Only four months into the year, and it already looks as if 2018 is shaping up to be one for the ages at Centercourt Tennis Acadmey.
Continuing to build off their recent respective successes, CTA players, which included Evan Wen, Samir Banerjee, and Michael Zheng, took their talents out west to the California desert for the 2018 Easter Bowl, held specifically in Indian Wells, which hosts one of the most prestigious Masters 1000 tennis events for the ATP and WTA tours. The Easter Bowl comes with a long list of professional players, some of which are hall of fame players, who competed at the event themselves. The list includes players such as Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras, Justin Gimelstob, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Jennifer Capriati, Pam Shriver, and Tracy Austin. Also included in the CTA army was Michael Sun, recent Yale University commit, who made his mark at the Boys 18s ITF tournament, held in Newport Beach, where he eventually fell in the semifinal round in both singles and doubles.
Over at the Easter Bowl, under the watchful eye and tutelage of Centercourt’s Clay Bibbee, three of Centercourt’s finest were ready to leave their marks on the tournament.
Sitting atop the boy’s 14s draw was Samir Banerjee, the first seed, who in dominant fashion made his way through to the semifinals without dropping a single set. Upon reaching the semifinal, Samir dug deep and pulled through in a tough 3-set match, to earn himself a spot to the final. On the bottom half of the draw, sixth seeded Evan Wen also made his way through to the semifinals without dropping a single set, where he ultimately fell just short in what would have been an all Centercourt final. Despite a first round loss, Michael Zheng fought every moment throughout his match, where the scoreline could have easily tipped into his direction if not for a couple crucial points at high-pressure moments.
Coming off a hard fought semifinal victory, Samir somehow found it within him to keep pace in the final.
Unfortunately, after securing the first set, Samir eventually fell to his opponent in the 2nd and 3rd set. Despite the loss, Samir and Evan both fought valiantly throughout the whole tournament, earning themselves a Silver Ball and Bronze Ball, respectively, for their efforts in singles. Both Samir and Evan, did not stop there however, as the duo linked up to make the finals of the doubles event, where they would eventually fall in a final set tiebreaker to their competition. Samir and Evan would claim an additional Silver Ball each, for their efforts in doubles.
As mentioned earlier, CEO + Managing Partner, and one the finest coaching minds at Centercourt, Clay Bibbee accompanied the boys on their successful trip and had nothing but praise for all of the competitors. “I am extremely proud of all the boys that came out to California and left not only Centercourt’s mark, but their own mark personally on the rest of the Tennis world,” said Coach Clay. “The level of competition throughout the event was extremely fierce, and I could not be happier with the effort shown by all of CTA’s players. A huge shoutout and big thank you to all of the coaches both past and present, who have worked tirelessly with our CTA players, especially with Samir, Evan, Michael Zheng, and Michael Sun,” Bibbee added.