By Kevin O’Rourke
Germantown resident Ines Vias is competing in the United States Tennis Association’s National Championships in San Diego.
On Sunday Vias, who just turned 17, competed in the first round of the tournament against the top seeded Louisa Chirico, who won the match in two sets, 6-2 and 6-3. Chirico is currently ranked number 223 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association.
Yesterday, Vias took on Kenadi Hance of Torrance, Calif., in a first-round consolation singles match. Vias was defeated 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 in yesterday’s action.
"I think it was a good experience,” said Vias after the yesterday’s match. “It helped me improve my game and what I have to work on. Everyone is a great player here. It's tough to get into this tournament. Even the people that have to qualify are great players.”
Vias still has hopes of bringing home a victory from San Diego, as she and her doubles partner Emerald Able, of Memphis, Tenn., have advanced through the first two-rounds of the 18s doubles tournament.
Vias, who attends The Bullis School is one of nearly 400 girls aged 16 and 18 who are competing for the title of National Champion in the premier hard court tennis tournament for amateur and professional American girls. Winners also earn a wild card entry into the singles main draw of the US Open Women’s Championships or a wild card into the US Open Junior Championships. The 18s Doubles Champions will also receive a wild card into the US Open Women’s Doubles main draw.
"It's my third year here,” said Vias. “It's my favorite tournament. The weather is nice and it's a nice facility.”
The competition at the Nationals is far superior to that of any of the other national-caliber championships held during the year, according to the USTA. It is often a graduating senior’s last opportunity to compete in the juniors or even win a national championship. The Nationals often pit the top U.S. players against each other for the first time during the year, as international and professional play does not give them this opportunity.
Caption: Ines Vias of Germantown is competing in the USTA National Championships.
Photo Credit: J. Fred Sidhu