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Junior Spotlight of the Week: Whitney Kay

May 1, 2006 05:17 PM

Birthdate: June 25, 1993
Birthplace: Kansas City, Mo.
Residence: Alpharetta, Ga.
Height: 5’ 1½”
Weight: 93 lbs.
Plays: Right-handed; two-handed backhand

Whitney Kay of Alpharetta, Ga., gave an inspiring performance at the girls’ 12 USTA National Spring Championships. The 12-year-old right-hander earned the first two gold balls of her career by sweeping the singles and doubles titles at the event, held April 9-15 in Delray Beach, Fla.

Kay was a dominating force in the singles draw. Seeded third, she dropped only 13 games total in her first six matches combined and then went on to defeat Blair Shankle, 6-3, 6-3, for the title. In doubles, she teamed with Chanelle Van Nguyen, and the duo notched a come-from-behind 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-3 victory over Shankle and Nicole Flower to claim the championship.

Currently ranked fourth in the country in the girls’ 12s, Kay’s other career highlights to date include reaching the doubles semifinals and singles quarterfinals at the girls' 12 USTA National Winter Championships, as well as the doubles semifinals at the girls' 12 USTA National Hard Court Championships.

She also posted excellent results at several USTA National Open Championships last year, winning the singles title and reaching the doubles final in Augusta, Ga., in November, winning the doubles title and advancing to the singles semifinals in Omaha, Neb., in July, and finishing runner-up in doubles and reaching the singles semifinals in Peachtree City, Ga., in May.

Now in sixth grade, Whitney practices tennis approximately two hours a day, six days per week, and frequently hits with her twin brother Casey, who is a talented player in his own right. Casey also performed well at the Spring Nationals, reaching the doubles final with partner Gordon Watson in the boys’ 12 division. He is currently listed at 49th in the USTA boys’ 12s rankings.

– Sally Milano, USTA.com


RANKING HISTORY
2006 – 4* (USTA 12s)
2005 – 8* (USTA 12s)
* Denotes highest ranking achieved during the year

2006 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Swept the singles and doubles titles (with Chanelle Van Nguyen) at the girls’ 12 USTA National Spring Championships.
  • Posted significant wins over two top-five players -- Lauren Herring in the final of the 14s Southern Section Designated "Bullfrog" in Macon, Ga., and Grace Min at the 14s Southern Section Designated Bullfrog in Marietta, Ga.
  • Finished in fifth place at the National 14s Maureen Connolly Brinker Cup in Dallas.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2005

  • Finished the year ranked No. 1 in the nine-state Southern Section and No. 1 in Georgia in both singles and doubles.
  • Was a doubles semifinalist (with Gabrielle DeSimone) and won the singles gold draw/fifth place at the girls’ 12 USTA National Winter Championships.
  • Won the singles title and reached the doubles final (with Allie Robbins) at the girls’ 12 USTA National Open Championships held in November in Augusta, Ga.
  • Won the doubles title (with Caitlyn Williams) and reached the singles semifinals at the girls’ 12 Kentucky Derby Junior.
  • Advanced to the doubles semifinals (with Katherine White) at the girls’ 12 USTA National Hard Court Championships.
  • Won the doubles title (with Hailee Gopinath) and reached the singles semifinals at the girls’ 12 USTA National Open Championships held in July in Omaha, Neb.
  • Won the doubles title (with Katherine White) and reached the singles quarterfinals at the girls’ 12 Southern Open.
  • Finished runner-up in doubles (with Grace Min) and advanced to the singles semifinals at the girls’ 12 USTA National Open Championships held in May in Peachtree City, Ga.
  • Was a doubles quarterfinalist (with Hailee Gopinath) at the girls’ 12 USTA National Spring Championships.
  • Won the singles title at the Southern Closed.

2004

  • Finished runner-up in doubles (with Jade Frampton) at the girls’ 12 USTA National Open Championships held in July in Beaverton, Ore.

PERSONAL

  • Father, Fred, is a real estate consultant. Mother, Jeanne. Twin brother, Casey, is currently ranked 49th in the USTA boys’ 12s. Younger brother, Michael, 10, is also a nationally ranked junior.
  • Began playing tennis at age 6 and competing in tournaments at age 9.
  • Practices approximately two hours a day, six days a week.
  • Is coached by Cannon Campbell and her dad.
  • Moved to Georgia from Kansas City, Mo., eight years ago.
  • Is currently in sixth grade.
  • Enjoys playing flashlight tag with her brothers and friends.
  • Favorite colors are yellow and pink.
  • Has two dogs and two hamsters.
  • Favorite players are Roger Federer, Martina Hingis and Marcos Baghdatis.
 

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