2014/04/16

Davis Wins Dow Corning Tennis Classic

Lauren Davis

By  McCarton Ackerman

(February 10, 2013) The Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center concluded on Sunday with two marathon matches in the singles and doubles finals. The fighting spirit that No. 1 seed Lauren Davis of the US has shown all week was on full display in her third-set tiebreaker win over unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia, while the unseeded pairing of Melinda Czink of Hungary and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia prevailed in the doubles final.

In a match that took well over two hours, Davis took the title with a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (2) win over Tomljanovic. The teenagers are no strangers to each other, having practiced together many times at the Evert Tennis Academy in Florida.

Tomljanovic struggled to find the range on her shots early on in the match, allowing Davis to comfortably take the opening set. The wear and tear on the American’s body after numerous long matches this week began to show in the second set as Tomljanovic reeled off five consecutive games on her way to the second set.

“After the first set, my energy level went down,” said Davis. “But if you want something bad enough, you’ve got to find the energy.”

Things looked bleak for Davis in the final set as she went down 2-0 to the Croatian. But as she has done all week, the No. 1 seed showed remarkable resistance in clawing her way back into the match. She fought off break points on her serve at 4-4 and 5-5 to help bring the match into a tiebreaker and saved her best tennis for the end. As she continued to track down balls that would be winners against most players, Tomljanovic began to overhit on her forehand. Winning the first four points of the tiebreaker, Davis rode the momentum the rest of the way and converted on her second match point.

Davis, currently ranked No. 90, had never won a title at the $100,000 level before. Currently ranked No. 90 on the WTA Tour, she is projected to rise to around No. 75 in the rankings.

“I have so many dreams and so many visions, and this is part of it,” said Davis. “It’s another step to where I want to go.”

In the doubles final, Melinda Czink and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni rallied from a set down to defeat the Brazilian-British team of Maria-Fernanda Alves and Samantha Murray 5-7, 6-4, 10-7.

“I’ve had such a great week here,” said Czink. “Some of the WTA tournaments should come here and see how you guys run this because it really is a great tournament.”

The Dow Corning Tennis Classic has completed its 25th year on the USTA Pro Circuit, making it the longest-running women’s event on the USTA Pro Circuit. Several former competitors at the event have gone on to win Grand Slam titles and reach the top 10 in the rankings. Past competitors include seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and Olympic gold medalist Justine Henin, three-time Grand Slam singles champion Maria Sharapova, two-time Grand Slam singles champion Mary Pierce, 2011 French Open singles champion Na Li, 2010 French Open singles champion Francesca Schiavone, and two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Anna Kournikova.

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Lauren Davis and Ajla Tomljanovic to Square Off in Midland Final

Lauren Davis

Lauren Davis

(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
Midland, Mich.
Purse: $100,000
Surface: Hard-Indoor

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

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Top Seed Davis Holds Off Kudryatseva at Dow Corning Tennis Classic

LaurenDavis9-27

Lauren Davis

By McCarton Ackerman

(February 8, 2013) MIDLAND, Mich.The hallmark 25th anniversary of the Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center continued on Friday with all quarterfinal singles matches and remaining quarterfinal doubles matches taking place. Two of the four semifinalists in the singles draw are Americans, with top seed Lauren Davis and 2012 NCAA singles finalist Mallory Burdette prevailing in tough matches on Stadium Court.

In the comeback of the tournament, top seed Davis rallied from behind on numerous occasions to defeat Alla Kudryatseva of Russia 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5, after more than three hours of play. Kudryavtseva served for the match at 5-4 in the second set and led 4-0 in the tiebreaker. In the third set, the Russian led 5-2 and had a match point on her serve at 5-3, but was unable to convert. Davis converted on her first match point opportunity with a backhand winner down the line.

“I just never stopped believing in myself,” said Davis. “It seemed like it was almost impossible to come back at that point, so I just asked God to give me strength and help make the impossible to be possible.”

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.

Burdette and No. 7 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia engaged in a hard-hitting baseline match that took over two hours to complete, but Burdette utilized some markedly improved defense to hang in the rallies and prevail 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. “Today was obviously about first strike tennis, but this is the best I’ve ever felt in terms of my movement and the ability to play defense,” said Burdette. “I’ve been doing a ton of fitness, especially during the off-season and pushing it as hard as I can in that regard.”

Burdette didn’t even have a WTA Tour ranking last July, but opted not to return for her senior year at Stanford University after a stellar summer that included winning the $10,000 futures event in Evansville, Ind., $100,000 challenger in Vancouver, Canada and reaching the third round of the US Open.

“I really wanted to give myself a shot at this and in order to do that, I had to put all of my time and energy into my tennis,” said Burdette. “It’s been great so far. There have definitely been some rough patches, but I’m just trying to do the best I can on a daily basis.”

In the final match of the day session, No. 8 seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico defeated American teen Jessica Pegula 6-3, 7-5. Puig, ranked No. 116, is the only singles semifinalist who has yet to lose a set. In the evening session, Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia defeated American Maria Sanchez 6-2, 6-2. The 19-year-old, currently ranked No. 370, is enjoying the best tournament of her career after an injury-plagued 2012 limited her to just six events. The lone match to be completed as of press time is an all-American doubles quarterfinal between Jill Craybas and CoCo Vandeweghe against Chieh-Yu Hsu and Shelby Rogers.

All semifinal singles and doubles matches will take place during Saturday’s play, which begins at noon. The day session will see the American-Russian team of Julia Cohen and Alla Kudryavtseva take on the Brazilian-British team of Maria-Fernanda Alves and Samantha Murray, followed by Mallory Burdette against Ajla Tomljanovic. In the night session, Lauren Davis will square off against Monica Puig, followed by the Hungarian-Croatian team of Melinda Czink and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni against the American team of either Jill Craybas and CoCo Vandeweghe or Chieh-Yu Hsu and Shelby Rogers.

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
Friday, February 8
Midland Community Tennis Center
Midland, Mich.
Purse: $100,000
Surface: Hard-Indoor

Friday, February 8 – RESULTS

Main Draw Singles – Quarterfinals
Lauren Davis, United States (1), def. Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, 5-7, 7-6 (4), 7-5
Mallory Burdette, United States, def. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia (7), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Monica Puig, Puerto Rico (8), def. Jessica Pegula, United States, 6-3, 7-5
Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, def. Maria Sanchez, United States, 6-2, 6-2

Main Draw Doubles – Quarterfinals
Julia Cohen, United States, and Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia (3), def. Nicole Melichar and Chiara Scholl, United States 6-4, 6-2
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia, and Melinda Czink, Hungary, def. Alexa Glatch and Asia Muhammed, United States, 6-3, 6-3

Saturday’s February 9 – SCHEDULE

Stadium Court – starting at 10 a.m.
Julia Cohen/Alla Kudryavtseva vs. Maria-Fernanda Alves/Samantha Murray, followed by Mallory Burdette vs. Ajla Tomljanovic

Stadium Court – starting at 7 p.m.
Lauren Davis vs. Monica Puig, followed by Melinda Czink/Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. Jill Craybas/CoCo Vandeweghe or Chieh-Yu Hsu/Shelby Rogers

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Pegula Upsets No. 4 Seed Czink at Dow Corning Tennis Classic

Jessica Pegula 2

Jessica Pegula

By McCarton Ackerman

(February 7, 2013 )MIDLAND, Mich. – The hallmark 25th anniversary of the Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center continued on Thursday with all second round singles matches and remaining first round doubles matches taking place. American teenager Jessica Pegula provided the upset of the day against No. 4 seed Melinda Czink, while top seed Lauren Davis of the US rolled through her second round match.

Utilizing a strong first serve and flat forehand, 18-year-old Pegula dictated the points in her match as early as possible. Running her veteran opponent around the court and not dropping serve once, a lone break of serve in each set was all Pegula needed to move into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win.

“I just tried to make sure I was ready after my serve because she returns well and then take advantage of any opportunities that came up,” said Pegula. “I definitely thought I executed my game plan well.”

Pegula, now ranked No. 150, jumped over 140 spots in the rankings in 2012 after strong results in USTA Pro Circuit events, including finalist showings at the $100,000 challenger in Vancouver, Canada and the $50,000 challenger in Sacramento, Calif. Today’s win against Czink was one of the biggest of her young career.

“A player like Melinda will play at a high level the whole match, so that’s what I’ve been working on now and trying to do that in every match,” she said.

In an earlier day session match, No. 1 seed Lauren Davis easily beat fellow American Alexa Glatch 6-2, 6-2. In Tuesday’s evening session, Davis struggled for nearly three hours before prevailing in her opening round match.

“I was still a little bit tired from that match, so I knew the match against Alexa today would have to be a lot less physical if I wanted to get the job done,” she said. “I stuck to my game plan and didn’t back down, so I was really happy about that.

Two other Americans also advanced into the quarterfinals. Mallory Burdette, who has climbed to No. 145 in the world after not having a pro ranking just seven months ago, dispatched fellow American and reigning US Open girls’ singles champion Samantha Crawford 6-2, 7-6 (3). Maria Sanchez also prevailed in another all-American match by defeating American teen Victoria Duval 6-2, 6-2. Duval took out No. 2 seed CoCo Vandeweghe in yesterday’s play.

Other players to advance into the quarterfinals include No. 7 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, No. 8 seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia and Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia. The lone match to be completed as of press time was an evening session doubles match between Samantha Murray of Great Britain and Maria-Fernanda Alves of Brazil against the American team of Mallory Burdette and Jessica Pegula.

All quarterfinal singles matches and remaining quarterfinal doubles matches will take place during Thursday’s play, which begins at 10:00am. The feature match of the day session will see No. 1 seed Lauren Davis take on Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia, while Maria Sanchez of the US square off against Ajla Tomljanovic in the feature evening match.

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
Thursday, February 7
Midland Community Tennis Center
Midland, Mich.
Purse: $100,000
Surface: Hard-Indoor

Thursday, February 7 – RESULTS

Main Draw Singles – 2nd Round
Lauren Davis, United States (1), def. Alexa Glatch, United States, 6-2, 6-2
Jessica Pegula, United States, def. Melinda Czink, Hungary (4), 6-4, 6-4
Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, def. Tatjana Malek, Germany (5), 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, def. Olga Puchkova, Russia (6), 6-1, 6-4
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia (7), def. Jill Craybas, United States, 6-0, 4-6, 6-2
Monica Puig, Puerto Rico (8), def. Sachia Vickery, United States (Q), 6-4, 6-4
Mallory Burdette, United States, def. Samantha Crawford, United States, 6-2, 7-6 (3)
Maria Sanchez, United States, def. Victoria Duval, United States (LL), 6-2, 6-2

Main Draw Doubles – 1st Round
Chieh-Yu Hsu and Shelby Rogers, United States, def. Jacqueline Cako and Natalie Pluskota, United States (4), 7-6, 7-6
Julia Cohen, United States, and Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, def. Victoria Duval and Sachia Vickery, United States (WC), w/o

Friday’s February 8 – SCHEDULE

Stadium Court – starting at 10 a.m.
Lauren Davis vs. Alla Kudryavtseva, followed by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. Mallory Burdette, followed by Jessica Pegula vs. Monica Puig, followed by Melinda Czink/Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. Alexa Glatch/Asia Muhammed

Stadium Court – starting at 7 p.m.
Maria Sanchez vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, followed by Jill Craybas/CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Chieh-Yu Hsu/Shelby Rogers

Court 5 – starting not before 2:00 p.m.
Nicole Melichar/Chiara Scholl vs. Julia Cohen/Alla Kudryavtseva

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Duval Stuns Vandeweghe, Vickery Over Townsend in Michigan

 

Victoria Duval photo by Steve Pratt

Victoria Duval photo by Steve Pratt

MIDLAND, Mich., February 6, 2013 – The hallmark 25th anniversary of the Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center continued on Wednesday with all remaining first round singles match taking place. 17-year-old American Victoria Duval stunned No. 2 seed CoCo Vandeweghe in the day session, while qualifier Sachia Vickery prevailed in an evening session match between American teens.

Duval, who won the Girls’ 18s National Championship last August, was responsible for the upset of the day by taking out Vandeweghe 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. Duval, who lost in the final round of qualifying yesterday, only moved into the main draw match as a “Lucky Loser” due to a player withdrawal.

“I was really lucky that I got that second chance and tried to make the most of it today,” said Duval. “Yesterday, I was rushing a lot because I really wanted to get into this main draw and was too nervous out there, but I played much smarter today.”

The win was also by far the biggest of her career and the first against a top 100 player on the WTA Tour.

“I’ve smelled those wins against top 100 players before, but to actually come through and pull it out is really nice,” she said.

In the evening session, 17-year-old Vickery used an aggressive baseline game to unseat 16-year-old wildcard Taylor Townsend 6-4, 6-3. Townsend was making her pro debut in Midland after finishing 2012 as the No. 1 ranked junior player in the world.

While Townsend used plenty of off-speed slices and spins to try and throw off Vickery, the 17-year-old had too much firepower for her opponent and won four consecutive games at one stage in the second set.

“This is my first win at the $100,000 level and I’ve had some really tough losses in the last few challengers I’ve played, so I’m thrilled to have gotten through this match,” said Vickery. “I just need to stay focused and keep doing the right things so I can hopefully keep playing better this week.”

Vickery, currently ranked No. 376 on the WTA Tour, has not lost a set in her four matches this week. She will play Monica Puig tomorrow for a place in the quarterfinals.

In other day session matches, Alexa Glatch prevailed against fellow American Julia Cohen in a nearly three-hour match 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Maria Sanchez of the US also moved into the second round by easing past Maria-Fernanda Alves of Brazil 6-4, 6-1.

Other players moving into the second round after today include No. 4 seed Melinda Czink of Hungary No. 5 seed Tatjana Malek of Germany, No. 6 seed Olga Puchkova of Russia, No. 7 seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, No. 8 seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico and Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia. The lone match to be completed as of press time was a first round doubles match between Americans Nicole Melichar and Chiara Scholl against the Dutch team of former top-10 player Brenda Schultz-McCarthy and her niece, Jainy Scheepens.

First round doubles: Nicole Melichar and Chiara Scholl, United States, def. Brenda Schultz-McCarthy and Jainy Scheepens, Netherlands (WC), 6-3, 6-1,

All second round singles matches and remaining first round doubles matches will take place during Thursday’s play, which begins at 10:00am. The feature match of the day session will see No. 1 seed Lauren Davis take on fellow American Alexa Glatch, while No. 7 seed and 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia will take on two-time Dow Corning Tennis Classic champion Jill Craybas of the US in the evening session.

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. Several former competitors at the event have gone on to win Grand Slam titles and reach the top 10 in the rankings. Past competitors include seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and Olympic gold medalist Justine Henin, three-time Grand Slam singles champion Maria Sharapova, two-time Grand Slam singles champion Mary Pierce, 2011 French Open singles champion Na Li, 2010 French Open singles champion Francesca Schiavone, and two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Anna Kournikova.

By McCarton Ackerman

Dow Corning Tennis Classic
A USTA Pro Circuit Event
Wednesday, February 6
Midland Community Tennis Center
Midland, Mich.
Purse: $100,000
Surface: Hard-Indoor

Wednesday, February 6 – RESULTS

Main Draw Singles – 1st Round

Victoria Duval, United States (LL), def. CoCo Vandeweghe, United States, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1
Melinda Czink, Hungary (4), def. Chieh-Yu Hsu, United States (Q) 6-3, 7-5
Tatjana Malek, Germany (5), def. Shelby Rogers, United States, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (5)
Olga Puchkova, Russia (6), def. Asia Muhammed, United States (WC) 6-3, 6-2
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia (7), def. Alexandra Mueller, United States (Q), 6-1, 6-2
Monica Puig, Puerto Rico (8), def. Alexandra Stevenson, United States, 7-5, 6-4
Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, def. Anne-Liz Jeukeng, United States (WC), 6-4, 6-2
Sachia Vickery, United States (Q), d. Taylor Townsend, United States (WC), 6-4, 6-3

Main Draw Doubles – 1st Round
Maria-Fernanda Alves, Brazil, and Samantha Murray, Great Britain, def. Irina Falconi and Maria Sanchez, United States, 3-6, 6-1, 10-6
Mallory Burdette and Jessica Pegula, United States, def. Irena Pavlovic, France, and Olga Puchkova, Russia, 7-6 (3), 6-2

Thursday’s February 7 – SCHEDULE

Stadium Court – starting at 10 a.m.
Lauren Davis vs. Alexa Glatch, followed by Maria Sanchez vs. Victoria Duval, followed by Melinda Czink vs. Jessica Pegula, followed by Sachia Vickery/Victoria Duval vs. Julia Cohen/Alla Kudryavtseva

Stadium Court – starting at 7 p.m.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. Jill Craybas, followed by Mallory Burdette/Jessica Pegula vs. Maria Fernanda-Alves/Samantha Murray

Court 5 – starting at 10 a.m.
Olga Puchkova vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, followed by Tatjana Malek vs. Alla Kudryavtseva, followed by Samantha Crawford vs. Mallory Burdette

Court 3 – starting at 10 a.m.
Jacqueline Cako/Natalie Pluskota vs. Chieh-Yu Hsu/Shelby Rogers, followed by Monica Puig vs. Sachia Vickery

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