Monday, September 27, 2021

Volynets, 19, could play top seed in Berkeley quarters

Katie Volynets is seeded fifth in Berkeley, Calif., 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) from her
home in Walnut Creek. 2019 photo by Paul Bauman
   No. 5 seed Katie Volynets, 19, of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, could face No. 1 seed Zheng Saisai of China for the first time on Friday in the quarterfinals of the $60,000 Berkeley Challenger at the venerable Berkeley Tennis Club.
   The tournament draw was held today.
   Zheng, 27, won her only WTA singles title two years ago in nearby San Jose and reached the semifinals of last week's $115,000 tournament in Columbus, Ohio. Ranked No. 75 (No. 2 in China behind Zhang Shuai), she is scheduled to play a qualifier in the first round on Wednesday.
   The 182nd-ranked Volynets, playing 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) west of home, is set to meet No. 306 Marcela Zacarias, 27, of Mexico for the third time in the first round on Wednesday at a time to be determined. Volynets won a 10-6 match tiebreaker against Zacarias in the second (last) round of qualifying in Boca Raton, Fla., in February, and Zacarias dominated 17-year-old Volynets 6-3, 6-1 in the second round in Sumter, S.C., in 2019. Both were $25,000 hardcourt tournaments.
   Also Wednesday, No. 2 seed Wang Xinyu of China is set to play Sachia Vickery of Miramar, Fla., and No. 7 seed Mayo Hibi, a longtime resident of Irvine, Calif., who represents her native Japan, is slated to meet a qualifier.
   Wang advanced to the Columbus final on Sunday, and Hibi routed Vickery in the semifinals of the last (2019) Berkeley Challenger before losing to Madison Brengle. Vickery and Brengle won the doubles title.
   Main-draw play is set to begin on Tuesday not before 1 p.m. after final-round qualifying matches. Highlighting the schedule, No. 3 seed Panna Udvardy of Hungary is slated to meet Louisa Chirico of Westchester, N.Y., not before 1 p.m.
   In today's first round of qualifying, Haley Giavara, a University of California, Berkeley junior from San Diego, edged No. 15 seed Alexandra Osborne of Australia 6-3, 2-6 [10-8]. Also advancing were Maegan Manasse, a Cal assistant coach and former Bears All-American, and Maria Kozyreva, a Saint Mary's fifth-year senior from Russia.
   Here are the Berkeley singles, doubles and qualifying draws and Tuesday's schedule.

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