Saba and Capra Capture USTA 18s Spring National Championships
by Colette Lewis
, 25 March 2009
As the rain of the first few days gave way to brilliant sun and ideal playing conditions last week, the USTA 18s Spring National Championships in Mobile, Ala. produced an expected winner, in girls top seed Beatrice Capra, and a surprise one, in boys No. 11 seed Frederick Saba.
Capra and Saba, both of whom train at Saviano's High Performance Tennis Academy
in Sunrise, Fla., handled the frustration of all-day rain and the late nights required to get back on schedule to emerge as the champions of their respective 128-draws.
Capra, who still calls Ellicott City, Md. home, defeated unseeded Chichi Scholl 6-2, 6-2 in the girls final, while in the boys championship, the 17-year-old Saba secured his first gold ball with a 7-5, 6-2 win over No. 4 seed Jack Sock.
Ranked in the Top 40 among the ITF World Junior players, Capra was a solid favorite coming into the tournament, although winning matches early in the year has been a problem for her.
"Last year I got off to a bad start and didn't win a match until Carson," Capra said, referring to the early April ITF event in California. "That was kind of in my head again - I didn't want to go without winning a match again - but I have, because I went to Australia and didn't win a match, and then I played two pro tournaments and I didn't win a match. I was really nervous coming into this tournament, but I was able to push through it."
After dropping the opening set to Lauren Davis, a No. 17 seed, in the third round, a match Capra believes was the turning point in her tournament, she didn't lose another set, and in fact only dropped 12 games in her next four victories.