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Championship Week
Wiersholm Validates Clay Title by Winning 12s Nats
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It's been quite a summer for Kirkland, Wash., resident, Katja Wiersholm. Three weeks after winning her first gold ball at the USTA Girl's 12s National Clay Court Championships in Boca Raton, the rising seventh grader added a second gold ball to her collection at the Lake Windward Club in Alpharetta, Ga. by winning the USTA Girl's 12s National Championships. Wiersholm edged Vivian Ovrootsky of San Jose, Calif., 6-3, 6-3, in a match that lasted just over 75 minutes. Wiersholm said this win in particular made her summer.

Singles finalists Vivian Ovrootsky (left) and Katja Wiersholm
courtesy, Rick Limpert
"It's been a great summer," smiled Wiersholm after the match. "When I came home from Clay Courts, I was working with my brother, Henrik, for a week. He decided to change my serve. I changed the motion, and I think it got a lot better. I had a higher percentage of first serve (this week) after I had a problem with double faults at Clay Courts."

Katja's bother, Henrik, plays on the University of Virginia men's team and clinched the Cavaliers' victory over Oklahoma in the NCAA Championship Final by coming back from down 5-2 in the second set.

There was no comeback needed from Henrik's younger sister as Wiersholm didn't waste a moment in setting the tone for the match. In the first game, the lefthander attacked three of Ovrootsky's second serves to earn the early break.

"Her second serve isn't as strong as her first serve; so I wanted to dictate right from the beginning," added Wiersholm.

The resident of the Pacific Northwest also was dominant with her new serve, mixing speeds and spins to race out to a 5-1 lead in the opener. Ovrootsky then broke and held to put some pressure on Wiersholm, but pressure situations are what the new champ enjoys.

Ovrootsky showed life to start the second set with a break of Wiersholm and the emergence of her inside-out forehand. They traded service breaks until Wiersholm held to go up 4-3 and force Ovrootsky to once again change tactics. Soft and high arching groundstrokes caught Wiersholm off guard for a game. In the end, it would take more than looping shots that landed at midcourt to frustrate Wiersholm.

"I knew I had to be patient and stick to my plan, no matter when she was changing hers," stated the lefty, who consistently passed the powerful Ovrootsky early in the match.

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Page updated on Monday, March 11, 2019
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