Will, Hardebeck Get Big Wins in Las Vegas $50K, Blevins Beats Top Seed in $10K; Farren Earns First ATP Point; Bouchard Out of Pan American
It seems like all my headlines recently are about those who are not playing, but I wanted to note that Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, who won the ITF B1 Pan American Closed in 2009, has withdrawn from next month's tournament, leaving compatriot Francoise Abanda, who is competing for her country at the Junior Fed Cup in Mexico this week, as the likely top seed. Abanda, 14, is 21st in the ITF junior rankings, and is the youngest player in the Top 50. Also withdrawing before Tuesday's final deadline was Patricia Ku Flores of Peru, ranked 32, who also would have been a top seed in Tulsa. There were no notable withdrawals in the Pan American boys field as of yesterday.
On to the Pro Circuit, where there have been several big wins for college and junior players. At the $10,000 women's Pro Circuit event in Amelia Island, Oklahoma State freshman Meghan Blevins knocked off top seed Alexis King in the the first round, beating the former Florida All-American 6-2, 7-5. She will next meet Taylor Townsend, who beat fellow 15-year-old and qualifier Josie Kulhman 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. I am not certain how the rules work on this level of play, but I was surprised to see that Townsend, who has the second best WTA ranking of any of the players in the draw now at 439, had to qualify, and when she did, was not seeded. I seem to recall that a year or two ago Ryler DeHeart qualified for an event and ended up being the top seed in the main draw once he did. If anyone can explain this to me, I'd appreciate it. Also advancing to the second round in Amelia Island are juniors Chalena Scholl, Hayley Carter, Sherry Li, Nadia Echeverria Alam and Allie Kiick. Former Georgia Tech and Ohio State player Kirsten Flower moved into the second round with a win over qualifier Mia King, and Marrit Boonstra won the battle of the former/current Florida Gator qualifiers, beating Joanna Mather 6-2, 6-2.
At the $50,000 event in Las Vegas, University of Florida junior Allie Will posted the best win of her career, beating WTA No. 130 Kathrin Woerle of Germany in the first round on Tuesday. Will, a wild card, had also recorded another WTA Top 200 win in Redding two weeks ago, beating No. 178 Kurumi Nara of Japan in the quarterfinals of that $25,000 tournament after dropping the first set 6-0. Today, as the first round was completed, there was another upset, with Krista Hardebeck taking out No. 4 seed Mirjana Lucic of Croatia, ranked 109, 7-6(4), 6-4. Hardebeck will play wild card Maria Sanchez, the recent USC graduate, who beat junior exempt entry Monica Puig 6-1, 7-5 Tuesday. For more on that match see Steve Pratt's story at Tennis Panorama. Pratt, who did the usta.com articles on the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic last week, is in Las Vegas as the press aide this week. Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com is also going to be in Las Vegas, I believe beginning on Thursday.
At the men's $10,000 Futures tournament in Laguna Niguel, Connor Farren, who played so well at the US Open junior championships and at the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic last weekend, picked up his first ATP point, beating lucky loser Aaron Yovan 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round. Wild card Christian Harrison, 17, won over former Fresno State star Rudy Siwy 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, and 18-year-old Sean Berman, still listed as USA, but actually under Tennis Australia's wing, advanced when his opponent retired after losing the first set. Many former college players are through to the second round, with Virginia graduate Sanam Singh posting the most impressive win. A qualifier, Singh beat No. 2 seed Dan Cox of Great Britain 6-0, 6-0.
See the Pro Circuit results page at usta.com for more.