By Michael Vann
After conquering the southern California and national tennis stages, Ryan Thacher â08 extended his success in junior tennis to the international stage by winning the United States Tennis Association International Spring Championships at the Home Depot Center to bring his winning streak to 46 straight matches in USTA tournaments.The tournament was an international event that counts toward the junior International Tennis Federation rankings. It is known to be one of the biggest junior tournaments in the world behind the four junior grand slam events. Thacher defeated University of Michigan-bound Christopher Madden 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round to set up a second round showdown with third seeded Danila Arsenov, ranked 18th in the world. After both players held serve until 4-4, Thacher won the final 8 games of the match to reach the round of 16.Thacher cruised into the semifinals after two straight set victories to pit Thacher against top seeded Kellen Damico of Parker, Colo. Although Damico is ranked 12 in the world, Thacher was the favorite going into the match, as Damico had to play through an injury, limiting him to a one-handed backhand. Thacher exploited Damicoâs weakness en route to a 7-5, 6-1 victory which he called the biggest win of his career. In the finals, Thacher faced Tennessean Rhyne Williams, ranked 35 in the ITF rankings. Thacherâs speed and defense frustrated the fifteen-year-old Williams,Â as Williams often found himself trying to force winners. Thacher remained poised as he handled the windy conditions and pressure of his first ITF final with ease as he cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 victory.