Originally created 08/03/97

Augusta's Jerath feels best game still to come



Vandana Jerath's opponents probably would not be as critical as she was of her performance Saturday at the Georgia State Closed Tennis Championships.

Jerath defeated Hinesville's Michelle Dushner 6-1, 6-3 and Hannah Carter of Tybee Island 6-1, 6-2 to advance to today's 14-and-under girls singles semifinals at Riverview Park in North Augusta.

After her second victory of the day at Newman Tennis Center on Saturday, the Augusta teen-ager said she didn't play her best.

"There's room for a lot of improvement," Jerath said. "I didn't play my best tennis today. Usually I play my best tennis near the end of the tournament."

Jennifer Watson, from Tucker, Ga., will meet the rising freshman at Augusta Prep today a 11:30 a.m. Jerath kept Carter on the move and played well at the net to get into today's semis. Watson will have her hands full if Jerath can turn her game up a notch.

"I hit it into the open court and kept her (Carter) moving to get the points at the net," Jerath said. "I've been trying to improve my net game, that's how you end points."

Carter defeated Marietta's Jennifer McMahan 7-5, 6-0 in the first round, but wasn't able to get anything going against Jerath. Jerath took third place in her age group at the Georgia State Clay Court Championships two weeks ago in Savannah. She said her goal is to take home the 14-and-under girls title.

"I really want to win this," she said. "This is a good chance to get my (state) rankings at a higher level."

The tournament for boys and girls 10-18 runs through Wednesday with doubles competition starting today at Newman Tennis Center, Petersburg Racquet Country Club, Forest Hills Racquet Club, Fleming Park, Riverview Park and West Lake Country Club.