Navarro captures national title

Navarro

Emma Navarro has been almost as busy as her father’s LTP Tennis and Swim Club the last few weeks.

Of course, Ben Navarro’s LTP Tennis and Swim Club is in recovery mode from serving as the host last week of the first USTA junior national championship played in South Carolina. But 15-year-old Emma actually has brought home a national championship trophy.

Navarro teamed with 14-year-old Chloe Beck of Watkinsville, Ga., on Saturday to cap off a sparkling year of doubles together with a national girls 16 clay court doubles title in Virginia Beach, Va.

The Navarro/Beck team lived up to its No. 2 national seeding and more by not dropping a set in the tournament and practically breezing to the national title with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Alexa Noel of Summit, N.J., and Payton Stearns of Mason, Ohio.

“We played really well, especially in the final,” said Navarro, who lost in the third round of singles in Virginia Beach. “The only close match was in the quarterfinals when we were down 4-5, 30-40. We came back and won 7-5, and won the next set 6-1. That and the first round were probably our toughest matches.

“In the final, I served for the national championship at 5-1, 40-15 . . . and we took a lot of pictures,” Navarro said Saturday night before heading off to Italy for a family vacation.

But it will be back to work on the court very soon as Navarro and Beck head to San Diego, to compete in the USTA National Hard Court Championships in two weeks.

It’s been a big year for the Navarro/Beck team that won the first tournament they teamed up in, last year’s Sweet Sixteen in Delray Beach, Fla., and followed up with the prestigious Eddie Herr tournament doubles crown, both in 14-and-under. When they moved up to 16-and-under doubles, they continued to win with the Easter Bowl title in Indian Wells, Calif., in April.

“Emma has a good serve and that sets me up for my volleys. We play with each other a lot, so we know how to play with each other,” Beck said. “We don’t use signals a lot, but before Emma serves we usually discuss where she is going to serve to. Emma doesn’t miss a lot of ground strokes, so I can poach and go when she hits a really deep ball.”

Beck trains with her parents at their tennis academy in Bogart, Ga., but prior to embarking on trips to major events she usually comes to Charleston to train with Navarro for a few days at LTP Tennis.

Navarro, who plans to attend Ashley Hall School as a freshman this fall, thinks much of the doubles team’s success is because, “We just try to keep our energy up and stay positive.”

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. See his latest columns on Wimbledon and Grand Slam Tennis at ubitennis.net/blog/author/james-beck