Saturday, February 2, 2019

McNally, 17, stuns top seed to reach $100K Midland final

   The future of U.S. women's tennis is looking better all the time.
   One day after recording her first victory over a top-100 player, 17-year-old Caty McNally beat an even higher-ranked opponent to reach the final in Midland, Mich.
   McNally, a wild card ranked No. 411, shocked top-seeded Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-3, 6-3 today in the $100,000 Dow Tennis Classic.
   Peterson, ranked No. 57, reached the third round of last year's U.S. Open and the second round of last month's Australian Open.
   McNally, who has not lost a set in this week's tournament, was coming off a 6-3, 6-4 victory over third seed and defending champion Madison Brengle, ranked No. 80. Brengle won the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger last October.
   In addition to McNally, top U.S. prospects include 14-year-old Cori (Coco) Gauff, 16-year-old Whitney Osuigwe, 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova, 18-year-old Claire Liu and 20-year-old Sofia Kenin.
   Gauff reached the second round of singles, losing to Peterson, and the final in doubles in Midland.
   McNally, who lost to Gauff in a third-set tiebreaker in last year's French Open girls final, will play fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula of Boca Raton, Fla. in Sunday's final.
  Pegula, the 24-year-old daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Terrence and Kim Pegula, beat qualifier Robin Anderson, a 5-foot-3 (1.61-meter) American, 6-4, 6-2.
   Pegula, ranked No. 104, will crack the top 100 for the first time on Monday. She reached the final in Quebec City on the WTA tour, the major leagues of women's tennis, as a qualifier last September and the semifinals in Stockton the following month.
   Pegula also advanced to the final of the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger in 2012, losing to Modesto (Calif.) product Maria Sanchez.
   Anderson won the $25,000 Redding (Calif.) Challenger in 2017.
  This will be the second meeting between Pegula and McNally but first on a hard court. Pegula won 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of a $15,000 clay-court tournament in Tampa, Fla., last March.
   In today's doubles final, veterans Olga Govortsova of Belarus and Valeria Savinykh of Russia outclassed Gauff and 18-year-old compatriot Ann Li 6-4, 6-0.
   Govortsova advanced to the singles quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2007 and 2013. The tournament ended in 2017 after 21 years at Stanford and was replaced by the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in nearby San Jose.
   Li advanced to the singles quarters in Stockton last year.

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