Clay Court Championship Week
Madison Bourguignon Wins First Gold Ball
by Gary Curreri
, 27 July 2011
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Ever since Madison Bourguignon picked up her first tennis racquet, it has always been her dream to win Wimbledon.
The unseeded Bourguignon showed she could be on her way as she waited out a lightning delay and then a rain delay while taking on the country's top-ranked Girls 14 player, Katerina Stewart
for the USTA National Clay Courts Girls' 14s
singles title Friday (July 22) at the Veltri Tennis Center
It was worth the wait as Bourguignon took out Stewart, top seed from Kendall, with surprising ease as she won the match, 6-3; 6-2. Bourguignon's biggest career victory also erased two previous losses to Stewart earlier this year.
Stewart, who turned 14 the day before the tournament started, had defeated Bourguignon twice this year, including three weeks ago in the quarters of the Bank of Bermuda Foundation ITF 18s in Pembroke Pines in three sets.
"I knew how she played, and I needed to play aggressive, so I just went for it," said Bourguignon, 13, ranked 66th in the nation in the Girls 14s. "This was my best win because it was against girls from around the country, not just Florida."
Bourguignon, who moved to Boynton Beach 10 months ago so she and her older sister Alex could better pursue their tennis goals, won the USTA Florida Closed Sectional Girls 14s title in Daytona in June.
"I know she hits heavy so I couldn't just rally with her, so I tried to step in to the net when I could," Bourguignon said. "I didn't really think whose serve it was because I had held a few times and broke her a few times. I was trying to attack her and go into the net."
The start of the match was delayed 40 minutes by lightning and with Bourguignon leading 5-2 and 40-0 in the second set, Bourguignon squandered away two match points before a rain shower delayed the inevitable for another 40 minutes. Finally, a 22-stroke rally ended with Stewart's forehand sailing over the baseline. The rally took one minute and 12 seconds.
"The wait at the end was hard," said Bourguignon, who is ranked No. 3 among 8th-graders by Tennis Recruiting.net. "When it started raining I was hoping it wouldn't last long so I could get back on the court and try and finish. I tried not to think about those two match points I lost."