It’s a Wonderful Life for Beatrice Capra

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Now that Melanie Oudin is out of the US Open, we reporter types always need a new Cinderella story to report.

Enter Beatrice Capra.

If you haven’t heard of her, don’t sweat it as she’s ranked 317 in the world. But with her first Top 20 win against the 18th seed Aravane Rezai, 7-5 2-6 6-3, has put the 18 year-old right in Oudin territory.

And that suits the Maryland native just alright.

“I really look up to Melanie,” said Capra, who is playing in her first US Open.  “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.

“You know, 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 Maria Sharapova.”

Although she may be seeking Sharapova’s advice, that may have to wait, because Capra may play the 14th seed Russian pending the results against Iveta Benesova laster tonight.

And that’s alright because right now, Capra is the talk on the Open. She was born to an Italian family and her father emigrated to America. “He’s from Monza,” Capra said, “and he came over to start his business, which it’s called the Tenax Corporation.  It’s an Italian company, so he started it in America.  While he was there in Maryland, my mom taught tennis lessons.  He wanted to take tennis lessons, so they met up and here I am.”

Her last answer got a round of laughs from the press conference and much like Oudin this young lady is very engaging as she moves up the ranks.

She trains at Chris Everett’s Tennis Academy and earned a wildcard into this tournament. As such, she has a tremendous confidence in the last 12 months.

“A year ago today I was actually playing the juniors here,”   I’ve been playing mostly juniors tournaments the entire year and concentrating on that.  I’ve played a couple of pro circuit events and done okay, but it’s been mostly juniors.”

“I played a couple of WTA events this year, and lost first round in the quallies in all of them.  So, I mean, this is definitely the best I’ve done so far.”

She played a very strong defensive game today, but feels she needs to be more aggressive if she’s going to move forward.

Of course all of this may end on Saturday when she faces Sharapova or Benesova, but right now she’s enjoying it.

“Well, yeah.  I mean, I always wanted to play in one of the Grand Slams,” she said.  “You know, I would be watching the Tennis Channel leading up.  It’s just like, you know, I always wanted that.

“Whenever I want something, you know, I do my best to get it.  You know, every day I would be like, I want this, I want this, and I just can’t, you know, believe that it’s happening.”

Turely, this Capra is living a Wonderful Life.

Unseeded Parrott and Gullickson Win Mixed Doubles

Entering the Open, Travis Parrott wasn’t even sure who his mixed doubles partner would be because original partner Abigail Spears opted to play with Robert Kendrick instead.

As fate had it, that turned out to be a good omen as it allowed him to text Carly Gullickson who was looking for a partner two days before the tournament. So much for needing practice as the unlikely unseeded American pair got a wildcard and rode it all the way to the mixed doubles crown capping off a great run by upsetting defending champs Cara Black and Leander Paes 6-2, 6-4.

Usually, Black and Paes are as tough as it comes. But the underdogs caught them by surprise to pull it off. Up two breaks in the second after crusing through the opening set, they dropped serve making things tight.

But both remained poised winning on Parrott’s serve when Gullickson putaway a forehand volley into an open court, screaming in joy before hugging her victorious partner.

“I was super-relaxed because I felt no pressure on the court, because it was just fun,” the exhilerated Gullickson said.

The daughter of former MLB pitcher Bill Gullickson played the early hero during their amazing run with her volleying skills besting one of doubles’ best in Max Mirnyi back in Round One, saving match point in their comeback win over Mirnyi and Nadia Petrova.

“Then, you walk into that second round, and you’re just all of a sudden, just happy to be in the tournament,” a pleased Parrott noted. “It’s a whole new mind frame.”

“If she’ll play with me,” Parrott said as Gullickson fittingly replied:

“Yeah, for sure.”

Perfect conclusion from an unlikely duo took them all the way. One neither will ever forget.