San Diego, Calif. — (June 4, 2014) – Former touring tennis professional Anna Anikanova used a solid baseline game and her experience to defeat 16-year-old Ashley Chao of San Diego, 6-2, 6-4, to move into the third round of the USTA National Open Hard Court Championships at the Balboa Tennis Club.
The 30-year-old Anikanova, a native of Ukraine, competed on the International Tennis Federation Circuit and earned a career-high singles ranking of 840 in the world in late 2000. Today, Anikanova is a resident of the San Diego community of Pacific Beach and is a mother of two children. She also operates her own tennis academy in San Diego’s North County.
In her second-round match against Chao, the second-seeded Anikanova established a commanding 4-1 lead in the second set and looked poised for an easy straight set victory. However, she began to tire and Chao capitalized on a service break to make the score 4-3 in Anikanova’s favor.
Just when it looked like Chao would make a run to win the second set, Anikanova regrouped, raised the level of her game and went on to close out the match. Anikanova will face unseeded Anna Ustinova of Sherman Oaks, Calif. in the Round of 16 on Thursday at 11 a.m. (PDT).
“I was just concentrating on practicing because I don’t get to practice that much. I was trying to practice my down the line forehand, my favorite shot,” Anikanova said. “I made a couple of mistakes at 4-1 in the second set and I was getting a little tired. I just picked it up a little. Otherwise it was a good match.”
Tennis is still a passion for Anikanova, the highest remaining seed in the women’s tournament. She enjoys playing an occasional local tournament because it provides a temporary get-away from her busy schedule.
In men’s action, third-seeded Emmanuel Mensah of Imperial Beach, Calif., took control early in his third-round encounter and dominated unseeded Addison Appleby of La Jolla, Calif., 6-2, 6-2. The 25-year-old Mensah, a native of Ghana, is scheduled to play Andranik Khachatryan of Burbank, Calif., in the fourth round on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. (PDT).
Second-seeded Deiton Baughman of Carson, Calif., overcame two service breaks in the second set of his third-round match and went on to score a hard-fought, 6-3, 7-5, victory over unseeded Brett Van Linge of San Luis Obispo, Calif., to advance.
The 18-year-old Baughman, currently ranked 1029 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings, faces unseeded Mario Becerra of Pembroke Pines, Fla., in a fourth-round match scheduled for noon (PDT) on Thursday.
The USTA National Open Hard Court Championships offer singles and doubles draws in men’s and women’s divisions as well as mixed doubles. Matches begin at 9 a.m. (PDT) each day of the tournament. The event concludes Sunday, June 8, with the women’s singles final, followed by the men’s singles final.
Admission for spectators is free and open to the public. On-site parking at the Balboa Tennis Club is free. For draws of all divisions and complete scores and results, please go to:
The winners of each division will be awarded a USTA gold ball, while the runner-up will be awarded a USTA silver ball. There will also be a 3rd/4th place playoff for the USTA bronze ball. All draws offer consolation events.