Monday, September 11, 2017

Teen phenom Zhuk heads 25K Redding field

   A teenage phenom, a former top-30 player and a Northern California product highlight the field in the Ascension Project Women's Challenger in Redding, Calif.
   The $25,000 tournament is scheduled for Tuesday through Sunday at Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness.
   Top-seeded Sofya Zhuk, a 17-year-old Russian ranked 143rd in the world, will meet Ana Veselinovic, a 29-year-old left-hander from Montenegro, on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.
   Zhuk won the Wimbledon girls singles title two years ago and qualified for the women's main draw of the recent U.S. Open before falling to 50th-ranked Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the first round.
   Zhuk has won three singles titles in the minor leagues of women's tennis this year and withdrew from the final of another.
   Qualifier Urszula Radwanska, who reached No. 29 in the world in 2012 before injuries derailed her career, will play Veronica Miroshnichenko, a 19-year-old left-hander from Russia, on Wednesday.
   Radwanska, 26, is the younger sister of Agnieszka Radwanska, who's ranked 11th after climbing as high as second in 2012.
   Seventh-seeded Maria Sanchez, a 27-year-old Modesto native, will face wild card Lorraine Guillermo, a 24-year-old American, on Wednesday.
   Sanchez, the only seeded American in the draw, won the 2011 Redding doubles title with since-retired Yasmin Schnack of Sacramento.
   Redding alumni include former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, current doubles world No. 1 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, and current top-70 singles players Lauren Davis (No. 38) and Jennifer Brady (No. 65), both of Boca Raton, Fla. Twelve years ago, Safarova won the Redding singles title at age 18, and Azarenka reached the quarterfinals at 15.
   The Redding-based Ascension Project develops athletes into leaders.
   Here are the singles and doubles draws and Tuesday's schedule.

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