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Instead of tennis academies and junior tournaments, a Maryland standout chose a backyard challenge


After playing in the NCAA semifinals from her freshman, Cameron Morra hopes to play in the Citi Open later this month in Washington. (Katherine Frey / The Washington Post)

Rockville tennis court. T Stone Ridge in Bethesda. She hardly traveled to any junior tournaments, a pathway in the U.S. when looking to develop and develop college coaches.

That route requires consuming travel, tens of thousands of dollars a year in stress, ”Morra said. The pressure, the cost, all of it t , Played played played exc exc exc exc exc exc exc exc exc exc exc exc exc almost exc almost almost almost exc exc

Not playing junior tournaments (d) a bus (other than her father, Dave) Morra, now, in the spring of the year, the ACC freshman of the year t -American advanced to the NCAA Final Four.

Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in Washington. (College tennis players are not eligible). T Then, full-time pro.

In the neighborhood. Tfor a member of the community. T Few precedents exist. Brian Kalbas, a coach at North Carolina and a college coach since 1989, he never never recruited a player who bypassed tennis tennis – until he was offered to Morra. Her path.

“The travel is crazy. You are to West Coast-East Coast every weekend, ”Morra said of the more traditional path. “When you´re young, I feel like it 's the easy way to burn out, in a sense. I've never lost my love for tennis. ”


Cameron Morra, poses with her sister, Sloane, father of her family court in Rockville, where she spends several hours nearly every day refining her game. (Katherine Frey / The Washington Post)

Cameron and her younger sister, Sloane, first hit tennis ball at age 3. Before there was a backyard tennis court, there was a two-car garage. Morra’s father drew an X on the wall. Some days, it was a smiley face. The intent was to hit high. “Take a whack at it,” Dave would say. One day, at age 5, Cameron hit a drywall.

A few years later, Dave Morra Soon he got a permit for the court.

. Tthere is no need for training. T Youngsters travel to places from California, spending “god-knows-what.” T likely play high-major college tennis.

“We decided to get them,” and said what happens, ”Dave said. "We could have been awful."

Cameron Morra still doesn´t have a driver´s license. She is the rare player. (When she was young, she didn’t use her kids).

And the challenge of trajectory. T Things ache; her back and shoulder, mostly. “It's just overuse,” she said. “A lot of tennis.”

What everybody else was doing.

“I just wanted to see how I could go,” Morra said. “I think I was too young to see the risk, you know what I mean? We are going to give it a whirl. ”

Discipline was essential, se said; from intense practice to anti-junk food. It has been that Dave Morra, who doesn’t have an elite tennis background, could arrange his job from the tennis workout.

Morra against challenge peers. T Like did not have a ranking like other top recruits. Yet coaches haven't seen it. T Mike Krzyzewski. T And a visit to the New York Jets.

She wounded up to North Carolina. Kalbas, her college coach, said Morra is the perfect player. Shoe and finishing game: volleys, overhand shots and finishing. But Morra, at 5-foot-10, has the size.

“She has the intangibles to be a top-level pro,” he said. “Ball-striking challenge and challenge could get her there.”

Whats off. T

“You took a chance on me,” Morra likes to tell Kalbas.

“Look at how far you come,” Kalbas says.

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