While the Girls 16s/18s battle it out for top billing in San Diego, #TeamSoCal looks poised for a race to the finish line in Kalamazoo as the USTA Boys Nationals reach the quarterfinals. In this round of eight remaining competitors, three SoCal players remain in the hunt for a Boys 18s national title.
The favorite remains San Diego’s Brandon Nakashima, who has been dominant in his quest to finish his junior career with a championship. Nakashima, who now plays for the University of Virginia, has won 36 of 42 games as the top seed and heads next into his quarterfinal match with Ryder Jackson of Northern California. Jackson upset #9 Stefan Dostanic in the fourth round.
Fellow San Diegan Zachary Svajda has cruised through the top half of the bracket as well, and a quarterfinal win over #33 Cash Hanzlik of Portland, Ore. would put Svajda in position to meet Nakashima in the semifinal should both advance.
A showdown between the #4 and #5 seed finds Cerritos’ Govind Nanda against the higher seed Cannon Kingsley of New York. Both needed three long sets to reach the quarters. Ironically, the last time Nanda and Kingsley met was on the same side of the court, as doubles partners last month at the ITF World Tennis Tour in Illinois. Even more ironic, the two will face each other in the doubles semifinals on Friday. Nanda teams with Brandon Nakashima as the #3 seeds to meet #14 Kingsley and his teammate Robert Cash.
In Boys 16s, Aidan Mayo of Torrance is in position to reach the Boys final if he can topple New England’s Alex Finklestein on Friday. Mayo’s only reach challenge so far was a second round three-setter against #33 Michael Zheng of New Jersey. This spring, Mayo was named to the Team USA Junior National team.
Follow the results from Kalamazoo at www.ustaboys.com.