Unseeded Alexa Noel of Summit, New Jersey captured the Girls 14s title at the 55th Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships on Tuesday in Coral Gables, Florida, holding on to beat third-seed Qinwen Zheng of China 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
“This means a lot,” Noel told the Miami Herald. “I’ve never really done well here so I had a little bit more motivation. I went match by match, rather than worrying about things that I can’t control.”
Noel fell behind 3-4 late in the third set, but as she had done all tournament long, continued to fight. She would win the final three games to come back and stun Zheng.
“I stood way too far off the baseline, my toss was all over the place, and I was hitting way too many floating slices right into her backhand,” Noel told Colette Lewis of ZooTennis about the adjustments she had to make heading into the final set. “He told me to dig deep, fix my toss, focus on what you can control, the right way to play.”
Noel was one of three Americans to win titles in their respective divisions at the Orange Bowl this week.
Cori Gauff defeated fellow American Katrina Scott 6-4, 7-6(4) to win the Girls 12 division, while Victor Lilov came back from a set down to beat ninth-seed Bruno Kuzuhara 0-6, 6-2, 6-4 to win the Boys 12s title.
Click Here to read our Junior Play Spotlight on Alexa Noel from last year.