Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ex-Stanford star Zhao wins $100K Shenzhen

   One week after Kristie Ahn won the biggest title of her career, her former Stanford teammate Carol Zhao did the same.
   The unseeded Zhao, a 22-year-old Canadian, beat fourth-seeded Fangzhao Liu of China 7-5, 6-2 on an outdoor hard court today for the $100,000 Shenzhen (China) title.
   "It's been a long way here since January and I owe this to a small group of people whose belief in me never wavered even when mine did," Zhao tweeted. "There are still many, many more miles to go but I'm so so grateful for you, and for this."
   Zhao soared from No. 221 in the world to a career-high No. 150 with the title. Her only previous singles crown came in a $25,000 tournament in Nanao, Japan, in early September.
   Zhao, 5-foot-5 (1.65 meters), reached the NCAA singles final as a sophomore in 2015, losing to Jamie Loeb of North Carolina. Zhao turned pro in June 2016 after helping Stanford claim its 18th NCAA women's team title. Florida is next with seven.
   Ahn, a 25-year-old American, won last week's $80,000 RBC Pro Challenger in Tyler, Texas. 

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