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Clay Court Championship Week
Danny Thomas Wins Boys 16s in South Florida

It wasn't until four years ago that Danny "DJ" Thomas first started taking tennis seriously. Now the talented 15-year-old is taking the sport by storm - literally.

Singles champion Danny Thomas
© Gary Curreri
Thomas, of Columbus, OH, won his first gold ball in singles as he captured the Boys 16s USTA National Clay Court Championships with a 6-2; 6-4 win over Aleks Huryn (Alpharetta, GA) at the Boca West Country Club.

"This is amazing," said Thomas, who withstood nearly six hours of weather delays and a change of venue for the finals. The two 17th seeds also moved from the Delray Beach Tennis Center to Boca West. "Today started off kind of weird because of all the rain delays. I was able to stay focused. This is probably one of my biggest wins in the finals."

Thomas did his best to stay loose while waiting. He called him mom, Sherry, who was back home in Ohio during the delays.

"I was able to talk to my mom who was able to calm me down," Thomas said. "I actually started off kind of nervous because I was going into the finals.

"Waiting out the delays was very tough," he added. "You had to wait and wait. You are anxious to get back out on the court. It kept raining and you are just sitting around getting stiff. My mind was lagging and I wasn't thinking about tennis. I was thinking about other things, but I am glad I was able to keep my focus on the court."

Thomas started off the match strong as he won the first three games of the first set before Huryn battled back to close within 3-2. Thomas then won the next three games to take the first set.

"I played him before and I beat him, but it was very close," Thomas said. "I just knew he was going to come out and play tough today especially on my second set. I won the first set 6-2, but he came out strong and won the first game and almost won the second. I had to really fight my way back."

Huryn won the first game of the second set and was up 30-0 in the second game before Thomas mounted a rally and broke Huryn's serve to knot the match at 1-1. The two teens traded games until Thomas broke through and won the final two games to capture the match.

"I just had to stay focused," Thomas continued. " I went back to the basics and I just had to fight through it."

It was the first finals appearance for Thomas, who lost to top seeded Roscoe Bellamy in the finals of the 2012 Hard Courts in North Little Rock, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 in the Boys 12. Thomas, who took out top seed Adam Neff in the round of 16, 6-4; 7-5 in the Boys 16s, had won gold balls in doubles in Boys 12s.

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Page updated on Monday, November 04, 2019
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