Emma Navarro's world seems almost perfect.

Navarro, an Ashley Hall junior who made her WTA Tour debut Tuesday night with a 7-5, 6-4 loss to German veteran Laura Siegemund at the Volvo Car Open, loves tennis.

Her dad, Charleston businessman Ben Navarro, owns the top two tennis facilities and events in the area, one of them the ongoing Volvo Car Open at Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island.

Her coach, Peter Ayers, played tennis for Duke University. She plans to play there as well. Even her doubles partner, Chloe Beck, is committed to Duke.

The 17-year-old Navarro must have had chill bumps as she walked out on stadium court to the cheers of the local tennis community, if not from the cold weather, then from the setting and atmosphere. Friends and classmates from Ashley Hall carried signs of support, and made every Navarro winner sound like match point.

She gave the small crowd that braved the low temperatures its money's worth. She even had a set point in the first set only to see the gritty Siegemund rally from 5-3 down to take the set, and then jump out to a 3-0 lead in the second set.

"I'm obviously disappointed that I lost, but I'm super happy with how I played, and it was definitely a good intro to the pro tour and a good pro debut," Navarro said.

There is one thing about Navarro you can count on. She won't give up until the final ball is played.

Siegemund did the most damage with delicate drop shots. She delivered eight drop shot winners in the first set that probably decided the match.

"I was ready for it (drop shot), and she definitely caught me a couple of times," Navarro said.

Navarro's game looked a little like former Family Circle champion Jennifer Capriati's, with deep penetrating ground strokes. But Navarro gave Siegemund, a 31-year-old who made it to the semifinals here in 2017, just enough short ball opportunities to deliver winning drop shots on key points.

"The atmosphere was amazing. Everyone, a bunch of my school friends came out, tennis friends, and everyone was so supportive," Navarro said. "And it was better than I could have ever imagined out there."

Navarro and her partner, Chloe Beck, will get ready to play a doubles match late Wednesday afternoon on court 3 against former French Open singles champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and Darija Jurak of Croatia.

Navarro is the No. 1 girls 18 player in this country, and just returned home from winning national singles and doubles titles at the prestigious Easter Bowl Championships in California. This was nothing new to Navarro, who won last summer's national girls 18 clay courts in singles and teamed with Beck to also take the doubles crown at her dad's LTP Tennis in Mount Pleasant, thus earning a wild card into the VCO.

Navarro, now the world's 15th-ranked junior girl tennis player, is definitely on the rise, headed for the Junior French Open and Junior Wimbledon later this year.

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. See his latest columns on Wimbledon and the U.S. Open at ubitennis.net/blog/author/james-beck.

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