Brother Doubles Sister Act

Sam Chambers
While Xavier Gonzalez '14 has been on serve in Texas tennis, climbing to #1 in Boys 16 Singles, little sister, Natasha Gonzalez '16 is holding her own alongside big brother.
Natasha Gonzalez 16 led her team, the “Texas Spurs,” to a third-place finish (10 team field) at the recently concluded USTA Zone Team Championships (“Zonal”) held in Arlington, Texas from July 24-29.  Playing at line two (Girls’ 14’s), Natasha was unbeaten in five girls’ singles and four girls’ doubles matches. In addition, she was honored with the Texas Team Sportsmanship Award.  
Teams composed of 6 girls and 6 boys represented Florida, Texas, Southwest, Missouri Valley and The Caribbean. The Zonal provides an opportunity for the top junior players in Texas to compete against top juniors from other USTA Sections and to experience a competitive team atmosphere and on-court coaching, just like college tennis.
Starting in early June, Natasha competed in a series of USTA sanctioned tournaments and reached the finals in the Girls’ 14’s Super Champ Major Zone held in Abilene, July 14-16.

Meanwhile big brother Xavier Gonzalez ’14 competed on the 8-member Texas all-star team in the USTA Inter-sectional Team Championships for Boys 16s, held at the Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club in Shreveport, LA.  Team Texas, coached by TCU Head Men’s Coach David Roditi, finished tied for third in a field of 16 teams. In Group Play, Texas finished first in its group, defeating teams from Southwest, Northern and Florida all in come from behind matches.  However, Texas fell to the number-one-seeded Midwest team in the playoffs. 

Just recently Xavier reached the Doubles Quarterfinals of the  USTA Boys 16 National Championships played at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This is the most important tournament of the year for American junior tennis, and this year 196 of the nation’s finest players competed.  Past winners in Boys 16 Doubles include John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Sammy Giammalva and Mike Russell.  Xavier and his partner Peter Leung of Katy defeated four teams en route to the Quarterfinals, including two seeded teams. Their bid for a semi-final slot fell short against the Whitehurst twins of Talahassee, Florida, as Gonzalez and Leung lost 7-6, 6-3.  As one would expect from a tournament that has a 70-year tradition, there were moments of drama along the way.  In the Round of 32, Gonzalez and Leung were down 3-7 in the 10-point super tiebreaker and saved a match point at 8-9 before prevailing, 11-9.  In singles play at Kalamazoo, Xavier finished in the top 32.  Xavier, the Bob McKinley Sportsmanship  Award winner for the Boys 16 player in Texas that best exemplifies respect for the game, fairness to opponents, and will to win, is currently ranked number one in Texas and number 54 in the nation in Boys 16 Singles.