San Diego, Calif. - Just over a week before she reaches campus, incoming freshman Kelly Chen has a chance to win some hardware to bring with her. Chen will play in the USTA Girls’ 18 National Championships today at 4:00 pm with the match broadcast on the Tennis Channel.
Seeded 33th in the original tournament draw, Chen has already won seven matches to become one of two finalists out of the 256 players that entered the tournament. Chen did not drop a single set during her first five matches, knocking off the seventh, eleventh, and seventeenth ranked players in that span.
The quarterfinal round was the first time that Chen was forced into a decisive third set. After splitting the first two sets with tenth seeded Ann Li, Chen trailed 4-0 in the final set. Chen was able to rally by winning five straight games to regain the lead. After exchanging service breaks at 5-5, the match was decided in a third-set tie-breaker as Chen swept the tiebreak to move into the semifinals.
There she met twelfth seeded Caty McNally. Chen opened the match with a 6-2 set victory, but McNally answered with a 6-3 win of her own in the second set to force a third and final set. Chen kept her composure and took the final set by the score of 6-3 to advance to the final.
Chen will meet third seeded Ashley Kratzer in Sunday’s championship match. The match will start at 4:00pm EST and will be broadcast on the Tennis Channel as well as streaming on the USTA’s website. One of the announcers on the Tennis Channel’s broadcast will be former Duke women’s tennis player Christen Bartelt. Bartelt graduated from Duke with a B.A. in economics in 1990.