Re: Beatrice Capra
Capra makes successful Grand Slam tournament debut
Beatrice Capra took her first chance at earning a wild card into the main draw of the 2010 US Open through the USTA Girls' 18s National Championships.
As the top-ranked American girl in the ITF world junior rankings at No. 14, Capra was certainly one of the main contenders to win the National Championships and with it, the wild card to Flushing Meadows.
However, the 18-year-old suffered a loss in the round of 16 at Nationals to Madison Keys. She was understandably disappointed and left to ponder what she was going to do next, and as an amateur, how to get ready to play in the US Open girls' draw.
Not long after, another opportunity to compete in the Open main draw suddenly surfaced.
The USTA was hosting a wild card playoff tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. in mid-August with the men's and women's winners each earning a wild card into the main draw. Was Capra interested in competing?
She was -- and it turned out to be an excellent decision. In an eight-player draw, Capra powered her way through to the final, defeating the more professionally experienced and higher-ranked Madison Brengle in a hard-fought match to earn a wild card into her first ever Grand Slam tournament main draw.
Ranked No. 371 on the WTA Tour, Capra has made the most of the opportunity. In her Grand Slam tournament debut on Day 2 of the 2010 US Open, the Maryland native played outstanding, defeating No. 94-ranked Karolina Sprem of Croatia in straight sets 6-1, 6-3.
"I played the Girls' 18s Nationals hoping to win the wild card and I lost early in that," Capra said. "I thought I was going home. I was going to take a week off and get ready for the juniors and rethink everything after that."
Having won several matches on back-to-back days in the wild card playoffs had Capra feeling great coming into the Open.
"I said 'Ok, just go in, no pressure' and I ended up winning it, it was unbelievable," Capra said of the wild card playoffs. "It definitely helped me and gave me some confidence and helped me get through [against Sprem]."
Tuesday's victory was just the latest accomplishment for the up-and-coming Capra, who trains at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton. She ended 2009 ranked No. 857 on the WTA Tour, rising almost 500 spots to where she is now after a successful season in both juniors and on the USTA Pro Circuit. In juniors this year, she reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and won the Italian Open.
On the Pro Circuit, her best finish this year is reaching the semifinals at the $25,000 event in Osprey, Fla. She holds one professional title in her career, which she won in 2009 at a $10,000 event in Williamsburg, Va.
U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez also selected Capra to travel with the U.S. team to Reggio Calabria, Italy last October for the Fed Cup Final as a practice partner and Future Fed Cupper, along with fellow American star Nicole Gibbs.
Capra next faces No. 18 seed Aravane Rezai of France in the second round, and is also competing in mixed doubles with fellow young American star Jack Sock. She has competed in the US Open girls' draw multiple times as an amateur, including reaching the quarterfinals in 2009, and her past experience at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center certainly helped her against Sprem.
"I wasn't too nervous surprisingly because I have played the juniors a couple of times so I think that helped me prepare for the main draw," she said. "I am used to the facility and I am used to the crowd. At 40-15, I was kind of freaking out, [I was thinking] just one more point. I am really happy [that I got through it]. Last year I had a really intense match that I got through; I think that definitely helped me.
"I think I kind of held back a little just because I was waiting for her to make a mistake rather than going for it myself," she added of the second set against Sprem. "I turned it around when I went up 4-2 and I knew I could do it.