(February 9, 2013) MIDLAND, Mich. – The Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center continued on Saturday with all semifinal singles and doubles matches taking place. Unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia continued her dream run with a win in the day session over American Mallory Burdette, while No. 1 seed Lauren Davis in the US had yet another major comeback win in the evening session against No. 8 seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.
In the day session, Tomljanovic stood her ground in the hard-hitting baseline rallies with Burdette, reeling off the final eight games of the match to win 7-5, 6-0. Burdette fought hard to rally from 2-5 down in the first set, but it was the last bit of momentum she would have in the match.
“At 5-5, she had the momentum and it could have gone either way. But after I held serve and broke again, I felt like it was my turn to dominate,” said Tomljanovic.
Tomljanovic, currently ranked No. 370, was sidelined by mononucleosis for most of 2012 and was limited to just six events. So far in 2013, she has already reached the finals of the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Innisbrook, Flor. “I was prepared for it to take a while for my form to come back, but I had a really good off-season and knew that I would eventually pick my form up and do something big,” she said. “I’m not too surprised to be hitting the ball like this, but I’m welcoming it.”
In the evening session, Davis rallied from 1-6, 1-4 down to defeat Puig 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. The world No. 116 Puig seemed unable to miss throughout much of the early stages of the match, reeling off five straight games to take the opening set. Midway through the second set, Davis started to add more variety to her game and displayed a willingness to attack the net when the opportunity came. She won 11 of the final 13 games in the match.
“At 1-4 in the second set, I started to get more balls back and make her play more in the rallies,” said Davis. “I have no idea how I pulled that out though.”
The 19-year-old Davis has come into her own over the last six months, breaking into the world’s top 100 on the back of strong results including quarterfinal finishes at WTA events in Quebec City, Canada and Hobart, Australia, as well winning two USTA Pro Circuit titles last fall at the $75,000 challenger in Albuquerque, N.M. and $50,000 event in Las Vegas.
Despite needing over two hours to win tonight and spending roughly ten hours on court throughout her four matches this week, Davis said she was confident that she’ll have enough in the tank for Sunday’s final.
“I feel so fresh and so new, so I’ll be fine for tomorrow,” said Davis. “I’ve been working hard on my fitness, especially during the off-season and it’s paying off for me.”
In doubles action, the Brazilian-British team of Maria-Fernanda Alves and Samantha Murray moved into the doubles final with a 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 3 seeds Julia Cohen of the US and Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia. They will play the winners of the evening session doubles match between Americans Jill Craybas and CoCo Vandeweghe and the Hungarian-Croatian team of Melinda Czink and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
The singles and doubles finals of the Dow Corning Tennis Classic will kick off tomorrow at 1:00pm. Lauren Davis and Ajla Tomljanovic will be up first in the singles final, followed by the doubles final between Maria-Fernanda Alves and Samantha Murray against either Jill Craybas and CoCo Vandeweghe or Melinda Czink and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
The Dow Corning Tennis Classic is in its 25th year on the USTA Pro Circuit, making it the longest-running women’s event on the USTA Pro Circuit.
Dow Corning Tennis Classic
A USTA Pro Circuit Event
Saturday, February 9
Midland Community Tennis Center
Saturday, February 9 – RESULTS
Main Draw Singles – Semifinals
Lauren Davis, United States (1), def. Monica Puig, Puerto Rico (8), 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, def. Mallory Burdette, United States, 7-5, 6-0
Main Draw Doubles – Semifinals
Maria-Fernanda Alves, Brazil, and Samantha Murray, Great Britain, def. Julia Cohen, United States, and Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia (3), 6-3, 6-1
Sunday’s February 10 – SCHEDULE
Stadium Court – starting at 1 p.m.
Lauren Davis vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, followed by Maria-Fernanda Alves/Samantha Murray vs. Jill Craybas/Coco Vandeweghe or Melinda Czink/Mirjana Lucic-Baroni