Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rogowska, Boserup reach Gold River Challenger final

Top seed Olivia Rogowska beat ailing Madison Brengle, seeded
third, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the final of the Gold River Challenger.
   Madison Brengle can't seem to stay healthy for an entire week in the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger.
   One year after coming down with a stomach ailment on the day of the final and losing, the third-seeded Brengle hurt her right knee and lost to top-seeded Olivia Rogowska 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in Friday night's semifinals at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.
   Rogowska, a 23-year-old Australian, and Brengle, a 24-year-old American, are roommates and best friends who train in Bradenton, Fla.
   "I got revenge for the last time we played," Rogowska said. "She skunked me."
   Rogowska was referring to Brengle's 6-2, 6-0 victory in the final of a $25,000 Challenger, also on hardcourts, in Landisville, Pa., last August. It was their only previous meeting.
No. 7 seed Julia Boserup routed No. 8 Nao Hibino 6-1, 6-3.
   Rogowska, who has dropped the opening set in her last two matches, will meet seventh-seeded Julia Boserup of Newport Beach for the first time after tonight's 7 o'clock doubles final. Boserup, 5-foot-11 (1.80 meters) and 145 pounds (66 kilograms), overpowered little Nao Hibino, seeded eighth, of Japan 6-1, 6-3.
   "The score was not indicative of the match," Boserup, 22, said after her first career match against Hibino, 19. "She is a very impressive player."
   Hibino was trying to become the second consecutive Japanese teenager to win the Gold River Challenger. Mayo Hibi triumphed last year at 17 but chose to play in a $25,000 Challenger in Gatineau, Canada, this week instead. Hibi, seeded fifth, lost to top-seeded Risa Ozaki, also of Japan, in Friday's quarterfinals.
   Brengle began hobbling midway through the second set. She took a medical timeout early in the third set and had her knee taped but limped through the rest of the match.
   Rogowska played with her left thigh taped for the first time this week but didn't seem bothered.
   At first glance, the final looks like a mismatch. Rogowska is ranked almost 100 places higher in the world than Boserup, 127 to 222. Also, Rogowska has won nine career ITF (minor-league) titles in singles and 15 in doubles to Boserup's two and none, respectively.
   Rogowska hits hard for someone only 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters) and 128 pounds (58 kilograms), and she's mentally tough. She came within a tiebreaker of losing in straight sets to sixth-seeded Sachia Vickery, 19, in the quarterfinals but pulled out the match.
   But Boserup is not to be underestimated. Her ranking is deceptively low because she missed the first half of last year with a bulging disc -- returning in the Gold River Challenger and losing to former top-20 player Alisa Kleybanova in the last round of qualifying -- and tumbled to No. 510.
   This year, Boserup is showing what she can do when healthy. As a qualifier in Monterrey, Mexico, on the elite WTA tour in April, she stunned 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens, a Belgian ranked 25th at the time, en route to the quarterfinals of the hardcourt tournament.
   Boserup not only is more powerful than Rogowska but fresher, having not lost a set in the Gold River Challenger. Temperatures have reached the 90s (32.2-37.8 Celsius) all week.
   Also, Boserup has the homecourt advantage. Both of her titles have come in $25,000 tournaments in her native California, at Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area in 2012 and at Redding in 2011.
   The doubles final features two unseeded teams. Modesto product and USC graduate Maria Sanchez and current Trojan Zoe Scandalis will face Daria Gavrilova of Russia and Storm Sanders of Australia.
   In the inaugural Gold River Challenger two years ago, Sanchez won the singles title and reached the doubles final with then-Trojan Kaitlyn Christian.
   Sanders, a left-hander, won last year's doubles crown at 18 with 6-foot-2 (1.89-meter) Naomi Broady of Great Britain. Broady did not return this year after advancing to the Wimbledon mixed doubles quarterfinals with countryman Neal Skupski.
   Tickets for the finals of the Gold River Challenger are $10. The matches will be streamed live at www.goldriverchallenger.com.
$50,000 FSP GOLD RIVER WOMEN'S CHALLENGER
At Gold River Racquet Club
In Gold River, Calif.
Singles semifinals
   Olivia Rogowska (1), Australia, def. Madison Brengle (3), United States, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.   
   Julia Boserup (7), United States, def. Nao Hibino (8), Japan, 6-1, 6-3.
  Doubles semifinals
   Daria Gavrilova, Russia, and Storm Sanders, Australia, def. Jacqueline Cako and Danielle Lao, United States (3), 6-2, 7-6 (6).
   Maria Sanchez and Zoe Scandalis, United States, def. Macall Harkins and Peggy Porter, United States, 6-7 (2), 6-2 [10-7].
Today's schedule
(Starting at 7 p.m.)
Stadium
   Maria Sanchez and Zoe Scandalis, United States, vs. Daria Gavrilova, Russia, and Storm Sanders, Australia.
   Olivia Rogowska (1), Australia, vs. Julia Boserup (7), United States.

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