Logo.jpg
Girls’ 16 & 18 Nationals
August 5-14, 2011
George E. Barnes Family Jr. Tennis Center
4490 W. Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Marcia Frost for photos & more information
Marcia@pwta.com; onsite August 5-14

July 21, 2011-It’s only two weeks until nearly 400 girls arrive at the George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center in San Diego for the 10 day USTA Girls’ 16 & 18 Nationals. Preparations are underway to make this event even better than its inaugural year.

The August National Championships have always been the most prestigious event held for juniors by the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The girls 16 and 18 events have long produced winners who went on to excel in the professional ranks. In the early years there were names like Maureen Connolly and Helen Jacobs picking up trophies. The 1970s saw Chris Evert and Tracy Austin in the winners’ circle, while Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati would win titles a few years later. The prestige of this tournament has not changed in the new millennium. The 2009 Girls’ 18 champion, Christina McHale, is currently holding place as the youngest women in the WTA Top 100. Melanie Oudin, who has placed in singles and doubles at this tournament, sported a career high ranking of 31 in the world last year.

Until 2010, the USTA Girls’ 16 Nationals were held in Southern California and the 18s in Northern California. A move was made to join the two events together, as the boys have done in Kalamazoo for nearly 70 years. San Diego was chosen as the site and tournament directors Liz Blum and Ellen Ehlers are working in conjunction with Youth Tennis San Diego to produce an event that can stand up to the likes of “The Zoo.” The George Barnes Tennis Center is the perfect location with 21 outdoor courts, including a large stadium court. Though the vast majority of the tournament will be played there, the large amount of matches the first few days will also require usage of some courts at nearby San Diego State University and the University of San Diego, but all the girls will have the opportunity to stay at the Mission Valley Hilton, the host hotel.

Last year’s 16s champion, Kyle McPhillips is expected to return and among the other talented contenders is a possible hometown hero. Girls’ 18 entrant Christina Makarova, a San Diego native, recently made it to the finals of the Mercury Insurance Open, a professional tournament, and will be high on the list of top tournament players looking to take the wins. For this tournament, there is even more to go home with than trophies. The Nationals offers the opportunity for girls to gain entry into the U.S. Open Championships. The Girls’ 18s singles winner receives a wildcard into the Women’s Singles Draw. For the 16s singles winner, automatic entry is given into the U.S. Open Junior Championships. The tournament also awards the Maureen Connolly Brinker Trophy, named after “Little Mo,” a former San Diego resident who was the first woman to win the Grand Slam, to the tournament’s most outstanding player.

The 2011 USTA Girls’ Nationals will take place at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, California, August 5-14.  Follow the tournament @USTAGirls on Twitter; USTA Girls 16 & 18 Nationals on Facebook; and on the official website, http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com.