Madison Keys advances in Midland.
© Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
By McCarton Ackerman, special to USTA.com
MIDLAND, Mich. -- The 24th Annual Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center kicked off on Sunday morning with first-round qualifying matches. All seeded players and 12 Americans in total, including Alexandra Stevenson, Madison Keys and Jessica Pegula, booked their place in Monday’s matches.
1999 Wimbledon semifinalist Alexandra Stevenson, the No. 2 seed in qualifying, overcame a slow start before rolling through her match against Di Zhao of China, with a 6-4, 6-1 victory. Stevenson, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 in 2002, won this event in 1998 while still competing as an amateur player.
No. 3 seed Madison Keys, who won the USTA Australian Open wild card playoff this past December, found herself in a battle against wild card Chalena Scholl before prevailing, 7-6 (2), 1-6, 6-2. Keys reached the second round of last year’s US Open through winning the USTA wildcard playoff for that event, as well.
No. 4 seed Ahsha Rolle, who reached the third round of the US Open in 2007, easily advanced into the second round of qualifying with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Maria Abramovic of Croatia. No. 8 seed Alexandra Mueller, who won the inaugural US Open National Playoffs event in 2010, overcame a scare from former WTA player and current USTA Coach Diana Ospina. The pair battled for well over two hours, before Mueller came through with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.
Other American players to advance through include former top-40 player Lindsay Lee-Waters, Shelby Rogers and Lena Litvak. 2009 US Open junior finalist Yana Buchina, the No. 6 seed in the event, and 2009 Orange Bowl champion Gabriela Dabrowski, the No. 7 seed, also won their matches on Sunday.
Second-round qualifying matches kick off Monday at 10 a.m., with the feature match of the day being an All-American battle pitting Alexandra Stevenson against Shelby Rogers.
The Dow Corning Tennis Classic is in its 24th 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.
ABOUT THE USTA PRO CIRCUIT
With approximately 90 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its pro circuit in 1976 to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from over 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Andre Agassi, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.
Dow Corning Tennis Classic
A USTA Pro Circuit Event
Sunday, February 5
Midland Community Tennis Center
Sunday, February 5 - RESULTS:
Qualifying Singles - 1st round
Alexandra Stevenson, United States (2), def. Di Zhao, China 6-4, 6-1
Madison Keys, United States (3), def. Chalena Scholl, United States, 7-6 (2), 1-6, 6-2
Ahsha Rolle, United States (4), d. Maria Abramovic, Croatia, 6-4, 6-1
Jessica Pegula, United States (5), def. Danielle Rose Collins, United States, 6-1, 6-2
Yana Buchina, Russia (6), def. Tori Kinard, United States, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada (7), def. Jennifer Elie, United States, 6-1, 6-3
Alexandra Mueller, United States (8), def. Diana Ospina, United States, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
Eleanor Peters, United States, def. Christina Auyeung, United States, 6-1, 6-0
Sara Remnyse, United States, d. Tanya Noury, United States, 6-0, 6-1
Whitney Jones, United States, def. Erin Paul, United States, 6-0, 6-0
Shelby Rogers, United States, def. Brooke Austin 6-2, 6-1
Denise Muresan, United States, def. Susana Alcaraz, Mexico, 6-0, 6-0
Samantha Murray, Great Britain, def. Simone Kalhorn, United States, 6-4, 6-1
Lindsay Lee-Waters, United States, def. Kim-Alice Grajdek, Germany, 6-4, 6-1
Lena Litvak, United States, d. Jan Abaza, United States, 6-2, 6-0
Federica Grazioso, Italy, d. Elizabeth Ferris, United States, 6-2, 1-6, 6-0
Monday’s February 6 – SCHEDULE:
Court 5 - starting at 10 a.m.
Madison Keys vs. Denise Muresan, followed by Ahsha Rolle vs. Federica Grazioso, followed by Alexandra Stevenson vs. Shelby Rogers
Court 3 - starting at 10 a.m.
Lindsay Lee-Waters vs. Gabriela Dabrowski, followed by Sara Remnyse vs. Whitney Jones, followed by Eleanor Peters vs. Yana Buchina
Court 1 - starting at 10 a.m.
Samantha Murray vs. Alexandra Mueller, followed by Lena Litvak vs. Jessica Pegula