ESCONDIDO — Zoe Scandalis, 17, a graduate of San Pasqual High School, will take to the courts of La Costa Resort and Spa, when she competes in the Mercury Insurance Open qualifying matches beginning July 30.
This will be her second time competing at the event. Scandalis said she’d be bringing more experience with her this time around.
“I’m older now and more confident in my game and what I have and what I can show these girls,” she said. “The first time, I guess, I was just taking it all in, but this time I’m ready to do some damage.”
Scandalis earned a wild card draw into the qualifying rounds after winning her match in the Laguna Niguel opportunity tournament, July 9.
“This is a big deal. It’s awesome. I’m approaching it like a great big opportunity,” she said. “It’s not like any other tournament, there’s going to be some of the best players in the world there, and I’ll be ready to face them,” Scandalis added.
For the week prior to the tournament, Scandalis said she’ll be working on some very specific things. “I know there’s going to be some big-hitters, so I’ll…be improving my shots and pumping up my serve, getting those miles-per-hour up and looking at the areas where I can attack these girls,” Scandalis said.
Although she’s currently ranked No. 950 by the Women’s Tennis Association, Scandalis won’t let that take away from building up the confidences in her game.
“Somebody will say it’s just a number, but there’s a point where you want to gain those wins and get up those ranking points so you can get into more tournaments and get to new opportunities…but you have to block that out and just look at your game and just know what you have and go after it and not worry about your ranking number, or the win or the loss, but just going out there and showing what you have.”
Scandalis has been playing professional tennis since she was 14, and has gradually competed in more and more tournaments. She started playing tennis when she was 2-years-old, when her dad became involved with the game and needed a playing partner, eventually getting her and her brother involved.
In the fall, Scandalis will be attending the University of Southern California and playing for the tennis team, too. She’s excited about the idea of playing for the team and said the match play format will only help her build her professional tennis career. Scandalis said she hopes to play the US Open in the future and, one day, to compete in Wimbledon’s Arthur Ashe stadium.
The Mercury Insurance Open will be held at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. For more information, visit mercuryinsuranceopen.com.