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Championship Week
Yu Completes Quest for Gold Ball
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ALPHARETTA, Ga. - Eleana Yu's quest for a USTA gold ball started earlier this year at a windy Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Calif. It ended on a perfect Georgia summer day at the USTA Girls 12s National Hardcourt Championships at the Lake Windward Club.

The Mason, Ohio, resident defeated Natalie Block, a rising seventh grader from Plantation, Fla., 6-3, 6-1, in a match that lasted 80 minutes.

Girls 12 Singles Champion Eleana Yu
© Rick Limpert

Yu raced out to a quick lead in the opening set before Block found her footing and her forehand, winning two straight games to cut Yu's lead to 5-3. Yu then fought off a break point and closed out the first set.

The second set was more of the same, as Yu's looping backhands bounced high to Block's forehand and produced errors. Yu again pulled out to an early lead, but the second set was littered with close games and was much closer than the 6-1 score would indicate.

Yu said it was important to stay focused the entire week.

"Coming (into the week) I tried to work a lot on technique and keeping my mind straight. I know everyone here is really focused, but I tried to be that one percent better,” she said. “In the finals, I was patient and tried to outlast her from the ground."

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