San Diego, Calif. – (August 6, 2013) – After losing in the singles final of last year’s USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship, 18-year-old Alexandra Kiick of Plantation, Fla., is setting her sights on the prestigious title at this year’s tournament.
Kiick, ranked 297 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings, has spent much of the year competing on the USTA Pro-Circuit. As the second seed this week at the Barnes Tennis Center, Kiick hopes to win the championship, which would earn her a wild card into the upcoming US Open.
Following her 6-1, 6-2, third-round victory over Kourtney Keegan of Roswell, Ga. on Stadium Court, Kiick said winning the wild card into the US Open would mean “Everything” to her. “That’s what we all train for. It would mean a lot,” Kiick said. “I hope to do well. Obviously I got to the finals last year, but I’m just going out and trying my hardest every match and use my experience to my advantage.”
Winning this year’s USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship won’t be easy as the top nine seed came into the tournament ranked in the WTA Top 500. According to Kiick, every player in the draw is tough.
“It’s a great tournament. It’s really tough. There are a lot of unseeded players who kind of sneak up on you. You have to take every match like it’s going to be very tough, because it is,” she said.
Kiick, who has played in WTA events in Miami and Carlsbad this year, will face 17th-seeded Zoe Katz of Los Angeles in a fourth-round match scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
In other Girls’ 18s action, top-seeded Sachia Vickery, third-seeded Victoria Duval and fourth-seeded Taylor Townsend all advanced to the fourth round with straight-set victories. Seventh-seeded Louisa Chirico of Harrison, N.Y. fell to unseeded Cassandra Vazquez of Houston, 6-3, 6-1 in a third-round match.
Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., the top seed in the Girls’ 16s, reached the Round of 16 as she defeated 17th seeded Hanna Chang of Fontana, Calif., 6-3, 6-4 in a fourth-round match.
Tournament officials named Caroline Lampl of Bluemont, Va., as the Babolat Player of the Day. After winning her first-round Girls’ 18s match, the unseeded Lampl faced fourth-seeded Taylor Townsend in a second round encounter on Monday. She nearly scored an upset after capturing the first set and served for the match at 5-4 in the second set before Townsend rallied to win in three sets.
The award, which is presented to a player each day of the event, is based equally on competitive achievement and sportsmanship.
Nearly 400 girls aged 16 and 18 and under are competing for the title of National Champion, as well as a Wild Card entry into the singles main draw of the US Open Women’s Championships (for the 18s Champion) and a Wild Card into the US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s Champion). The 18s Doubles Champions will also receive a Wild Card into the main draw of the US Open Women’s Doubles competition.
In addition to the Barnes Tennis Center, early round matches are also scheduled at the University of San Diego. (Please see schedule below) Spectator admission is free at both sites each day of the tournament. Parking is free at the Barnes Tennis Center. There is a nominal charge for parking at USD.
For Wednesday’s order of play, go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/Home_Page.php
To view the complete tournament draws go to: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=121938
Website – www.ustagirlsnationals.com/
Starting times – 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 3 – Thursday, Aug. 8
9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 9 – Sunday, Aug. 11
Locations – Saturday, Aug. 3 – Sunday, Aug. 11, Barnes Tennis Center, 4490 W. Point Loma Blvd., San
Diego, Calif. 92107
Sunday, Aug. 4 – Wednesday, Aug. 7, (Early Rounds) University of San Diego, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, Calif. 92110
About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16s Nationals has been directed by Youth Tennis San Diego (YTSD) since 1990. This year will be the 24th anniversary of this event in San Diego, and 2013 marks the fourth year of the combined G16s – G18s event at the Barnes Tennis Center. As the largest and most prestigious junior girls’ tennis event in the United States, the USTA National Championships field consists of two draws, 192 players in each, selected from the top players who enter the event. The participants represent every USTA Member Section and nearly every state in the United States.
About Youth Tennis San Diego:
The USTA Girls’ Nationals is the most prestigious of over 40 tournament events held at the Barnes Tennis Center each year. The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952. The YTSD Mission is: “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities. Our community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens.” For information on sponsoring the USTA Girls’ Nationals or to be a tournament volunteer, please contact the Barnes Tennis Center at 619-221-9000.