Photo: Gabriel HeusiPorto Alegre Champions
American Trent Bryde not only won his first Grade A title at the Campeonato Internacional Juvenil de Tenis de Porto Alegre on Sunday, he actually won his first international junior singles trophy.
The eighth-seeded Bryde, a 17-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia, ended the dream run of unseeded Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi of Argentina by winning the final 67(5) 60 63.
“Honestly, words don’t describe how I feel right now,” Bryde said. “I wasn’t even coming into this tournament expecting a ton. I didn’t have good results in Australia, I was gonna play last week, but instead I pulled out just to train and try to get ready for this.”
Porto Alegre is obviously Bryde’s kind of town. He not only took home the singles trophy, but he also scored the doubles title with fellow American Olukayode Alafia Damina Ayeni, who were the sixth-seeded pairing.
In the end, however, there was no boys’ doubles final as the fifth-seeded duo of Sebastian Baez of Argentina and Ondrej Styles of Czech Republic handed the Americans a walkover.
“I’m just lucky and fortunate to win this amazing tournament (in singles and doubles),” Bryde said. “I don’t comprehend it yet, I’m in awe right now, I never had a result like this, this is just the best feeling in the world.”
What a difference a year makes. Bryde was a first-round loser at Porto Alegre in 2016 - he fell to Genaro Alberto Olivieri in straight sets in that outing.
After being disappointed in last year’s final, this year was Amanda Anisimova’s time to win the girls' crown.
The top-seed's experience and conditioning allowed her to overcome fellow American and seventh-seed Sofia Sewing 75 61 to take the title. Anisimova didn't drop a set throughout the week as she showcased herself as the player to beat.
“It definitely has a special feel to it, that's what I came here for so I feel fantastic,” Anisimova said after the final. “I feel amazing. This is so incredible. I can’t even describe how I feel right now.”
Played under intense heat, the first set was more a case of who made less errors than who was performing better. Both players also struggled with their serves, with a stack of double faults.
In the end, with the players at 5-5 in the opening set, Anisimova won the next two games, breaking Sewing’s serve with a volley winner, to secure the set.
By the second set, Sewing was visibly fatigued and feeling the heat, while Anisimova curtailed the unforced errors. Anisimova broke Sewing’s serve in the third, fifth and seventh games.
“I think I have gotten used to heat by now, so that was not a major problem,” Anisimova said. “I just concentrated on playing my best and it went great.”
At just 15-years-old, Anisimova potentially has a number of years of junior competition still ahead of her. Asked if she will be back to defend her title, Anisimova said enthusiastically: “I sure hope so.”