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Andy Johnson, Raya Kotseva, & Nikol Davletshina Capture Singles & Doubles Gold Balls at FILA Easter Bowl

The following is reprinted with permission from the media contact at the 2024 FILA Easter Bowl. I will be reprinting subsequent articles as they become available. Be sure to check out our latest podcast, recorded live at the tournament. Also, be sure to check out ZooTennis.com for daily updates from the Easter Bowl.

It was pure domination for Andy Johnson in both singles and doubles all week at the 56th annual FILA Easter Bowl. All Johnson from Rancho Palos Verdes did was win both divisions and USTA National Gold Balls without dropping a set as the 12s and 14s finals highlighted the day at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Johnson dropped just a total of just 15 games total over five matches without losing a set as he captured the Boys’ 14s singles title with a dominating 6-0, 6-2 performance against No. 4 Izyan Ahmad from New Jersey. Later in the day, Johnson teamed with Ahmad as the top seeds beat No. 3 Gadin Arun and Paxton Au, 6-1, 6-1, to take home the doubles Gold.

“It feels really good and I’m just excited to be the Easter Bowl winner in singles and doubles,” Johnson said.

It has been quite a run for Johnson in the past few months as he has won the Junior Orange Bowl, and the 14s Winternationals. Jonhson is coached by Vasile Beches of the South End Racquet Club in Torrance, as well as Peter Smtih at the Jack Kramer Club in Rolling Hills.

Winning both singles and doubles Gold balls became a trend for the day as Raya Kotseva from Las Vegas also completed the feat – and for the second straight year. The Girls’ 12s FILA Easter Bowl champion in 2023 in both singles and doubles, Kotseva successfully moved up to the 14s this year and repeated the feat as she downed Anjani Vickneswaran from Surprise, Ariz., 6-0, 7-5, to take home the singles title.

Later in the day, Kotseva teamed with fellow Las Vegan Jordyn Hazelitt to win the doubles over Shaya Jovanovic and Julia Seversen.

“It feels amazing to win the title in Tennis Paradise,” said Kotseva, who has a total of five Gold balls having previously won a doubles 12s title at Winternationals. “I just love everything about playing here.”

Nikol Davletshina from Boca Raton, Fla., completed the double Gold feat, as well, as she beat No. 9 Savannah Schmitz from La Jolla, Calif., 6-2, 6-2, to win the Girls’ 12s singles final as the top seed. Davletshina didn’t lose more than three games in any set during her five-match wins. She then teamed with Isha Manchala from Hilton Head, S.C., to win the doubles as the No. 1s did not drop a set all week.

The Boys’ 12s singles final featured the No. 2 seed Jiarui Zhang from Houston taking on the unseeded Nathan Lee from Tustin with Zhang overcoming a late second-set charge by Lee to win the Gold ball, 6-2, 7-5. It was the second Gold ball as Zhang won the Winternationals 12s to start the year.

“My serve was on today and I was holding it when I needed to,” said the 12-year-old Zhang, a seventh-grader at Village School in Houston who was playing Lee for the first time. “I got down 2-5 in the second but was able to start playing more consistently and hold on to win.”

The Boys’ 12 doubles final was won by the youngest boys’ player in 12s as No. 1 seeded James Borchard, just 10-years-old, and Taiki Bortolin defeated No. 2 Daniel Gardality and Andy Wu, 6-4, 6-2.

In the Boys’ 18s semifinals it will be unseeded Ronit Karki of East Brunswick, N.J., facing fellow unseeded Jack Satterfield from Tampa, Fla. In the other semi it will be Saahith Jayaraman against No. 2 William Manning.

In the Girls’ 18s semifinals, No. 5 Claire Hill from Cary, N.C. upset top-seeded top-seeded Capucine Jauffret from Wilmington, Del., in straight sets and will face No. 9 Tianmei Wang. In the other semi it will be No. 9 Daniela Borruel from Buena Park taking on No. 2 Addison Lanton from Elgin, Ill.

In the Girls’ 16s quarterfinals, four of the top eight seeds were eliminated as No. 9 Ava Rodriguez from Gainesville, Ga., took out No. 3 Nancy Lee in three sets and No. 5 Isabelle DeLuccia from Livingston, N.J., beat No. 2 Alyson Shannon from Plano, Texas. Top-seeded Bella Payne from Bradenton, Fla., moved into the semis beating No. 8 Alexandra Wolf from Pacific Palisades and finally unseeded Ellery Mendell from Watkinsville, Ga., took out No. 6 Carrie-Anne Hoo from Brooklyn, N.Y.

In the Boys’ 16s, No. 2 Gavin Goode from Raleigh, N.C., survived the only match of the four quarterfinals that went three sets as he had to come back to beat unseeded David Wu from San Diego, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Top-seed Gus Grumet from Mill Valley, Calif., won again, and will play unseeded Andrew Li, also of San Diego, in the other semifinal.

FILA Easter Bowl matches will once again be live-streamed on www.EasterBowl.com with Fox Sports Radio and Tennis Channel commentator Bryan Fenley handling the play-by-play duties starting on Wednesday. For complete draws, go to: https://easterbowl.com/scores-center/draws/. To keep up with all the FILA Easter Bowl news, visit the website at www.easterbowl.com.

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