Riviera Resort Racquet Club.
Yelsey also teamed with Riza Zalameda from Los Angeles to win the
tournament's 18s doubles title Friday.
"This is the biggest tournament I've ever won," Yelsey said by
phone while returning from Palm Springs Saturday. "I've won a couple
national opens, but there are only four junior supernationals and,
I'd say, the Easter Bowl, ranks in the top two."
Yelsey cited conditioning, a big emphasis since her high school
season ended, as a big factor in her success this week.
"It took me about three months to get better after I hurt my knee
in August," she said. "I've been working on my fitness and trying to
stay healthy. I just feel a lot better and I am a lot stronger.
"At the beginning of , I decided I was going to spend the
rest of the year getting ready for [college]. I'm going to a great
school and a great tennis program and I wanted to give myself the
best chance of being able to play there. My goal is improve and earn
my spot. I think this shows me I'm on my way."
In singles, Yelsey was the No. 9 seed. She opened with a 6-1, 6-2
triumph over Monica Wiesener from Calabasas, then advanced to the
quarterfinals with a 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 17-seeded Melissa Mang of
Metairie, La. in the Round of 16.
She fought off No. 5-seeded Jessica Nguyen from Chatsworth, 7-5,
7-5, in the quarterfinals, then rallied past No. 14-seeded Vania King
from Long Beach, 0-6, 6-3, 6-1, in Friday's semifinal.
"I wasn't playing badly, but I was playing her game," Yelsey said
of her match against King. "I finally started mixing it up, slicing
the ball and hitting hard topspin. That was my plan going in, it just
took me the first set to get into it."
Gambale, from Billerica, Mass., was the No. 4 seed. Gambale had
knocked off top-seeded Alexandra Podkolzina, 6-1, 6-1, in the
It was the not only the supernationals singles title for Yelsey,
but the first time she had advanced to the Round of 16.
The road to the doubles title was slightly smoother for Yelsey and
her partner, with whom she has now won four national titles.
Yelsey-Zalameda, the No. 1 seed, defeated Christina and Janet Kim
from Palisades Park, N.J., 6-0, 6-2 in the first round, then topped
Caitlin Collins (Lawrence, Kan.) and Jenna Long (Fremont), 6-2, 6-0,
in the Round of 16.
In the quarterfinal, Yelsey-Zalameda earned a 7-5, 6-2 win over
unseeded Celia Darkin and Erica Sauer from Somis, Calif., then
advanced to the title match with a 6-4, 7-5 semifinal win over
Sabrina Capannolo (Las Vegas) and Sylvia Kosakowski (Downey).
"Winning the doubles [title] Friday was a big confidence boost,"
said Yelsey, who was gratified by some strong crowd support in her
singles final Saturday. "A lot of people were on my side [Saturday],
which really helped. "
Yelsey, the Pacific Coast League singles champion in 2000, was the
PCL singles runner-up in 2001 and teamed with freshman sister Rachel
to finish second in doubles in the PCL last fall.