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Clay Court Championship Week
Floridians Take Homecourt Advantage in Girls' 12s
by Marcia Frost, 29 July 2010
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The Polo Club of Boca Raton, an exclusive gated community that boasts 29 Har-Tru courts, was the site for the girls' 12 event of the USTA National Clay Court Championships. This beautiful facility was in fact recently named the PTR Private Facility of the Year. It can also take the honor as the only clay court event that managed to stay on schedule despite rain, albeit with early morning matches.
Top-seeded Sofia Kenin
was looking pretty unbeatable throughout most of the tournament. The petite 11-year-old had only lost one set before the semifinals, and she seemed to be in total control for most of her matches. Her biggest challenge didn't come until the semifinals, when eighth-seeded Emma Higuchi
pushed her to 7-5,1-6,6-4, but she had an even tougher opponent to look for in the finals.
Christina Rovira, this year's winner at the Plaza Cup in the 12s, was no stranger to the top seed. The 12-year-old Rovira is also from Florida, and the two often play in the same events - even teaming as doubles partners at the 2009 Eddie Herr Championships. Her position in the finals was not a surprise to anyone who saw her play. She had the quickest matches out there, only losing one game in her first three. In the round of 16, Angela Kulikov (17) did take a 6-3 second set from Rovira, but she recovered with a 6-0 of her own for the match.
The last meeting of Cristina Rovira and Sofia Kenin had been in their home state at the Holiday Designated Girls' 14 Championships in December, 2009. That semifinal match went all the way to a 5-7, 7-5, 16-14 with that slight lead to Rovira. This final didn't look like it would be anything like that when Kenin dropped the first set at 6-2. She composed herself and came back in there for the second, but Rovira had the small lead for the 7-5 set win and the USTA Clay Court trophy.
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