Xavier Gonzalez won the Boys 14 singles championship at the United States Tennis Association's National Open played in Midland, Texas from February 26-28. En route to the title, Gonzalez defeated five opponents without dropping a set. He triumphed over the number one seed Yancy Dennis (Maryland) in the quarterfinals, over the number four seed Artem Khrapko (New York) in the semi-finals, and over the number two seed Grayson Broadus (Texas) in the finals. Xavier Gonzalez, currently ranked number one in Texas in Boys 14, is a freshman at St. John's School, where he plays on the varsity tennis team.
The last six months have been an especially bountiful period for Xavier's tennis. During this time, Xavier has (a) earned the number one ranking in Texas in the Boys 14 division (Xavier became number one in September and remains number one currently), (b) been honored with the Sportsmanship Award at the USTA Winter National tournament in Tucson, Arizona (December), and (c) won the USTA National Open in Midland, Texas (February). The USTA National Open victory in Midland was particularly sweet for Xavier. In the past few years, he has won several Texas state-wide titles and numerous local titles. However, the Midland triumph is his first victory at the national level. In Midland, the field included some of the best players from all over the country, including seven ranked higher than Xavier. Moreover, the playing conditions were extraordinarily difficult. Xavier had to deal with gusting winds that reached 50 miles per hour and produced a mini sand storm. These conditions challenged him to be mentally and emotionally strong so that he could focus on executing his strategy and playing his best. Throughout the ordeal what gave him confidence and calm were the "train and trust" principles that he learned from his summer reading of Coach Chambers's book titled "Head Case."