Thursday, July 20, 2017

No. 1 Ahn, three other seeds fall in 60K Stockton

   STOCKTON, Calif. -- Top-seeded Kristie Ahn lost today in the $60,000 University of the Pacific Stockton Challenger, but the former Stanford star shouldn't feel too bad.
   For one thing, Ahn fell to a WTA veteran who reached a career-high No. 63 in May 2016.
   For another, Ahn had plenty of company.
   Irina Falconi dismissed friend and fellow Orlando, Fla., resident Ahn 6-4, 6-0 in the second round at the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center. Also eliminated were No. 3 seed Danielle Collins, No. 6 Grace Min and No. 7 Usue Maitane Arconada. Only two seeds, No. 2 Jamie Loeb and No. 4 Sofia Kenin, reached the quarterfinals.
   Falconi, only 5-foot-4 (1.63 meters), reached the third round of the 2011 U.S. Open and 2015 French Open. The Ecuador native won her only WTA title in April 2016 on clay in Bogota but had surgery on her right big toe after the U.S. Open and returned to the tour at the beginning of January.
   Now ranked No. 247, the 27-year-old Falconi said the key to beating Ahn was making sure she did "something as simple as looking at the ball on every single point. There were a few times where I corrected myself and said, 'Look at the ball.' Once I won the first set, continuing with that fire and intensity helped me in the second."
   The 5-foot-5 (1.65-meter) Ahn, 25, had no aces and six double faults. She won only 43.3 percent of the points on her first serve (13 of 30) and 39.1 percent (9 of 23) on her second delivery.
   "I didn't serve very well," acknowledged Ahn, ranked No. 117. "I tried to do the right thing and come forward a couple times and made too many errors. It was partly due to her great defense. I definitely overplayed a couple times.
   "Overall it was not my best, but I do think we had a couple good points, and there were some positives I could take away from today. I came forward more today than I did the other day, and I'm trying to incorporate that more into my game."
   Falconi is scheduled to play Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic, a former top-50 player rebounding from shoulder surgery, Friday not before 10:30 a.m. on Court 2 in the quarterfinals.
   The 5-foot-11 (1.80-meter) Tomljanovic (pronounced Tom-lee-an-o-vich), who reached the fourth round of the 2014 French Open, defeated Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, 18, of France 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.
   Falconi has a 4-2 record with a three-match winning streak against Tomljanovic. Falconi won the last meeting 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of qualifying in the 2015 Canadian Open.
   Also today, 19-year-old Xu Shilin of China dispatched third-seeded Danielle Rose Collins of St. Petersburg, Fla., 6-3, 6-3.
   Xu, who lived in Florida from age 8 to 14 and speaks fluent English, uses two hands on her forehand and backhand. Collins won the 2014 and 2016 NCAA singles titles while playing for Virginia.
   Xu will play wild card Ashley Kratzer, an 18-year-old left-hander from Newport Beach in Southern California, not before 10:30 a.m. on the Stadium Court. Kratzer beat naturalized U.S. citizen Anna Tatishvili, a former top-50 player, 6-4, 7-5.
   Amanda Anisimova, a 15-year-old phenom from Hallandale Beach, Fla., dominated sixth-seeded Grace Min of Atlanta and Orlando 6-1, 6-2. The 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) Anisimova, who has lost only four games in two Stockton matches, will take on Loeb of Ossining, N.Y., at 9 a.m. on the Stadium Court.
   Loeb, a singles quarterfinalist in Stockton last year and doubles champion in the 2015 (inaugural) tournament, outclassed 18-year-old Caroline Dolehide of Hinsdale, Ill., 6-3, 6-2. Loeb, the 2015 NCAA singles champion at North Carolina, has not lost more than three games in a set in her two matches.
   Also, Francesca Di Lorenzo held off seventh-seeded Usue Maitane Arconada 7-6 (5), 6-4 in a hard-hitting battle of U.S. teenagers. Arconada, who was born in Argentina and grew up in Puerto Rico, led 4-1 in the tiebreaker.
   Di Lorenzo, a 19-year-old left-hander, won the NCAA doubles title as an Ohio State sophomore in May and lost in the first round of singles as the top seed. She will face Kenin, 18, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., at 9 a.m. on Court 2.
   Kenin, who won last year's Sacramento Challenger, beat Robin Anderson, a 24-year-old former UCLA star, 6-4, 6-3.
   Here are the Stockton singles and doubles draws and Friday's schedule. Live streaming is available.  

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