WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND — Emma Navarro won her second-round singles match at Junior Wimbledon on Tuesday, but it didn't come easy for the No. 1-seeded teenager from Charleston.
Selena Janicijevic of France did her part to keep the more than 500 spectators on the edge of their seats during the two-hour, 26-minute match.
An 'absolute battle' is how Navarro's coach, Peter Ayers, described it.
Navarro survived by the thinnest of margins, a pair of errors by the 16-year-old Janicijevic allowing her to escape with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.
"I am super happy with how today went and I'm looking forward to playing again tomorrow," Navarro said.
"The third set was tough. Momentum was kind of in my favor throughout, but she stayed in the match until the end. I was able to serve out a tough game to close out the match."
With the players pushing each other to come up with unthinkable shots down the stretch, the enthusiastic crowd grew louder, repeatedly yelling "Emma."
And this was in country only a short distance across the English Channel from Janicijevic's homeland of France, far from Navarro's home court at LTP Mount Pleasant.
Navarro's round of 16 match will be against 15-year-old Katrina Scott of Woodland Hills, Calif., who has beaten eighth seed Adrienn Nagy. Scott is coached by Marc Lucero, who also coaches Charleston's Shelby Rogers.
Navarro will play Scott at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Later she will team with doubles partner Chloe Beck for their first-round doubles matchup against Pia Lovric of Slovenia and Mai Napatt Nirundorn of Thailand.
"Neither of us were playing our best tennis in the first set, but starting at the beginning of the second we both raised our level. I think my serve was a big factor in winning the second set," said Navarro, who recently won a doubles championship and was the singles runner-up at the Junior French Open.
"I lost the first set after being up 4-1 which is never easy to come back from but I thought I stayed mentally strong which allowed me to come back in the second set."
"Emma's opponent was really good," Ayers said of Janicijevic, who was awarded a wild card into the main draw of the French Open. "I thought it was a beautiful match, not perfect but beautiful. Tons of shot making, variety, power."
Navarro hit 38 winners to 37 for Janicijevic. Navarro also had the edge in unforced errors, 23 to 35.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com.