By: David DiPino Contributing Writer
Boris Kozlov of Pembroke Pines lived up to the “Top Gun” designation given to him at the Delray Beach ITF junior tennis tournament by holding serve on his No. 1 seed ranking in a 6-0, 6-3 championship win over Alexander Lee of Chicago.
Coming into the championship match held at Delray Tennis Center, 201 W. Atlantic Ave., Lee had not lost a set during play. For Lee, the outcome against Kozlov was dissimilar. Kozlov cruised to a 6-0 first set win in the championship thanks to consistently breaking Lee’s serve, stroking consistent strong backhand winners and even some finesse with a lazy volley in game three he plunked in for a point to garner momentum.
“I think everything just kind of came together as the week went on and I think I showed just a great fighting spirit. I had some really tough matches where I was down a lot and not feeling well but I found a way to get though them and win. You just have to adjust. It’s not easy. You have to go out there and give it your best,” Kozlov said.
Lee of Oakbrook, Ill., bounced back to win the first two games of the second set. He regained his tournament form to win the first two games of the second set by breaking Kozlov’s serve and holding his own serve to win the first two games of the second set and take a 2-0 lead. But that’s where Lee’s comeback ran out of steam as Kozlov powered his way to win the next four games of the second set and reversed momentum to win the Boys 18 Singles Main Draw of the Delray Beach ITF.
Kozlov trains with Andrei Kozlov, his coach and mentor at Kozlov Tennis Academy, 900 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines.
Kozlov received 40 ITF Singles Points for the win and Lee grabbed runner-up and 30 points.
In the Boys’ 18 Doubles Championship at the Delray Beach ITF, Christian Alshon and Thomas Guy from Boca Raton defeated Jericho Grollman of Orlando and James Ignatowich of Delray Beach, 6-4, 6-4. Alshon and Guy received 30 ITF Doubles points while Grollman and Ignatowich gained 20 points by finishing runner-up.
The Delray Beach ITF Boys’ 18 and Girls’ 18 championship matches took place at Delray Tennis Center. Matches during the week-long Delray Beach ITF were played at the Delray Swim & Tennis Club, 2350 Jaeger Drive, and Delray Tennis Center on clay, Grade Four courts.
In total, during the Delray Beach ITF Boys’ 18 and Girls’ 18 competition 256 players from around the world including the U.S., Canada, Israel, China, Russia, Mexico, Venezuela, Australia, Ukraine, Ecuador, India, Iran, Turkey, Taiwan, Bahrain, Peru, Japan, Moldova, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Turkmenistan, New Zealand, Brazil, Great Britain, Chili, Uruguay and Argentina, competed.