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UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) players took over junior Wimbledon this year with four teenagers leaving London with prized hardware. Liv Hovde won the girls' title, while Michael Zheng reached the boys' final, and in doubles action, Boca PTT champion Sebastian Gorzny teamed up with Newport PTT champion Alex Michelsen to capture the crown.
Gorzny and Michelsen Prove Unstoppable
Sebastian Gorzny (UTR Rating 13.53) has been on a tear this summer, winning three Universal Tennis events in Boca Raton (where he trains) in the leadup to Wimbledon. He captured two Battle of Boca titles in a row (which are open tournaments that award players with $10,000 in prize money and PTT wild cards). During the week of June 12, the teen then captured his first PTT title, also in Boca, capped off with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Colton Smith in the final.
"A lot of preparation, a lot of hard work coming into this month," Gorzny told Boca tournament director Jason Zafiros. "Last four tournaments been playing really well so really happy with that... It's been a really tough couple of months of training but it's paying off and it was a great final."
The 18-year-old traveled to London to compete on grass for the very first time, teaming up with Alex Michelsen (13.82) to win the doubles title at the tune-up J1 ITF tournament in Roehampton. He would reach the singles semifinals in Roehampton while Michelsen finished runner-up.
Gorzny and Michelsen kept their momentum going at the All-England Club, defeating five teams in straight sets. It's their third title this year after also winning the U18 Easter Bowl doubles title in April. Both are planning to attend college this fall, with Gorzny committed to TCU and Michelsen going to the University of Georgia.
Michelsen’s strong year started right off the bat with his first PTT title in Newport. He made his junior Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open, where he and Adolfo Daniel Vallejo reached the final. In April, the 18-year-old also won the singles title at the Easter Bowl (which serves as the USTA National Spring Championships), becoming the first player since Donald Young in 2006 to win both events in the U18 division.
Zheng Reaches Wimbledon Final
In Wimbledon boys' singles action, incoming Columbia freshman Michael Zheng (13.57) made his way to the final despite being unseeded. His most dramatic victory was a third-set tiebreaker over No. 10-seeded Martin Landaluce. The New Jersey native would lose in the final to Mili Poljicak, the No. 5-ranked junior in the world, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3).
Zheng was a PTT semifinalist at the Naples $25K last March as well as at the New York $25K during the last week of December. He won all four of his round-robin matches before falling to eventual champion Luc Fomba in the semifinals. In January, he won a J1 ITF in Colombia and took his talents to the ITF pro tour for most of the year, highlighted by his first M15 final in April.
We are SO PROUD of you, Michael!🦁— Columbia Men’s Tennis (@CULionsMTEN) July 11, 2022
Mili Poljicak (Croatia) defeated incoming first-year Michael Zheng (Montville, NJ), 7-6, 7-6, to win the Wimbledon Junior Boys’ Championship.
What a week at Wimbledon. 🎾
See you at the US Open, Michael!#RoarLionRoar #OnlyHere pic.twitter.com/LQ1572Z2Io
California's Learner Tien reached the quarterfinals of the boys' singles event. The 16-year-old has played two PTT events in Newport Beach, reaching the quarterfinals in his debut and making his best run in January by appearing in the semifinals.
Hovde Makes History
In Wimbledon girls’ action, 16-year-old Liv Hovde (11.46) made good on her No. 1 seeding by winning her first junior Grand Slam. She dropped just one set across six matches, beating three seeded players along the way. Hovde played PTT events in Atlanta and Newport Beach last summer, compiling a 9-2 record.
“It feels incredible and unbelievable," Hovde said on Court No. 1. "I just wanted to do my best and my best got me the champion
The Texas native, who is going into her junior year of high school, has been enjoying a phenomenal 2022 season. In the leadup to Wimbledon, she captured the J1 ITF in Roehampton (her second J1 victory of the year), and so she's now riding a 12-match win streak. She also reached the quarterfinals of junior Roland Garros and semifinals of the junior Australian Open.
Hovde is just the second American in the past 30 years to win the junior girls Wimbledon trophy. She’s up to No. 4 in the world in juniors.
About the UTR Pro Tennis Tour
The PTT is open to players with a UTR Ranking of 200-2000, and wild cards can be awarded to those players with a UTR Ranking of 1-199 or above 2000. Every PTT event creates matchplay opportunities for up-and-coming, collegiate, and pro players thanks to a unique round-robin format. At every event, a group round-robin stage is followed by a World Cup-style playoff, guaranteeing multiple matches and counting all results towards the UTR Rating, the most accurate rating system in tennis. Every PTT event offers 4-5 matches and a minimum of $20,000 in prize money with an earnings guarantee for every participant.
For more information about UTR PTT and to see all of the results, click here.