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Embree Downs Capra for Clay Court Title

Lauren Embree was in a position many players would envy, having reached the finals of the 2007 Clay Courts, the 2008 Spring Championships and 2008 Easter Bowl. But the 17-year-old from Marco Island, Fla. had settled for second place until Sunday, when she defeated top seed Beatrice Capra 6-4, 6-2 to claim the USTA Girls 18s Clay Court Championship at the Racquet Club of Memphis.

Clay Court Champion Lauren Embree
© ZooTennis.com
"It's a big relief to finally win a super national," said the third-seeded Embree, who added a 23rd USTA ball to her collection with the victory. "I've gotten to finals of a lot of them, but haven't won any (18s)."

Both Embree and Capra had reached the final without dropping a set, with their toughest tests coming in the semifinals. Embree downed No. 5 seed Kristie Ahn 6-3, 7-5, coming from 5-2 down in the second set to secure the win, while Capra fought off No. 4 seed Jacqueline Cako by the same score.

With temperatures in the 90s throughout the week, getting on and off the court quickly was a definite advantage for both girls. As the humidity rose in the tournament's latter stages, summoning one's best tennis was an afterthought to surviving.

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