| By Brian Coleman
Celina Liu and Christina Huynh won the Girls UTR 8-9 Doubles Championship at Queens College Indoor Tennis Center.


Queens College Indoor Tennis Center hosted a unique tennis tournament over the course of a weekend as Sports Made Easy presented the first-ever Adult Prize Money and Junior Fun & Frolic Tournament.

The players in the draw were organized by their Universal Tennis Rating (UTR). In the Adult Prize Money Tournament, $1,500 was the purse up for grabs, as a pair of former St. John’s players, Gustavo Loza and Gary Kushnirovich, were slated to take on Cameron Silverman and Quinton Vega in the draw’s championship match.

Unfortunately, Loza and Kushnirovich were forced to withdraw from the finals, resulting in Vega and Silverman being crowned the winners.

“This is a great way to keep current pros sharp and in shape while giving touring players a chance to financially support their dreams,” said Vega. “We were hoping we could establish a prize money circuit for current players in the local New York-area.”

Despite not being able to make the final, Kushnirovich was pleased with how the tournament was run in its first year.

“Sports Made Easy did a good job organizing the event, although they could improve on getting the word out to players about the event,” said Kushnirovich. “I think implementing UTR ratings into tournaments is a great idea. Watching the juniors battle it out at different ages but similar skill level was extremely entertaining. Thank you to Neil for promoting competitive tennis!”

After the round-robin stages on the first day of the tournament, the juniors battled it out in the semifinals and finals on the tournament’s final day.

In the Girls Doubles final, where the players held a UTR of 8-9, Christina Huynh and Celina Liu defeated Beyonce Blake and Nia Dabreo in the finals.

“I think we definitely started to be more aggressive at the net,” said Huynh of what allowed them to take control of the match late in the first set. “We both volley well, so we knew if we came in more that it would put more pressure on our opponents.”

Despite not playing a lot of doubles together normally, Huynh and Liu are friends off the court which helped them develop on-court chemistry.

“We’re really close off the court, so it’s easy for us to talk to each other when on the court. Communication isn’t a problem for us,” said Liu. “So on the court it was more about finding out our opponents’ weaknesses and trying to capitalize on them.”

Below is the full list of winners and finalists:

►Boys UTR 6-7 Doubles Champions: George Arteaga and Iswar Idnani.

►Boys UTR 6-7 Doubles Finalist: Adam Sujica and Lucas Kavulich​

►Boys UTR 8-9 Doubles Champions: Andrew Ena and Petro Kuzmenok​​

►Boys UTR 8-9 Doubles Finalist: William Kofmam and Jeffery Yu

►Girls UTR 8-9 Doubles Champions: Christina Huynh and Celina Liu

►Girls UTR 8-9 Doubles Finalist: Beyonce Blake/Nia Dabreo​

►Adult Prize Money Champions: Cameron Silverman and Quinnton Vega

►Adult Prize Money Finalist:  Gustavo Loza and Gary Kushnirovich

Andrew Ena and Petro Kuzmenok​​, Boys UTR 8-9 Champions. 


“Our junior tournament kindled a lot of interest in the community to have the players competing in different formats such as UTR rating instead of an age bracket. Allowing people to play one set in a round-robin gives them the satisfaction and experience they are looking for to play big matches,” said Neil Parthasarathy. “The Adult Prize Money tournament also attracted some top talents in the tri-state area. I feel like we are able to support the local tour players financially and keep them in the competition-mode while accommodating their busy schedule like coaching or working multiple jobs.”

Click Here to see more photos from the tournament. 


Brian Coleman

 Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com