SAN DIEGO–On a breezy, mostly sunny day at the Barnes Tennis Center, top-seeded Hailey Baptiste, second seeded Katie Volynets and third-seeded Emma Navarro won impressive straight-set matches to advance to the Girls’ 18s fourth round of the USTA Billie Jean King Girls’ 16s and 18s National Championships.
Baptiste, a resident of Washington, D.C., eliminated 33rd seeded Emma Shelton of Gainesville, Fla., 6-2, 6-1 and will take on 33rd seeded Elvina Kalieva of Pembroke Pines, Fla., on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Volynets, who lives in Walnut Creek, Calif., took 85 minutes to defeat 33rd seeded Anna Campana of Hillsborough, Calif., 6-1, 6-1. She will play 17th seeded India Houghton of Belvedere Tiburon, Calif., on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Navarro, who hails from Charleston, S.C., dispatched 33rd seed Marcella Cruz of Marlboro, N.J., 6-2, 6-1 in 90 minutes and will meet 17th seeded Reilly Tran of Dunn Loring, Va., on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
The 17-year-old Volynets has spent much of the year traveling around the country competing on the USTA Pro Circuit. Following her third-round victory, she spoke about playing the Girls’ Nationals this week.
“It feels good. It’s definitely really nice to be out here, playing in San Diego. The weather is beautiful, so I’m really happy to be playing tennis here this week,” she said. “I haven’t played a junior tournament since the Junior US Open last year. It’s definitely a change going from the Pro Circuit back to a junior tournament.”
When asked how she felt coming into the 18s Nationals as the second seed, Volynets responded, “I’m looking to just execute my game plan and keep improving my game. That’s the most important thing to me. The goals that I sent for myself are to make sure I adapt to every different game style. I really want to generate my own pace and do well with the aggressive game plan.”
Two local players also won Girls’ 18s matches to move into Wednesday’s fourth round. Elizabeth Goldsmith of Chula Vista, Calif., upset 14th seeded Charlotte Chavatipon of Fullerton, Calif., 6-1, 6-2 and 33rd Haley Giavara of San Diego, led 16th seeded Alexandra Yepifanova of Aventura, Fla., 7-6 (4), 3-1, when Yepifanova retired due to illness.
In the Girls’ 16s singles draw, top-seeded Valencia Xu of Livingston, N.J., continued her dominating tournament run as she breezed past unseeded Ann Guerry of Atlanta, 6-2, 6-1.
Xu, who has lost a total of seven games in her first three matches, will face 17th seeded Bridget Stammel of Dallas in the Round of 16 on Wednesday at noon.
Over 400 of the top junior tennis players in the country, aged 16 and 18 and under, are competing for the title of National Champion, as well as a wild card entry into the Women’s Singles main draw of the 2019 US Open (for the 18s Champion) and a wild card into the 2019 US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s Champion). The 18s Doubles Champions will also receive a wild card into the US Open Women’s Doubles main draw.
The Girls’ 16s event will conclude with singles and doubles finals on Saturday August 10. The Girls’ 18s tournament will get underway on Sunday, August 4 and conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, August 11. Both divisions feature 256-player singles draws with the top 32 players receiving a first-round bye. There is also be 128-team doubles draws with the top 16 teams getting first-round byes.