– Three women’s professional tennis players with Southern California ties have secured spots among the top eight seeded players for the upcoming Carson USTA Women’s $50,000 Challenger presented by the Farmers Classic, starting with qualifying this Saturday and concluding with the finals on Sunday, May 29.
All the action will take place for the fifth consecutive year at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Unlike in past years, when Carson was one of the only USTA Challengers where both the men and women competed at the same time and same venue, this year’s tournament will see only the women participate. This is the USTA Pro Circuit’s first hardcourt event of 2011 and the only $50,000 California event on the year’s calendar.
Alexa Glatch, 21, of Newport Beach is the No. 2-seeded player behind top-seeded Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who holds down a No. 197 WTA world singles ranking. Glatch, at No. 202, was the 2005 US Open girls’ singles and doubles finalist and reached the quarterfinals at the WTA event in Memphis, Tenn., earlier this year as a qualifier. In 2008, she was a finalist at Carson, falling to Mashona Washington in the final.
American Ashley Weinhold (No. 254) will be the No. 3-seeded player, followed by Julia Boserup, who grew up in Cheviot Hills just 25 miles northwest of Carson. Boserup is a 19-year-old who now trains with former touring pro Eliot Teltscher. She has recently cracked the world Top 300 and sits at No. 298. As a junior, Boserup won the 2008 Dunlop Orange Bowl and as a pro advanced to the semifinals of the $25,000 event in Jackson, Miss., earlier this year.
Santa Ana’s Krista Hardebeck (No. 336) will be seeded No. 7. Other top Americans among the main-draw entries include former USC All-American Amanda Fink, Jennifer Elie, Alexandra Mueller, Asia Muhammad, Megan Falcon, Lena Litvak, Jessica Pegula, Macall Harkins, former UCLA star Yasmin Schnack, Amanda McDowell, Brittany Augustine and Jan Abaza.
"The Carson Challenger will again be a highly competitive event that shows off some of not only Southern California but also the nation’s top women’s players," said John Lansville, tournament director. "This year, a lot of the top American players have decided to go over to Europe to play, so this gives a lot of other young players an opportunity to grab some valuable ranking points."
Teenagers receiving main-draw wild cards include: 14-year-old Gabrielle Andrews of nearby Pomona, who reached the final of the 2011 Easter Bowl and won the doubles title, as well as swept both the singles and doubles titles at the 2010 USTA Girls’ 18s Winter National Championships; 16-year-old Samantha Crawford, who trains full-time at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., and won the 2011 USTA International Spring Championships as a junior player; 17-year-old Grace Min, who reached the singles final of the 2010 Dunlop Orange Bowl in December 2010; and 18-year-old Shelby Rogers, who won a pre-qualifying tournament early last year to earn a qualifying wild card into the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., on the WTA tour, and who advanced to her first USTA Pro Circuit final at last year’s $50,000 event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
For more information on the tournament, log onto the website at www.usta.com/carsonchallenger
About the USTA Pro Circuit
With more than 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. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour ranking points. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Andy Murray, Jelena Jankovic, Melanie Oudin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are among today’s top stars that began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide -- an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.
About The Home Depot Center
The Home Depot Center is southern California’s home of world-class competition and training facilities for amateur, Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes. The $150 million, privately financed facility was developed and is operated by AEG Facilities on a 125-acre site on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in Carson, California. The Home Depot Center features an 8,000-seat tennis and boxing stadium, a 27,000-seat stadium for soccer, other athletic competitions and outdoor concerts, a 10,000-seat facility for track & field and a 2,450-seat indoor Velodrome for track cycling. The Home Depot Center is home to two Major League Soccer teams, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA. Named an Official U.S. Olympic Training Site, The Home Depot Center is also home of the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Training Center-West, the national team training headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and Athletes’ Performance, an international training center for elite and professional athletes. For more information, please visit www.homedepotcenter.com.