Winter Nationals Week
Top Seeds Triumph at 12s Winter Nationals
by Ali Jones
, 3 January 2017
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True to form, the boys and girls top seeds emerged as the 2016 champions of the Winter Nationals in Tucson, Arizona.
Californian Vivian Ovrootsky
, singles silver medalist at the 2016 National Hardcourts
, took home both gold balls in Tucson without losing a set in either singles or doubles. She beat second seed Matilyn Wang
of Arizona, 6-2, 6-1, in singles.
"The scores do not really reflect everything," said Val Ovrootsky, Vivian's father. "Vivian had quite a challenge in both the semifinals and finals. The girls are really, really good. In the semis she played Nikita Vishwase, and she was a little nervous. It was challenging. Matilyn is a very, very good player. She's very consistent and Vivian had to be really sharp, especially after doubles."
"I was very nervous," recalled the 12-year-old champion. "I remember at Hard Courts playing with line judges, and I was so nervous at that time that it got in my head a lot."
To calm herself down, she told herself to "just go with the flow." She exhorted herself with a spirited "come on" every time she needed an extra push, especially on the day of the finals of both singles and doubles, when she nursed a cold and a fever.
"I just reminded myself of when I was nine years old and I had to play the sectionals with the stomach flu - and I pulled out a win," she said. "So I told myself, 'hey, it's not even as close or as bad as that one,' and I've gotten this far, I'm not quitting. I pushed through it."
She had never played Wang in singles, but her strategy was to hit heavy and deep to her backhand and to be consistent. Her backhand down the line was particularly spectacular in the match, and it earned her a number of winners in the first set.