Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Volynets, 18, earns her first tour-level victory

Katie Volynets, playing in the Berkeley, Calif.
Challenger last July, surprised Shelby Rogers
6-2, 7-6 (5) tonight in the first round in Acapulco.
Photo by Paul Bauman 
   Katie Volynets achieved the biggest win of her brief career tonight.
   The 18-year-old wild card from Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area defeated American Shelby Rogers 6-2, 7-6 (5) in the first round of the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco on the WTA Tour.
   Volynets, who won the USTA 18 National Championships last August and turned pro in December, converted her second match point. The first came while she was serving at 6-5 in the second set.
   It was Volynets' first tour-level victory in four appearances (three in the main draw).
   Rogers, at No. 114, is by far the highest-ranked player Volynets, No. 384, has beaten. Her previous best victory came in her last tournament, a $100,000 Challenger in Nicholasville, Ky., two weeks ago, against No. 256 Catherine Harrison of the United States.
   Rogers reached the quarterfinals of the 2016 French Open and attained a career-high ranking of No. 48 in 2017. She had knee surgery in May 2018 and missed the rest of the season.
   Volynets is scheduled to face wild card Renata Zarazua, ranked No. 270, for the first time on Wednesday. The 22-year-old Mexican, 5-foot-3 (1.60 meters), stunned top-seeded Sloane Stephens, who grew up in Fresno, Calif., 6-4, 6-2. Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion and 2018 French Open runner-up, fell to 0-4 this year.
   College rankings – The Stanford women (8-1), who have won the last two NCAA team titles and three of the last four, jumped from No. 12 to No. 6 after beating No. 3 Texas 4-3 in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. The Longhorns (8-2) slipped one spot.
   California (1-3) dropped out of the rankings from No. 18 after losing at No. 2 UCLA 7-0 and No. 12 Pepperdine 5-0.
   On the men's side, Stanford (7-3) remained No. 8, and Cal (5-2) fell four notches to No. 26.

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