The second-seeded Volynets executed her game plan to perfection as she used an aggressive baseline game and posted an impressive 6-2, 6-4 victory in 80 minutes over Navarro to win the USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 18s National Championships.
Volynets hit pinpoint shots to keep Navarro off balance in the opening set as she used two early service breaks to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
Navarro held serve and broke in the sixth game to cut Volynet’s first set lead to 4-2. However, Volynets won eight of the next 11 points to close out the set in 27 minutes.
In the second set, after exchanging multiple service breaks, the score was deadlocked at 4-4, when Volynets scored a critical service break for a 5-4 lead. Serving for the match in the tenth game, Volynets opened the game with an ace and proceeded to serve out the match for the Girls’ 18s National Championship and a wild card into the US Open.
“The key was starting really well and maintaining the level of play like I wanted to. I was really energetic and focused on court and pumped myself up constantly,” she said. “After I won match point, I had a surge of energy and joy. It means so much to me and I’m excited to go play it (US Open). I’ve been working on this for a long time.”
Following the match, Volynets paid tribute to tennis legend Billie Jean King, who was in attendance and on court for the trophy presentation. She called King an inspiration and said she would probably not be playing tennis if it had not been for King and what she has done for women’s rights.
The 13th seeded team of Abigail Forbes of Raleigh, N.C., and Alexa Noel of Summit, N.J., defeated unseeded Gabriella Price of Boca Raton, Fla., and Katrina Scott of Woodland Hills, Calif., 7-5, 6-1 to win the Girls’ 18s doubles title. Forbes and Noel will receive a wild card into the doubles main draw of the upcoming US Open.
For more information, visit ustagirlsnationals.com.
USTA Billie Jean King Girls' 16s & 18s National Championships
Barnes Tennis Center
Girls’ 18s Singles
Katie Volynets (2), Walnut Creek, Calif., def. Emma Navarro (3), Charleston, S.C., 6-2, 6-4
Hailey Baptiste (1), Washington, def. Katrina Scott (13), Woodland Hills, Calif., 7-5, 6-4
Girls’ 18s Doubles
Abigail Forbes, Raleigh, N.C., and Alexa Noel (13), Summit, N.J., def. Gabriella Price, Boca Raton, Fla., and Katrina Scott, Woodland Hills, Calif., 7-5, 6-1.