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Mark Price's daughter lands top U.S. Open Junior matchup

Cameron Smith
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Mark Price had an All-Star career on the hardwood courts of the NBA. Now his daughter is excelling on the hard courts of the U.S. Open.

Caroline Price, the 17-year-old daughter of the former Cleveland Cavaliers legend, has been on a roll this summer, winning the USTA Girls' 18 Clay Court Championship in July. Now she's earned a matchup against the top-seeded player in the U.S. Open Junior Tournament. Price will face off against Russia's Daria Gavrilova on Tuesday after knocking off Zarah Razafimahatratra, a player from Madagascar.

Price, one of four children the former NBA star had with wife Laura, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shortly after winning her clay court title that her success has coincided followed her adjusting to a more relaxed approach.

"It was one of the first tournaments in a while that I went out and I wanted to have fun, just because I enjoy playing tennis. And it took the pressure off," Caroline Price said. "For some reason, I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself.

"I was thinking before [Clay Courts] that I began playing tennis because it was fun for me. So why should it be any different now? So I went out there and had fun ... and it turned out really well."

The Duluth (Ga.) native emerged from a stable of young talent at Atlanta's Tennis Academy of the South, a feeder program which has cranked out 12 NCAA All-Americans, five NCAA national champions and a pair of junior national champions.

Now Price is putting her own stamp on that legacy, with Tuesday's match providing another chance to move into a national spotlight. She's been so successful that her father -- who was a shooting consultant for the Cavaliers but was let go when the team changed coaches in the offseason -- is considering taking the year off from basketball to follow his daughter's success.

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"I don't know exactly what I'm going to do this fall ... I'm still trying to figure that out," Price said. "I'm still talking to some other [NBA] teams about possibly going to work with them.

"I'm also possibly thinking about taking a year off after the success my daughter has had with tennis, so I can travel with her some. There are a lot of options, so I'm not too stressed out about it."

Win or lose on Tuesday, Caroline Price has put herself squarely on the map. If she keeps winning tournaments, she may soon be known simply as Caroline Price the tennis star, not Mark Price's daughter.

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