Friday, September 18, 2015

King ousts top seed, defending champion in Redding

   REDDING, Calif. -- Vania King's victory over top seed and defending champion Jennifer Brady highlighted a long day in The Ascension Project Women's $25,000 Challenger.
   King, a former top-50 player and a two-time Grand Slam champion in women's doubles, defeated Brady 6-3, 7-6 (2) on Thursday at Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness in a first-round match that had been postponed by rain.
   King, a 26-year-old Southern California native, then outlasted American wild card Julia Jones 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 and withdrew from her doubles quarterfinal, also scheduled for Thursday, with Robin Anderson.
   Brady, who turned pro in June after two stellar seasons at UCLA, at times employed her whipping forehand to rocket passing shots past King in their first career meeting. More often, the 5-foot-5 (1.65-meter) King used her quickness to keep the ball in play until Brady slugged the ball out.
   Brady jumped out to a 3-0 lead (one service break) in the 9 a.m. match, but King reeled off the next seven games, including a Brady double fault on set point.
   Brady broke serve to lead 6-5 in the second set, but King, aided by a double fault for 0-40, broke back at love to force a tiebreaker. Brady made three consecutive unforced errors to trail 4-0 and couldn't recover.
   "She's an experienced player," Brady said of King, 26. "She knows how to play the big points well. She makes you play." 
  King is playing in her fifth tournament after missing almost one year with a herniated disc in her neck. She declined an interview request after defeating Brady, saying she had to prepare for her next match.
   Also falling were No. 3 seed Jovana Jaksic of Serbia and No. 4 Lauren Embree of Santa Monica.
   Chiara Scholl of the United States outlasted Jaksic 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the first round before losing to Klaartje Liebens of Belgium 6-4, 6-3. Liebens reached the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year.
   Scholl had two match points at 5-4 in the second set against Jaksic but failed to capitalize on them.
   "I think I played well overall," Scholl said. "I was getting really tired in the third set, so I'm glad I could still pull it out. She gave me a lot of free points in the last game of the third set. That was lucky for me."  
   Anna Zaja of Germany beat Embree, last year's runner-up, 6-4, 6-0 in the second round. They played their opening matches on Tuesday before rain wiped out Wednesday's singles schedule.
   Embree's bid for a third straight Redding doubles title ended when she and Ema Burgic Bucko of Bosnia and Herzegovina pulled out of today's scheduled semifinal against second-seeded Michelle Sammons of South Africa and Varatchaya Wongteanchai of Thailand.
   Embree, a former University of Florida All-American, won in 2013 with Anderson and last year with Brady.   
THE ASCENSION PROJECT WOMEN'S $25,000 CHALLENGER
At Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness in Redding, Calif.
First-round singles
   Vania King, United States, def. Jennifer Brady (1), United States, 6-3, 7-6 (2).
   Chiara Scholl, United States, def. Jovana Jaksic (3), Serbia, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
   Klaartje Liebens, Belgium, def. Amy Zhu, United States, 7-6 (9), 6-1.
   Nadja Gilchrist, United States, def. Sophie Chang, United States, 7-5, 6-3.
   Heidi El Tabakh (8), Canada, def. Alexandra Stevenson, United States, 7-5, 7-5.
   Paula Cristina Goncalves (7), Brazil, def. Megan McCray, United States, 6-1, 6-3.
   Varatchaya Wongteanchai (2), Thailand, def. Ashley Weinhold, United States, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5).
 Second-round singles
   Vania King, United States, def. Julia Jones, United States, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
   Caitlin Whoriskey (6), United States, def. Piia Suomalainen, Finland, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-1.
   Klaartje Liebens, Belgium, def. Chiara Scholl, United States, 6-4, 6-3.
   Heidi El Tabakh (8), Canada, def. Nadja Gilchrist, United States, 6-2, 6-2.
   Paula Cristina Goncalves (7), Brazil, def. Petra Rampre, Slovenia, 6-2, 6-2.
   Anna Zaja, Germany, def. Lauren Embree (4), United States, 6-4, 6-0.
   Sherazad Reix (5), France, def. Maegan Manasse, United States, walkover.
   Varatchaya Wongteanchai (2), Thailand, def. Lauren Albanese, United States, 6-3, 6-0.
 Doubles quarterfinals
   Ashley Weinhold and Caitlin Whoriskey (1), United States, def. Jennifer Brady, United States, and Caroline Doyle, San Francisco, 6-4, 6-3.
   Alexandra Facey and Kat Facey, Cameron Park, def. Robin Anderson and Vania King, United States, walkover.
   Ema Burgic Bucko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Lauren Embree, United States, def. Darya Possokhova, San Francisco, and Seriana Saltzen, Cameron Park, 6-2, 6-2.
   Michelle Sammons, South Africa, and Varatchaya Wongteanchai (2), Thailand, def. Laura Schaeder and Anna Zaja, Germany, 6-3, 6-4. 
Doubles semifinals
   Michelle Sammons, South Africa, and Varatchaya Wongteanchai (2), Thailand, def. Ema Burgic Bucko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Lauren Embree, United States. 
Today's schedule
Court 2
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Paula Cristina Goncalves (7), Brazil, vs. Anna Zaja, Germany.
   Vania King, United States, vs. Caitlin Whoriskey (6), United States.
(Not before 4:30 p.m.)
   Ashley Weinhold and Caitlin Whoriskey (1), United States, vs. Alexandra Facey and Kat Facey, Cameron Park.
Court 1 
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Varatchaya Wongteanchai (2), Thailand, vs. Sherazad Reix (5), France.
   Heidi El Tabakh (8), Canada, vs. Klaartje Liebens, Belgium.

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