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Tournament Summary
Midwest Closed 16s and 18s Champions Draw on Past Titles

Success in the 12s division does not guarantee comparable results in older age divisions. Yet three of the four champions crowned last Thursday at the Midwest Closed 16s and 18s Championships had claimed sectional titles in the 12s age group, suggesting their development paths have emphasized continued improvement.

Boys 18s Champion Bill Duo
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The sectional tournament, based at the Barbara Wynne Tennis Center at North Central High School in the Indianapolis area, used Universal Tennis Ratings to seed the top 16 in the 128-player draws, while using USTA/Midwest rankings for those seeds in the 17-32 range.

For Bill Duo, the top seed in the boys 18s, five years had passed since he won the 12s, also as the No. 1 seed.

"It feels like it's a great ending to a book," said the 17-year-old from Portage Michigan, who recently made a verbal commitment to Princeton for 2018. "I started out winning one in the 12s and to finish with one in the 18s, I think that's pretty cool."

Duo had no trouble in his first three matches, losing only three games total, but the last four were all competitive, with two three-setters. In the final against No. 8 seed Paul Gota, Duo navigated through the gusty winds and a determined opponent to snag a 7-5, 6-2 victory.

"I came out a little weak, was swinging a little tentatively, and balls kind of flew everywhere," said Duo, who is coached by Tom Walker at Court One Athletic Club. "After increasing my swing speed and getting a little more topspin, I got a little bit more control of my game. I think in the wind, you just have to play with courage."

Duo broke to start the second set, but Gota immediately got the break back, only to lose his serve for the third straight time, giving Duo a lead he never relinquished.

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Page updated on Friday, January 29, 2021
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