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Versatile Lederman wins boys 16 title

BRADENTON -- He was born in Colombia, but was bred in Miami.

He speaks three languages -- English, French and Spanish.

Oh, and he can play tennis.

Roy Lederman showcased his game in winning the boys 16 title at the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships on Sunday.

Lederman won in straight sets -- 6-3, 6-4 over Belgium’s Clement Greens -- but the match took longer than usual due to a rain delay that halted action in the illustrious tournament’s final day at The IMG Academies.

Lederman’s match resumed following about a one-hour, 20-minute delay.

“I came back, and I was shaking,” said Lederman about the break. “Two double faults in that game, and I lost the game. I couldn’t even feel my arm -- I was shaking. I was really nervous.”

It was Lederman’s second trip to the finals at the Herr and his third big international tournament final, having gotten to the last match in a previous Orange Bowl appearance.

Lederman was born in Bogota and moved to the United States when he was 5 years old.

He said his father played tennis and didn’t want him to go down that path.

So his mother, who hails from Belgium (hence the ability to speak French), introduced Lederman to the game in Miami after watching a player on the court.

Lederman was 7 years old, and quickly learned under Diego Dominguez all the tricks he has in his repertoire.

“He taught me how to mature from being really, really steady to a counterpuncher,” Lederman said.

American Lauren Davis, who is from Cleveland, dispatched Russia’s Yulia Putintseva in straight sets -- 6-3, 7-5 -- in a more difficult match than what the result shows on paper to capture the girls 18 title.

Putintseva had an opportunity to force a third set, while serving up 5-3 in the second.

However, Davis battled throughout the pivotal game to shift the momentum.

Davis let out a primal scream following the turning point in the match, which saw Davis lob one out of the reach of Putintseva, who had charged the net.

That made it deuce, and Davis broke her counterpart’s serve shortly thereafter.

“I fought so hard,” Davis said. “I was down 5-3 and two set points, and I did all I could.”

The triumph came in Davis’ first attempt at the tourney, since the Ohioan was in regular high school in previous years.

Now, she said she’s taking online classes, wants to play collegiately but hasn’t decided where yet.

Her experience showed against the fiery and vocal Russian, who resembled a female John McEnroe with yells at the chair umpire on just about every close call against her on the lines.

“I’ve played a lot of people like that before,” Davis said. “So it’s kind of experience, and I know just to not let it get to me because it never helps.”

Samantha Crawford, who trains in Boca Raton, defeated Canadian Carol Zhao 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 for the girls 16 championship.

“I think I’ve just been working harder, and working on fitness more,” said Crawford, who won the tourney a year removed from getting eliminated in the first round.

Bradenton’s Tornado Black was visibly upset after losing a point in her 14-years-old-and-younger singles final.

It came in the second set, and Black practically gave up with soft, high lobs on subsequent rallies.

She fell to Canadian Francoise Abanda 6-2, 6-2.

Great Britain’s Peter Ashley downed Belgium’s Clement Geens 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 for the boys 14 title.

Austria’s Dominic Thiem won the boys 18 championship over Great Britain’s Oliver D. Golding 6-2, 6-1.

Belgium’s Joris de Loore and the Netherlands’ Jannick Lupescu captured the boys 18 doubles title.

Those same European countries were represented with the girls 18 doubles championship as An-Sophie Mestach (Belgium) and Demi Schurrs (Netherlands) triumphed.

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