National tennis title within grasp of 13-year-old Yarmouth girl

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YARMOUTH — While most teenagers are probably still sleeping, Lana Mavor gets up at 6 a.m. almost every day.

The reason: she’s practicing to win the United States Tennis Association National Regional Tournament this weekend.

The 13-year-old Yarmouth girl will be competing in the 14-and-under division of the tournament in Hartford, Connecticut, from Oct. 11-13. She qualified after winning the division at the Northeast Region Hard Court Championship in August and the New England Championship in September.

“I’m really excited; I’m not nervous,” Mavor said.

Mavor started playing tennis at around age 5 and began playing competitively a few years ago. She was recently on the cover of the summer 2014 USTA New England magazine.

Her entire family is involved in the sport: Both of Mavor’s parents are in the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Southern Maine Hall of Fame for tennis. Her father is also the president of the Maine Tennis Association. Along with Mavor’s two other sisters, the family was voted the Maine Tennis Association Tennis Family of the Year in 2013.

Mavor’s grandfather is also very involved in the sport, and with Mavor’s training. Three years ago, Mavor spent the summer with him in Ukraine, his home country, to practice tennis. While there, she played in an international tournament. She went back last summer, too.

Mavor and her grandfather wake up early each morning to practice and train. They first go to the gym to work on overall physical fitness and then go to The Woodlands Club in Falmouth and spend around four hours on the tennis court. They also jog together most days.

“It’s a must because if your physical fitness is lacking, you’ll be tired on the court,” Mavor’s mother, Lesya Stasiv Mavor, said.

Mavor, an eighth-grader, is home schooled so she can balance her day between tennis and school. She also takes online classes.

“We try to balance it by not pushing her too much,” her mother said. “We want her to develop.”

Mavor is currently competing at USTA Level 4, where her national rank is in the 200s. When she was in the 12-and-under division, she was ranked third in New England. Stasiv Mavor said if Mavor does well at the upcoming tournament, she can get points to move up her ranking. Once she moves up her ranking, she can compete at Level 3.

Mavor competed at the national competition in Georgia last year, but didn’t win. She said to prepare for this tournament, her training is the same as it is year-round.

“I like how I have to work hard and how I see the results,” Mavor said.

Stasiv Mavor said Mavor is very focused when she’s on the court.

“When she’s winning she looks the same as if she’s losing; she’s very level-headed and beyond her age,” she said.

Stasiv Mavor said she and her husband are proud of Mavor, but they realize she’s still a kid.

“We’re proud of her, but at the same time we’re cautious not to overwork her,” she said.

She said they also need to make sure Mavor doesn’t get hurt.

“The most important thing is that she’s healthy and can keep improving,” Stasiv Mavor said.

She said she tells her daughter that winning isn’t everything.

“We go to do our best,” Stasiv Mavor said. “If we lose, it’s OK.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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Lana Mavor of Yarmouth will be competing in her first Northeast national tennis tournament for ages 14 and under this weekend  in Connecticut.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.