If you have heard of Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport, all had played in the iconic USTA Junior National Championship finals. There were over 275 tennis players that participated in San Diego, California, at the USTA Billie Jean King Girls 18s National Championships from August 8-15, 2021. All players in the 18s division had the opportunity to earn a wild card berth in the main draw of this year’s U.S. Open.
Reese Brantmeier won the 16s national title two years ago and now had to play some of the top players in the country to get to the finals. Ms. Brantmeier was seeking to become the first player to claim both age titles since 2011.
Reese advanced to the semi-finals in the singles competition and had to take on Robin Montgomery of Washington D.C., the #1 seed heading into the tournament. However, Reese won a tough match against Montgomery 6-0,6-7(3),6-3 to advance to the finals.
The packed Barnes Tennis Center was excited to see the USTA finals match between Reese and Ashlynn Krueger of Lewisville, Texas. It was a hard-fought match that lasted two hours and eight minutes. The second set was intense. There were no service breaks in the second set. One newspaper reported several of the serves were over 100 mph. Unfortunately, Kreuger defeated Brantmeier 6-2,7-6 (3).
Despite the loss in the USTA finals, Reese earned a qualifying bid to participate in the U.S. Open. Quite an honor for the 16-year-old from Whitewater, Wisconsin.
Reese also had a successful tournament in doubles. She teamed up with Kimberly Hance of Torrance, California, to advance the tournament’s semi-finals before losing to the eventual champion. The doubles team of Brantmeier and Hance took home third place to end the successful two weeks of competition.
Reese would also receive the USTA Sportsmanship award for 2021. The last tennis player to advance to the USTA National Finals in singles from Wisconsin was Tami Whitlinger from Neenah, Wisconsin, in 1986.
Reese is the daughter of Scott and Becky Brantmeier of Whitewater.
Article Submitted by Greg Stewart
Photo Credit: J. Fred Sidhu