BC: December 14-23, 2011
FC: 50th | Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship
1: "I just came out really strong and was really determined to play my best, and to try for every shot... I played very well."
2: By: Michael Seff Katerina Stewart, Claire Liu, and Seongchan Hong all withstood increasingly hot temperatures and persevered to become champions at the Junior Orange Bowl in Coral Gables. The most polarizing figure on display was Stewart, who also happened to be the most dominating one as well. The Miami native, seeded sixth, had a strong backing from spectators as she cruised to a surprisingly easy, 6-1, 6-3 win over top-seeded Tornado Ali Black of Boca Raton in the girls 14 & under field. “It feels great, and everyone supported me today and I'm thankful for that,” Stewart said of winning in her hometown. | Hong, Stewart Win 50th Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships
6: Miami’s Katerina Stewart defeated Boca Raton’s Tornado Ali Black to capture the 14-Under division. By Walter Villa MIAMI HERALD WRITER Top-seeded Tornado Ali Black came in with the flashy name and the splashy credentials, but she couldn’t get past the “Killer Kat.” Miami’s Katerina Stewart, seeded sixth in the girls’ 14-Under division, defeated Boca Raton’s Black, 6-1, 6-3, on Friday to win the Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship. Black, 13, who played up in age-group recently to win the prestigious Eddie Herr 16-U division, had not lost a set this week before facing Stewart. | Miami’s Katerina Stewart, South Korea’s Seongchan Hong win Junior Orange Bowl titles
8: “I was anticipating a harder match, so it was a little surprising, but I stayed in the moment and played my game, and I won.”
12: Meanwhile, Stewart, a 14-year-old who trains at Miami’s Tropical Park with her father Cesar, had never gotten past the second round of the Junior OB in two previous tries. That all changed this week, when she crushed seven opponents in seven days, all in straight sets — much to the delight of her friends, who wore “Killer Kat” T-shirts. “That’s a little embarrassing,” Stewart said of the nickname given to her by her aunt, “but that’s OK.”
13: Nobody won more than a combined total of four games this week off of Stewart, who showed an impressive array of shots against Black. Besides her heavy forehand, she also earned winners with a slice backhand, a two-hand power backhand, a topspin lob, a half-volley, an overhead smash and a drop shot. “I love to use my variety to keep opponents off balance,” said Stewart, who added that she is “one-quarter Cuban” on her grandmother’s side.
14: “It means everything,” said Stewart, the first Miami girl to win a Junior Orange Bowl 14s title since Mary Joe Fernandez in 1983. “
18: “I’ve trained for this for so many years, and I’ve finally won it.”