2009 USTA NATIONAL SPRING CHAMPIONSHIPS
hosted by the City of Delray Beach, Florida
April 12-19, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009-Day Three
The Long Valley, New Jersey player never entered the tournament as a contender for the title, but one who would take away from it positive experience, camaraderie and diamond-like life lessons that others will fail to see past the gold of the winner's medallion. The competitor that seethes inside her [maybe] 90 pound frame did exclaim "This sucks!" upon dropping a tight 2nd set, 7-5, after taking the first in routine action. And surely the thought gained momentum as she saw a 5-2 3rd set lead whittle down to 5-3, 5-4, 5-5, and even worse, a deficit, 5-6. Recognizing her tennis transgressions and not afraid to say it, Patel admitted "I started pushing." And thankfully for her place in the South Draw, our 2nd "Jersey girl" Player of the Day push started her game to close out the match in a 3rd set-tiebreaker.
The win, only Patel’s first of the week after two early losses in the compass draw, is not one that’s going to make headlines at USTA headquarters or anyplace on the national junior tennis landscape. Some players are going to be tennis stars, blessed with gifts of fine ball-striking and athletic prowess fulfilled by hours upon hours on a tennis court and specialized training off the court. While others, they see stars, aim for them, shoot at them and even study them. "I like books with chapters," Patel told me as I asked her what she likes to read. I was puzzled by the comment as I thought to myself, and has to ask, what other kind is there? "Books with lots of pictures,” she said, “easy to read stuff". I thought to myself again, what other kind is there?
For the kids in the South Draw, for the players using ‘Nats’ as a stepping stone for greater achievements, find victory in Patel’s Player of the Day commemoration. Your goals and successes will be many and we’ll celebrate just the same.
The boys’ matches were still being played after the girls due to inclement weather early in the day. We will provide Day Three’s Boys Player of the Day in tomorrow.
Don't miss this rare, exciting and FREE opportunity to see tomorrow's stars that will carry the tennis torch when passed on from Andy, James, Serena and Venus, all players who have taken the USTA National road to their success. Girls' matches start at 8:45AM at the Delray Swim & Tennis Club (2350 Jaeger Dr., Delray Beach, FL 33444, 561 243 7058) while the boys' matches start at 11:00AM at the Swim & Racquet Center (21626 St. Andrews, Boca Raton, FL, 561 395 0128) and Boca West Country Club (20583 Boca West Dr., Boca Raton, FL, 561 488 6996). All Semifinal and Championship matches (boys and girls) will be played at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center (201 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL, 33444, 561 243 7360) on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. Also stay tuned to Fox Sports Florida as a 1-hour program featuring highlights of the Boys' and Girls' Singles Championships will be televised statewide in May.
Click Here For Stories & Photos from the 2008 National Spring 12s Championships