Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

Around the world experience

July 6, 2006

Baldwin City native Chloe Jones lived out a tennis dream on June 30, playing on the lush green grass courts of Wimbledon.

The young 16-year-old fell 6-2, 6-4 to Andrea Berkova of the Czech Republic in the first round of qualifying at the Wimbledon girls' junior championships.

"She had a leg injury before the match and hadn't played much leading up to that match," Jones' coach Rex Haultain said. "But of course it was a great experience just to be there."

Jones was at Wimbledon as part of a select, three-person United States Tennis Association girls junior travel squad. The team included Chelsey Gullickson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Madison Brengle (Dover, Del.), and was led by USTA National coach Wade McGuire.

The group also traveled to the Lawn Tennis Association International Championships in nearby Roehampton, England, the week prior.

There Jones fell 7-5, 6-1 to Alexanda Dulgheru of Poland, the No. 11-ranked junior in the world, and ninth seed in the first round of the Grade-1 world level event.

Jones was also recently named as a practice/hitting partner for the United States Federation Cup Team. The United States team will play its semifinal match against Belgium at the Sea'rena in Ostend, Belgium, July 15-16. Belgium's top two players are Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters. In early May, Jones was named a member of the United States Junior Fed Cup team that traveled to Merida, Mexico, to play in the North/Central American and Caribbean Regional Championships, a qualifying event for the Junior Federation Cup.

This regional qualifying event featured the very best 16-and-under junior players representing their countries in team competition from all over the world. The United States Junior Federation Cup team competed against Canada, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago, winning every match in singles and doubles.

Jones went 3-0 at that event and helped the United States qualify for the Junior Federation Cup BNP Paribas Finals, which will be played Sept. 26 - Oct. 1 in Barcelona, Spain.

Jones also traveled to China a few months ago for her first international trip.

"She has gone from never leaving the country to becoming quite a world traveler," Haultain said. "It's quite a story for a little girl from Baldwin City."

Jones will return to the United States after her Belgium trip to play summer tournaments, including the USTA National Championships later this year.

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