Junior Spotlight – Winta Woldeab
Winta Woldeab met a familiar foe in Irvine’s Anne Lutkemeyer in the girls’ 16s final of last month’s ITF Spring International Championships in Carson.
La Mesa’s Woldeab had previously faced Irvine’s Lutkemeyer three times before they once again tangled in the prestigious Grade 1 event.
“She’s a hard, flat hitter so I knew I had to stayed focused for the entire match,” Woldeab said, adding that the Carson title immediately put her on the map as one of Southern California’s top 16-and-under players.
“I think it’s given me a little more confidence since winning Carson,” she said. “I was proud to get that title.”
If you are familiar with the surname of name Woldeab, it’s because Winta’s older brother Siem has been among SoCal’s top juniors for the past several years and is a former SCTA Junior Sectionals winner.
Siem is set to play for the University of Texas in the fall, joining fellow SoCal player Jacob Bullard as a future Longhorn.
The Woldeabs parents came to the United States from Eritrea (East Africa) in the mid-1980s. The 15-year-old Winta, like her brother Siem, is a Helix High student who is finishing up her sophomore year.
Her summer plans include moving up to the 18s to play SCTA Junior Sectionals, as well as other junior and ITA and ITF events.
A week before her run to the Carson ISC title, Winta fell in the second at the Adidas Easter Bowl to eventual finalist DJ Bennett.
She began playing tennis at the age of 5, and currently takes tennis lessons from Bob Simmons at Peninsula Tennis Club and attends the Barnes Tennis Center for clinics.