RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (April 6, 2013) – UCLA recruit Mackenzie McDonald will attempt to become the first boys’ 18s back-to-back winner since Grey King in 1971-72 as the 46th annual ASICS Easter Bowl, the nation’s elite junior tennis tournament, begins on Sunday.
The ASICS Easter Bowl will be played for the first time at the Sunrise Country Club just down the road from its former home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The ASICS Easter Bowl is a USTA National Spring Championships in boys’ and girls’ 14s and 16s and an International Tennis Federation Grade 1 level tournament in the 18s.
McDonald is also attempting to become a three-time winner of the event, having previously won the boys’ 14s in 2009. In recent years, Donald Young did the same, winning the 14s and then the boys’ 18s twice in 2004 and 2006. Other past winners of the 18s title include Sam Querrey, Michael Russel and Robby Ginepri on the boys’ side and Taylor Townsend, Christina McHale, and Melanie Oudin on the girls’ side.
Once again this year, the winner of the boys’ and girls’ 18s this year will receive a wild card into the main draw at the US Open Juniors and a USTA Pro Circuit Futures event.
ASICS America is a popular athletic footwear, apparel and accessories company headquartered in Irvine, Calif., ASICS has made a huge leap with its involvement into tennis by offering award-winning tennis footwear and apparel, launching a collection of tennis rackets, and sponsoring some of the top professional tennis athletes in the world such as WTA former No. 1 Samantha Stosur of Australia. The U.S. ASICS tennis team features former Easter Bowl standouts Steve Johnson and Irina Falconi, both currently making huge waves on the national and international stages.
Laurel Springs School, an accredited, online private school, has signed on as a major sponsor of the event and like ASICS will be on-site all week during the tournament. On Monday night, Laurel Springs will host an informational gathering and Coaches Seminar as Laurel Springs School founder Marilyn Mosley Gordanier will be on hand to answer questions and share information about Laurel Springs. The event begins at 5 p.m. at the Sunrise Country Club. Coaching legends Larry Stefanki (John McEnroe, Marcelo Rios and Andy Roddick) and USC men’s coach Peter Smith will entertain questions. More than 60 Easter Bowl players attend Laurel Springs.
Here are the top three seeded players in each division:
Boys’ 18s: Noah Rubin (Rockville Centre, N.Y.); Stefan Kozlov (Pembroke Pines, Fla.); Mackenzie McDonald (Piedmont, Calif.)
Girls’ 18s: Jamie Loeb (Ossing, N.Y.); Louisa Chirico (Westchester, N.Y.), Marika Akkerman (Toronto, Canada)
Boys’ 16s: Sameer Kumar (Carmel, Ind.); Kyle Seelig (Hatfield, Pa.); Taylor Fritz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
Girls’ 16s: Francesca Dilorenzo (New Albany, Ohio); Ena Shibahara (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.); Meredith Xepoleas (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Boys’ 14s: John McNally (Cincinnati); Connor Hance (Torrance, Calif.); Zeke Clark (Tulsa, Okla.)
Girls’ 14s: Claire Liu (Thousand Oaks, Calif.); Kelly Chen (Cerritos, Calif.); Jaeda Daniel (Port Charlotte, Fla.).
Another significant change at this year’s ASICS Easter Bowl is that Lornie Kuhle has taken over as tournament chairman, seeking to continue a tradition started in 1968 by New Yorker and tournament founder Seena Hamilton.
First played in 1968, the ASICS Easter Bowl has been noted not only for the hospitality given to players and parents, but for its far-reaching media exposure and for keeping all the game’s important issues in public view.
Sponsors include ASICS America, Laurel Springs School, Advantage Tennis Academy and the Southern California Tennis Association.
To keep up with all the ASICS Easter Bowl news, visit the website at www.easterbowl.com and check out the tournament on Facebook and Twitter @EasterBowl. For more information on ASICS, check out: www.ASICSAmerica.com and follow on Twitter @ASICSAmerica.