Phenomenal Woman

By Richard Kent
Updated: June 16, 2008

CONNECTICUT — Nadja Gilchrist is a phenomenal junior tennis player and certainly one of the best in this country. The 18-year-old from Webster, New York is currently rated as the top senior in high school by Tennis

She has signed a letter of intent and has received a five-year scholarship at tennis power University of Georgia. Gilchrist just graduated from Heritage Academy in South Carolina and has trained at the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy.

She knows current Bulldog Naoko Ueshima from the Hilton Head area and that was one of the many factors that enticed her to accept the scholarship from Georgia.

The Bulldogs, which finished the season with a 22-5 record, won the SEC Tournament title for the second straight year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 for the ninth time in 10 years.

Gilchrist’s recent tournament showings include reaching the finals of the prestigious 2007 Easter Bowl (Girls 18), winning the doubles of the 2007 U.S. International Grass Court Championships (Girls 18) and finishing third at the 2006 USTA National Hard Court Championships (Girls 16).

She has yet to play in a grand slam juniors tennis event but will be trying to qualify both at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year.

She will be leaving for London soon to play in a grass court qualifier and then hopes to get a wild card into the Wimbledon juniors. She does not have much familiarity with playing on grass but hopes to hone her skills at the pre-Wimbledon tournament at the end of June.

The daughter of Beroy and Eileen Gilchrist, Nadja holds a current ranking of No. 341 on the WTA Tour rankings as of May 26.

That should only improve if she has a good showing this summer in the majors.