HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – One week ago, the top 224 girls tennis players 16 and under arrived in Huntsville for the 2022 USTA U16 Girls National Clay Court Championships. Sunday, only a few remained as we crowned this year’s champions.
In the singles championship, Natasha Rajaram from California took on Katie Spencer from Florida. Rajaram found her footing early and won in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 to take home the national title.
Following a tennis tradition, all finalists received a gold or silver ball. The 15-year-old said she has a few silver and bronze balls from doubles, but this gold ball in singles is the one she really wanted.
“It’s very gratifying because I think I persevered through some pretty grueling times this week. I think this one is especially important because obviously it was through singles and won through so many other players like a draw of over 200,” Rajaram said.
And in doubles, Kayla Chung and Alanis Hamilton had a battle on their hands in the final but continued to fight to win in three sets 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 and take home the doubles national title.
The pair has only been playing together for six months but felt confident from day one that they could make a run this week.
“I think from the start of our first set we had a lot of energy and we knew we wanted the gold really badly so to pull it out was really nice,” Chung said.
“I think just starting in the warmup we had a lot more energy and we were really motivated to do well in this match,” Hamilton added.