JTCC’s Vesa Ponkka leads United States team to title

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Captain Vesa Ponkka steered the JTCC/American team to a win in the IC Junior Challenge (Photo Credit: IC)

The United States squad led by Vesa Pönkka, Junior Tennis Champions Center Senior Director of Tennis, swept Mexico to win the North American International Club (IC) 16 and Under Junior Challenge Final on Monday, December 16 in Nassau, Bahamas.

The team was comprised of four Junior Tennis Champions Center players:  Evan Zhu, Brian Tsao, Usue Arconada and Raveena Kingsley.  The quartet did not lose a single match during the Challenge as they swept not only Mexico but also Barbados and Bahamas.  For individual notes, Arconada saved three match points against a top 50 ITF player and Kingsley defeated a top 150 ITF and top 500 WTA player.

The win qualifies the Americans for the World Junior Challenge set to take place next July at Wimbledon.  Japan, Argentina, South Africa and host Great Britain round out the field.

“The Bahamas put on a very successful international tournament which all the teams got great enjoyment from,” IC Bahamas president Kit Spencer told Brent Stubbs of Tribune 242.  “There was some excellent tennis of a very high standard, especially from the Mexican and US teams.”

United States def. Mexico (4-0)

Boys #1 Singles:  Evan Zhu (USA) def. Fernando Ramirez (MEX), 6-3, 6-1
Boys #2 Singles:  Brian Tsao (USA) def. Luis Flores (MEX), 6-1, 6-2
Girls #1 Singles:  Usue Arconada (USA) def. Renata Zarazua (MEX), 2-6, 6-2, 11-9
Girls #2 Singles:  Raveena Kingsley (USA) def. Constanza Gorches (MEX), 6-4, 6-3
Boys Doubles:  Not completed
Girls Doubles:  Not completed

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