San Diego, Calif. – (August 10, 2013) – After an exciting day of semifinal action at the Barnes Tennis Center, the stage has been set for Sunday’s singles final at the USTA Girl’s 18s National Championship, where a wild card into the women’s main draw of the US Open awaits the winner.
On a cool Saturday morning under mostly sunny skies, second-seeded Alexandra Kiick of Plantation, Fla., defeated fourth-seeded Taylor Townsend of Boca Raton, Fla., 1-6, 6-4, 6-1. In the day’s second semifinal, top-seeded Sachia Vickery of Miramar, Fla., continued her strong tournament run as she over-powered sixth-seeded Brooke Austin of Indianapolis, Ind., 6-1, 6-3.
Sunday’s final, which will begin not before 11:30 a.m. (PDT) on Stadium Court, will feature two players who are ranked in the Top 300 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings. Vickery is ranked 230 in the world, while Kiick sits at 297 in the world.
“It’s going to be tough. Obviously we’re really good friends,” Kiick said. “We just basically said, ‘May the best person win tomorrow.’ It’s going to be a great experience for both of us, whoever wins or loses.”
Following their semifinal singles victories, Vickery and Kiick teamed to play in the Girls’ 18s doubles final on Saturday afternoon. The second seeds knocked off the top-seeded team of Townsend and Gabrielle Andrews of Pomona, Calif., 6-3, 6-4, to win the title and a wild card into the women’s doubles draw at the upcoming US Open.
One year made all the difference for 16-year-old Katerina Stewart of Miami. Last year she lost in the Girls’ 16s final, but on Saturday, the second-seeded Stewart captured the USTA Girls’ 16 singles championship with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over top-seeded Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
In addition to being awarded a USTA Gold Ball for winning the USTA Girls’ 16s singles title, Stewart also earned a wild card into the US Open Junior Girls’ singles competition.
Tournament officials named Megan McCray of Oceanside, Calif. as the Babolat Player of the Day. The 18-year-old local player, who was seeded 33rd, reached the fourth round of the main draw before dropping a hard-fought 6-4, 6-2 decision to top-seeded Sachia Vickery. McCray then entered the consolation draw where she reached Sunday’s consolation final.
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 competed 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 also received a Wild Card into the main draw of the US Open Women’s Doubles.
Spectator admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free.
For Sunday’s full 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
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.