Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Stevenson to face Gibbs in Gold River Challenger

Alexandra Stevenson, a 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist, will meet
fourth-seeded Nicole Gibbs, a former Stanford star, in the first
round of the Gold River Challenger. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Several intriguing first-round matches highlight today's busy schedule in the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger.
   Alexandra Stevenson will meet fourth-seeded Nicole Gibbs at 6:30 p.m. at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.
   Stevenson, a 33-year-old La Jolla resident and 6-foot-1 (1.85-meter) daughter of basketball legend Julius Erving, drew international attention in 1999 by becoming the first female qualifier to reach the Wimbledon semifinals.
   Gibbs, 21, of Santa Monica turned pro last year after becoming the fifth woman in history, and fourth from Stanford, to win back-to-back NCAA singles titles. She is 3-0, including two retirements, against Stevenson.
   Following the Stevenson-Gibbs encounter, third-seeded Madison Brengle of Bradenton, Fla., will take on Modesto product Maria Sanchez in a matchup of 24-year-olds.
   Brengle reached the final of last year's Gold River Challenger, and Sanchez won the inaugural tourament in 2012. Brengle won their only previous meeting 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-1 on clay in the first round of a $50,000 Challenger at Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., last year.
   At noon, fifth-seeded Romina Oprandi of Switzerland will face 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Samantha Crawford of Tamarac, Fla., for the first time.
   Oprandi, a 28-year-old right-hander, reached a career-high No. 32 in the world in June last year before missing seven months with a right shoulder injury. She owns career victories over Grand Slam singles champions Kim Clijsters, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic and Francesca Schiavone. Clijsters and Ivanovic climbed to No. 1.
   Crawford, 19, won the 2012 U.S. Open girls title and reached the semifinals of the Gold River Challenger earlier that year.
   Also today, second-seeded An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium will play Allie Will, a Gold River semifinalist last year and native of San Mateo in the San Francisco Bay Area, at about 4 p.m. They have never met.
   Qualifier Macall Harkins, a 6-foot (1.84-meter) left-hander now based in Concord in the Bay Area, will tackle top-seeded Olivia Rogowska of Australia for the first time at about 2 p.m. Harkins reached the doubles semifinals in last year's Gold River Challenger with Zoe Gwen Scandalis of San Diego.
   On Monday, Crawford and Sachia Vickery ousted top-seeded Sanaz Marand and Asia Muhammad 7-5, 6-1 in an all-American first-round doubles match. Muhammad won the doubles title in the inaugural Gold River Challenger with recently retired Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area.
At Gold River Racquet Club
In Gold River, Calif.
Final-round singles qualifying
   Jennifer Brady, United States, def. Anne-Liz Jeukeng, United States, 6-3, 6-2.
   Macall Harkins (6), United States, def. Julia Elbaba, United States, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
   Natalie Pluskota (7), United States, def. Ching-Wen Hsu (3), Taiwan, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
   Chanelle Van Nguyen, United States, def. Mari Osaka (2), Japan, 6-3, 6-1.
First-round singles
   Storm Sanders, Australia, def. Denise Muresan, United States, 7-6 (9), 6-7 (1), 6-1.
   Nao Hibino (8), Japan, def. Emina Bektas, United States, 6-2, 6-3.
First-round doubles
    Jamie Loeb and Allie Will, United States, def. Julia Boserup and Madison Brengle, United States, 3-6, 6-2 [10-3].
   Maria Sanchez and Zoe Gwen Scandalis, United States, def. Laura Pigossi, Brazil, and Marina Shamayko (4), Russia, 7-5, 6-0.
   Macall Harkins and Peggy Porter, United States, def. Anne-Liz Jeukeng and Chiara Scholl, United States, 6-4, 6-3.
   Samantha Crawford and Sachia Vickery, United States, def. Sanaz Marand and Asia Muhammad (1), United States,7-5, 6-1.
   Jacqueline Cako and Danielle Lao, United States, def. Ching-Wen Hsu, Taiwan, and Ayaka Okuno, Japan, 3-6, 7-6 (6), [10-8].
   Natalie Pluskota and Keri Wong, United States, def. Anamika Bhargava and Denise Muresan, United States, 6-1, 6-4.
   Daria Gavrilova, Russia, and Storm Sanders, Australia, def. Kelly Chen and Alaina Miller, United States, 6-3, 6-1.
Today's schedule
(Starting at noon on each court)
   Jamie Loeb, United States, vs. Jessica Lawrence, United States.
   Olivia Rogowska (1), Australia, vs. Macall Harkins, United States.
   Emina Bektas and Jennifer Brady, United States, vs. Jessica Lawrence, United States, and Alina       Soltanici, Moldova.
   Alexandra Stevenson, United States, vs. Nicole Gibbs (4), United States (starting at 6:30 p.m.).
   Madison Brengle (3), United States, vs. Maria Sanchez, United States. 
Court 3
   Jennifer Elie, United States, vs. Chanelle Van Nguyen, United States.
   Asia Muhammad, United States, vs. Chiara Scholl, United States.
   Allie Will, United States, vs. An-Sophie Mestach (2), Belgium.
   Julia Boserup (7), United States, vs. Zoe Gwen Scandalis, United States (possible court change). 
Court 4
   Samantha Crawford, United States, vs. Romina Oprandi (5), Switzerland.
   Laura Pigossi, Brazil, vs. Tori Kinard, United States.
   Sanaz Marand, United States, vs. Sachia Vickery, United States.
Court 5
   Louisa Chirico, United States, vs. Jennifer Brady, United States.
   Marina Shamayko, Russia, vs. Peggy Porter, United States.
   Natalie Pluskota, United States, vs. Danielle Lao, United States.

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