No. 3 seed Luca Corinteli of the Junior Tennis Champions Center fell just short of his bid to capture the Boys’ 18 singles Easter Bowl title yesterday in Palm Springs, California. He was defeated by unseeded Gage Brymer, a California native, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
With Brymer involved, it was a foregone conclusion the match would be extended to three sets. During the course of the tournament, Brymer racked up four three-set wins with three of those victories on the heels of losing the first set.
“I wish I could get it done in two sets every match,” said Brymer to USTA Vice President Katrina Adams. “It’s been quite a week, quite a grind.”
After securing the first set, Corinteli admitted he may have lifted his foot off the gas pedal.
“Maybe I thought in my head I really wouldn’t face any adversity and that it’s kind of going to go as smooth as it has the first set and a half,” Corinteli said. “But tennis is never like that and this has happened to me before. A couple of times you pass by it and think you’ve overcome it and then it happens again. You never really know what to expect in this sport because I was in cruise control and then a couple different points go his way and it’s a different match.”
For the third straight year the boys’ 18s ITF singles was won by a UCLA Bruin recruit as Marcos Giron (2011), Mackenzie McDonald (2012) and now Brymer have captured the coveted title. It’s a junior title their coach Billy Martin, who many regard as one of the best junior players of all-time, never won.
In their previous Easter Bowl meeting, Brymer outlasted Corinteli in a 2011 Quarterfinal.
“He beat me up pretty good,” said Corinteli in regards to their 2011 match. “I was trying to play a big man’s game. I was still big, but I was very immature at the time, so he kind of dissected me and broke me down. I think I’ve matured a lot in the last two years and I’m sure he has as well. He’s fighting really hard and I think we’re both competing really well this week.”
With a powerful serve and deft touch, Corinteli was a force at the Easter Bowl. Besides a run to the singles title, Luca and partner Martin Redlicki, the No. 1 seed in the 18U doubles bracket, advanced to the Semifinals before bowing out to JC Aragone and MacKenzie McDonald.
Luca is set to join JTCC alum Mitchell Frank next Fall at the University of Virginia.