USTA Girls' 18 Nationals -- Wed. Results

August 17, 2009 04:49 PM
By Marcia Frost

Photo by Marcia Frost
August 12, 2009 --
It was a day full of fun for some local kids, but not quite so entertaining for some struggling seeds at the Girls' 18 Nationals.
Kids Day at the Nationals is a tradition in Northern California and this year was no different. Clothed in tee-shirts provided by the college coaches, three groups (Berkeley Youth Alternative, Kids in Motion and Cherrie King Tennis) spent a good part of the day enjoying and learning about tennis. Former Davis Cup Captain (and Olympic Coach) Tom Gullickson was on hand to talk to the kids about getting started with the USTA's Quick Start Tennis program and answer questions they had on Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Serena Williams and some of the other top players he coached.
As much fun as the kids had with Coach Gullickson and former tournament director Jennifer Pitzen, the real excitement came when they got to watch some tennis at the Berkeley Tennis Club and Claremont Resort & Spa. Then, they met with the players to have their tee-shirts autographed. Everyone talked and smiled and forgot about the competition for a few moments. Lauren Herring (Greenville, NC), who lost her consolation singles match this morning, was quickly cheered up by the kids she described as "cute and upbeat."

It wasn't all fun play on Wednesday. Even top-seeded Kristie Ahn (Upper Saddle River, NJ) had a bit of a struggle when Lacey Smyth (Oceanside, CA) turned a 4-1 lead into 4-3 deuce in the first, but she pulled it together for a 6-3, 6-2 win. Second-seeded Gail Brodsky (Brooklyn, NY) took out fellow Easterner Robin Anderson (Matawan, NJ) a bit easier at 6-2, 6-2. The only upset was a small one as 17-32 seed Ellen Tsay (Pleasanton, CA) beat No. 9 Mallory Burdette (Jackson, GA), 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. 
Burdette had sister Lindsay on hand to watch, a Stanford senior who won the doubles championship with her two years ago. In fact, it appeared to be the Cardinals' sibling day as Alex Clayton was also watching sister Mary, who made him "nervous by playing too close to the net." Net work is something big brother knows as Alex Clayton actually owns a Gold Ball in doubles from the Boys' 18 Nationals at Kalamazoo. The group is hoping to take the Stanford sibling connection all the way as Mallory Burdette and Mary Clayton are into the third round of doubles together.
Eighth-seeded Beatrice Capra (Ellicott City, MD) almost got pulled into a third set by Olivia Janowitz (Palm Bay, FL), but the USTA Spring Nationals winner pulled it out in a tiebreaker.  Also needing a breaker to get through it was No. 6 Asia Muhammad (Henderson, NV) over Monica Turewicz (Saratoga, CA) with some great play by both. Muhammad said it felt "good to be back. I like Berkeley, it's quite a little town and the club is really nice." After winning the tiebreaker in the first, she made position clear by ending the next game with an ace and taking the set 6-1.
Third seeded Christina McHale (Englewood Cliffs, NJ) is playing right on and only dropped two games today to Lilly Kimbell (New Braunfels, TX) (17-32). McHale was also excited to be at the Girls' 18 Nationals, "This is my third year. I can do it next year too. I don't play a lot of these Nationals so it's been fun seeing everyone -- especially all the girls from the East." 
Full draws are available online at  Visit the tournament's official site at for stories, photos and schedules. Also look for the USTA Girls' 18 National Championships on Facebook (which has photo albums for each day), as well as updates on Twitter through MarciaLF24.