2011 Easter Bowl Blog: Taylor Townsend

April 12, 2011 08:01 AM
Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Ga., is considered one of the nation’s top girls’ 14-year-old players. Townsend is playing up in the girls’ 18s ITF singles at this year’s Easter Bowl, which began on Sunday. Last year in her first Easter Bowl, Townsend took home the bronze ball for her third-place showing in singles and the gold in doubles, teaming with Gabby Andrews. On Monday, Townsend beat Makenzie Craft of Frisco, Texas, 7-5, 6-1, in her first-round match. Townsend reflected back on her Monday at the Easter Bowl.

Today was a great way to start off the 2011 Easter Bowl. I am so happy to be back here and am enjoying another great experience in Rancho Mirage. I love coming to California and being forced to put my phone on the top of my head and walking around aimlessly in hopes of getting service.

We can’t forget about playing some great matches and participating in one of the best American tournaments of the year. The biggest battle for me was getting used to the conditions and weather. Coming from Carson near Los Angeles, where I played last week, the air is a lot thinner and drier here, so my balls were flying, and some shots that I usually make were soaring a little bit... a bit as into the fence! Thankfully, I got my rhythm after the first three games, and I minimized those fencing shots by a large amount! I am glad that I was able to get through my first-round match and overcome the immense obstacle of nerves. 

Being back here brought some good memories to me. I remember last year coming to the Easter Bowl for the first time and placing third in the girls 14s and winning the doubles with my amazing partner Gabby Andrews. 

This year, we are continuing our new style from the International Spring Championships at Carson with multi-colored war paint under our eyes. That is just a small distinguishing characteristic among the many talented individuals here at this tournament. To me, this tournament not only provides great opportunities for juniors, it is also a place that friends can get together and enjoy quality time with each other.

I get to be here with Brooke Austin and share our jokes about walruses and inspirational pep talks that we had in the past, while sticking with my girls Mia King, Samantha Crawford, Caroline Doyle and the one and only coach, Kathy Rinaldi. Last year was great, but I think that this year is going to be better. There is nothing like having a birthday and turning 15 on a Friday in Rancho Mirage. What more can I ask for? Until then, I will be sticking around and soaking up this wonderful, yet gruesome desert sun.