Thursday, April 2, 2020

U.S. prospect Kratzer provisionally suspended

Ashley Kratzer argues a call during her loss to former
Stanford star Nicole Gibbs in the semifinals of the 2018
Berkeley (Calif.) Challenger. Photo by Paul Bauman
   On July 23, 2017, Ashley Kratzer faced Sofia Kenin in the final of the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger.
   Kenin, seeded fourth, needed only 65 minutes to demolish Kratzer, a wild card, 6-0, 6-1 in a matchup of 18-year-old Americans.
   Since then, their careers have gone in opposite directions.
   Kenin, who compensates for her relatively small size (5-foot-7 or 1.70 meters) with tenacity, has vaulted to No. 4 in the world and No. 1 in the United States. She marched to the Australian Open title as the 14th seed in January for her first Grand Slam title.
   Kratzer, who's 5-foot-11 (1.80 meters) and left-handed but volatile on the court, is ranked No. 498. She was charged with an anti-doping violation on March 18 and provisionally suspended on March 27.
   Kratzer tested positive for a growth hormone at a $125,000 WTA tournament in her hometown of Newport Beach, Calif., in late January. She can appeal but had not as of March 27.
   The length of the suspension has not been announced.
   Kenin and Kratzer won the USTA Girls 18 National Championships in San Diego in 2015 and 2017, respectively.


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