Published October 19th, 2016
Orinda Tennis Talent Claims Prestigious NorCal Sectional Title
Submitted by Drew Diefenbach
From left, Monica Stratakos, Saratoga and Amber Lee, all of Orinda Photo provided
Amber Lee, an eighth-grader from the Orinda Intermediate School, went undefeated to win the Girls' singles title in the U16 division at the 2016 Northern California Fall Sectional Championship held at Broadstone Racquet Club in Folsom on Oct. 2.

Turning 14 on Oct. 7 this month and unseeded for the tournament, Lee won six consecutive matches in a draw of 64 advance-level players and defeated five seeded players en route to her championship run. After her first round victory, Lee defeated the highly regarded fourth-seeded Klara Kosan of Carmichael 6-3, 6-4 in the second round. Lee then defeated two more seeded opponents in the round of 16 and quarter final in straight sets. In the semi-final on Saturday afternoon, Lee upset first seeded Katherine Duong of Cupertino by a score of 6-2, 6-4. Then on Sunday morning with a chair umpire and a sizable crowd, Lee handled the moment professionally and capped off her great run by defeating fifth seeded Monica Stratakos of Saratoga in straight sets 6-2, 6-3. Lee did not drop one set during the entire tournament.

"I was extremely nervous before the final, but once I started playing a few games, I settled into a good rhythm and was able to stay composed and play solid tennis for the rest of the match," said Lee. "My performance in the last few weeks has been very good. Earlier in the year, I had been struggling with my tennis game, but with the hard work I put in over the summer, things are starting to come together and my confidence at the moment is very high. Hopefully, I can keep up my good form and finish the rest of the tennis season on a high note."

Coached by Andrew Lee (former junior Davis Cup team coach from Hong Kong) and Alex Poorta (current WTA coach and former nationally ranked collegiate standout from Saint Mary's College), Lee headed south to Orange County for the National Level 2 tournament (U14 division) at Costa Mesa on Columbus Day weekend.

As an outstanding athlete and student, Amber looks to attend Miramonte High School next year.

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