Hurricane Tyra Black Duplicates Sister's Victory
by Rick Limpert, 13 August 2013
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Mild temperatures, with a few drops of rain thrown in to make things interesting, greeted the players this week at the USTA Girls 12s National Championships at the Windward Lake Club in Alpharetta, Georgia. But it was a hurricane that had everyone talking at week's end.
Not a hurricane with swirling winds and dangerous lightning, but 12-year old Hurricane Tyra Black
, with a dominating serve, quick hands, and a punishing forehand.
Boca Raton-resident Black defeated Carson Branstine of Orange, California 6-4, 6-2 to take the title on Saturday outside of Atlanta and duplicate the feat that her sister Nicole accomplished at the same national championship 15 years ago.
After winning a gold ball and a national title in the championship match, Black was calm and reserved.
"I didn't approach [the event] any differently this year from the past year or past tournaments," explained Black.
What Black did do was mix in a new shot that she's been working on recently.
"I hit a lot of down-the-line shots - and mixed in the slice," Black stated. "I've been working on that, and the down-the-line; my serve also was really, really good today."
Tournament director and Director of Tennis at the Windward Lakes Club Torrey Hawkins was impressed with both finalists.
"I think Tyra did a great job of finishing the tournament," said Hawkins. "She showed her mental toughness and ability to play the pressure points, but Branstine was right there. If Tyra is 1a, Carson is 1b.
Branstine, who won the 12s Clay Court title last month in Boca, impressed many, including her opponent.
"I beat her in the quarters of the Winter Nationals, but I can't take anything for granted," added Black. "She made me play [my best.]"
Adding to the drama this week was some rain. Play had to be moved indoors to Emory University for the round of 16, and to the Atlanta Athletic Club for the quarterfinals.