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Junior Sectionals set to begin

Tennis

Gordon, Di Giulio, Pham among favorites at annual junior tennis tournament, the largest in the country.

June 14, 2012|By Matt Szabo

Corona del Mar High freshman tennis player Henry Gordon will be a player to watch in the 110th annual Southern California Junior Sectional Championships, which begin Saturday.

Gordon is the No. 6-seeded player in the boys' 16 singles draw. In boys' 18 doubles he is teamed up with a player from across the bay, Newport Harbor freshman Reese Stalder, who is also in the singles draw. Gordon and Stalder play Gregory Lyon of Coronado and Oliver Welsh of San Diego in a round of 64 match at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Los Cabelleros Racquet & Sports Club in Fountain Valley, where the tournament is headquartered. A round of 32 match would follow at 5 p.m.

Like always, there is no shortage of local talent at the tournament, which is the largest annual junior tournament in the United States. Thirty-six juniors from Costa Mesa or Newport Beach are entered.

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Two other players join Gordon as Newport-Mesa representatives who are seeded in singles.

Austin Di Giulio of Newport Beach is No. 5-seeded in boys' 12s. Newport Coast resident Max Pham is the No. 2 seed in boys' 14s.

As seeded players, Gordon, Di Giulio and Pham will not begin their singles tournaments until June 22. They are guaranteed spots in the round of 32.

What does begin Saturday is the boys' 18 doubles draw, which has plenty of local flavor. CdM junior Alec Adamson and sophomore Carson Williams, who are both competing in 18s singles, also are teamed up in doubles and are the No. 9 seeds. Like Gordon, Adamson and Williams helped the Sea Kings advance to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title match last month. They play Jhon Joseph Acosta of Bloomington and Kenneth Simmons of Fontana in a round of 64 match at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Los Cab. The winners of that match play again at 6 p.m.

Also, Austin Di Giulio's older brother, Joseph, is competing in doubles with George Goldhoff of Irvine (No. 9 seeds), as well as in 18 singles. Joseph is a former Junior Sectionals champion; in 2009 he won the 14s title and in 2007 he claimed the 10s crown.

The girls' 18 doubles draw, which begins Sunday, also has a local team. Newport Harbor senior Christina Young and freshman Kate Knight are competing as a doubles team. They were key pieces last fall, as the Sailors advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division 2 title match for the second straight year.

The tournament continues through Monday before resuming again on Thursday. Championship matches are scheduled for June 25.

Notable local high school players in the tournament include Newport Harbor freshman Annie Radeva (girls' 16 singles), as well as CdM freshmen Chaz Downing and Tyler Gaede (both boys' 16 singles). Alastair Hurry of St. Margaret's is a CdM resident and is playing in boys' 16 singles.

Other Newport-Mesa boys' players at Junior Sectionals include Daniel Day (12s); Connell McCabe (12s); Grant McCabe (12s); Maxwell McKennon (12s); Andre Saleh (12s); Bjorn Hoffmann (14s); Noah Lawson (16s) and Justin Truong (18s).

Other girls' representatives include Reece Kenerson (10s); Claire Nguyen (10s); Nicole Knickerbocker (12s); Danielle Willson (12s); Brooke Kenerson (12s); Jenna Moustafa (14s); Mackenzie Worsnop (14s); Paige Kenerson (14s); Siena Sharf (14s); Elena Fish (14s); Taylor Choe (16s); Olivia Dajee (18s); Madison Pautsch (18s) and Samantha Stalder (18s).

matthew.szabo@latimes.com

Twitter: @mjszabo

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