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Championship Week
Sachia Vickery Shines at Nationals in San Diego

From the moment she first picked up a tennis racket, Sachia Vickery envisioned herself playing in the U.S. Open.

She imagined walking onto the grounds in Flushing Meadows and seeing her name listed on the women's singles draw.

Vickery's fantasy will soon become a reality.

The top-seeded Miami resident defeated second-seeded Alexandra Kiick of Plantation, Fla., 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 to capture the singles title at the USTA Girls 18s National Championships at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.

Along with a gold ball, Vickery, 18, received a coveted wild card into the main draw of women's singles at the U.S. Open.

"This is the happiest day of my life," Vickery said. "Playing in the U.S. Open is all I have ever dreamed about. It was my main motivation the entire tournament. I can't even explain how it feels."

Although Kiick, 17, fell one win shy of the singles title for the second straight year, she will still be attending the U.S. Open with Vickery.

The close friends are doubles partners, and they teamed to win the doubles crown in San Diego.

The second-seeded duo beat top-seeded Taylor Townsend of Boca Raton, Fla., and Gabrielle Andrews of Pomona, Calif., 6-3, 6-4 to earn the wild card into main draw of women's doubles at the Open.

"That title was more unexpected than the singles because Taylor and Gabrielle have won Junior Slams in doubles," Vickery said. "We know how good they are, and they just made the final at a WTA event, beating top 20 teams in the world. But we came out and played well."

The singles showdown between Vickery and Kiick featured two players ranked in the top 300 of the Women's Tennis Association rankings. Vickery is No. 230 while Kiick is No. 297.

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Page updated on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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