Home Boys' Lists Girls' Lists Men's Teams Women's Teams News Photos Contributors Links Help Sign-UpOnline Store
Latest News | Categories | Authors | News Archives
 
 

News & Features

Clay Court Championship Week
Catherine Bellis Comes Home with Gold
Share:   

The 12 and under division is the first opportunity a junior player has to compete on the national level, and it is the time for top players to set goals. For Catherine Bellis, that goal was to win the top prize, and she kept her eye on it.

Girls' 12s Champion Catherine Bellis
© Marcia Frost, College And Junior Tennis
"I won the bronze ball at the National Hard Courts last year in Alpharetta, Georgia," said Bellis after her win. "All year I had my mind set on winning a gold ball." That wait is over, as the petite 12 year old got the gold at the USTA Girls' 12 National Clay Court Championships at The Polo Club in Boca Raton, Florida.

"It came on clay which surprised me, but I'm just ecstatic about it," said the Atherton, California native. She may not be the only one who is surprised. There was a time when a Californian winning a national title on clay - especially at a young age - was unheard of. The trick for Bellis was to come prepared,

"I actually train on clay in Northern California quite a bit. Before this tournament, I was playing on clay twice a day for months, and it finally started to feel really natural to me." She admits that it was a challenge at first, "I'm no Spanish clay-courter. I tried to play aggressively from the first ball of every point so I could put my opponents on defense before [they put me on the defensive]. I actually played more aggressively on clay than I even do on hard courts."

Catherine Bellis, a USTA National Open winner in the 14s last year, came into the Claycourts as the tournament's top seed. She immediately lived up to that status. She won her first five matches in straight sets, only losing a total of 13 games, which comes out to less than three a match.

Things changed quite a bit when she got to the semifinals. In that round, 11-year-old Nicole Conard - playing in her hometown of Boca Raton - forced her to up her level and bring out all the confidence she had built up.

It was an early morning match with a growing crowd of spectators. The No. 13-seeded Conard came out swinging with her eye on the finals. She put Bellis on the defensive, and it's not a position Bellis was ready for after a fairly easy tournament run. Before the No. 1 seed knew it, she was dropping the set at 6-2 - her first set loss at the Clays. It was time to shift things in her favor.

This Article Is Available Only to Recruiting Advantage members
 
Please log in to access premium TennisRecruiting.net content.
LOG IN
User Name
 
Password
 
 
Forget your password?
 
Register Now For Free!
NOT REGISTERED?
Register Now For Free!
  • Content Updated Daily
  • Complete Rank Lists
  • Exclusive Articles
  • Recruit Interviews
It's Quick, Easy, and Free!
 

 
 TENNIS EXPRESS PRODUCT REVIEW
 
Babolat Pure Strike 100 Racquet
 
A full size video with all related links is available on our store's YouTube Channel. To purchase from Tennis Express or to find out more, Click Here!
 
RECENT COMMITMENTS
8/21 Rianna Valdes chooses USC
8/20 Samantha Hampton chooses Arizona State
8/20 Patrick Wyeth chooses Boston College
8/20 David Mitchell chooses Army
8/20 Catalin Mateas chooses Duke
8/20 Abby Knedlik chooses Schreiner
8/20 Michael Genender chooses Stanford
8/20 Anna Ulyashchenko chooses Boston College
8/20 Billy Wilson chooses Brandeis
8/19 Vincent Lin chooses Duke

Full Listings: Boys' Commits & Girls' Commits

 
 THE LATEST FROM TENNIS EXPRESS
8/21 We have the deets on @AnaIvanovic's @adidastennis dress for the #usopen in our latest blog
8/21 Did you catch the tennis showdown between @serenawilliams and David Letterman? Read here
8/21 Tennis Express founder Brad Blume accepts the #ALSIceBucketChallenge to raise awareness! See who he nominates
8/20 Check out the sleek limited edition Nike sneaks the pros are wearing at night at the US Open
 
 

Page updated on Thursday, June 19, 2014
Contact our web team with any corrections