TALKING WITH... NADJA GILCHRIST
17 years old (Date of Birth: 6/7/1990)
Nadja Gilchrist may live in Hilton Head, South Carolina, now, but she grew up in New York (Rochester) so I've been watching her play for many years. She's battled injuries that have sidelined her for months at at time over a two year period and she has fought hard to get back in shape and make her way back to the top.
It was terrific results through the 12s and 14s -- winning one and placing in two other National Opens, along with a doubles title at the National Hardcourts (with Shinann Featherston) and an undefeated Zonals run -- that brought Nadja to the Smith Stearn Academy. She continued to travel back East for 2004, where she made the finals of five Sectionals. (No easy feat when Eastern Sectionals contain more top ranked national players than most Natonals.) Nadja ended 2004 ranked No. 5 in the country.
Throughout the next two years, Nadja Gilchrist was back and forth with injuries, however, when she played her game was on. She ushered in 2005 by making the finals of the National Winter Championships and came back at the end of the year to make the finals of Eddie Herr -- after making it all the way through the Qualifying since she had been out so long and didn't have the ranking to get in.
By the time of the 2007 Easter Bowl, Nadja was healthy and used her wildcard to make it to the finals. She's continued to have some good showings since and made her way to her current ranking of No. 20 in the country and, most important, in top shape.
Nadja and I sat down to talk about her game this summer. Before writing this I checked to see what she's up to and her mom told me that she's about to sign on to attend the University of Georgia next fall.
by Marcia Frost
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