EAGLE i: Embree’s East Bowl tennis experience

Lauren Embree was upset in the singles finals, but won in doubles at the USTA 18s Easter Bowl.

Zoo Tennis

Lauren Embree was upset in the singles finals, but won in doubles at the USTA 18s Easter Bowl.

Marco’s Lauren Embree, the top seed in the USTA Girls 18 in the Easter Bowl Tournament in Palm Desert, Calif., was upset in the final match. However, she teamed with Mallory Burdette to win the doubles title. Here are all her blogs she sent during the tournament.

April 18

Mallory and I won the doubles championship, but my singles didn’t go to well.

Christina (McHale, No. 4 seed from Englewood Cliffs, N.J.) played very well. She didn’t miss a ball! (McHale won nine straight games, leading, 3-0 in the second set, before Embree got her game going). I ended up losing, 6-0, 6-3.

I had a pretty good run for my last Easter Bowl and one of my last Junior tournaments. I’m sad it is over. It seems like just yesterday I arrived in California for the tournament.

I will leave May 20 for Europe to play in the Belgium and French Opens. My ranking of 10th in the world juniors qualified me for the tournaments. I can’t wait to go to Europe. It has been a few years since I was last over there and to go over to compete should be fun.

April 17

My journey to Palm Springs is coming to an end. I played my semifinal match against another Floridian and good friend, Alex Cercone, from Seminole, Fla. We have had some grueling matches in the past so coming into it I knew it was going to be a tough one. I came out strong, not making many unforced errors and trying to be on the offensive. Everything seemed to be going my way, winning the first set 6 games to 3. Second set went pretty much the same and I took the match, 6-3, 6-1. Mallory Burdette and I have doubles at 4:30. Today is the semifinals. Can’t wait to be done for the day, go to a good dinner and be ready for the finals tomorrow! I will be playing Christina McHale, another friend of mine.

April 16

The match with Ellen Tsay (Pleasanton, Calif.) was a long and very close three-set match. She was very consistent and made me work for every point. I lost the first set, 3-6 and Ellen was coming in on every ball and putting volleys away. I finally became more aggressive and took the second, 6-2. The third set was more like the second, winning 6-2. I was just more in control in the last sets.

April 15

The match with Mary Clinton (Plantation, Fla.,) went very well. I was very nervous because she is one of my close friends. It is always tough playing your friends. I won the match, 6-3, 6-2.

April 14

Since I played a little earlier, I woke up and had a good breakfast. I warmed up with a good friend of mine and then headed straight to the courts. The match with Olivia Janowicz started off very close, we were each holding serve. I finally broke at 4-4 to go up 5-4 and then eventually win 6-4. I got more confident with my shots and the second set went pretty well. I ended up winning, 6-1. I play one of the girls I’m staying with Wednesday, Mary Clayton. Mallory and I got a bye in doubles so we don’t play until Thursday. Can’t wait to grab dinner, relax, and do it all over again.

April 13

Palm Springs is windy! I played my first match at 3 today and squeaked by with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win! I played Monica Turewicz, a younger girl, but very good. She made a lot of balls in the court and I had to stay very aggressive and keep going for my shots in order to win. I was very nervous of course. First rounds are always tough! Mallory Burdette and I are the number one seeds in doubles and I play at 11:30 Tuesday against another Floridian, Olivia Janowicz.

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