Chiang, Rubin Win 16s Titles; Giron, Fratangelo Advance to 18s Final At USTA International Spring Championships

April 9, 2011 06:37 PM
By Steve Pratt, special to
CARSON, Calif., – Improving her net play has been Yuki Chiang's goal ever since she began working with coach Lori McNeil and the added dimension to her game served her well Saturday morning at Home Depot Center. 
Playing at the facility where she has trained for the last two years, Chiang hit three volley winners on break points and defeated No. 8-seeded Marie Norris 6-4, 7-5 to capture the girls' 16s title at the USTA International Spring Championships. 
McNeil, a former WTA Tour pro, encouraged Chiang to stay aggressive and attack at every opportunity. Chiang was reluctant to employ the tactic at first, but after falling behind in the second set she rushed the net time and again. 
"This feels really good because I couldn't play here a year ago and I wanted to make Carson proud," said Chiang, who missed last year's event after suffering a wrist injury days before the tournament. "My dad told me to listen to Lori and if she's telling you to come to the net, come to the net."  
Chiang lives in Ojai, Calif., where she trained at the Weil Academy for six years before switching to Carson two years ago. Two hours after her singles victory, she was back on the court for the doubles final with partner Alexis Pereira and the pair upset top-seeded Ally Miller-Krasilnikov and Julia O'Loughlin, 6-4, 6-4.  
In the boys' 16s final, 14th-seeded Noah Rubin of Long Island, N.Y., overcame a 4-1 deficit in the third-set tiebreaker to prevail 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (5) over sixth-seeded Nikko Madregallejo of nearby Duarte, Calif. 
"When I got behind all I kept thinking was that I've been out here way to long so I'd better get the trophy I want," said Rubin, 15, who will also play the 16s division at the Easter Bowl. "He's a tough player and he kept coming back. I couldn't believe it when that last forehand went long."
Rubin built 4-1 leads in the second and third sets but couldn't close his opponent out. Madregallejo broke to tie the second set 5-5, took a 6-5 lead on a forehand crosscourt winner and leveled the match when Rubin hit a backhand wide. In the third set, Rubin broke to take a 6-5 lead but was broken right back, forcing a decisive tiebreaker. 
The boys 18s final will feature players quite familiar with each other, even though they live on opposite coasts.  
Unseeded Marcos Giron of nearby Thousand Oaks, Calif., beat Slovakian Patrik Fabian, 6-1, 6-3, in one semifinal and top-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo of Pittsburgh beat No. 9 Mac Styslinger, 6-4, 6-4, in the other. 
Giron saved two break points to hold for 4-1 in the second set, then broke Fabian to take a 5-1 lead. He hit an inside-out forehand for a clean winner on match point. "I broke him right off the bat, which sort of set the tone," said Giron, who is headed for UCLA. 
"We have similar styles, so it should be a fun final," said Fratangelo, whose semifinal win was impressive considering Styslinger reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open as a qualifier in January. "Marcos is one of those guys who I know can beat me even when I'm playing my best." 
Fratangelo and Giron played No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, on the 2009 Junior Davis Cup team, which finished fifth out of 16 countries in Mexico. They haven't played each other since Fratangelo won 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals at Kalamazoo, Mich. that same year.   
Third-seeded Madison Keys and Samantha Crawford both won their semifinal matches in straight sets and will meet for the girls' 18s title Sunday at 9 a.m., the same time as the boys' final.     
For more information on the tournament including scores and draws, log onto the website at  

Note: All singles players from United States unless if noted. 

Boys’ 18s Semifinals
Bjorn Fratangelo (1) def. Mac Styslinger (10), 6-4, 6-4
Marcos Giron def. Patrik Fabian (13), 6-1, 6-3 
Boys’ 16s Final
Noah Rubin (14) def. Nikko Madregallejo, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6  
Girls’ 18s Semifinals
Madison Keys (3) def. Brooke Austin, 6-3, 6-2
Samantha Crawford def. Grace Min (2), 6-3, 6-3 
Girls’ 16s Final
Yuki Chiang def. Marie Norris (8), 6-4, 7-5 
Boys’ 18s Final
Mitchell Krueger / Shane Vinsant (2) def. Mate Cutura / Mikhail Vaks, 6-4, 1-6, 11-9  

Boys’ 16s Final
Robbie Bellamy / Gregory Garcia (7) def. Joseph Di Giulio / Spencer Papa (1), 6-4, 6-7 (4) , 1-0 (9)  
Girls’ 18s Final
Gabrielle Andrews / Taylor Townsend def. Ellen Allgurin / Rio Kitagawa (3), 3-6, 6-3, 15-13 
Girls’ 16s Final
Final Yuki Chiang / Alexis Pereira def. Ally Miller-Krasilnikov / Julia O'Loughlin (1), 6-4, 6-4