Locals shine at USTA tennis tourney

Manoli Sgouros of Forest Hills earned the top spot in the Boys 18-and-under division of a recent USTA juniors tournament held at the North Shore Towers Country Club in Floral Park while fellow Queens resident, Nicole Stay of Flushing, was the first runner up of the Girls 10-and-under division.
More than a 100 young tennis players participated in the recent Level 1B Challenger.
Sgouros, a 17-year-old senior at Holy Cross High School who also plays number one singles for them, has played tennis competitively for the last two and a half years, having first been introduced to the sport five years ago through friends.
“I found that tennis was a lot harder than many other sports that I was playing,” he said, adding that he liked the fact that he had to be physically strong and fit and mentally fit.
When it comes to the success that he has had with the sport so far, Sgouros said that it could be attributed to his determination.
“When I’m out there I just try to have fun and just try to play to the best of my ability,” said Sgouros, who practices almost daily.
At the age of eight, Stay is one of the younger players participating in her level. She has been playing since she was three. She developed an interest in the sport by watching her father Henry teach tennis. By age seven, she started competing in tournaments.
“It makes me learn a lot more from other players,” Stay said.
In the final round of the Level 1B Challenger at North Shore Towers, Stay, who is the top-ranked player in the metro standings, was defeated by Morgan Herrman.
The other winners were Brandon Thomas for Boys 16-and-under, Matthew Levine for Boys 14-and-under, Doron Saraf for Boys 12-and-under, Brendon Volk for Boys 10-and-under, Stephanie Cohen for Girls 18-and-under, Jessica Podlofsky for Girls 16-and-under, Samantha Gann for Girls 14-and-under and Victoria Zoha for Girls 12-and-under.

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