight-set win over Alabama’s Mac Styslinger at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort.
Coincidentally, Thousand Oaks’ Giron became the first boy since Querrey to win both the Carson International Spring Championships and Easter Bowl titles, a feat accomplished by Querrey in 2005.
"That would be unbelievable to have the same career as Sam," Giron said. "To be No. 20 in the world wouldn’t be so bad. Let’s see how this summer goes and then at UCLA. But I’m ready to start playing some Challengers right now. I couldn’t be more confident."
He added: "I’m just so happy to go back-to-back: Carson and Easter Bowl. They’re such great tournaments with so many good players."
It’s been an amazing run for the 17-year-old Giron, who was a 16s runner-up here two years ago. For the third consecutive weekend Giron was handed a trophy surviving three tough 64-player draw events.
Giron said he will now focus his attention on finishing some school work before he begins preparations for the European junior circuit where he will try and play the French Open and Wimbledon events.
Styslinger, who trains at the IMG/Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla., made it close in the second set despite not serving well. It was something he said he didn’t do well all tournament.
"My serve was just giving me problems all day," Styslinger said. "I’m just going to go home and work on my first serve. I’ve been here for two weeks and I’ve won a lot of matches and lost just two singles matches so that’s pretty good. I can’t complain about anything."
Styslinger said he might play a USTA Challenger event in Sarasota, Fla., next week. Giron is headed to the 111th Ojai Valley Tournament where he’ll square off against some of SoCal’s top men’s open players.
Giron admitted fitness was a key ingredient to his success on Sunday.
"It really pays off in the end," he said. "When your coach is yelling at you to go harder, go harder; this is when it pays off."
Gage Brymer of Irvine, Calif., won the boys’ 16s final and his second career gold ball having won the 14s WinterNationals two years ago. He beat No. 2-seeded Ronnie Schneider, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
"It’s great to win the Easter Bowl because of all the greats who have come through here," said Brymer, who is coached by his father Chuck at the Woodbridge Tennis Club.
Like Giron, Brymer is also headed to The Ojai where he’ll play for University High in the boys’ CIF division. But first it’s a week off for Spring Break where he says he’ll spend most his time at the beach in Newport skim boarding with friends.
Indianapolis’ Schneider had a great tournament, which included several come-from-behind wins. "Gage played great today," he said. "I had to do everything I could to win and I came out really flat in both the first and third sets."
After winning the first game of the match, Brymer reeled off six straight games to win the set. After taking the second set, Schneider lost the first eight points of the third set and could never recover.
"He was a rock out there," said Schneider. "What do I take from this tournament? I know I can beat any of these guys. I know I can beat Gage. I fought hard out there. It just wasn’t happening out there today."
In the girls’ 16s final, San Francisco’s Caroline Doyle fought off a tough Kimberly Yee of Las Vegas to win her first gold ball, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. It was Yee’s second straight Easter Bowl final as she played in last year’s 14s championship.
Later in the day, Doyle also won the doubles with partner Katrine Steffensen.
"It’s starting to sink in," said Doyle. "It feels good."
The unseeded Doyle, playing in just her second USTA National event, credited her move to Boca Raton and the work of her coach Kathy Rinaldi at the USTA Training Center Headquarters. Rinaldi was on hand to witness both titles Sunday.
"I definitely had it in my mind before the tournament that I could win but you never really expect it to happen," she said.
Boys’ 18s Singles Finals
Marcos Giron Thousand Oaks, CA def. Mac Styslinger (7) Birmingham, AL 6-1, 7-5
Boys’ 16s Singles Finals
Gage Brymer (8) Irvine, CA def. Ronnie Schneider (2) Bloomington, IN 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
Boys’ 16 Singles Third Place
JC Aragone (17) def. Gregory Garcia (4) 6-4, 6-4
Boys’ 16s Singles Consolation
Nikko Madregallejo (5) def. (3) Luca Corinteli 4-6, 6-3, 1-0(10)
Girls’ 16s Singles Finals
Caroline Doyle (17) San Francisco, CA def. Kimberly Yee (4) Las Vegas, NV 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Girls’ 16s Singles Third Place
Jamie Loeb (1) def. Spencer Liang (2) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Girls’ 16s Singles Consolation
Olivia Sneed (17) def. Katrine Steffensen (3) 2-6, 6-3, 1-0(7)
Boys’ 18s Doubles Finals
Mitchell Krueger / Shane Vinsant (2) def. Emmett Egger / Mac Styslinger (4) 6-2, 7-5
Girls’ 16s Doubles Finals
Caroline Doyle / Katrine Steffensen (3) def. Olivia Sneed / Madison Westby (9), 6-3, 6-2
Girls’ 16 Doubles Third Place
Mariana Gould / Gabrielle Smith (9) def. Spencer Liang / Jamie Loeb (1) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4