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Local favorite Muhammad advances at Party Rock Open

September 27, 2012 07:55 AM
Asia Muhammad in action in her first-round match in Las Vegas.
By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com

– Local wild card Asia Muhammad used the home-court crowd to her advantage on Wednesday night, beating qualifier Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, in the first round of the Party Rock Open, a women’s $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event sponsored by Redfoo of the hit group LMFAO that is being played at the Darling Tennis Center.

Redfoo watched from the stands as Muhammad got through the match, setting up a second-round showdown with No. 2-seeded American Lauren Davis, whom Muhammad lost to last year in their only professional meeting. The match will be the featured night match on Stadium Court Thursday night beginning at 6 p.m. local time.

"There was a time not long ago when I would have just folded in that third set and my whole game would have gone south, when I wanted to get off the court as fast as I could," Muhammad said. "But I’ve been working on my mental game, and once I hit the third set tonight, I just felt so refreshed and was able to push through."

Muhammad, 21, was a finalist at this event in 2008 as a 17-year-old but says it doesn’t really feel that long ago. "Because we’ve been to different venues, it doesn’t even really feel like the same tournament," she said. "It can be nerve-wracking at times being the local favorite because people want to see me do well, and I want to do well."

Earlier in the day, Davis avenged a recent defeat to American Maria Sanchez, whom she lost to on Sunday, 6-1, 6-1, in the final of the Albuquerque $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event. Davis dropped the first set, 6-2, but the heat seemed to get to the fatigued Sanchez, who dropped the next two sets, 6-2, 6-3.

Playing in her first match since winning the US Open Junior singles title, USTA wild card Samantha Crawford fell in her opening match to No. 4-seeded Anastasia Rodionova, a Russian representing Australia, 6-4, 6-3.

"It does feel a little different that people may know me a little more now," said the Atlanta native Crawford, 17. "Even now, after a few weeks, I still can’t believe I won the junior US Open."

Rodionova next plays her sister and doubles partner Arina in a second-round singles match. Later in the day, the two play doubles and are the tournament’s top-seeded team.

A day after losing the No. 1 and 3 seeds, the tournament on Wednesday also lost the No. 5 seed, as Maria Abramovic of Croatia defeated Irina Falconi, 7-5, 6-1.

In the first match of the day, unseeded American Jessica Pegula advanced to the second round after wild card and 2010 NCAA singles champion Chelsey Gullickson was forced to retire because of flu-like symptoms.

Log onto www.RadioTennis.com to hear Ken Thomas do his live Internet stream at the Patry Rock Open through Sunday.

Wednesday’s Scores:
q: qualifier; wc: wild card

Main Draw Singles

Jessica Pegula, U.S., def. Chelsey Gullickson (wc), U.S., 5-2, retired (illness)
Heidi El Tabakh (8), Canada, def. Ashley Weinhold, U.S., 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Shelby Rogers, U.S., def. Grace Min, U.S., 6-4, 6-0
Elena Bovina, Russia, def. Julia Bosserup, U.S., 1-6, 6-4, 7-5
Maria Abramovic, Croatia, def. Irina Falconi (5), U.S., 7-5, 6-1
Lauren Davis (2), U.S., def. Maria Sanchez, U.S., 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
Arina Rodionova (q), Russia, def. Ksenia Lykina, Russia, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (2)
Anastasia Rodionova (4), Australia, def. Samantha Crawford (wc), U.S., 6-4, 6-3
Marie-Eve Pelletier, Canada, def. Jennifer Elie (q), U.S., 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2
Stephanie Dubois, Canada, def. Alison Riske (6), U.S., 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (3)
Arina Rodionova (q), Russia, def. Ksenia Lykina, Russia, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (2)
Madison Brengle, U.S. def. Allie Will (wc), U.S., 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3
Adriana Perez (q), Venezuela, def. Veronica Cepede Royg (Paraguay), 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
Asia Muhammad (wc), U.S., def. Gabriela Dabrowski (q), Canada, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2

Main Draw Doubles
MacCall Harkins, U.S.- Chieh-Yu Hsu, U.S., def. Irina Falconi, U.S.-Maria Sanchez (2), U.S., 3-6, 7-6 (4), 10-4
Elena Bovina, Romania-Edina Gallovits-Hall (4), Romania, def. Jennifer Elie, U.S.-Elizabeth Lumpkin, U.S., 6-2, 6-1

Thursday’s Schedule:

Stadium Court beginning at 11 a.m.

Heidi El Tabakh (8), Canada, vs. Marie-Eve Pelletier, Canada
Followed by Shelby Rogers, U.S., vs. Stephanie Dubois, Canada
Followed by Mallory Burdette (7), U.S., vs. Madison Brengle, U.S.
Starting at 6 p.m. Asia Muhammad (wc), U.S., vs. Lauren Davis (2), U.S.

Court 11

Beginning at 11 a.m.
Petra Rampre, Slovenia, vs. Jessica Pegula, U.S.
Followed by Arina Rodionova, Russia, vs. Anastasia Rodionova, Australia
Followed by Jessica Pegula, U.S.-Marie-Eve Pelletier (3), Canada, vs. Lena Litvak, U.S.-Nicole Melichar, U.S.
Followed by Arina Rodionova, Russia-Anastasia Rodionova (1), Australia, vs. Maria Abramovic, Croatia-Amra Sadikovic, Switzerland

Court 10
Beginning at 11 a.m.
Adirana Perez, Venezuela, vs. Maria Abramovic, Croatia
Followed by Chi Chi Scholl, U.S., vs. Elena Bovina, Russia
Followed by Nicole Rottmann, Austria-Lenka Wienerova, Slovakia, vs. MacCall Harkins, U.S.-Chieh-Yu Hsu, U.S.
Followed by Shelby Rogers, U.S.-Ashley Weinhold, U.S., vs. Elena Bovina, Romania-Edina Gallovits-Hall (4), Romania
The tournament’s official website is www.partyrockopen.com. To learn more about Redfoo and Party Rock Clothing, go to www.partyrockclothing.com.
The Party Rock Open is presented by Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center, Las Vegas’ premier orthopedics group. Other sponsors include: USTA-Nevada, CourtThink, LLC, Agent Atleta, Ltd., WG Communications Group, Cox Communications, ESPN 1110 AM, The Point 97.1, 98.5 KLUC, Marty Hennessey Foundation, Ryan Wolfington, Solinco strings, Western Cab Company, Marquis Aurbach and Coffing, www.10sBalls.com, ASICS, and Perrier water.
Follow along on Twitter @partyrockopen and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/partyrockopen.


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