CARLSBAD, Calif. — Carlsbad resident Katie Codd beat nearly 130 competitors from across the country to win the USTA National Championship.
“I was just trying to forget where I was in the tournament so that I didn’t have any pressure, but in the end I think I kind of felt it a little. But it was pretty exciting, actually,” Codd said.
Tha’s how winning a USTA National Championship should feel. The 15-year-old won the Girls’ 16 title in Orlando, the biggest tournament win of her young career.
“I had been working on several different things with my game and it was just really exciting to see them all come together for that win,” Codd said.
“She just knows how to fight, compete on the court,” said Marc Picker, Codd’s tennis coach. “There’s never a day where we have a bad practice. She works extremely hard and I never really emphasize results when we’re training. It’s more just the process of developing, getting better each day. The results have really just taken care of themselves.”
The tournament took the top 128 players in the country. Codd ranks 25th.
The soft-spoken teen won the title on clay court, a vast difference from her normal hard court surface.
“When you put someone that’s use to hard courts on clay court, it slows the ball down. The balance has to be better,” Picker said. “The spins take more effect on clay, so you have to be more patient, structure points better.”
A sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy, Codd won the San Diego section title as a freshman but decided to step away this season to focus on individual work.
She says she hopes to someday play tennis at UCLA or Stanford. Until then, it’s one tournament at a time.
“I think in her mind and in my mind it’s a great win and we’ll build on it. And now we look ahead,” Picker said. “Try to make that next jump.”