Oconee County native Chloe Beck etched her name in tennis stone last weekend. Beck and her doubles partner, Charleston, S.C. native Emma Navarro became the first American duo to win the Junior French Open doubles championship since 1982 and only the sixth and seventh Americans to ever win the junior doubles title at Roland Garros.
Beck and Navarro defeated Russian nationals Anastasia Tikhonova and Alina Charaeva (6-1, 6-2) in the final.
“It was crazy out of the tournament a French Open champion,” Beck said. “You can’t go into a tournament of that level expecting to win, but it’s always the goal and to achieve it was crazy for my partner and I for sure.”
Becoming the first American team to win the event in nearly four decades holds a level of pride for Beck. In an international event like the French Open ones nationality becomes their calling card.
“It’s really cool to represent the United States at a tournament that has people coming from plenty of different countries,” Beck said. “It’s really cool because there are a lot of Americans there. The fact we were the ones that took it home [was great]. It hasn’t happened for an all American team to win that title. That was really cool to represent my country at a tournament that pretty much everyone knows about.”
Beck and her partner Navarro were met with cheers from those in the stands.
“It was nice to have support, I didn’t expect to have a ton of support from the locals there just because we are Americans,” Beck said. “Pretty much all of the matches that we were at, we had a ton of supporters who were cheering for us and calling out our names. We didn’t really know them and they didn’t really know us but they just decided to just support us and that was really cool.”
Staying idle isn’t Beck’s style. By Monday, Beck was back in the states and expecting to get right back to the courts. Beck was scheduled to play a match before rains canceled the match giving Beck a chance to adjust to the Georgia heat. Despite not being able to play, Beck found another way to continue to improve so she spent some time on the practice courts and partook in some yoga.
At the elite level at which she competes and with the elite company she now keeps, while she sits in the spoils of victory, there are other players preparing for next month’s Junior Wimbledon Championship.
“It’s tough, but I don’t feel like you can celebrate for too long,” Beck said. “Obviously I’m still happy about it, but you have to get back to work because everyone else is going home after this tournament and winning it or not you’ve got to get back on the grind...I was used to that 55-degree weather in Paris and now I’m back in this heat. It’s not fun right now, but you’ve got to do it.”