emma

Emma Navarro follows through on forehand during round of 16 victory on Wednesday at Junior Wimbledon.

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND -- Amazing isn't really sufficient to describe Emma Navarro's comeback on Wednesday to advance to the singles quarterfinals of Junior Wimbledon.

Highly touted superstar of the future, 15-year-old Katrina Scott of Woodland Hills, Calif., waltzed through a love first set over Navarro while looking like a pro. But Navarro adjusted her hair band and came out for round 2.

The score line doesn't do the 76-minute match justice. Navarro didn't just pull out a victory, she played like a veteran pro in overwhelming the tall and talented Scott the last two sets for a 0-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory.

"The first set was tough. I think it was a combination of me being a little slow at the start and her playing really well," Navarro said.

"After the first set I just decided I was going to stay tough until the end. The next two sets I played really well and kind of figured out how to play her."

Grass anyone? Ben Navarro, the owner of LTP Mount Pleasant and the Volvo Car Open, may be ready to install some grass courts at his facilities after the way his 18-year-old daughter has taken to the famed grass of Wimbledon.

The top-seeded Navarro, the singles runner-up and a doubles champion at the last Junior Grand Slam event at the Junior French Open, will take on No. 6 seed Natsumi Kawaguchi of Japan in Thursday's singles quarterfinals. The match is scheduled for the second position on court 3 where play will begin at 11 a.m.

Navarro and Chloe Beck, the No. 7 seeds who are aiming for a second straight Junior Grand Slam doubles title, advanced to the second round with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over Pia Lovric of Slovenia and Mai Napatt Nirundorn of Thailand.

"It was a good day for Emma today," said Peter Ayers, Navarro's coach.

"Tennis tests a player in so many ways. Emma's opponent (Scott) played a spectacular first set. Emma's composure and problem solving were both exceptional . . . absolutely the key to turning the match around."

With another packed crowd watching, Navarro hit her young opponent off the court the last two sets with powerful forehands and intriguing slice backhands that Scott appeared to be unprepared to handle.

Navarro even turned the drop shot tables on Scott with her own drop shot attack as well as gobbled up Scott's drop shots that had been so deadly in the first set. Navarro repeatedly charged the net not only with aggression, but with proficiency for pinpoint volleys.

In short, Navarro dictated play the last two sets as she rallied from a set down for the second straight day.

The key probably was the first two games of the second set as Navarro came back from double break point in the first game and then survived two more deuce points to get on the scoreboard for the first time. She fought off double game point in the second game to go up 2-0.

Scott, who just turned 15, was a different player after that, repeatedly committing unforced errors as she recognized that Navarro might actually turn the match around.

The fifth game of the second set was another critical game that Navarro won to go up 5-1 with a net-hugging backhand down the line that Scott could only watch.

In the third set, Navarro jumped out to a 2-0 lead and cruised after that, although she had to save a break point to move to 3-1.

Navarro committed 27 unforced errors to only 18 for Scott, who made only four unforced errors in the runaway first set when she also won 11 of 13 first-serve points.

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com

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