Sunday, July 15, 2018

Stevenson advances in 60K Berkeley qualifying

   Alexandra Stevenson, who in 1999 became the first female qualifier to reach the Wimbledon semifinals, beat Dominique Schaefer of Peru 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 today in the first round of qualifying for the $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge.
   Stevenson, the daughter of basketball legend Julius Erving, reached a career-high No. 18 in 2002 before shoulder surgery derailed her career. 
   Now ranked No. 849, the 37-year-old native of La Jolla in the San Diego area is scheduled to face eighth-seeded Haruna Arakawa of Japan on Monday at noon. Arakawa dismissed wild card Mylene Mukhar, a former University of San Francisco standout, 6-2, 6-1.
   Connie Ma, 15, of Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area surprised McCartney Kessler, a rising freshman at Florida, 6-4, 6-2. Ma will play fourth-seeded Anastasia Nefedova, a 17-year-old American who outclassed Salome Devidze of Georgia 6-2, 6-3. 
   Michaela Gordon, 18, of Saratoga in the San Francisco Bay Area, defeated Amy Zhu, a 23-year-old American, 6-3, 6-1. Gordon, who played No. 1 singles and doubles as a freshman on Stanford's NCAA championship team in the spring, will take on 30-year-old Tori Kinard, the sixth seed who topped Monica Robinson 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in an all-American battle.   
   Sebastiani Leon, a former San Jose State star, held off wild card Olivia Hauger, a rising Cal senior, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4. Leon will meet second seed Sabrina Santamaria, who won the 2013 NCAA doubles title with USC teammate Kaitlyn Christian. Santamaria beat Makenna Thiel, a rising high school sophomore from nearby Piedmont, 6-3, 6-2.
   Pamela Montez, a 27-year-old former UCLA All-American, ousted top-seeded Hanna Chang 7-6 (1), 6-3 in an all-American matchup.
   Here are the Berkeley qualifying draw and Monday's schedule. Main-draw play will begin Tuesday at noon.

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