American doubles duo advances in boys’ 14s
By Harvey Fialkov
KEY BISCAYNE --- It was a good day for doubles partners.
Advancing in the boys’ 14s were Eddie Herr doubles champions Jack Kennedy and Keaton Hance, who had no problems getting past Canadian Kieryn Minor or Atlanta’s Suchir Sama in straight sets.
The sixth-seeded Kennedy, who lives in Huntington, Long Island, also won the National Clay Courts singles and doubles titles last summer. Hance, who was basically raised in his family-operated South Bay Tennis Center in Torrance, Calif., also reached the singles finals of the Level 2 Herr tournament.
“Some kids call me Mr. Kennedy,’’ smiled Kennedy, whose full name conjures up a former U.S. president. “I hope we can meet in the semis but that’s a long way though.”
Hance has large footsteps to follow as his mother Courtney played No. 1 for UC Irvine, brother Connor played for UCLA; sister Kennedi played for University of Washington-Seattle and younger sister Kimmy went undefeated as a freshman at UCLA last season.
“I was practically born on a tennis court,’’ said Hance, the eighth seed. “I never thought that as pressure because each sibling in their own way pushes me to be the best I can be.”
Hance lost in the Herr final in three sets to top seed Se Hyuk Cho of Korea, who is also the top seed here. Hance also lost a three-setter to Cho, who recently moved to Bradenton to train at IMG Academy, at the ITF World Junior Tennis 14-U team in August. Cho also won the inaugural Wimbledon 14s championships.
If tennis doesn’t work out, Hance can always join his brother Connor in the pickleball business where he’s an influencer on his Instagram account titled ‘Enhance Pickleball’ as well as creator of the Dinkmaster.
“Now we have pickleball classes at our tennis facility,’’ Hance said.
In the girls’ 12s at Crandon Park, there were no surprises as Yeri Hong of Korea, the second seed and Herr finalist, defeated Jou An Teaghan Keys, 6-2, 6-2.
In the boys’ 12s at Salvadore Park, Canadian Marc-Edouard upset ninth-seeded Zesen Wang of State College, Pa., 6-3, 7-5.
In the girls’ 14s at the Biltmore Tennis Center all the seeds advanced into the second round, including No. 2 Yihan Qu of China, the very tall unseeded Herr champion, No. 4 Adelina Lachinova of Latvia and No. 6 Ksenia Efremova of France.