Monday, August 23, 2021

Stanford grad Ahn to play Japan's Naito in Open qualies

Kristie Ahn reached the round of 16 in the 2019 U.S. Open. She was
born two miles from the tournament site. 2019 photo by Paul Bauman
   No. 25 seed Kristie Ahn, a 29-year-old Stanford graduate, is scheduled to play Yuki Naito, 20, of Japan for the first time on Tuesday in first-round qualifying for the U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Ahn was born at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, two miles from the tournament site, and lives in nearby Englewood Cliffs, N.J. She reached the round of 16 in the 2019 U.S. Open to pocket $280,000, almost one-quarter of her career prize money of $1,216,894. 
   Ahn has struggled since then, tumbling from a career-high No. 87 in September 2019 to No. 140. However, she qualified for Wimbledon in June and advanced to the second round to collect $101,745. Naito, ranked No. 222, is 0-6, all on clay, since winning a $25,000 clay-court tournament in Buenos Aires in March.
   Also in first-round qualifying, No. 4 seed Mayar "Who Shot The" Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt is set to make her U.S. Open debut on Wednesday against Clervie Ngounoue, a 15-year-old wild card from Washington, D.C.
   Sherif, ranked No. 95, has reached the final of her last two tournaments, both on clay. She lost to No. 2 seed and former world No. 9 Andrea Petkovic of Germany in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, becoming the first Egyptian to play in a WTA singles final, and to No. 1 seed Arantxa "Sanchez-Vicario" Rus of the Netherlands in a $60,000 ITF tournament in Gran Canaria, Spain.
   WTA Tour — In the first round of doubles in Cleveland, No. 1 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan defeated Anastasia Rodionova, 39, of Australia and Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3.
   Aoyama and Shibahara, a native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals last month after winning the Eastbourne title on grass.
   Rodionova and Voskoboeva hail from Russia.
   ATP Tour — In the opening round of doubles in Winston-Salem, N.C., Marcus Daniell of New Zealand and Marcelo Demoliner of Brazil took out No. 3 seeds "Baltimore" Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) of Japan 6-3, 4-6 [10-4].
   Klaasen and McLachlan fell to 0-3 since winning the Washington, D.C., title three weeks ago.

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