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Americans Find Success on Wednesday at Tennis Classic of Macon
By Rick Limpert
MACON, Georgia, (October 9, 2013) More beautiful weather for the continuation of the first round of the main draw on Wednesday, and that played right into the hands of the American players at the ButlerCars.com Tennis Classic of Macon held at the Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center at Stratford Academy.
Wildcard entry and former University of Alabama player Alexa Guarachi took on China’s Di Zhao to start Wednesday’s action. Guarachi, who because of injury issues, doesn’t even currently hold a world ranking started a bit tentatively, but caught fire at the end of the first set edged the world No. 515 6-4, 7-5 in front of a group of family and friends.
“I kind of had a slow start, but thought I played well,” said Guarachi following her win. “My serve helped and he helps me set up what I want to do with the next ball.”
Guarachi next takes on another former college player in former Arizona State Sun Devil Jacqueline Cako. Even after both played four year in college, they have never played each other.
“I’m excited,” stated Guarachi. “I know her game a little and I’ve had some friends that have played her, so I can talk to them.
Another player that did some talking was former University of Florida player Allie Will.
Will fell behind Emma Hayman of New Zealand early and dropped the first set. Will then proceeded to give herself frequent short pep talks as she eeked out a tiebreaker to take the second set to force a decisive third.
The talks appeared to work as Will went on to win the third set and advance.
Also advancing was former USC player and qualifying draw survivor Danielle Lao of Arcadia, California. Lao came to Macon with no world ranking, but a relaxed attitude and she says that is paying off.
Lao won a battle with fellow American Chiara Scholl 6-4, 6-4 and is content to take it one match at a time.
“I think I decided to play these tournaments a few weeks ago- it was either or going to be great or be a disaster, but so far so good,” offered up Lao.
Lao said she relies on her own instincts when preparing for a match and doesn’t worry about what the stats or percentages say.
“I usually don’t check the numbers and stats, but I try to play my game and go out there and access what I need to do. The numbers don’t necessarily lie, but they can be deceiving.”
Lao next will face top seeded Adja Tomljanovic.
The tournament’s third seed Madison Brengle cruised through her first round match with a straight set win over Tereza Martincova. Brengle will next face Natalie Pluskota of Sharpsburg, Georgia.
Wednesday’s Results (Winners Listed First)
Starting at 10:00Alexa GUARACHI (USA)Di ZHAO (CHN) WS7-5 6-4
Starting at 10:00Allie WILL (USA)Emma HAYMAN (NZL) WS1-6 7-5 6-3
Starting at 10:00Mari OSAKA (JPN)Asia MUHAMMAD (USA) WS4-6 6-3 6-3
Starting at 10:00Nicole GIBBS (USA) Elizabeth LUMPKIN (USA) WS6-1 6-0
Followed byDanielle LAO (USA)Chiara SCHOLL (USA) WS6-4 6-4
Followed byAlexandra STEVENSON (USA)Caitlin WHORISKEY (USA) WS6-3 1-6 6-4
Followed byPiia SUOMALAINEN (FIN)Samantha CRAWFORD (USA) WS6-4 6-0
Followed byNatalie PLUSKOTA (USA)Angelica MORATELLI (ITA) WS7-6(3) 6-1
Followed byMadison BRENGLE (USA) Tereza MARTINCOVA (CZE) WS6-2 6-4
Followed byRosalia ALDA (USA) / Epiphany B. TURNER (USA)Emma HAYMAN (NZL) / Michelle SAMMONS (RSA) WD6-3 2-6 [13-11]
Followed byKhristina BLAJKEVITCH (CAN) / Petra JANUSKOVA (CAN)Kristi BOXX (USA) / Abigail GUTHRIE (NZL) WD6-1 2-6 [10-4]
Followed byAsia MUHAMMAD (USA) / Allie WILL (USA) Nicole GIBBS (USA) / Alexa GUARACHI (USA) WD3-6 6-3 [10-6]