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Manning Wins First USTA National Gold Ball in Boys 18s at FILA Easter Bowl

The following is reprinted with permission from the media contact at the 2024 FILA Easter Bowl and is our final piece from this year’s tournament. Be sure to check out our latest podcast, recorded live at the Easter Bowl. Also, be sure to check out ZooTennis.com for Colette’s final thoughts from the event.

Just like the N.C. State’s men’s basketball team’s run in the March Madness NCAA Tournament, current Wolfpack redshirt freshman William Manning rolled to his first USTA National Gold Ball by winning the Boys’ 18s singles title as the 56th FILA Easter Bowl came to a close on Saturday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The No. 2-eeded Manning of Raleigh, N.C., said after beating unseeded Ronit Karki of East Brunswick, N.J., 6-4, 6-1, that watching the No. 11 seeded N.C. State team play has been a welcome distraction for him.

“Of course I’ve been pretty locked into the tennis, but it’s amazing how they are doing and just seeing everyone back home going crazy,” said Manning, who did not drop a set in his five wins. After beating Marquette in the Sweet 16 on Friday, the Wolfpack will next face Duke on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four.

Manning arrived on campus in January and said his level of play has increased since he’s been training with his college teammates.

San Marino’s Tianmei Wang said after beating Daniela Borruel from Buena Park, 6-4, 6-0, to win the Girls’ 18s singles title that she – just like Manning – is playing the best tennis she ever has.

“I took third place two years ago at the Easter Bowl in the 14s, so it feels incredible to win the title, and especially against a great player like Daniela,” Wang said.

Wang turned 17 last week and said she couldn’t recall how many times she has played Borruel and that they practice often. Amazingly, both 18s girls’ FILA Easter Bowl finalists played high school tennis in the fall for a public school – Wang for San Marino High and Borruel for Sunny Hills High in Fullerton.

It was the third USTA Gold ball for the junior Wang, who is headed to Harvard University to play her college tennis.

In the Girls’ 16s singles finals, top-seeded Bella Payne from Bradenton, Fla., beat No. 5 Isabelle DeLuccia from Livingston, N.J., 7-5, 6-0. On Friday, Payne won the USTA Gold ball in doubles.

For complete final 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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