TOP SEED VALENCIA XU ADVANCES TO GIRLS’ 16s SEMIFINALS AT
USTA BILLIE JEAN KING GIRLS’ 16s & 18s NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Girls’ 18s Quarterfinal Matches Set for Friday at Barnes Tennis Center
SAN DIEGO – (August 8, 2019) – Top-seeded Valencia Xu of Livingston, N.J., overcame 17th seeded Allie Gretkowski of Mount Pleasant, S.C., 6-4, 6-2 in one-hour and 50 minutes to reach the Girls’ 16s semifinals of the USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships.
Playing on Stadium Court at the Barnes Tennis Center, the 16-year-old Xu was broken in the opening game of the match, but broke back in the fourth game to get back on serve. Later, with the score knotted at 4-4, Xu took control and won 8 of the next ten points to wrap up the first set in 55 minutes.
In the second-set, Xu broke serve in the fourth and sixth games to establish a 5-2 lead. Gretkowski served to stay in the match, but Xu took advantage of a double fault to secure another service break and close out the match.
“Each opponent I’ve played has been better than the previous one. Each time, I’ve had to play a little better,” Xu said. “Every match is just going get harder. I’ve been serving well. I’m going to have to play better and do everything a little bit better than I have been so far.”
Xu will take on 17th seeded Eleana Yu of Mason, Ohio in Friday’s semifinals. The other Girls’ 16s semifinal will pit second-seeded Vivian Ovrootsky of San Jose, Calif., against 14th seeded Reese Brantmeier of Whitewater, Wis. Both semifinals will begin at 11:45 a.m.
Following of full schedule of matches in the Round of 16, the Girls’ 18s quarterfinal singles pairings for Friday have been determined.
In the top half of the 18s draw, No. 1 seeded Hailey Baptiste of Washington, D.C., a 6-2, 6-0 winner over 11th seeded Chloe Beck, Watkinsville, Ga., will meet eighth-seeded Abigail Forbes of Raleigh, N.C., and third-seeded Emma Navarro of Charleston, S.C., will play 33rd seed Lea Ma of Dix Hills, N.Y.
Quarterfinal matches in the lower half of the 18s draw will feature 13th seeded Katrina Scott of Woodland Hills, Calif., against 10th seeded Elli Mandlik of Bradenton, Fla., and second-seeded Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek, Calif., versus fifth-seeded Connie Ma of Dublin, Calif.
All 18s quarterfinal singles matches are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
The two remaining local entrants in the Girls’ 18s singles draw were defeated in Thursday’s Round of 16. Unseeded Elizabeth Goldsmith of Chula Vista, Calif., fell to Volynets 6-2, 6-0 and 33rd seed Haley Giavara of San Diego was eliminated by Ma, 6-3, 6-4 in one-hour and 59 minutes.
For updated draws in the Girls’ 16s and 18s divisions, click here.
Over 400 of the top junior tennis players in the country, aged 16 and 18 and under, are competing for the title of National Champion, as well as a wild card entry into the Women’s Singles main draw of the 2019 US Open (for the 18s Champion) and a wild card into the 2019 US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s Champion). The 18s Doubles Champions will also receive a wild card into the US Open Women’s Doubles main draw.
The Girls’ 16s event will conclude with singles and doubles finals on Saturday August 10. The Girls’ 18s tournament will conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, August 11.
Starting times for each day of the tournament are as follows:
Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10 – 9 a.m.
Sunday, August 11 – 10 a.m.
(All times PDT)
Tennis Channel will broadcast the Girls’ 16s singles final from 1-3 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, August 10 and the Girls’ 18s singles final from 2-4 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday, August 11.
All tournament matches played on Stadium Court at the Barnes Tennis Center are streamed live at www.ustagirlsnationals.com through Friday, August 9.
To view the official tournament website, please click here.
About USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals
The USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 16 and 18 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit. Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.
About George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center
The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego. It was built in 1995 and completed in 1997. The $4.5 million junior tennis facility was made possible with generous public and private donations and is named after the lead donor family – the “George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center.” The Center, which is dedicated to the youth of San Diego, offers children 18 and under court priority over adults with advanced reservations.
About Youth Tennis San Diego
Youth Tennis San Diego is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952. In 2016, Youth Tennis San Diego was recognized with the USTA Organization Member of the Year Award. The award is given annually to an organization that provides outstanding service to its members and to the local community. YTSD was honored at the 2016 USTA Annual Meeting and Conference at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.
The YTSD Mission is: “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities.” Their community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens. YTSD provides thousands of youngsters each year the opportunity to play tennis after school at their neighborhood school. The After School Tennis program provides a safe haven for hundreds of youngsters who are not supervised after school. Through tennis, the children learn the success skills which will give them the confidence and self-esteem needed to confront the negative influences so often found on the streets where they live.
USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships
Barnes Tennis Center
Girls’ 18s Singles
Round of 16
Hailey Baptiste (1), Washington, D.C., def. Chloe Beck (11), Watkinsville, Ga., 6-2, 6-0
Katie Volynets (2), Walnut Creek, Calif., def. Elizabeth Goldsmith, Chula Vista, Calif., 6-2, 6-0
Emma Navarro (3), Charleston, S.C., def. Allura Zamarripa (33), Saint Helena, Calif., 6-3, 6-2
Connie Ma (5), Dublin, Calif., def. Haley Giavara (33), San Diego, 6-3, 6-4
Abigail Forbes (8), Raleigh, N.C., def. Elizabeth Coleman (17), Midland, Mich., 6-2, 6-4
Katrina Scott (13), Woodland Hills, Calif., def. Alycia Parks (7), Port Saint Lucie, Fla., 6-3, 7-5
Elli Mandlik (10), Bradenton, Fla., def. Karina Miller (17), Ann Arbor, Mich., 6-3, 6-1
Lea Ma (33), Dix Hills, N.Y., def. Sarah Hamner (17), Fort Collins, Colo., 6-4, 6-2
Girls’ 16s Singles
Valencia Xu (1), Livingston, N.J., def. Allie Gretkowski (17), Mount Pleasant, S.C., 6-4, 6-2
Reese Brantmeier (14), Whitewater, Wis., def. Gracie Epps (17), Norman, Okla., 6-2, 6-3
Vivian Ovrootsky (2), San Jose, Calif., def. Kida Ferrari (33) Fairhope, Ala., 6-2, 6-2
Eleana Yu (17), Mason, Ohio, def. Katja Wiersholm (17), Kirkland, Wash., 6-2, 2-6, 6-0
For complete scores and results, click here.