Clay Court Championship Week
Mia Horvit Wins First Gold Ball in 16s
by Sonny Dearth, 26 July 2012
Special from the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press, HRVarsity.com
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VIRGINIA BEACH -- The compelling matchup of birthday girls featured almost everything except a cake for the winner.
No. 10 seed Mia Horvit of Parkland, Fla., earned her first U.S. Tennis Association gold ball, overcoming unseeded Francesca Dilorenzo of New Albany, Ohio, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to win the Girls 16 National Clay Court Championships.
Girls' 16s Champion Mia Horvit
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
Dilorenzo, a feisty left-hander with a style reminiscent of Rafael Nadal's, was celebrating her 15th birthday Sunday, July 22, the day of the championship match. Horvit was awaiting her 15th birthday one day later.
Both of these rising 10th-graders, who are ranked as five-star prospects by tennisrecruiting.net, will have plenty of reasons to savor their trips to Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club, which was conducting the tournament for the 26th consecutive year.
"This is quite a present I gave myself," Horvit said Sunday after her 1-hour, 53-minute triumph.
Besides taking her biggest crown, Horvit also learned how to be more independent.
"I was here only with my doubles partner, Mary Haffey (of Naples, Fla.)," she said. "My parents couldn't come because they were working. It was tough to handle things myself."
Horvit's mother is a secretary at American Heritage School in Boca Raton, where her daughter attends. Her dad runs a vitamin shop.
Horvit trains at former world-class pro Harold Solomon's institute. She didn't have to feel too lonely, since her aunt, Marievic Bulosan, who lives a 30-minute drive away from her in Florida, was in southeastern Virginia to provide support.