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Nationals Feature
Girls 16s Wrap-up

The word of the week at the USTA Girls 16s National Championships at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego was upset. The conditions for play were great; temperatures were in the high 70s with a light breeze and minimal humidity, and the medium-slow courts that were resurfaced days before the tournament provided a fair playing field, rewarding patience and those who were able to construct points.

Girls 16 Champion Lauren Davis
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
Upsets started early, with second seed and hometown favorite Gaby Desimone playing at noticeably less than 100%. Desimone went down in the round of 32 to 17th seed Caroline Price. Price played at a very high level and executed flawlessly in dismissing Desimone. It was refreshing to see a high seed stay on court in obvious pain and finish a match that was clearly out of hand; this might seem like an obvious thing to do but it is often an issue, especially at the WTA level.

Two days later, the quarterfinals started out with 12th seed Lauren Davis of Gate Mills, OH, taking out #4 seed and 16s Clays champion Belinda Niu of Portland, OR, in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. Davis did a great job scrambling in the backcourt and stayed steady throughout the match. Niu struggled to find the range on her shots, especially her forehand late in the match. Even while struggling with her forehand, Niu made a strong push late in the second set and looked like she might claw her way into a third set. But Davis was able to hold her off and make her way into the semifinals.

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