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Getting To Know... Beatrice Capra

After earning her wildcard place in a play-off, this 18-year-old American made the most of her run at Flushing Meadows.

Published September 04, 2010 12:00

Getting To Know... Beatrice Capra
Beatrice Capra

NEW YORK, NY, USA - Oh, what a fortnight: In the space of two weeks, 18-year-old Beatrice Capra has gone from losing in the round of 16 at the USTA Girls' 18s National Championships, to winning the USTA's play-off for a wild card into the US Open - where she has duly posted her first Tour-level wins, over Karolina Sprem and No.18 seed Aravane Rezai. The reward for the world No.371 is a third round date on Saturday with three-time Grand Slam champion and former No.1, Maria Sharapova.

We caught up with Beatrice ahead of the big match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

How do you feel about the prospect of playing Sharapova?
BC:
I'm really excited. I think to play on Arthur Ashe will be amazing and to play against one of the best players in the world is just going to be a great opportunity. I know she's just such a tough competitor. When I was younger I used to always look up to her, and so I think it will be a really good match for me to see where I am compared to that kind of level.

Are you drawing inspiration from last year's run by Melanie Oudin - who beat Sharapova in the third round?
BS:
I really look up to Melanie. I watched all of her matches last year, and I was just so happy for her. You know, it was really inspiring to me because I played her a year before, and then she was getting to the quarters of a Grand Slam. It was just unbelievable, and I was so happy for her. I think she's pushed all of the Americans to do better. I mean, for sure I talk to Melanie a lot, and I will for sure ask anything about Sharapova. 

How did you get started in tennis?
BC:
My mother was a college player for South Florida and introduced me to the sport when I was eight. Both my parents play tennis recreationally now, but my sister Pia plays field hockey.

Tell us more about your family.
BC:
My father, Giovani, is from Monza in Italy. He came over to start his business in America, which is called the Tenax Corporation. It's an Italian company, so he started it in America. While he was there in Maryland, my mom, Laurie, was giving tennis lessons. He wanted to take tennis lessons, so they met up... and here I am.

Do you speak Italian?
BC:
I go to Monza a few times a year and I understand it, but I don't speak any. I mean, I'm learning, so hopefully by the end of the year I'll be good.

Who were your tennis idols when you were growing up?
BC:
Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters.

What's your coaching situation?
BC:
I grew up in Ellicott City, Maryland and I started out at the Tennis Center of College Park, which is now a USTA National facility. Nowadays I train at the Evert Academy. I've been talking to Chris Evert on the phone, yesterday and the day before. She's really helped me a lot.

How do you describe your game?
BC:
It's an all-round game. I like to think that I'm mentally tough, and I'll always stay in the match until the end.

What sort of off-court training do you do?
BC:
As well as strength and conditioning training I do yoga.

Aside from this week, what has been your best tennis moment to date?
BC:
Winning the Italian Open juniors, and playing juniors on Louis Armstrong Stadium. But winning today over Rezai was probably one of the best moments of my life. This whole experience has been unreal, and I'm so happy that I was able to go to the player party and be a part of this.

If you could steal a shot from another player, what would it be?
BC:
Probably the 'betweener' of Roger Federer.

Favorite surface?
BC:
Clay.

How far did you go in your schooling?
BC:
I attended Laurel Springs Online School but now I'm having a year off, to see how my tennis goes. I'm always going to keep college an option - I mean, unless I win this tournament, which is a little extreme for now! I'm looking at Duke right now mostly, and just having that backup, you know. I really want to have an education, as well.

If not a tennis player…
BC:
I'd have been a journalist.

What non-tennis skill do you wish you had?
BC:
I don't sing at all, so that would be really cool. Or I'd like to be able to draw.

If you had to describe yourself in one word…
BC:
Competitive.

What do you like to do to relax?
BC:
I like to read, and hang out with friends.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
BC:
Probably President Obama.

What is your most treasured possession?
BC:
My phone. And I always carry around a diary. Before every match I'll write down my goals, or afterwards what I thought about a match. I read through it for inspiration.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only one luxury, what would you want it to be?
BC:
A bed.

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