Irina Falconi teamed with Coco Vandeweghe to knock out doubles top-seeds Alexa Glatch and Melanie Oudin.
© Andrew Ong/USTA
By McCarton Ackerman, special to USTA.com
MIDLAND, Mich. -- The 24th Annual Dow Corning Tennis Classic at the Midland Community Tennis Center concluded its qualifying matches and commenced first-round main-draw action on Tuesday. American Madison Brengle upset No. 4 seed and 2011 Midland finalist Irina Falconi in the day session, while 2009 US Open quarterfinalist and 2011 US Open mixed doubles champion Melanie Oudin fell in the evening session to No. 6 seed Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France.
Brengle kicked off the opening-round matches on Stadium Court with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Falconi. Using a steady counterpunching game, Brengle raced out to a 5-0 lead in the opening set by forcing Falconi into several unforced errors. A missed overhead by Falconi on match point wrapped up the match after just over an hour of play. The last time Brengle beat a player ranked in the top 90 was in Las Vegas in February 2008.
"I played Irina in the quarterfinals here last year, and she was just unbelievable that day," said Brengle, currently ranked No. 182. "I knew I would have to get a lot of balls back and stay aggressive because if you give her any kind of opening, the point is over."
In the evening session, Foretz Gacon knocked off Oudin, 7-6 (6), 6-2. The two players engaged in a nail-biting first set that featured numerous shifts in momentum. A timely approach to net on Foretz Gacon’s second set point clinched the set for the Frenchwoman, and she greatly raised the level of her game in the second set. Reeling off five consecutive games to take a 5-1 lead, a forehand sent long from Oudin on match point pushed the No. 6 seed into the second round.
"We had never played each other before, so we didn’t really know what to expect," said Foretz Gacon. "It was a little bit difficult for us in the beginning, but the match got better, especially towards the end of the set and in the tiebreak."
In doubles action, the No. 1-seeded Czech team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka advanced into the quarterfinals, with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Whitney Jones and Samantha Murray. Hlavackova and Hradecka won the French Open doubles title together last year, making it the first time on record that a current Grand Slam title-holding team has played in a USTA Pro Circuit event.
Qualifying rounds also concluded on Tuesday. Americans Madison Keys, Jessica Pegula and Shelby Rogers advanced into the main draw, alongside Samantha Murray of Great Britain. Two "lucky losers" who lost in the final round of qualifying, Yana Buchina and Lindsay Lee-Waters, also made it into the main draw due to withdrawals from other players. The lone match still to be completed on Tuesday as of press time was a first-round doubles match featuring Americans Irina Falconi and Alison Riske against American Ahsha Rolle and Shuai Zhang of China.
The remaining 13 opening-round singles matches will take place on Wednesday, with the top three seeds headlining action on Stadium Court during the day session starting at 10 a.m. No. 1 seed and defending champion Lucie Hradecka takes on Victoria Larriere, No. 2 Magdalena Rybarikova takes on Shelby Rogers, and No. 3 Anna Tatishvili squares off against Lindsay Lee-Waters. The evening session at 7 p.m. features an all-American battle, with No. 8 seed Jamie Hampton going up against former U.S. Fed Cup player Alexa Glatch.
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
Midland Community Tennis Center
Tuesday, February 7 - RESULTS:
Qualifying Singles – Final Round
Madison Keys, United States (3), def. Yana Buchina, Russia (6), 6-4, 6-2
Jessica Pegula, United States (6), def. Federica Grazioso, Italy, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
Shelby Rogers, United States, def. Lindsay Lee-Waters, United States, 6-2, 6-4
Samantha Murray, Great Britain, def. Sara Remynse, United States (WC), 6-3, 6-0
Main Draw Singles – First Round
Madison Brengle, United States, def. Irina Falconi (4), United States, 6-1, 6-2
Ashley Weinhold, United States, def. Chi Chi Scholl, United States, 6-3, 6-2
Stephanie Foretz Gacon, France (6), def. Melanie Oudin, United States, 7-6 (6), 6-2
Main Draw Doubles – First Round
Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, Czech Republic (1), def. Whitney Jones, United States, and Samantha Murray, Great Britain, 6-4, 6-1
Lindsay Lee-Waters and Megan Moulton-Levy, United States, def. Olga Govortsova, Belarus, and Evgeniya Rodina, Russia, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8
Alexa Glatch, United States, and Anna Tatishvili, Georgia (3), def. Madison Brengle and Shelby Rogers, United States (WC), 7-5, 6-3
Gail Brodsky and Lena Litvak, United States, def. Victoria Larriere, France, and Mirjana Lucic, Croatia, 1-6, 6-2, 10-6
Wednesday’s February 8 – SCHEDULE:
Stadium Court - starting at 10 a.m.
Shelby Rogers (WC) vs. Magdalena Rybarikova (2), followed by Lucie Hradecka (1) vs. Victoria Larriere, followed by Olga Govortsova (7) vs. Jessica Pegula (Q), followed by Alessondra Parra (WC) vs. Stephanie Dubois (5)
Stadium Court – starting at 7 p.m.
Alexa Glatch vs. Jamie Hampton (8), followed by Alexandra Mueller/YasminSchnack vs. Gabriela Dabrowski/Jessica Pegula
Court 5 - starting at 10 a.m.
Mirjana Lucic vs. Julia Boserup (WC), followed by Madison Keys (Q) vs. Michelle Larcher de Brito, followed by Alison Riske vs. Andrea Hlavackova, followed by Anna Tatishvili (3) vs. Lindsay Lee-Waters (LL)
Court 3 - starting at 10 a.m.
Darya Kustova vs. Evgeniya Rodina, followed by Yana Buchina (LL) vs. Vesna Dolonts, followed by Shuai Zhang vs. Anne-Liz Jeukeng (WC), followed by Samantha Murray (Q) vs. Gail Brodsky.