2014/07/30

Semifinals Set at USTA National Open Hard Court Championships

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San Diego, Calif. — (June 6, 2014) – After an exciting day of quarterfinal singles action at the Balboa Tennis Club, Saturday’s semifinal pairings at the United States Tennis Association National Open Hard Court Championships are set.

The women’s semifinals will feature fourth-seeded Felicity Maltby of Sunnyvale, Calif. versus unseeded Alexandra Valenstein of Laguna Hills, Calif., and fifth-seeded Jana McCord of San Diego against fifth-seeded Monica Robinson of Valley Center, Calif. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (PDT).

In the men’s semifinals, second seeded Deiton Baughman of Carson, Calif., will face third-seeded Emmanuel Mensah of Imperial Beach, Calif., while fourth-seeded Robbie Bellamy of Pacific Palisades, Calif., takes on unseeded Logan Smith of Carlsbad, Calif. Both men’s matches will be played at 11 a.m. (PDT).

The biggest surprise of the tournament took place on Friday morning in a women’s quarterfinal match on Court No. 9, as Valenstein, a 17-year-old from Laguna Hills, Calif., shocked second-seeded Anna Anikanova of San Diego, 6-1, 6-0.

Valenstein, who is completing her junior year at Laguna Hills High School, used an aggressive baseline game to dominate the 30-year-old Anikanova, a former touring tennis professional who was once ranked as high as No. 840 in the world.

“Today I just wanted to execute my game plan and part of my game I’ve been working on like moving into the court and transitioning. I executed very well,” Valenstein said. “She (Anikanova) fought pretty hard in the first set. Once I got the lead, I just kind of ran with it.”

This is the first time Valenstein is competing in the USTA National Open Hard Court Championship and if she goes on to win the tournament, she will win her first USTA gold ball.

“If I won a gold ball, it would solidify where my game is going. I would love to play professional tennis obviously, keeping college tennis open,” she said. “A gold ball would give me…the success to keep me thinking I’m doing the right thing and keep improving my game.”

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:
http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=138230

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.

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