By Sarah Lucas
Las Vegas Junior tennis players took a swing in this year’s Easter Bowl Spring Championships, as well as the Easter Bowl ITF both in Rancho Mirage, California. Las Vegas’ own Kimberly Yee (Easter Bowl Finalist), and Evan Song (Easter Bowl ITF’s Championships semi’s-finalist) both dominated in this years’ Easter Bowl USTA National Spring Championship, and ITF Championship draws.
Entering the Easter Bowl Spring Championships in Rancho Mirage, California as the fourth seed, Kimberly Yee reached the finals by winning a total of 6 matches playing in the Girls 14’s. Kimberly, lost only to Gabrielle F. Andrews in the finals of the tournament with a tight score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Kimberly defeated a number of Girls 14’s competitors in the top 25.
Kimberly Yee’s wins included victories over Savannah Durkin, Johnnise I. Renaud, Brooke Withrow, and Taylor Townsend as well as two seeded players Alexandra J. Kiick(17) and Shannon Hudson(6).
Yee trains at the NO QUIT Tennis Academy at Lorenzi Park and is part of VegasTennis.com's Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation. According to her parents she is also an A and B student.
"Kimberly won the national Championships in singles and doubles last year, reaching the nations #1 ranking," said USTA-Nevada Executive Director Ryan Wolfington. "For Kimberly to then reach the finals her first year in the 14's is amazing."
Evan Song entered in the Easter Bowl ITF Championship Draw also in Rancho Mirage, California in the Boys 18's division as an unseeded competitor. Seeding meant nothing to Song as he won a total of five matches, three of which over seeded players such as the number two seed, fifteenth seed and the eleventh seed. Evan's victories included a competitive first round win over fifteenth seed Alexander J. Petrone, second round win over Alex D. Yermanos, third round three set upset over the two seed Dennis Novikov, also a fourth round win over eleventh seed Michael Zhu. Evan, who trains at ITC, added this tremendous Easter Bowl performance to a long list of accomplishments this year. Evan collected all of the above victories before falling short to the fourth seed (and Finalist of the Easter Bowl Boys 18's ITF's Championship Tournament) Nick A. Chappell from Indianapolis, Indiana in the semi-finals.
"Evan started the game late compared to most players at his level," explained Wolfington. "From day one he showed an effort and positive attitude that you see in very few children. He is an extraordinary child, and what his father, Henner and the team they have around them has achieved is incredible."
The Easter Bowl, founded by Seena Hamilton, is among the most prestigious junior tournaments in the world. Most of the American top touring pros at one time played in or won the Easter Bowl, inluding Sam Querrey, Agassi, Sampras, McKenroe, The Bryan Brothers, Conners and many others.