News & Features
Youth Prevails at the Copper Bowl
by Julie Wrege, 10 January 2008
Spectators huddled next to the wall of the pro shop to get out of the fierce winds that arrived in time for the finals of the Copper Bowl in Tuscon. Harsh storms in the Western US did their best to disrupt the tournament schedule, but the tournament finished on time with a number of young players taking home trophies. Victoria Duval
(Delray Beach, FL) just turned twelve years old, but she was the class of the Girls 14s at the Copper Bowl. Having just won the Girls 12 championship at the USTA Winter Nationals, she moved to an older division this week, and she looked confident on the court.
Duval had a difficult quarterfinal matchup against Yuki Chiang (Ojai, CA). She won that match 7-6(3), 7-5, but that was the closest anyone came to taking a set off of her in these championships. She was able to handle the strong winds on the final day much better than her 13-year-old opponent, Stephanie Nauta (Galveston, TX). Duval took many balls out of the air - not waiting for them to bounce and have the wind play its games. She was all business on the court, but gracious to her opponent after the 6-1, 6-2 victory.
"I had never played Stephanie before," said Duval after the match, "but I knew that she was very consistent. I went into the match ... wanting to be aggressive. Playing in the wind today was difficult -- on one side against the wind I hit every ball as hard as I could and it was difficult to get it to go past the service line. On the other side, it would sail even if I barely touched the ball.
"What I finally decided was to try to keep her deep and take advantage of any short ball that Stephanie hit."
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