CHARLESTON, SC, USA - She had just bagged one of the biggest wins of her career, but you wouldn't be able to tell it from Lauren Davis' match point celebration. The 66th-ranked American was subdued, only a fist pump and slight smile giving her away. With the Charleston crowd firmly behind her, she had just upset the top-seeded Eugenie Bouchard, winning 6-3, 6-1.
"I was pretty calm and relaxed about it," Davis later said of her win. "I was really happy inside. I just didn't show it as much."
Davis' levelheaded take on victory is a mature sign for the 21-year-old WTA Rising Star. Her calm approach to the game has stuck with her since she first picked up a racquet.
The Ohio native started playing tennis at nine years old and quickly caught the eye of local tennis instructors. By 16, already she knew that she wanted to become a Top 10 player and left her high school and hometown behind to travel 1200 miles from Gates Mills, a Cleveland suburb, to Boca Raton, Florida to train and improve at the Evert Tennis Academy.
She's been steadily bettering her results each year, reaching the Top 100 in 2012 and ending 2014 ranked No.57. She beat her first Top 10 player in 2014 when she upset Victoria Azarenka, then World No.4, in Indian Wells. This year she's shined in Auckland where she achieved her best result at a WTA tournament by making the semifinals before losing to Venus Williams.
Although she's just pulled off a major win and gone as far as the Family Circle Cup quarterfinals, Davis is not one to be satisfied. She's constantly searching for ways to bring her game to the next level.
"I've been working on my serve a lot," she said. "I've been working on taking the ball earlier, taking time away from my opponent."
She's only 5'2" and works hard to ensure that her diminutive stature is not a hindrance to her game. In fact, she uses it to her advantage, letting her speed and court coverage dictate her style of play. Davis believes in continuously improving her game, seeing her achievements as a part of a larger progress.
"Girls who are six feet don't have things that I have. And me being 5-foot-2, I don't have some assets that they do have, but I think they equal each other out."