Basto Cabrera among the best in New Jersey, middle states
Medford’s own Sofia Basto Cabrera was recognized last month after being named the No. 1 girls under 14 player in New Jersey and the middle states region.
The recognition came from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) during an event at the Arrowhead Tennis Club in Medford. Basto Cabrera is now among the USTA’s best players as she makes her climb through the youth ranks and constantly looks forward.
“I want to keep moving up the ranks,” she said. “I want to play bigger and bigger tournaments. I’m currently at the national level, but maybe going to play international events down the road.”
Nationwide, Basto Cabrera has cracked the top 100 already; she is ranked No. 87 by the USTA, with a number of singles and doubles titles under her belt.
Success at a young age can bring with it high expectations and stress, but Basto Cabrera has embraced her status in a sport she has loved since the first time she picked up a tennis racket as a child. From her first tennis lesson when she was 8 to now, the growth has been tremendous.
“I loved it,” Basto Cabrera said of the sport from the start.
While she hasn’t been on the national circuit for long and continues to develop, Basto Cabrera has already made a splash on the courts. One of the memories that stands out is of her first trip and tournament at Indian Wells and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California.
The tournament is one of the biggest on the tennis calendar and has been a start for many all-time tennis greats. Most recently, the men’s and women’s singles winners for the tournament were Carlos Alcaraz, the No. 1-ranked men’s singles player in the world, and Elena Rybakina, No. 7 in women’s singles.
“Going there was like, ‘Wow, I’m here,'” Basto Cabrera recalled. “When I went onto the courts, I felt enlightened. I took a step in where the players actually played.
“I felt special.”
Competing at the top level in matches with the best of the best makes Basto Cabrera happy.
“Just being able to be there, competing with the best in the United States, that meant I was part of that,” she noted. “I was good enough to be one of the best.”
Her recognition last month added to an ever-expanding number of wins, accomplishments and distinctions, but the work is far from over. Bigger and better tournaments are on the horizon.
The potential for being the next tennis great to come from New Jersey isn’t just a pipe dream for Basto Cabrera. It’s becoming a reality.
“It makes me want it that much more,” she said. “I want to keep going and going.”