Hance Perseveres in Girls' 12s Final
by Todd Holcomb, 18 August 2009
Alpharetta, Ga. - Kenadi Hance was the higher seed in the singles final of USTA Girls 12 National Championships on Friday. But history - and the first set - told another story.
Girls 12 Champion Kenadi Hance
© Doug Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
Hance had never beaten her opponent, Carolyn Xie
of San Diego, who was seeded No. 6. And Xie was the champion of the Southern California sectionals
, where Hance had placed third.
After a poor start, Hance finally solved her singles nemesis, and doubles partner, defeating Xie 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 at Lake Windward.
It was Hance's first singles national title.
"I was nervous, but I knew that this time, it was my turn," said Hance, the No. 2 seed from Torrance, Calif. "I really wanted to get a gold ball in singles. Last year, I won just one round here. I'm happy because I've improved a lot."
Xie had beaten Hance in their four previous meetings and was cruising toward another win, taking the first set with little trouble. Xie broke Hance's serve at love to lead 3-2, then at love again for 5-2.
Xie was hurting Hance with forehands down the line and also showed a precocious one-hand backhand drive and slice. She appeared to have the better all-court game, but Hance showed no frustration at losing her first set of the tournament.
"I was letting her get away with easy points in the first set," Hance said. "I told myself to focus more. I told myself to fight back."