Boca Raton tennis player, 10, returns to court for Summer Smash

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Boca Raton’s Sofia Sundas doesn’t mind playing against older players in tennis tournaments as she did in the 13th annual Summer Smash Sectional junior tennis championships in Delray Beach.

Sundas, 10, has played tennis since she was 4 and reached the Girls 12s round of 16 where she fell to Jolene Holsen (Naples), 6-0, 6-1.

“I just like tennis because I like to win and it makes me happy,” said Sundas, who recently returned to the courts after a two-month layoff from a pool accident where she needed eight stitches in her foot after it was slammed on while she was getting a towel. “When they took the stitches out, it wasn’t fully (healed) so I had to take a couple of more weeks off. It was hard to take time off because my footwork wasn’t the same.

“It is my dream to be a tennis player when I grow up,” said Sundas, a home-schooled sixth-grader. “I like to play in tournaments because I get to be aggressive. I was happy to be back out on the courts again. I can get better by playing older girls. I think I played well in the tournament.”

The tournament attracted 500 players from around the country during the weekends of Aug. 21-23 (boys) and Aug. 28-30 (girls).

The Level 4 tournament consisted of matches in the 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s divisions at four different sites: the host site Delray Swim & Tennis Club (Delray Beach), One Tennis Academy at Boca Lago Country Club (Boca Raton), Boca West Country Club (Boca Raton) and Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center (Palm Beach Gardens).

“We expanded it this year,” tournament director John Butler said. “It was a sectional, Florida event last year with it being held during the height of COVID season and more relaxed and it was opened up to be a national event. These are some of the top kids in the country. The other top kids are playing in the US Open Juniors.”

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