JUNIOR SPOTLIGHT: Katrina Scott
There was a familiar Southern California junior player missing from the top finishers at the recently concluded USTA Winternationals Championships. But Katrina Scott had a perfectly good reason for skipping a national tournament.
While the nation’s best were competing for gold, silver and bronze ball trophies, Scott was finishing up training in Southern California before jetting off to Paris, France, on Jan. 6 for the playing of one of the world’s top junior events, the 14-and-Under Les Petit As.
The 13-year-old Woodland Hills resident Scott won a United States playoff back in November to earn a spot at the prestigious tournament.
A former middle school student at A.C. Stelle in Calabasas, Scott said he game has rapidly increased since she has begun home-schooling this fall. “Since I travel a lot I was never in school,” Scott said. “So this was just a better option for me.”
Scott spent the end of November and first of December in Florida and turned heads when she won the girls’ 16s at the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
In her semifinal match, Scott found herself down 6-0, 4-0 before storming back for the win against Kylie Collins, a 15-year-old from South Carolina. She earned the championship with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 win. She advanced to the quarterfinals of the 16s at the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships in Plantation, Fla., one year after making the finals there in the 12s.
“I never stop fighting and when I find myself down, I just find another gear. I refuse to lose,” she said.
Scott won her first ITF, a Grade 4 junior event in Corpus Christi in October, beating highly-ranked junior Hailey Baptiste in three sets in the final.
Les Petit As will not be Scott’s first trip to Paris. She spent a week outside of Paris in a tryout for the Patrick Mouratoglou Tennis Academy. “It was so pretty there, flying over Nice and seeing all the sights,” Scott said. “And all the workouts and seeing how they train over there was amazing.”
Scott is coached by former USC player and touring pro Gary Sacks, and takes lessons from David Abelson at Braemar Country Club. A former competitive figure skater for five years, Scott’s first coach was Steve McAvoy of Top Seed Academy. “I went to the park with a friend and played for the first time and just fell in love with it,” Scott said.
Scott is not shy when explaining her goals for 2018, and beyond.
“For 2018 I want to play the US Open, and win it,” she said. “As far as future goals I want to be a pro player and No. 1 in the world.”
— Steve Pratt