Beatrice Capra, an 18-year-old from Ellicott City, Md., has signed a letter of intent to play college tennis at Duke University this fall. Capra gained national media attention last summer when she won a USTA Wild Card Playoff to gain entry into the US Open, where she upset two top-100 players en route to the third round, where she lost to former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova.
"We applaud Trice’s personal decision to go to college to play varsity tennis," said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development and a three-time singles All-American at Stanford University, who helped his team win the NCAA titles in 1986 and 1988. "We certainly support her decision and feel strongly that collegiate tennis can be part of one’s pathway to pro tennis, and the USTA is committed to supporting our top players and help them reach their maximum potential."
She joins a number of top American juniors who are choosing to play collegiate tennis next season, including Caroline Price, the daughter of former NBA All-Star Mark Price and reigning USTA Girls’ 18s National Clay Court Champion who will play at the University of North Carolina, and Mitchell Frank, a University of Virginia signee who reached a career-high No. 5 in the ITF World Junior Rankings last January.
Capra, who is currently ranked No. 224 on the WTA Tour, graduated from the Laurel Springs School in May 2010. Capra deferred her decision to attend college to spend the year improving her WTA ranking while competing as an amateur on the USTA Pro Circuit.
"I've always been attracted to Duke because of the high level tennis they have been able to produce," Capra said in a release issued today by the university. "Not only have the coaches made an impact on the entire team, but they have also helped their players' transition on the pro tour, which really inspires me. Whatever I do in life, I always strive to be the best. In my opinion, I consider Duke to be the best school in the country. It has a balance between high-level academics and high-level sports, and I believe all the students push each other to be the best they can be."
Capra, who trains at the Evert Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., had a stellar junior career that saw her rise to a career-high No. 8 in the ITF World Junior Rankings last summer following a victory on clay at the Italian Open, one of five Grade A events on the International Tennis Federation World Junior Circuit. She twice reached the girls’ singles quarterfinals at a Grand Slam event (the 2009 US Open and 2010 French Open), and as a 16-year-old in 2008, she reached the final at the USTA Girls’ 18s National Clay Court Championships.
Capra has also had success in professional events beyond the 2010 US Open. She captured her first career title at the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 event in Williamsburg, Va., in 2009, qualified for the $100,000 event in Midland, Mich., last February, and reached the semifinals of the $25,000 event in Osprey, Fla., in April.