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Winter Nationals
Ravichander Wins Boys 18s Title for Gold Ball Breakthrough

Scrawled on Ishaan Ravichander’s left arm are motivational words such as intensity, no fear and nothing to lose.

He used all of the above and more in outlasting ninth-seeded Zachery Lim, his Northern California training partner and friend, 7-6 (2), 6-3, to capture the Boys’ 18s championships of the USTA Winter National Championships at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida.

Singles Champion Ishaan Ravichander
© Manuela Davies/USTA

Ravichander, seeded 17th, features a windup forehand, a steady two-handed backhand and Novak Djokovic-like defensive skills. After staving off two critical break points, Ravichander gained momentum and confidence which added up to the first gold ball of his career under hot, humid and windy conditions on the stadium hard court.

“On that [second] match point my nerves were all the way up to the top of my skull,’’ said the 5-foot-8 Ravichander, who turns 17 on Jan. 22, two days after Lim. “I was super tight. When that last forehand missed, I sighed in relief to be done with that. I was tired after a long week of seven matches in a row. I’m super happy to win and happy my hard work is paying off.’’

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