QUEENS, New York — After sweeping the first two rounds of qualifications for the US Open Juniors Tennis Championships earlier this week, Notre Dame’s men’s tennis freshman, Axel Nefve, and his partner Emilio Nava have advanced to the boys doubles’ championship match in conjunction with the US Open.
“What an exciting opportunity for Axel,” Callaghan Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ryan Sachire said on Nefve’s run in the tournament. “I couldn’t be happier to see all of the hard work and sacrifice that he has made, throughout his career to his point, culminate in such a moment. If he and Emilio continue to trust themselves and each other, they will have a great chance to be successful.”
The pair first took on a duo from Argentina in which they advanced off two sets, 6-3 and 7-6(6). It was a tough draw in the first round for Nefve and his partner, taking on Sebastian Baez, who currently ranks second in the world for his age, and Facundo Diaz Acosta, who comes in 11th overall. Nava, who ranks 40th worldwide, and Nefve (166) were underdogs from the start but ultimately prevailed.
They were put against a French team of Arthur Cazaux (ranked 32nd) and Harold Mayot (38th). Nefve and his partner, again, swept in two sets, finishing with convincing 6-4 and 7-5 wins to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinal round, the American pair faced Spaniard Nicolas Alvarez Varona (30th) and his teammate, Gilbert Soares Klier Junior of Brazil (10th). Following a one-day postponement of the match due to heat, the opponents traded a pair of 6-3 victories to force a decisive third set. Having won the first of the three sets, Nefve and Nava rallied to a 10-4 victory in the third to move on in competition.
The semifinal round saw lots of back-and-forth action as the two pairs traded points early in the first set. Jesper De Jong of the Netherlands (45th) and Damien Wenger of Switzerland (35th) took set one, with a final point-total of 6-3. Nefve and Nafa rebounded well and claimed set two, 6-4, to force an exciting third set. With a berth in the championship match on the line, both teams gave it their all, with Nefve and Nava ultimately claiming the spot with a narrow 12-10 decision.
The championship match is set to be played at noon tomorrow, September 9. Nefve and Nava will face Adrian Andreev (Bulgaria; 7th) and Anton Matusevich (Great Britain; 43rd) to determine the US Open Juniors Tennis Champion.
For more information on the competition click here.