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Orange Bowl Spotlight: No. 1 seed Todor Enev


Wearing the same shoes that he wore to play in the Sunshine Cup, top seed Todor Enev from Bulgaria wins the boys 18 Orange Bowl title. He made his dream come true by defeating Bruno Soares (14) from Brazil in the tournament that alluded him for the last five years. "I played every year since 13" said Todor, including junior Orange Bowl. Last year Todor succumbed to Andy Roddick in the 18s semifinals.

In the stands a group of fans, making the loudest noise, roared for Todor's every point. "They were Bulgarian people [players] from the fourteen under junior Orange Bowl" said Todor with pride. "I have to thank them for their unbelievable support."

A controversial call on Bruno's serve at 5-6, 15-30, changed the momentum of the match. Todor hit a forehand that appeared long, but the linesman called it good. "I was giving everything in the first set but after that call he broke me" said Bruno. "I was tired .. very tired." Bruno worked hard to reach the final, winning most of his previous matches in three sets. After winning the first set Todor won the next five games in a row before Bruno regrouped and pulled out two more games. "Todor is very fast and he doesn't make too many mistakes" said Bruno

The pair have never met before but they played as a doubles team in grass at Thames Ditton in England reaching the finals.

During the first set the sole of Bruno's broke away. "It never happened to me before" said the Brazilian. The shoes that Todor wore today are completely devoid of tread, having run all over these courts in them for the past three weeks. Apart from racquets and clothing, he doesn't have financial support. Starting next year Todor will find it hard to afford the expense of a pro career without a major sponsor and he told us this will limit his tournaments. "Not like to go every week, one tournament a month" he explained.

Bruno concedes that Todor played a great match. "He is very fast and he doesn't miss that much," said Bruno. "He plays very close to the baseline and he doesn't give you a lot of time to think what you are going to do."

With this win Todor takes home the Waterford Crystal trophy, an Ericsson cellphone and a wildcard entry into the qualifying of Ericsson Open in March 2001. "I feel perfect. I feel unbelievable" said Todor emotionally. "It cannot be better than this .. I wanted to win this so badly. I give everything to win this tournament."