Top U.S. Juniors Lee, Gaskell Secure First Pro Chances At Mardy Fish Sea Oaks “Wild Card” Tournament

Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Sea Oaks Beach & Tennis Club hosted for a sixth time the “Wild Card” tournament for the $15,000 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships USTA Pro Circuit event. The tournament, that awards a main draw singles “wild card” entry to the winner and a qualifying round “wild card” to the runner-up featured a record 43 entries from players from eight different countries.

Lee Gaskell Southerly

Two of the top junior tennis players in the United States, Mitchell Lee of Oakland, Calif., and the No. 8 junior in the United States, and Lachlan Gaskell originally from Iowa and the 2023 USTA National Boy’s 16s runner-up, were the top two seeds, respectively, and met in the final with Lee winning by a 6-1, 6-2 margin.

Lee, who will play for Harvard University starting next Fall, will make his professional tennis event debut at the April 22-28 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships at the Vero Beach Tennis & Fitness Club at Timber Ridge. Gaskell, a 16-year-old high school sophomore, will also get his first taste of pro tennis at the Mardy Fish “Futures” event by playing in the qualifying rounds.

Watch the entertaining post-match ceremony here:

Gaskell played the most exciting match of the tournament, saving two match points in his 7-5, 4-6, (12-10) semifinal win over Elias Shumann of Austria and the IMG Academy, saving match points at 8-9 and 9-10 in the decisive 10-point match tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set.

Several Vero Beach players competed in the event with Vero Beach High School Mason Cisco performing the best, reaching the round of 16 and giving eventual champion Lee his toughest match of the week, falling 6-3, 6-2. James Van Deinse of the Vero Beach Tennis & Fitness Club and the 2024 “King of the Hill” champion won his first round match before falling to Gaskell SCORE in the second round. Bernardo Feitosa, a standout member of The Boulevard Club, also reached the second round before falling to Schumann 6-2, 6-2. Christian Docter, a teaching pro at Sea Oaks, reached the second round before losing to No. 3 seed Cody Benton 6-3, 6-4.

Local pro Ching Wang, who teaches at Windsor and with the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, was defeated in his opening match to Aldiyar Abzhan 6-4, 7-5.

Cameron Roth, teaching pro at Vero Club Tennis, reached the round of 16 after a first round win and a retirement, before losing to eventual semifinalist Ben Saltman 6-0, 6-0.

James Bragg, member of The Boulevard and winner of the Mardy Fish “Wild Card” doubles tournament in 2023, lost his opening round match to Sebastien Rivera 6-2, 6-2.

To review the entire draw, click on the UTR site here:

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation will also host a main draw doubles event April 5-7 at Timber Ridge where players can sign up here:

A “pre-qualifying” event that will award a “wild card” into the qualifying tournament will also be held April 17-19 at Timber Ridge where players can sign up here: