Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kleybanova to continue cancer comeback today

   Former top-20 player Alisa Kleybanova is scheduled to continue her comeback from cancer today in the first round of qualifying for the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger.
   The 23-year-old Russian will face fifth-seeded Diana Ospina, 33, of the United States in the second match on the stadium court at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.
   The first match at 10 a.m. features Sacramento hitting partners Yasmin Schnack and Karina Vyrlan, a 14-year-old wild card. Schnack, a member of UCLA's 2008 NCAA championship team, retired from professional tennis last year at 24.
   Kleybanova reached No. 20 in the world in February 2011 and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma three months later. She sat out for two years, except for one tournament in March last year.
   Kleybanova returned to competition last month, winning a $10,000 (Futures) tournament in Landisville, Pa., and reaching the final of another in Buffalo, N.Y., last week. The Gold River Challenger will be the third tournament of her second comeback.
   After the Kleybanova-Ospina match, wild card Breanna Bachini of Roseville in the Sacramento area will meet Csilla Borsanyi of Hungary on the stadium court. Bachini recently completed her sophomore season at Syracuse.
   As expected, Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal and Casey Dellacqua of Australia withdrew from the Gold River Challenger.
   Larcher de Brito, ranked No. 131, lost to Karin Knapp of Italy 7-5, 6-2 Friday in the third round at Wimbledon after stunning No. 3 seed and 2004 champion Maria Sharapova. Dellacqua, ranked No. 143, remains alive in Wimbledon women's doubles and mixed doubles.     
   That leaves the Gold River Challenger with three top-200 players, pending Monday's announcement of additional wild cards: No. 114 Maria Sanchez, the defending champion originally from Modesto; No. 164 Chanel Simmonds of South Africa; and No. 175 Julie Coin of France.
   Admission is free for qualifying today and Sunday, $10 daily for the main draw Monday through Thursday,  $20 for Friday's semifinals and $20 for next Saturday night's finals.
   For more information, go to www.goldriverchallenger.com.
$50,000 FSP GOLD RIVER WOMEN'S CHALLENGER
At Gold River Racquet Club in Gold River, Calif.
First-round qualifying
Today's schedule (beginning at 10 a.m.)
Stadium
   Yasmin Schnack, Sacramento, vs. Karina Vyrlan, Sacramento.
   Alisa Kleybanova, Russia, vs. Diana Ospina (5), United States.
   Csilla Borsanyi, Hungary, vs. Breanna Bachini, Roseville.
   Daria Kulbikova, Russia, vs. Morocco Hitt, United States.
Court 3
   Julia Boserup (1), United States, vs. Kady Pooler, United States.
   Elizabeth Profit, United States, vs. Sophia Bursulaya, United States.
   Mary Closs, United States, vs. Keri Wong, United States.
   Jacqueline Cako (3), United States, vs. June Lee, United States.
Court 4
   Macall Harkins (4), United States, vs. Robin Anderson, United States.
   Alexandra Champion, United States, vs. Jessica Lawrence (6), United States.
   Anamika Bhargava, United States, vs. Nicole Robinson (8), United States.
   Elizabeth Lumpkin (2), United States, vs. Mary Weatherholt, United States.
Court 5
   Parris Todd, United States, vs. Alyssa Smith, United States.
   Zoe Scandalis, United States, vs. Anne-Liz Jeukeng (7), United States.
   Amanda Rodgers, United States, vs. Dianne Hollands, New Zealand.
   Malika Rose, United States, vs. Miriam Lane, United States.

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