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Championship Week
From Brink of Defeat to Girls 14s Champion, Yu Claws Back

It had been a while since Eleana Yu was the top seed at a tournament. The Mason, Ohio native could feel the pressure of the designation during her first few matches at the USTA Girls 14s National Hard Court Championships.

Yu was playing tight and letting nerves get the best of her. But facing triple match point in the Round of 16, a switch suddenly flipped.

Girls 14s Finalist Clervie Ngounoue and Champion Eleana Yu

The 13-year-old blue chip rising eighth grader rallied from the brink of elimination to beat No. 12 Nevena Carton 3-6, 7-5, 6-0.

“From then on, I just felt like I didn’t really have much to lose,” Yu said. “After I won that match, I felt free and knew I had a good chance to try and win this tournament.”

Yu’s renewed confidence carried her to a second straight national hard court title in the state of Georgia. She defeated No. 8 Clervie Ngounoue of Washington, D.C. 6-3, 6-2 in the final at the Rome Tennis Center. Last year, Yu won the Girls 12s singles title in Alpharetta.

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