Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ex-Stanford star Ahn wins in French Open qualifying

Kristie Ahn defeated Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in the first
round of French Open qualifying. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Former Stanford All-American Kristie Ahn, making her French Open debut, defeated Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 today in the first round of qualifying in Paris.
   Kumkhum shocked Petra Kvitova in the opening round of the 2014 Australian Open.
   Ahn, ranked No. 194, will play Katerina Siniakova, seeded sixth and ranked No. 107, of the Czech Republic for the first time on Thursday. Siniakova dismissed French wild card Chloe Paquet 6-2, 6-3.
   The 5-foot-5 (1.65 meters) Ahn, from Upper Saddle River, N.J., showed her potential by qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Open at 16. She lost to Dinara Safina, ranked seventh at the time and No. 1 the following year, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round at Flushing Meadows.
   But Ahn has battled numerous injuries since then. In between, she gave Stanford the last of its record 17 NCAA team titles, winning the deciding match in a 4-3 victory over Texas A&M in the 2013 final in Urbana, Ill.
   Ahn, who will turn 24 next month, is coming off a runner-up finish in a $25,000 hardcourt tournament in Changwon, South Korea, in early April.    
   Siniakova, who celebrated her 20th birthday on May 10, won a $100,000 clay-court tournament in Trnava, Slovakia, last week.
   In doubles, Siniakova reached the final of the 2014 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford with Paula Kania of Poland and the third round of last year's French Open with Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
   On the men's side in French Open qualifying, No. 32 seed Dennis Novikov of Milpitas in the San Francisco Bay Area is scheduled to face Marco Trungelliti of Argentina in the second round on Wednesday.

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