Friday, February 1, 2019

Ahn loses battle against top seed in $100K Midland

Kristie Ahn, a 26-year-old Stanford graduate, saved three match points be-
fore falling to top-seeded Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 today
in the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland, Mich.
2018 photo by Paul Bauman
   Kristie Ahn fought hard but came up short against the top seed in a $100,000 tournament in Midland, Mich.
   The 26-year-old Stanford graduate and New Jersey resident saved three match points before falling to Rebecca Peterson, a 23-year-old Swede, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in 2 hours, 31 minutes today in the quarterfinals of the Dow Tennis Classic.
   Peterson, ranked No. 57, broke serve to lead 3-2 in the third set and held for 4-2. Ahn, ranked No. 220, escaped a break point to hold for 3-4. After Peterson held for 5-3, Ahn survived two match points and pulled within 4-5.
   Peterson, who reached the third round of last year's U.S. Open and the second round of last month's Australian Open, trailed 0-30 in the next game but won three consecutive points to earn her third match point. Ahn again stayed alive and then earned a break point, but Peterson won the following three points to improve to 3-0 lifetime against Ahn.
   It was Peterson's second victory over Ahn in two weeks. Peterson triumphed 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the $162,480 Newport Beach Challenger.
   Peterson will face Caty McNally, a 17-year-old wild card from Cincinnati, on Saturday. McNally ousted third seed and defending champion Madison Brengle of Dover, Del., 6-3, 6-4. Brengle won the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger last October.
   In Saturday's other semifinal, fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula will meet qualifier and fellow American Robin Anderson.
   Pegula, the 24-year-old daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Terrence and Kim Pegula, topped American Christina McHale, a former top-25 player, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
   Pegula advanced to the final of the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger in 2012, losing to Modesto (Calif.) product Maria Sanchez, and the semifinals of last year's Stockton Challenger.
   The 5-foot-3 (1.61-meter) Anderson, who won the $25,000 Redding (Calif.) Challenger in 2017, beat sixth-seeded Yanina Wickmayer, a 29-year-old Belgian who reached the semifinals of the 2009 U.S. Open, 6-3, 6-4.
   In Saturday's doubles final, U.S. wild cards Cori (Coco) Gauff, 14, and Ann Li, 18, will meet unseeded Olga Govortsova, 30, of Belarus and Valeria Savinykh, 27, of Russia.
   Li reached the singles quarterfinals of last year's Stockton Challenger, and Govortsova advanced to the singles quarters of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2007 and 2013.
   The Bank of the West Classic ended in 2017 after 21 years at Stanford and was replaced by the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in nearby San Jose.

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