Francis Tiafoe still standing at USTA National Championships in Kalamazoo

Tiafoe earned a trip to the Semifinals at Kalamazoo

Francis Tiafoe is two wins away from joining the pantheon of Gold Ball Champions.

Tiafoe is the sole remaining Junior Tennis Champions Center player competing in the USTA National Boys’ 16 and 18 Division Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He will strive to follow in the footsteps of Paul Goldstein.  In 1994, Goldstein, a native of Maryland, became the first player since Vincent Richards to win three consecutive singles titles at the USTA Nationals.  Goldstein was the 16-and-under champion in 1992 and then added the 18-and-under titles in the next two summers.

To earn a trip to the Semifinals, Tiafoe ousted No. 24 seed Zeke Clark in the Quarters this afternoon.  He is slated to play No. 3 seed Tommy Paul tomorrow (time TBD).  16-year-old Paul captured both the singles and doubles Clay Court Championships titles in Delray, Florida last month.  He trains at the USTA Regional Training Center in Boca Raton.  “This is one of the biggest tournament wins I have ever had,” noted Paul at the time.  He was on the cusp of victory last December when he reached the Boys’ 16 Orange Bowl Finals.

The tourney commenced last Friday, August 2 and included over 400 entrants.  Past singles champions include Rod Laver (’56), Stan Smith (’64), Jimmy Connors (’68), Martin Blackman (’86) and Michael Chang (’87).  The winners are awarded a Gold Ball and the Boys’ 18 Championship victor seals a spot in the main draw of the US Open.

All matches can be viewed live by clicking here.

2013 USTA Boys’ 16 and 18 National Championships (JTCC Results)

Boys’ 16 Division

-Yancy Dennis (JTCC) d. Andrew Gu (2-6, 6-0, 3-0 (ret. inj.); 2nd Rd.); No. 6 Catalin Mateas d. Yancy Dennis (3-6, 7-5, 6-2; 3rd Rd.)

-No. 14 Jordi Arconada (JTCC) d. Michael Genender (6-2, 6-2; 2nd Rd.); d. Micah Klousia (6-2, 6-2; 3rd Rd.); d. Austin Hussey (6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2; 4th Rd.); d. Catalin Mateas (7-5, 5-7, 6-3; 5th Rd.); No. 1 Sameer Kumar d. Jordi Arcoanda (6,0, 6-3; Quarters)

-Evan Zhu (JTCC) d. Joseph McAllister (6-0, 6-1; 1st Rd.); d. Max Pham (6-0, 6-1; 2nd Rd.); d. No. 17 William Blumberg (7-5, 6-1; 3rd Rd.); No. 9 Reilly Opelka d. Evan Zhu (2-6, 6-0, 6-3; 4th Rd.)

-Brian Tsao (JTCC) d. Daniel Belsito (6-4, 6-0; 1st Rd.); No. 28 Jonathan Small d. Brian Tsao (7-5, 6-4; 2nd Rd.)

-No. 2 Francis Tiafoe (JTCC) d. Kyle Barr (6-0, 6-4; 2nd Rd.); d. Alex Ross (6-1, 6-0; 3rd Rd.); d. Martin Joyce (7-6(5), 2-6, 6-2; 4th Rd.); d. No. 26 Daniel Gealer (4-6, 6-2, 6-4; 5th Rd.); d. No. 24 Zeke Clark (6-3, 7-6(4); Quarters).

Boys’ 18 Division

-Elliott Sprecher d. Alex Hahn (JTCC) (6-1, 6-3; 1st Rd.)

-No. 6 Luca Corintelli (JTCC) d. Jacob Dunbar (7-5, 6-7(4), 7-5; 2nd Rd.); d. Jayson Amos (6-4, 6-2; 3rd Rd.); d. Samuel Tullis (6-0, 6-0; 4th Rd.); d. Henry Craig (7-5, 6-4; 5th Rd.); No. 14 Josh Donaldson d. No. 6 Luca Corintelli (7-6(5), 6-3; Quarters)

-No. 22 Thomas Mayronne (JTCC) d. Jake Gober (6-1, 6-2; 2nd Rd.); Samuel Tullis d. No. 22 Thomas Mayronne (7-5, 6-4; 3rd Rd.)

-AJ Catanzariti (JTCC) d. Shawn Hadavi (7-6(6), 6-4; 1st Rd.); No. 14 Jared Donaldson d. AJ Catanzariti (6-3, 4-6, 7-6(1); 2nd Rd.)

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