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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Account of Michigan's Win over USC; Wild Cards Announced for Dow Corning $100K Challenger

As I mentioned on Sunday, my full report of the University of Michigan women's win over Southern California is now available at the Tennis Recruiting Network (my January Aces column will appear on Monday). It was a very interesting match to cover because there were so few close matches, just one of the doubles and two of the singles. And yet the outcome was in doubt for a very long time.

Because I'm not going to be covering either of the ITA Team Indoor events live this year, I plan on returning to next week's Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, Michigan for two days early in the tournament. I last visited the event, which is a huge mid-winter attraction in the small city about three hours northeast of Kalamazoo, in 2007 to watch the professional debut of Michelle Larcher de Brito. No one is more surprised than I am that Larcher de Brito has struggled to establish a permanent position in the WTA's Top 100, and she is, as of now, still in qualifying for this year's Dow Corning event, although just one spot out of the main draw, with a current ranking of 200. The main draw includes five current top 100 players: Vavara Lepchenko, Sorana Cirstea, Rebecca Marino, Evgeniya Rodina and Anne Keothavong, as well as former Top 25 player Sabine Lisicki. The Dow Corning Tennis Classic has, since I was last there, raised its prize money from $75,000 to $100,000, and it is the only $100,000 women's event on the U.S. Pro Circuit.

I've just received the list of wild card recipients for the qualifying and main draws, most of whom are juniors, as well as a former collegian and a current one.

Qualifying wild cards:
Brooke Austin
Robin Anderson
Ekaterina Zhukoven(No. 1 player at local Division II Northwood University)
Sanaz Marand (former UNC all-American)
Kyle McPhillips
Nicole Robinson

Main draw wild cards:
Victoria Duval
Jessica Pegula
Shelby Rogers
Brittany Augustine

Brooke Austin, who turns 15 next Saturday, will be making her debut in a professional tournament in the qualifying. She has played only junior events up until now.

The entry list for the tournament can be found at the ITF's Women's Circuit site.


jobaholic said...

A lot of people think that Larcher de Brito was overrated but I think she is cool and talented. It's just that Maria Sharapova has set the bar so high and Larcher de Brito was left with a very large shoe to fill in. www.tennisround.com

Earshurt said...

The bar or the decibel meter?