The Jack Kramer Club Crushers won their first World TeamTennis Junior Nationals Championship, defeating Planet Texas 39-33 at the George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.
Kramer's Crushers – made up of members of the Jack Kramer Club in Rolling Hills, jumped to an early 12-9 lead after the opening sets of doubles. Planet Texas turned the momentum after girls singles with two victories to give the Texas team a 21-15 lead. The critical turnaround in the match came in boys singles as Kramer Club won both sets 6-0, 6-1 to turn a six-point deficit into a five-point lead heading into the deciding sets of mixed doubles. The Crushers and Planet Texas split mixed doubles but Jack Kramer held on for the 39-33 victory.
"It was a real team effort," Crushers coach Dennis Rizza told World Team Tennis media coordinator Rosie Crews after the match. "The Texas girls are really good but our boys singles really turned the match around. This is a great group of kids and I'm very proud of them."
The WTT Junior Nationals, which is hosted by WTT co-founder Billie Jean King, is a national junior invitational event featuring 16 coed teams from throughout the U.S. The teams use the World TeamTennis format during three days of non-elimination draw competition.
The Crushers had the longest road to the Championship title, as they had to play in the pre-tournament qualifying event on Sunday to even make it into the main draw tournament.
Kramer's Crushers team members included: Jeffrey Hawke of Rolling Hills Estates, Eric Lim of Palos Verdes Estates, Chris Dalton of Rancho Palos Verdes, Riley Morgan of Rolling Hills, Nicole Scotten of Palos Verdes Estates and Maddy Sung, Rolling Hills.
USTA Intermountain Immortals, with players from Utah and Nevada, finished in third place with a 45-29 victory over USTA Southwest Sweetness. Two San Diego teams finished in 5th and 6th place as the Youth Tennis San Diego Sharks & Minnows defeated the San Diego Attackers 45-33.
Team members, ages 14-18, are selected based on their sectional and national rankings, but are not eligible if they attain a ranking of 1-150 on the USTA Seed Selection List as of May 2011.
The tournament follows the WTT non-elimination draw format with the 16 teams divided into four groups. Each team is comprised of three boys, three girls and a coach. Team matches consist of eight events; with two sets each of boys’ singles, girls’ singles, one set of boys’ and girls’ doubles, and two sets of mixed doubles. The first team to reach six games wins each set. A nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches five all. One point is awarded for each game won. If necessary, Overtime and a Supertiebreaker are played to determine the outright winner of the match.
San Diego players included:
SAN DIEGO ATTACKERS
Jack McCullers, San Marcos
Justin Chanthalangsy, San Diego
Brandon Yang, San Diego
Erin Acera, Covina
Yolanda Lan Pham, San Diego
Kelly Shaffer, Rancho Santa Fe
Coach: Huong Nguyen
SAN DIEGO SHARKS & MINNOWS
Romar Hernandez, San Diego
Dylan Trent, Poway
Cameron Bernhardt, San Diego
Rozel Hernandez, San Diego
Bella Genkina, San Diego
Melinda Chu, San Diego
Coach: Eric Mann