Daniel Phillips back on song with Boca Raton doubles title and spot in singles final
Teenage tennis star Daniel Phillips has rediscovered the form that propelled him to two titles on the ITF Junior Tour this spring by winning the doubles and reaching the singles final at the J4 Boca Raton tournament in Florida.
Getting into the doubles field on a wild card, Phillips and Colombian partner Juan David Velasquez won five matches, including a walkover, to collect the prized silverware.
They first dispatched Antonio Jose Chavez, of Honduras, and Jack King, of the United States, 6-1, 6-2.
Then, after getting a pass at the expense of seventh-seeded Americans Yubel Ubri and Benjamin Willwerth, the pair encountered their first real difficulty.
The American duo of Lachlan Gaskell and Nicholas Reeves proved tough nuts to crack before Phillips and Velasquez prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.
The semi-final was a comparative procession — 6-4, 6-2 over Brazilian Rafael Ferreira and Nicholas Snyder, of Puerto Rico — but the champions-in-waiting required another super tie-break in the final after again dropping the first set.
An eventual 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 triumph over Ettore Romeo Baggio Danesi, of Brazil, and Jack Martuccio, of the US, was as well-deserved as it was hard-fought.
The unexpected title sets Phillips up nicely for his singles pursuits, coming into this tournament as the No 5 seed.
The 17-year-old has improved as he has gone on through the rounds, having been extended in his first two matches before serving up successive bagels in the third-set deciders — 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 over Patrik Petera, of the Czech Republic, and 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 over No 10 seed Abhinav Chunduru, of the US.
After that, he waltzed past Benjamin Sparks, of the US, 6-2, 6-1 and twelfth-seeded Lucca Pignaton, of Brazil, 6-1, 6-1 in the semi-finals.
In the final on Saturday, the Bermudian will be up against second-seeded American Tygen Goldammer, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament.