Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gold River champ advances in U.S. Open girls events

Mayo Hibi, who won the Gold River Challenger in July,
reached the round of 16 in girls singles and the doubles
quarterfinals at the U.S. Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   At 17, Mayo Hibi is a grizzled veteran compared to 14-year-olds Catherine (CiCi) Bellis and Michaela Gordon.
   All three players with Northern California ties will compete Thursday in the round of 16 in girls singles at the U.S. Open.
   Hibi, seeded 11th, defeated Ivana Jorovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-4 in the second round today in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Hibi, an Irvine resident who plays for her native Japan, won the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger in July.
  Bellis and Gordon -- who live about nine miles (14 kilometers) apart in Atherton and Los Altos Hills, respectively, in theSan Francisco Bay Area -- had today off after advancing Tuesday.
   Hibi will meet unseeded Katie Boulter of Great Britain in the round of 16. Boulter surprised eighth-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 6-2.
   Bellis will take on second-seeded Ana Konjuh of Croatia, and Gordon will face 10th-seeded Louisa Chirico of Harrison, N.Y. The winners will meet in the quarterfinals.
   Konjuh, 15, won the Australian Open girls singles and doubles titles in January. Both she and Chirico, 17, reached the girls singles semifinals at Wimbledon and the French Open.
   Qualifier Claire Liu, 13, of Thousand Oaks lost to third-seeded Katerina Siniakova, 17, of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3 in the second round of girls singles at the U.S. Open. At 12, Liu won the USTA National Open girls 16 title in May at the Laguna Creek Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.   
   Hibi, an accomplished volleyer, also advanced to the doubles quarterfinals with Ayaka Okuno of Japan. Seeded eighth, they edged Russians Veronika Kudermetova and Maria Marfutina 6-3, 6-7 (4), 1-0 (12-10).
   Hibi and Okuno will face fourth-seeded Mertens and Ipek Soylu of Turkey.

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