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Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 11:05 PM   #121
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Gab still pretty impressive in single and double

Liz Abanda in U16 too!!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 11:50 PM   #122
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Madison and Sachia!
Close call Victoria... way to pull it out though.
Tornado... What a name. I did some research and here's an article I found. Talk about intense tennis parents...
Quote:
Sister Act

By Mic Huber
Published: Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.

BRADENTON

She is known throughout the junior tennis world as Tornado Ali, a moniker that seems appropriate since this little girl with big dreams appears determined to take the sport by storm.

"I want to be the best, No. 1 in the world," explains the slender girl who is taking an unusual path to reach that goal. To prove her point, Tornado recently became the youngest player to win the USTA National Spring

Championships by winning the 12-Under division in Delray Beach -- at the age of 10.

She accomplished the feat with hardly any tournament track record, reviving memories of the road Venus Williams took as a young player.

There are more striking similarities between Tornado Ali Black and Venus Williams.

Both are black, each a prodigy. Both have family connections to California. Both have parents who give their lives to tennis.

Each has a younger sister with potential. Where Venus had Serena, Tornado has Hurricane.

Following around the tall, slender Tornado is 8-year-old Hurricane Tyra Black, a more muscular version with talent of her own.

"I want to be the best," Hurricane insists as she eats a banana while watching her older sister smack tennis balls with authority.

Hurricane just turned 8 in March. She has played two tournaments and, according to her mother, has yet to lose a match.

Hurricane is the younger sister's given name. Though the name on the birth certificate of the older sister reads Alicia Black, her USTA documentation has her name as Tornado Ali Black.

Either way, she's making quite a name for herself.

In taking the National Spring Championships title, Tornado, a Bradenton resident, served notice that she is a force to be reckoned with by roaring past Julia O'Loughlin 6-0, 6-1 in the final. She punished the player who entered the tournament as the event's top-seed and the No. 2-ranked player in the country in the 12-Under age division.

In all, seven matches, seven wins. The destruction left in Tornado's path proved that she is one of the top young players in the country.

"We are not out to chase points. We are going to move on, we are preparing her for bigger things," said Tornado's mother, Gayal Black, explaining why her daughter does not routinely play age-group tournaments, a road that leads to ranking points and recognition.

"We wanted to see how she would do in a tournament," Gayal Black said. "We knew she was playing unbelievable, but it had been a long time since she played tournament tennis."

Because she had no discernible ranking, Black needed a wild card just to play the tournament. And she couldn't get a wild card until she played in a sanctioned 12-under event, necessitating a little detour from her usual training regimen.

Sylvester and Gayal Black, who oversee their daughter's training, got Tornado in an 12-under tournament in Brandon. She didn't lose a game.

As a warm-up on clay for the national tournament, Tornado played in a 14-under event at Serendipity Racquet Club in Sarasota. She raced to the final before losing to Rianna Valdes, a girl two years older than her.

"We knew she was playing great but we were not sure how she would react," Gayal Black said about the national tournament debut.

No worries needed. Tornado pulled out a couple three-set matches early then avenged the loss to Valdes in the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-1 win. She won another three-set match in the semifinals, then ripped O'Loughlin to win the title.

Her father, who is called Sly and trains Tornado on a pair of private courts in West Bradenton, insists he knew Tornado would win. Her mother was more cautious, saying, "We went over there with the attitude that she would do the best she could and see what happens. You never know what they can do until they turn it on in a match with pressure."

They had a pretty good idea a couple years ago when Tornado, shortly after her eighth birthday, was stuck in 10-Under state tournament and reached the final. It was then the Blacks first decided to ignore tournaments and concentrate on preparing a champion.

"Our goal," Gayal Black says, is to have her ready in 24 months to play the ITF 18-Under tour. And 36 months from (May 12, Tornado's 11th birthday) to step on the WTA Tour."

The WTA pro tour restricts girls from playing tournaments until the age of 14. Right or wrong, the Blacks are planning a birthday party that will include Tornado's pro debut.

It's a path that has been laid out for a long time. While some children are given a racket in their cribs, Tornado and tennis go back even further.

"We decided to have a couple tennis players," Gayal Black recalls. "They were tennis players before they were born."

That may seem presumptuous, but there was history, and genes, on their side.

Nicole Pitts, Gayal Black's daughter from a previous marriage, was one of the top junior players in the country several years ago. In fact, she was once the youngest player to win the Spring Nationals ... at the age of 11.

Tornado would watch from a stroller as Pitts added several glittering entries to her tennis résumé before a wrist injury derailed her career.

Sly Black is a former member of the Jamaican Davis Cup team and also competed in track at the Pan-Am Games. Gayal Black swam competitively.

The two young sisters work up to six hours a day on their tennis, although Hurricane sometimes still gets sidetracked chasing lizards and snakes.

"She wants to become a veterinarian," Gayal Black says. "But all of a sudden, she is totally, totally into tennis.

"Between school, tennis, fitness, eating and sleeping there are no more hours in a day. Our lives are different. My kids don't watch TV. There are no video games in the house. It is hard work and dedication.

"Tennis is our life. We live, eat and breathe tennis."

The plan now is to go back to the intense training, keeping Tornado out of tournaments until the Orange Bowl in December.

"It is a different philosophy from most. But it has worked, and it is working," Gayal Black insists.

It certainly worked for the Williams family.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 12:12 AM   #123
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Heather

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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 12:22 AM   #124
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Shishkina seems quite impressive. A Bollettieri student :P Keep it up!

Polina

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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #125
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meelis View Post
Girls 18 - Third Round

(13)Polina Leykina RUS d. (1)Heather Watson GBR 76(6) 64
Leykina
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #126
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

G12 Final

Mariya Shishkina def. Tornado Ali Black 6-1 6-0
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 03:06 PM   #127
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Shishkina
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #128
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

congrats Masha Shishkina

i guess the Tornado turned into a tropical depression literally.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #129
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Polina
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #130
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Polina has put on a bit of weight.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 04:27 PM   #131
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

U16 QF

(1)Sachia Vickery USA v. (6)Ximena Siles Luna PER
(16)Victoria Duval USA d. (7)Simona Ionescu ROU 6-2 6-1
Breaunna Addison USA d. Riko Shimizu USA 6-2 6-3
(2)Elisabeth Abanda CAN v. (5)Caitlyn Williams USA
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #132
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Tornado Alley.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #133
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Victoria!
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 07:30 PM   #134
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

Breaunna

Vickery-Duval semifinal should be good, providing Sachia wins her QF.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #135
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Re: Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships, G1

All US SF maybe?
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