Thursday, July 26, 2018

U.S. teens Liu, Kratzer receive San Jose wild cards

Ashley Kratzer reached the semifinals in last week's $60,000
Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Two of the United States' top prospects, Southern California teenagers Claire Liu and Ashley Kratzer, received main-draw wild cards for next week's Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose State, tournament officials announced today.
   Liu (pronounced Loo), 18, of Thousand Oaks and Kratzer, a 19-year-old left-hander from Newport Beach, join former world No. 1s Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza as the tournament's wild cards.
   The draw for the Silicon Valley Classic, which replaces the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, will be held Friday at 6 p.m. Qualifying will begin Saturday and the main draw on Monday. Both sessions will start at 10 a.m.
   The field also includes Bank of the West champions Serena Williams (2011, 2012 and 2014), Victoria Azarenka (2010), Johanna Konta (2016) and Madison Keys (2017).
   Liu, ranked No. 153, has qualified for three tour-level events and played in the main draw of two others this year. She reached the second round at Wimbledon this month and was the only player to win a set there against eventual champion Angelique Kerber.
   Last year, Liu became the first American to win the Wimbledon girls title since Chanda Rubin in 1992, reached the French Open girls final and  climbed to No. 1 in the world junior rankings.
   Kratzer, ranked No. 249, has advanced to the semifinals or better at four ITF (minor-league) events in 2018, including the final of a $25,000 event in Naples, Fla. in early June and the semifinals of last week's $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge.
   Last summer, Kratzer reached the final of the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger and won the USTA Girls' 18s National Championships in San Diego to earn a wild card in the main draw of the U.S. Open. She lost in the opening round at Flushing Meadows to Germany's Tatjana Maria, then ranked 61st, 6-1, 6-1.
   For more information on the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, visit mubadalasvc.com.

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