both of whom grew up in the shadow of New York City -- won the right yesterday to play in the qualifying round of the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., by winning the men's and women's singles titles of the ATA national tennis championships at Rock Creek Stadium.
Copeland, from Montclair, N.J., had the easier time of it, defeating Kathy Foxworth of Houston, 6-4, 6-3. Williamson, from Mount Vernon, N.Y., lost the first set of his best-of-five final but recovered to beat top-seeded Young Kwon of Philadelphia, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.
Williamson, 20, was impatient, especially with his forehand approach, throughout the match. It was particularly obvious in the first set as he struggled with the unflappable Kwon.
Kwon, sticking to the base line, hit angled passing shots, or just waited for Williamson to err, which he did three straight times from the forehand side to fall behind, 5-2, in the first set. He fought back to 5-4, but Kwon held to win the set.
Serving at 4-5, deuce, in the second set, Kwon, the defending tournament champion, made two unforced errors and Williamson drew even.
In the first game of the third set, Kwon broke at love when Williamson missed two easy forehands, both times hitting the tape at the top of the net.
Williamson, unseeded, broke right back for 1-1. Neither player had a break point in the next five games as Williamson took a 4-3 lead. Serving to tie the set, Kwon appeared to tire at this point. He double-faulted twice to fall behind, 30-40, but saved break point with a forehand cross-court winner. Kwon sailed a forehand long for another break point. Williamson took advantage with a backhand that grazed the net and dropped over. Kwon slumped over in disbelief as the ball hit and died on the Har-Tru surface.
Kwon mustered enough energy to break for 5-4, but Williamson closed out the set by breaking at 15 with an overhead smash and a forehand volley winner.
After losing the first game, Williamson dominated the last set, winning the last six games.
Copeland, 24, trailed Foxworth, 4-3, in the first set, and the taller and stronger Foxworth went ahead, 40-30, and was serving for 5-3. Copeland hit a perfect backhand lob just inside the base line for deuce.
After a forehand volley winner, Foxworth had break point, which she won when she hit a nice forehand return at Foxworth's feet.
"She hits a lot of topspin and it's very hard to judge her shots," Foxworth said. "I guess it's just a matter of timing."
Copeland won the next two games to win the first set and raced out to a 3-0 second-set lead.
Copeland had a set point with Foxworth serving at 3-5, 30-40. Foxworth reached a drop shot, then punched a forehand volley just inside the tape for deuce. She won the next two points to pull within 5-3.
But Copeland served out the match. At 30-30, she hit a magnificent half-volley winner. Then she watched as Foxworth hit a backhand wide on match point.
"I was trying to bring her in, then hit it at her feet," Copeland said. "She's not very fast, so I tried to move her around as much as possible and still be aggressive."
Copeland played in the qualifying round of the U.S. Open in 1981 and 1982 and has played doubles there with Lori McNeil.