Thursday, November 5, 2020

Former Fresno St. star advances in singles, doubles

   Maiar Sherif Ahmed Abdelaziz, a former Fresno State All-American, today advanced to the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals in the $100,000 LTP Tennis on clay in Charleston, S.C.
   The 24-year-old qualifier from Egypt defeated Caroline Dolehide, a 22-year-old native of Hinsdale, Ill., 7-5, 7-6 (6) in singles. Dolehide crushed sixth-seeded Kristie Ahn, a 28-year-old Stanford graduate, 6-1, 6-0 in 47 minutes in the first round on Wednesday.
   Abdelaziz also paired with Astra Sharma of Australia to edge Kateryna Bondarenko, a 34-year-old mother of two from Ukraine, and Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-1, 3-6 [10-6] in a matchup of unseeded teams.
   Abdelaziz made her Grand Slam main-draw debut in September, qualifying for the French Open in September and extending second-seeded Karolina Pliskova to 6-4 in the third set in the opening round of singles. 
   Abdelaziz reached the NCAA doubles quarterfinals in 2016 as a Fresno State sophomore with her sister Rana before transferring to Pepperdine and advancing to the NCAA singles semifinals in 2018 as a senior.
   Ranked No. 164 in singles, Abdelaziz is scheduled to meet Romanian qualifier Gabriela Talaba, ranked No. 217, for the first time on Friday.
   Talaba, a 25-year-old left-hander who won the $25,000 Redding (Calif.) Challenger last fall, beat top-seeded Shelby Rogers of Charleston by walkover. The reason for Rogers' withdrawal was not available.
   Rogers, 28, nipped qualifier Kyoka Okamura of Japan 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (5) in the opening round after serving for the match twice in the third set and trailing 2-5 in the tiebreaker. 
   Rogers stunned Serena Williams in the quarterfinals at Lexington, Ky., in August and reached her second Grand Slam quarterfinal in September in the U.S. Open.
   Meanwhile, two former top-35 players lost today.
   Renata Zarazua, a 5-foot-3 (1.60-meter) Mexican who advanced to the second round of the French Open as a qualifier, dismissed third-seeded Madison Brengle, 30, of Bradenton, Fla., 6-2, 6-1. Brengle won Northern California Challengers in 2018 and 2019.
   Katarzyna Kawa, 27, of Poland eliminated CiCi Bellis, a 21-year-old wild card who was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
   Both Brengle and Bellis have been slowed by injuries since achieving career highs of No. 35. They climbed that high at age 25 in 2015 and 18 in 2017, respectively.
   Second-seeded Lauren Davis, ranked No. 73, dominated Hailey Baptiste, a 19-year-old qualifier, 6-2, 6-1 in an all-American encounter. 
   The 5-foot-2 (1.57-meter) Davis reached a career-high No. 26 in 2017. Baptiste shocked second-seeded Madison Keys, the U.S. Open runner-up in 2017, in the opening round in Baptiste's native Washington, D.C., last year. 
   Fourth-seeded Misaki Doi, a 5-foot-3 (1.59-meter) left-hander from Japan, advanced by walkover against Sara Errani, a 34-year-old Italian formerly ranked No. 5.
   On Center Court on Friday, Davis is scheduled to face Kawa at 7 a.m. PST, followed by Doi against eighth-seeded Ann Li, a 20-year-old American who won an $80,000 hardcourt tournament in Tyler, Texas, last week. Both matches will be streamed live.
   Abdelaziz and Sharma, a 25-year-old former Vanderbilt All-American, are set to play wild cards Allura and Maribella Zamarripa, 18-year-old identical twins from St. Helena in the Napa Valley. 
   The Zamarripas, who saved two championship points and won the Tyler title last week as alternates, beat Dolehide and Rogers by walkover.  

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