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McCarthy Hangs Tough For First Grand Slam Victory

September 1, 2013 10:39 PM
Kaitlyn McCarthy is all smiles after first US Open juniors win.
By Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern
 
Right after her first win in a major tournament, Kaitlyn McCarthy talked about as fast as her cross-court forehand.
 
Asked to describe her two-hour, 56-minute defeat of Fiona Ferro, she described the numerous ups and downs of her 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory.
 
"There were long grinding points. We were moving each other around, back and forth in the first set. But I lost that one 7-5," McCarthy said.
 
"In the (second set) tiebreak, I was up early. It was 4-1 and I was ahead. I pushed hard on those points. Then, she came back to 6-4. And (Ferro) won five straight points. I had to fight off two match points before I won it 8-6."
 
Then she began recounting the third set and the change of momentum that made her go out in a breeze.
 
"She was obviously tired. I mean, I was tired, too. It was just that she was more tired. I ran her around," said the 15-year-old from Cary, N.C. "She picked up her game at the end and won one more game. But I felt like I was in control."
 
Explaining how she dominated the final set, McCarthy said, "When you see someone who’s tired, then your energy level goes up."
 
McCarthy’s appearance follows a strong year with three notable wins: Girls’ 18s USTA National Spring Championship in Mobile, Ala., in March; the USTA National Open in Aston, Pa., in July and the ITF U18 Canadian World Ranking Event in Montreal.
 
Yet, those accomplishments didn’t prepare her for the crowds and excitement of playing on Court 7 of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
 
"I love it!" McCarthy said about playing in front of masses of US Open fans. "I haven’t played in front of crowds before like that."
Her plan to celebrate her victory didn’t include a large meal or treat. "I'm going to take a nap and sleep a lot," the North Carolinian said.
 
She definitely understands the importance of her team. Besides texting all her friends via social media, she asked for a shout-out to her coach, Jake Lester. He is the head coach at the Cary Tennis Park and has been with her every step of her career.
Next up for McCarthy is the No. 2 seed, Ana Konjuh of Serbia. "I know she’s really good," McCarthy said, though she didn’t know much about her game. For that, the youngster from Cary will have to wait until the second round.
 

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